Elk hunting is a sport that calls for preparation and planning. It’s a physical sport, so make sure you are in shape prior to the hunt. It’s also a time for camaraderie and a chance to be in the great outdoors. But if you haven’t been on an elk hunt before, there are some tips for enjoying your elk hunting adventure more.
Elk Hunting Requires Stamina & Determination
Elk hunting is just about the most physically and mentally challenging big game hunting there is in the lower 48 states. A typical day in pursuit of wapiti begins well before sunrise often around 4:00 AM.The distance to your stand and a good uphill climb can push your wake-up call up to 2:00-3:00 AM. Your day will consist of hiking, spotting, calling, and checking the wind constantly over and over again until well after dark. You may cover as much as twelve miles a day and little of that will be on flat ground. You return to camp beat and exhausted, day after day. Each morning you get up and do it all over again in the hopes that one day will provide you with the opportunity to have a shot at that elusive and majestic animals.
Preparation is Essential for a Successful Elk Hunt
Endurance is not just about being in good physical shape, while that does help a lot. It can also mean having a plan as to how you are going to make your own physical and mental resources last and stay focused until the final hour of the final day of your hunt. Without such a plan even someone who runs marathons all summer long can succumb.
Endurance is about pacing yourself. When you step out of camp, you are already in elk country. Your hunt begins immediately. While you may have a way to go to a particular stand, elk country is full of elk and they are continually on the move. The possibility of you encountering a bull or a cow exists all the time. Be alert, go slow, try your best to know where the wind is all the time. Above all, take your time.
If you are heading uphill…and you are almost always headed up or down a hill, don’t try climbing what you think is the short route or straight up! Take the hill at an angle and a shallow angle at that. Better yet, find game trails that follow contours and follow these. Every summer those “game trails” get hammered by backpackers and hikers from May until September. Your walking on one will make little to no difference to the elk but it may make a lot of difference to you. Game trails often run in sets of parallel trails. So if the going on one gets too tough move up or down hill as appropriate and locate another.
Break up your day with stops for spotting and rest. Find a perch where you can look over a far slope or drainage and spend some time in your binoculars looking for elk or sign of elk. Depending upon the amount of terrain you are glassing, this can take up to an hour to do effectively before moving on and repeating the entire process.
Elk Hunting at Silver Spur Outfitters & Lodge will ensure you have everything you need for a successful elk hunt.
Silver Spur Lodge offers several packages for elk hunts, as well as bear hunts, big horn sheep hunts, moose and deer hunts, and even mountain lion hunting!