ID elk hunt

TimeOnTarget

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Feb 13, 2015
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I spent the 11th -19th in ID for the 1st time as well as my 1st archery elk hunt. It was a rough hunt for me.

The 1st 3 days the temps were well into the 80's each day. Then the temps fell greatly which I thought would turn the elk on. It didn't.

I only heard 2 bugles the entire time I was there, both at a fairly great distance. One was just an early morning bugle and the 2nd was an answer to my bugle about 45 minutes before sunset. Went after him but he was never seen or heard from again.

I found lots of elk sign and some freshly used wallows but the elk just weren't there.

I did manage to find where 4-5 elk had crossed my path in the fresh snow so I dogged their tracks for awhile, only to spook them off.

I did stumble upon a very nice bull but only got a glimpse of him as he was darting off into a the next zip code. I had no idea he was there.

I moved slowly and quietly trying to see them before they saw me, just didn't happen. The only elk I seemed to come across were in super heavy cover, I never saw anything when trying to glass from a good vantage point. The elk I did encounter were all about 8500' in elevation.

I'm trying to learn from this experience, What should have I been doing differently trying to archery hunt silent elk? How do you pro's go about it?
 

TimeOnTarget

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I still had a blast on the trip and enjoyed the moose and Bighorn sheep encounters, I could have done without the rattlesnakes though.
 

smarandr

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Jul 8, 2010
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East Idaho
Archery elk is tough, and it's even tougher if you've never done it before. I can empathize as I'm a self taught archery elk hunter myself. It took me four seasons before I loosed an arrow, and sometimes I consider myself lucky that it only took that long.

It sounds like you're on the right track; you're into the thick nasty stuff; you saw lots of sign, and you even had a few sightings. I'm certainly no expert, but the biggest things I've learned are pretty cliche: You can fool their eyes and ears, but never their nose, and you have to be willing to go to the ugly places to find them. Keep at it, persistence pays off.
 

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