Rambling, overthinkings of a mad man

Stocker

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So this is gonna be a long, rambling, incoherent post with questions that either make no sense or I mostly know the answer to (mainly on elk decoys which I know nothing about) I also know most of you haven’t hunted elk in cornfields. so if you’re not interested in that, stop here.

I’ve only been thinking about how I would hunt elk in Nebraska almost everyday since I started applying 20 years ago, now that I’ve drawn I’m 2nd guessing everything. I’ve been fortunate enough to help family members the past few years fill their bull and cow tags. I know the area well, I know where the elk are (historically), I have plenty of places to hunt. The elk are different than elk anywhere else I’ve ever hunter them, they’re almost tame. Example in 2020 my wife’s uncle killed a cow out of a fairly large herd. The rest of the herd watched her die and then just slowly walked off as we approached the downed cow.

Last year I learned the most on the same guys bull hunt. It was sept 21st (opening morning of rifle) A 5 point and a rag horn were in a soybean field about 700 yards right at first light. I hit them with a cow call, they came on a rope to about 150 yards. We were in a small brush pile, mostly in the open. I kept going with light calls and both bulls slowly worked their way to within about 50 yards. They were obviously looking for the cow almost looking right through us. Anyway he killed the 5 point right there, the rag horn watched us high five and talk for about 5 minutes before slowly walking away looking back at us every 5 steps or so. After we get back to the pickup a bull rips a bugle in a cornfield about 100 yards away, I cow call, a 350” 7 point comes tearing out of the cornfield and stands 100 yards from the truck and us. He rips another bugle then actually got spooked by us and darted back into the corn.

By now I know most of you are thinking: “dude you’re an idiot, it sounds like a slam dunk even for a doofus like you, go hunt”

for at least the 1st 20 days of the season I’ll be toting my bow. I really like bow hunting and my mother in law drew a bull tag for the same unit and I’m assuming she’ll tote a rifle starting sept 21st. I’d like to be done before her. Not out of spite, but I’m the only person in the family with a fair amount of elk hunting experience so I play guide and packer for everyone else. I don’t wanna be trying to fill my tag and send her out without any helpful help.

So the terrain is flat, covered in irrigated circles, with a few trees/windbreaks on the corners. The only cover is to stand in the cornfield, get into a windbreak or the occasional brush pile.

My “plan” is to buy a cow (elk) decoy and prop it along a windbreak where the bulls will only be able to see 1 side. That side will be determined by wind direction and if I can find decent cover nearby. That should catch the bulls on 1 side and maybe make a curious bull come around from the other side to see the decoy. I’ve never used a decoy and I may not need to. I’m mainly thinking of it as a tool to keep eyes off of myself and hopefully closing the last few yards of distance. I’m thinking a Montana decoy. So will elk react to a decoy the way I’m thinking in this scenario?

If your head hurts, your confused, have no clue what I’m talking about, join the club. Me too. If my mind slips anymore I’ll be able to hide my own Easter eggs.

10056FC4-3261-41AB-8C97-F5AAD8AD5854.gif
 

FoodIsMemories

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Nice I think you’re in good shape. Those miss September calls work well, if there are no other doofus’ out there shooting toward your decoy.. lol I think you’ll have no trouble killing a bull this year and look forward to watching the hunt when you post
 

Mallardsx2

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Carrying the extra weight of a decoy up and down mountains for days on end isn't my forte...lol It might work for those areas you talk about. Give it a whirl and see what happens! If it doesn't work, then try something else.
 

EastTNHunter

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You sound like me on local deer hunts. I often act as guide and helper, and have a really god track record of getting people on public land deer, but when it comes to hunting for myself I start over analyzing everything and second guessing myself. Some of my friends will just look at me and say “O A” when I get into an over analyzing fit. I usually do best if I use logic rather than second-guessing and overthinking things.
 

PrairieHunter

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Laramie, WY
Nebraska elk are quite funny. When I lived in Chadron my neighbor had a cow elk that stayed with his cows year round. Acted domestic.

