Taking a cow elk on an either sex tag

nuevo_eph

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
424
Location
Socorro, NM
I'm driving up to western WY from NM because I finally drew a tag there that allows me to hunt bull elk. It was my goal 8 years ago to get a mount of one when I became an adult onset hunter. 8 years later, NM hasn't been kind to me but I can't complain as I've had a few cow elk hunts that ended in success.

All that said, I am really hoping that my general elk hunt turns into a bull I can be proud of BUT, since it is either sex, I will take a cow towards the end of the 7 days I plan to be out in the field.
 

belshawelk

Active member
Joined
Aug 27, 2015
Messages
435
Location
Oregon
First legal adult elk. Easy choice for me................. unless you used a bunch of points.
 

RockinU

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
573
Location
Texas
I would feel bad about shooting a bull on day 1, let alone a cow. I've tagged out in the first hour of light on day 1, that was a real bummer. I wait all year, applying, planning and looking at maps. I need to get a few days of hunting before I get my head clear and feel good about pulling the trigger.
Tagging out doesn't mean you have to stop hunting...just shooting.
 

BuzzH

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2001
Messages
10,976
Location
Laramie, WY
Buzz are you my long lost Brother? Sounds like we shared the same Dad, family, rules and laws.

My dad had killed close to 60 Elk and would take the first legal Elk that showed anytime, anywhere. I'm a lot more bull hungry than he was, but then again hunting looking for any legal Elk has been also easier to this point.
Yeah, sounds like the same story in your family. Passing on legal elk was such a big deal, there are a few that I didn't tell my Grandfather about...he would have been pissed. Best thing was to just say I didn't see anything...
 

Sweede82

New member
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
17
Hi guys,
It's my belief and opinion that every elk is a trophy, regardless of their jewelry.
I would maybe hold out depending on freezer levels, number of tags obtained/filled for the year, due to loving the chase, and whether or not my beautiful bride to be has filled tags yet. It's almost like catch and release elk hunting.
 

CBender09

New member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
16
I never have, and never will shoot a cow. I like antlers too much. I had a “great” (hardest to get but maybe a bit overrated) either sex permit in MT last year. Multiple opportunities at cows and spikes, but never even nocked an arrow for them.
Tag soup sucks, but I don’t regret my efforts for the big ones. I know I’d have regrets if I walked up to a flat head on the ground.
General, otc tag this year in MT. Still no cows, but the first spike or better is gonna get it
 

wheels

Active member
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
159
Hard to shoot a cow on day one if you seeing elk and good sign. I would look for bull for little bit but any elk is better then no elk
 

Bullshot

Active member
Joined
Dec 21, 2018
Messages
140
Location
Two days into the rising sun
Arrowed a cow on the last afternoon of a WY Unit 7 hunt (likely a OIL tag for a NR), surrounded by rubbed trees, with a bugling bull in earshot, no regrets whatsoever. It was a great hunt and I had very little time left. It made the 2,000 mile drive home MUCH happier than dragging empty coolers.

Edit - There are, however, a couple OTC hunts that I regret NOT arrowing cow opportunities presented earlier in the week. Tag soup on those...... The time crunch factor for us out of staters really plays havoc with the shoot/don't shoot strategy decisions. If I had 20 days to hunt, vs 5-6, it would really help.....
 
Last edited:

wyoelkfan15

Active member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
136
Location
Wyoming
I've always had a blast just filling my elk tag, whether it was a bull or cow. My first elk was a cow and the last one I tagged was a cow. For me, I just love being in the field and if I'm lucky enough to see a legal elk I generally am on the rifle pretty quick. Here's a link to the story of my last cow elk if you're interested.

https://www.hunttalk.com/threads/trophy-hunt.289660/
 

Jwill

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2011
Messages
1,148
Location
Virginia
I have and probably will again. Any legal elk is a trophy in my book. I value the experience in elk country and putting elk meat on the table over a set of antlers. Might not be so eager on a harder draw tag, but probably would still do it if time was running short.
 

Brian in Montana

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,211
Location
Ramsay, MT
I have done it more than once and did not regret it. I hunt for the meat and the experience more than the trophy. I admit, if it were an expensive, out of state trip with lots of planning that went into it, I might feel differently about doing this.
 

Carl 9.3x62

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
330
Location
Laramie, Wyoming
I wouldn't do it unless it was the last day I could hunt and I needed meat. However, I hunt elk ever year as a Wy resident so I have plenty of opportunity. If I were paying lots of money for a once in a lifetime hunt, I would hold out for something big the first few days, but my standards would probably decrease pretty quickly. The experience of the harvest is just as important to me as the hunt, so you better believe it that I will be killing something if I can. I'd rather go home with something small than with nothing at all.
 

hank4elk

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Messages
3,470
Location
SW NM
Never had an ES tag, but would not pass on a cow if bulls were not complying.
I have filled 6 cow tags.
Only time I was really after big bulls,I passed on some great bulls & ate the tag. Pretty wasteful as I look at it now. 3yrs in a row...lol.
1st legal bull I see now.
 
Top