Before going to hunt ELK its essential to know some facts about the animal.Elk or wapiti is a member of deer family and is one of the largest species within that. They are generally found in Western North America with most population in Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and the Wyoming National Elk Refuge etc. They feed on plants, barks, leaves and grass and so are normally found in forests and edge habitats where they can find their food easily. They have a lifespan of 10 – 13 years. There are six types of elks in the North American continent namely:
- Eastern Elk
- Merriam’s Elk
- Manitoban Elk
- Rocky mountain Elk
- Tule Elk
- Roosevelt’s Elk
(The first two have now gone extinct, and due to their population the huntable Elks are the last three ones)
How To Make Elk Hunt Successful:
TIP #1: GET FIT
To Hunt Elks, you might need to do hiking at certain levels and walk long distances with little rest, at times you may even feel oxygen deprived, so it is advised to get your body in shape before hand by getting in to running routines and going to the gym.
TIP #2: GET YOUR GEAR READY TO HUNT ELK
Before going on hunt, get your gear ready. Your boots, socks and proper clothing. Make sure to buy good quality gears and not the cheap ones. Mountain boots specifically designed for hikers and hunters are preferred to be used. It is also suggested to wear wool socks to prevent your feet from getting wet and blisters as both with cause a hindrance in your hunt. Avoid wearing anything heavy or uncomfortable, opt for merino wool or synthetic fiber clothing. Avoid wearing jeans as it gets really uncomfortable when it becomes wet. For base clothing, choose insulating materials such as polypropylene or Capelin. Camo is suggested to be used but it is not required.
Remember to put first aid kit, flash lights, water bottles, knives and water purification tables in your backpack as you will be needing them. Remember to stay hydrated too, so you can carry a flask with you too.It is also usual that Elks can sense human odor, so try to take a shower with scent-free soap before hunting.
TIP #3: KNOW ABOUT THE PLACE WHERE YOU WILL BE HUNTING
It is essential for hunters to have an adequate amount of knowledge where they will be hunting. Scout the place properly before-hand, you can do it alone if you are a local or opt for a guide if you’re a tourist. Keep a map with you all the time, though now we even have the facility of offline maps that can be downloaded on your phones and they work without even a network coverage. Highlight the places where it will be easier to hunt Elks or where they can be found in a significant number.
TIP #4: BE A PERFECT MARKSMAN TO HUNT ELK
Practice to get the perfect shot with the perfect rifle that you will be needing to hunt Elk. Have your hand settled to it and get used to it before going for hunting as it will make the process easier and comfortable and will help you hit the exact shots. For practice of shots, find a legal practice area or a range that offers such services.
TIP #5: LEARN TO BE PATIENT
Elk hunting is not an easy task and have very less chances of success. To score a bull Elk hunt or even a cow Elk hunt, you need to be patient. You will have to cover a lot of ground and often wait at places to get a shot. “Be patient and aggressive,” said Lewis. “Be patient until you see an opportunity, then act on it aggressively. Create the opportunity.” It is important to be persistent with the plan that you have created before embarking on Elk hunt. Sometimes it might take days to be successful and sometimes you will have to return empty handed but it takes patience and persistence to become a great hunter.
How much does it cost to hunt Elk?
For a cow Elk hunt, you’ll generally have to spend something like $1000-$2000, while if you opt to hunt for a bull Elk, set your budget somewhere near $5000 and up. The pricing mostly depends on the number of days your trip will last for and the location that you choose.
Success rate of Elk hunting:
It is extremely difficult to become successful in an elk hunt. The success rate is only 15% overall each fall, however if you see the success rate of each state separately, Wyoming is ranked first with 44.4% followed by Utah with 26.4%. Each year around 5,500 Elk are killed.
In this article, we have covered a lot of things that you need to know before embarking on an Elk hunt. It also contains some very important points that might help you score a successful hunt and return back victorious.
Best time to hunt Elks:
To make your hunt successful, it is suggested to do it very early in the morning or late at night, since Elks are more active during these times and sleepy during the middle of the day.