Opening day or not


New member
Dec 20, 2000
Jackson, Wyoming
How many plan their hunt around opening day?

Some I know like to wait until the end of their season and some, like me, make a point to be out there the very first day. I take a couple of weeks off and make sure I am on top before first light of opening day.
Glen and I have always tried to be out at least two or three days before opening day so we can poke around and decide where we want to be opening morning. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't.

Depending on where I hunt.. If its a place with alot of hunters I wait till the last few weeks... if there are few hunters I am there 3-5 days befor and the whole season if I can be..

Considering we got drawn for the second season, I guess the second season will work. You know that old saying beggars can't be choosers. I would have preferred to hunt the first season but one of Dale and my good buddies decided he wanted to get married that weekend. We tried telling him not to, but the boy just won't listen ;) ;) ;) ;)
The latest I have ever taken a bull bugeling is Oct.8th and he was pretty rutted out. The earliest I have ever taken a bull bugeling is Sept 2nd. We can't hunt em in the peak of the rut becuase the season only runs from the first of sept. until the 14th or 15th usually. The peak of the rut is as a general rule the third week of sept. I would dearly love to hunt em then. The Dept. has always tried to work around giving us any season in the peak by starting it before or after. The big boys don't usually come to play with the Mammas' until the second week or so of sept. sometimes being later than that. I think it may be a little different on the tactics of Roosevelt because they are simply not available sometimes. Our land base tends to be small in comparison to what I think they have in Montana, Idaho, Colorado and other places like that. What happens is our mature bulls winter in the Olympic national park and do not wander until the rut. (Close to 85%). When they are pressured real hard they will split from the herd and head straight for the border. That is why I never chase a herd if I bump em. It is nothing for that big boy to go 10 miles in a day and never get seen cause of the heavy cover.
Sept 1st around here is usually a lame time for the big nasty that I want. The biggest and most educated usually have smaller herums around here because they know it is easier to handle them with less competition. A lot of times the biggest ones that I hunt only have about ten cows or so and the others are all competing for the bigger herum. That isn't always true but most of the time it works that way over here.
I know when I hunted Idaho the tactics were a little different for me in the fact that I bugeled every bull I took in. The trouble with that was all I ended up with were the satelites. Most of the time if we bugeled the herd bull would push his herum and we would always be a step behind. What I started doing was simply locating and sending a partner in silent. As long as the bugeler kept his distance the herd bull would not push. When the silent partner got in to within 60 yards or so he would crack a cow call and the herd bull would come storming over. The other problem was we were hunting the Clearwater drainage over by buckhorn point on the backside of Peirce and the bulls just didn't have the mass I wanted. We would harvest animals that were right around the 260 to 280 mark. I did better than that where I was in Washington so I lost interest. There is always the chance of taking that 360+ bull here if everything goes right. My goal is to slam one that goes number one. The closest I got was number 7 in 1998. A person never knows, all it takes is to be in an area that has the possibility.
Raybow.. you are kidding right? I've always found the biggest herd bulls are the most bow-killable right early, well before the rut in summer range habits, before they group up with a mob of cows. Sept 1st was a bad day for a big bull last year in MT anyway. We don't open until the 7th this fall, I've taken 3 on the 7th, hopefully soon to be 4.

Do you hunt them in the peak of the rut? Ever tried it in early to mid-Oct? Is that a good time to get a big one?
Spotted Owl:
I didn't start hunting elk with a bow until 1984 and I kept it that way cause I guided in rifle season. I quit guiding in 1996 because we had over 20 tribes that had a crack before the riflemen. I didn't feel I could adequately give the guys what they deserved for the money I charged. These big guys are hard to hunt in rifle season because there are so many people then. Most people are very limitted no matter how good of shape they think they are in when it comes to the physical tasks of being a successful elk hunter. It is really heavy cover in this area and walking through in some areas is tough.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 06-25-2002 01:38: Message edited by: raybow 1 ]</font>
Ray, I see where you are coming from. Too bad those bulls are unavailable early because I really think that is the time the big boys are easiest to get with a bow. I've had a hard time in the peak of the rut when I've hunted at that time. Getting a satelite bull in range might be easiest then, but a big bull is harder.

I've seen rutting/bugling going on here into late October, though i've never called one in that late. By then, it seems it's mostly the satelites moving in with the herds, strutting their stuff because the big breeders have left the scene. ..sore wee-wees maybe.

I know what you mean when your talking about
the tribal hunting. Back in 96, my brother
and I drew bull tags in the Dickey. I remember
to this day how excited I was to draw that
stinking tag. I scouted it as well as I could
living 31/2 hours away. I saw plenty of bulls scouting. To make a long story short, my brother
and I hunted our butts off 10 days straight,
taking mtn bikes far beyond the locked gates.
Heck, we didn't even see a cow till out 6th
day, and we never saw a legal bull. It did
open my eyes abit about the tribal hunting
in that area. I hope to redeem myself if
and when I draw the legendary Quinault tag.
Now theres a tag worth losing some sleep over! :D
season opens oct 12 i'll have camp set on the afternoon of the 6th after a 1050 mile drive and hope to be where the elk are by first light on the 12th if not try try again
Good luck wolf.

Season here opens on the 26th of Sept. and we will have camp set and occupied on the 25th after work. We will be on top before first light on the 26th watching over the meadows. I think it is habbit and the thrill of getting out there that makes me go out on opening day, and opening week.

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