Pick a new spot, or try my luck again in the same area?

AtenJones

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Jan 4, 2017
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114
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SE Ohio
So - last year my partner and I kind of stumbled into a decent little patch of woods that seemed to hold plenty of elk. It was our first hunt, and I got a shot at a good 6pt (wounded him, tracked him for miles, never found him. I posted the story a few months ago). The area looked like it was HEAVILY used. We found their bedding area, and were kind of figuring out their patterns when we located him.

We are planning on heading back to the same state this fall for Archery season, but I'm having a little trouble deciding what to do. Part of me wants to go on another adventure and find somewhere new and unexplored. The other part thinks I might be better off heading back to the same place, and trying our luck again. We are still very much in the learning phase, so while harvesting an elk is obviously the primary goal, learning HOW to hunt them is a very close second.

Which do you think might be the better plan? Head off into an unexplored wilderness, or take some of the guess-work out of the planning phase, and really focus on learning how to get it done?

Thanks!
 

LCH

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Dec 9, 2013
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Southern Indiana
I'd go back to the same area to take some of the learning curve out of it. Odds are you'll learn some new spots each time you go, and pretty soon you'll know it as well as a local.
 

Mallardsx2

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Apr 4, 2015
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If you didn't see hunters, saw elk and you got a shot at an elk I would go back and at least visit that spot for a couple days every season.

Its hard to find public land spots with elk and few hunters.
 

BlakeA

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Dec 13, 2012
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North Dakota
I've never understood why hunters will leave elk to go find elk? That is a great tactic for unsuccessful hunting.

It's possible you got lucky and caught them in a spot they rarely frequent but like the previous two posters recommended, I would go back and give it a couple days at least.
 

406LIFE

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Aug 18, 2016
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Bitterroot Valley, MT
Two thoughts:
Don't leave elk to find elk.

Determine if your sense of adventure is greater than your desire to kill an elk. They aren't mutually exclusive, but if the latter is greater, see above comment.
 

belly-deep

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Oct 31, 2009
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The best way to consistently fill tags is to get to know an area really well.

That said, I understand the wanderlust and am guilty of it myself at times.

Also, don't be surprised (or give up on the spot) if you go there next year and find it elkless. That is how elk hunting is.
 

nrpate05

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Jan 5, 2015
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451
Agreed, I'd head back at least for a couple days. It took my hunting group a few years to find a 'honey hole'. We've killed elk in other places, but this spot had no other hunters in the vicinity (despite the traffic at the trailhead) and plenty of elk. We'll certainly be heading back there next season. Could be a fluke and the elk aren't always there but it's better to have something to go on than nothing.
 

Bluejeep

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Jan 31, 2018
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240
Location
Billings, MT
You found elk, and from what I understand, that's a key success factor in killing an elk.

I would hunt it again and then if it looks unused or is blown out, then would I move on.

If you want, send me a PM of where its at and I'll check it out for you next year and let you know ;)
 

wllm1313

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Dec 9, 2015
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Aurora, CO
Personally I would go to a new area, but I really enjoy the exploring aspect of hunting. I have yet to return to the same unit to hunt elk, but to each his own.
 

Spedray

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Sep 26, 2018
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Bozeman, mt
If the area is close we hunt the same spot on a rotation of 2 weekends in the prime spot and then 1 weekend somewhere else. It helps to keep the interest up and starve off the boredom of hunting the same spot all the time.
 

Bowhuntrben

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Dec 26, 2010
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SE Minnesota
Tell me where said location you previously went is then go to a new spot :p

I would definitely go back to where you already have found elk.
 
Joined
May 9, 2017
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Location
Colorado Springs, CO
You found the Elk. If it was me, I would go back to the same area because you already know the area. Not because you saw them there before it does not mean the Elk will be waiting for you there on the same spot. You can still learn a lot each year because Elk will behave differently based on many factors to include hunting pressure. You may find them nearby but most likely not on the same spot waiting to get shot again. Learn how they move based on hunting pressure, terrain, food/water… I have friends who hunted the same unit/area for almost 15 years and each year they have a different experience. - ColoradoHunter719
 
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