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10 Tips for Elk Hunting
Ten tips to help you have a better chance at getting an Elk this hunting season.
1. Prepare your area: You want to make sure that no one or as little people as possible, are hunting your same area. You want to secure it for yourself. You can do this by leaving special marks for other hunters to see. Setting up bait around your specific area a few weeks in advance will be a big plus for getting the Elk used to going to your spot for food.
2. Clothes and Equipment: Elk have very keen sight, using bright colors like orange is not favorable when hunting. If possible stick to the camouflage that will best work for your location. While I know some places require you to use orange decals try to blend it in as much as possible with the local terrain. Make sure you remove any thing that will jingle and make sound from your bags and equipment as well.
3. Scents: Make sure to not wash your body or your clothes with anything that is scented. You want all non-scented products, such as soaps, shampoos, deodorants and laundry detergents. And do not touch your equipment with bare hands if possible. You are trying to make sure nothing on you has any human scent. This also means no use of bathroom in the woods unless extremely necessary because that can be a big give away to an Elk that a human is around them. Remember Elks sense of smell is tremendous; any little hint of human can ruin your hunt. Make sure you use the proper Elk scents and put it around the top of your hand and any where you are possibly going to sweat and release a human scent.
4. Sounds: Never bring your cell phone, even if it is on vibrate, anything that is probable to create noise, don't bring it along with you. Leave it back at the camp or in your vehicle. Also talking is a big no no if you are with another person. Whispering is not even recommended due to the Elks good hearing ability. In addition, a big item a lot of hunters forget are their digital watches. Please make sure all the beeping functions are turned off so that they don't make any noises either.
5. Walking: In the woods there are plenty of things to trip over and step on. Walking heel-to-toe, softly placing each foot down, is a good practice to remember. And always walk with your head up. You aren't going to see any Elk if you are staring down at the ground the whole time. The Elk do make sounds in the woods, it wont blow your cover to step on a twig if you have the proper scents and clothes just because you made a sound doesn't mean you cant be another Elk in the woods.
6. Trees: These can be used very easily to help hide you from the Elk. Even if it is a small tree, you can get down and blend in with it as long as you don't move. When walking through the woods try to hug to the trees and walk along them so that at any moment you can stop and be hidden from the Elks sight.
7. Calls: There are a few different elk calls you can use. A cow horn or bullhorns are very popular. If you already have the scent mastered why not add the sound of an Elk to it. This will make the Elk think they hear another Elk around and will become more comfortable and possibly try to find where the sound is coming from. Try not to over use it though. You want to keep it as average as a real Elk would use his call.
8. Deco: Well since you have the scent and the sounds you might as well have a deco too. If the Elk smells an Elk, hears one, and it now going to start to look for one. Having a deco around you could make it that much easier to hunt an Elk. Just make sure you put it in a good location so that you have a great clean shot of an Elk that will come to meet your deco.
9. Elk signs: Make sure you do your homework and you know the difference between and Elks tracks and a regular Bucks tracks. You want to make sure you are tracing the proper animal in the woods by all the signs they leave behind. Such as droppings and marks on trees also.
10. After shot: Something you always want to keep in mind is that you are not chasing a Elk into an area that will be too difficult for you to retrieve the dead animal. Elks are much bigger than the average Buck and will be much heavier as well. Make sure you have a good location that will make it easy to get your animal out of the woods once you have hunted it. It would be a very bad hunting trip if you got a great Elk and it was too deep in the woods or in such a small location that you couldn't get it out yourself.
With these tips hopefully it will make your hunting experience a little easier for you and more fun. Just listening to these simple tips could mean the difference of you coming out of the woods empty handed or with a huge Elk and a story that will last a life time.