Get Away From The Crowd

Elk hunting is hugely popular and the result is usually crowded hunting. Even for bowhunters, this is often the case. However, there are some ways to beat the crowds.

Play the Lottery —Many elk-hunting states have set-aside areas devoted to quality elk hunting. Some of these are archery or primitive weapons only and others merely have a quota for all hunters. Usually, hunting opportunity is decided by lottery-type drawings. By applying for several quota-draw hunts, you have a good chance at some good, uncrowded elk hunting.

Out-Walk ‘Em —Many designated wilderness areas offer large chunks of backcountry for those tough enough to get there. There is no guarantee you’ll beat out everyone to the way-back spots, but it does cut down the crowd.

Pay for Privacy —Easier elk hunting with some degree of exclusivity is easily available on private lands for those willing to pay the rate. Paying a rancher a trespass fee, if his ranch holds good elk hunting, can be a bargain in the long run.

Elk Strategy
Trails, crossings, funnels and bottlenecks — these are all important to the whitetail hunter’s “read” of his hunting territory. They also should be part of the elk hunter’s scouting and hunting strategies as well.

Elk sign is generally similar to deer sign and laid out in similar patterns. However, it is usually on a larger scale and over a wider swath of countryside.

Deer and elk both have to walk somewhere. Given a choice that doesn’t put them in danger, they’ll walk the easiest route possible.

In elk country, “easy” is a very relative term. However, by its sheer ruggedness, elk habitat tends to bottleneck and funnel travel lanes to an even greater extent than in most deer habitat.

You can find some really well-beaten elk trails simply because they offer the only reasonable way to get from point A to point B. Smaller trails into and around the most rugged cover in the area are likely an old bull’s secret avenues to a favorite hideout.

Terry Rohm brings over 20 years of experience as hunter, guide and world-class contest caller to his position of advertising and public relations manager for Wellington Outdoors, makers of Tink’s hunting products.

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