Caribou Gear

Tips For Judging Size Of Lone Cows

Blue Rope

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
57
I'm new to elk hunting. Been hunting whitetails in the east for 25 years and then moved here to Idaho 3 years ago. I was fortunate enough to get a raghorn bull on opening day of rifle season last year. This year, I spent 6 days hunting, saw a couple but had no shots and then killed a bull calf yesterday. He was alone and at about 140 yards. I thought he was a cow and without others nearby to help judge size, I didn't realize how small he was till I walked up to him. I'm sure he'll be fine eating but I would definitely have preferred a bit more volume of meat out of the deal. Are there any particular things to look for when quickly judging the maturity of a lone elk without antlers? Maybe it's just a matter of experience but I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask.
 

Brittany Chukarman

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2003
Messages
2,001
Location
E. Oregon
It can be hard when they're alone. Early this morning I came upon one at 200yds. With the naked eye in the grey light it looked calf size. Putting glass on it as it got lighter showed 12" spikes. Small,dark little guy but a yearling.
 

shrapnel

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2015
Messages
1,690
This looked like a cow at 600 yards, but was a calf at 150...



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