There was also a high fence elk spot south of Chardon and the wild elk would sit on the fence line outside the pen.


IF you go during rifle season you might consider a black domestic cow decoy to be on the safe side.
 

Stocker

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Nebraska elk are quite funny. When I lived in Chadron my neighbor had a cow elk that stayed with his cows year round. Acted domestic.

There was also a high fence elk spot south of Chardon and the wild elk would sit on the fence line outside the pen.


IF you go during rifle season you might consider a black domestic cow decoy to be on the safe side.

Thanks, I’m really focused on filling the tag with my bow. Like I said, I’m probably driving myself nuts over nothing. I probably just need to relax and enjoy the tag. September just needs to get here so I can hunt and stop thinking.
 

Stocker

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Nebraska elk are quite funny. When I lived in Chadron my neighbor had a cow elk that stayed with his cows year round. Acted domestic.

There was also a high fence elk spot south of Chardon and the wild elk would sit on the fence line outside the pen.


IF you go during rifle season you might consider a black domestic cow decoy to be on the safe side.

Thanks, I’m really focused on filling the tag with my bow. Like I said, I’m probably driving myself nuts over nothing. I probably just need to relax and enjoy the tag.
 

OntarioHunter

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So this is gonna be a long, rambling, incoherent post with questions that either make no sense or I mostly know the answer to (mainly on elk decoys which I know nothing about) I also know most of you haven’t hunted elk in cornfields. so if you’re not interested in that, stop here."

Thanks for the warning. I was ready to check out after "elk decoys."
 

GrantK

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Western CO
My experience with decoys (definitely not in a cornfield so YMMV?) is that they work far better when the elk being targeted doesn't get to look at them for too long, I've had great results flashing a decoy at a bull from a ways away, or closing the last couple yards in a tight cover situation, I haven't seen them help much when the elk get an extended look at them, in my experience when the elk get a good look they tend to be pretty mesmerized for about a minute, then if nothing moves they get spooky pretty quick, best case they sometimes make a big circle to check wind instead of just leaving... I'm curious if farmland elk would react differently? couldn't hurt to try... I'd expect that if you could get a friend to call and show a decoy to a bull, then pull the decoy into the corn while the bull watched it would be really effective...
 

Stocker

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Nebraska
My experience with decoys (definitely not in a cornfield so YMMV?) is that they work far better when the elk being targeted doesn't get to look at them for too long, I've had great results flashing a decoy at a bull from a ways away, or closing the last couple yards in a tight cover situation, I haven't seen them help much when the elk get an extended look at them, in my experience when the elk get a good look they tend to be pretty mesmerized for about a minute, then if nothing moves they get spooky pretty quick, best case they sometimes make a big circle to check wind instead of just leaving... I'm curious if farmland elk would react differently? couldn't hurt to try... I'd expect that if you could get a friend to call and show a decoy to a bull, then pull the decoy into the corn while the bull watched it would be really effective...
That’s what I was thinking. I was concerned about a bull seeing the decoy move in a strange way. I’ve got an army of people that wanna go on this hunt with me so getting someone to flash a decoy won’t be hard. I’ll probably try what you’re talking about. Get them to flash the decoy behind me. Thanks!
 

anitakaby

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Jul 25, 2022
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4
Nebraska elk are quite funny. When I lived in Chadron my neighbor had a cow elk that stayed with his cows year round. Acted domestic.

There was also a high fence elk spot south of Chardon and the wild elk would sit on the fence line outside the pen.


IF you go during rifle season you might consider a black domestic cow decoy to be on the safe side.
Hhmm really?
 

jejack26

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May 21, 2018
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Montana
It'll work, I place them in spot where I think the elk will see a small portion of the decoy. I had em get focused and just trying get a better view, give an opportunity. Good luck and congrats on the tag.
 

Benfromalbuquerque

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Jul 15, 2020
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It does sound like you could call in these NE elk with a saxophone. Have fun out there. Go all soldier of fortune style! Mustache, camo face, boonie cap.
 

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