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I think part of the reason that the Rosevelts are easier to track is that they weigh quite a bit more and that the reason they are not as vocal is that the hunting pressure is quite a bit more intense. The ones I have hunted in the Cle Elem area were pretty vocal during bow season every year until they changed the rules and started stirring muzzle loaders into the mix. Then there was so much calling going on that they quickly shut up. I did notice that it seemed that the Rosevelts were much more intellegent though. I watched an Rosevelt cow that had taken up with a group of Rockies as the lead cow. She kept the band together for about three years and had them doing things that I have not seen other bands doing to stay out of trouble. One was milling in the brush on one side of a hundred acre clearing and only allowing one elk to run full speed across the opening at a time and then they would mill in the brush until they were all together on the other side, then would trot off at a very good clip into the hills, instead of just meandering until they hit their destination...
Hey Russ, how goes the battle?
You know---I have thought about this for quite some time and I really don't know which one I think is harder.
On one hand you have the rocky that is much more vocal and easy to locate by sound. They are not as easy to locate by track as the roosevelt.
The hunting tactics used are almost opposite at times from one to the other. I like to get on track with the roosevelt and sneak in silent. On the other hand the rockys are much more aggressive at times and are much easier to call in than the roosevelt. That being said, I would much rather they didn't know where I was or even that I was there at all.
In short, I think the roosevelt for me are easier because you can sneak much closer with all the cover.
I've taken both, my largest bull was a 5x6 Rosie. I would much rather hunt Rockies. I think the hunting pressure issue is the biggest problem with Roosevelts. Most of Western Oregon is over the counter for Roosevelt bulls. Eastern Oregon is almost entirely draw, except for spike only hunts. The terrain is alot tougher in the coastal mountains, straight up and down and ferns over your head. Clearcuts grow up in years instead of decades. You just don't seem to catch many groups or herds of Roosevelts in the open. In the Cascades the elk are supposed to be Roosevelts but they do act more like Rocky Mountian. I believe this is because the vegitation is more open than on the coast and there is some interbreding going on.
I've taken both species. I feel that the Rocky variety is more prone to migrate long distances through roadless territory. They can be difficult to locate under certain stormy conditions common to the Bighorns.
I've only shot two Roosevelt elk,(near Coos Bay, OR)although my friend called them tule elk. Both bulls were shot on National Forest lands. Stockier in body weight but smaller diameter antlers than Wyoming elk. My friend hunts 'em every year with his Savage 30-30 bolt action rifle and open sights. I used a Remington .308 slide action with 2X-7X Redfield scope. We both nailed decent but not B & C trophy quality bulls.
Rogue 6: You bring up some very good points. The one thing I thought interesting was your point about the terrain. The humps and bumps, crooks and crannys, broken up ground, full of winfalls that are so big-you need a ladder to get over them, not to mention the rats nest that is all but impassable, discourages a lot of hunters. It sure is nice to hunt in the open ground after hunting a few weeks in the brush!
I am a little confused , Rocky and Roosevelt are separated by where they are located, what makes you say a Roosie was leading Rockies ?
Anyhow, my input is that Rocky Mountain Elk are easier to locate, but Roosevelt are easier to call in.
Rocky Mountain Elk come in quicker, but are more likely to run into the next county, while Roosevelt will come in slower, but stand around longer, even come back sometimes.
If you find Roosevelt, they stay in the same general area, while RM can be here one day, gone the next.