10 Elk Hunting Tips
Use 10 elk hunting tips to ensure you have a successful hunt and walk away with a trophy bull or cow to display in a mount. Many elk hunters will offer you tips from their own experience. While this list is not comprehensive, you can use all or most of these hunting tips when you head out on your first or your 100th hunt. After some time in the woods, you may discover a few tips of your own.
- Hire a hunting guide. If you plan to elk hunt in unfamiliar territory or are headed out on your first hunt, consider hiring a hunting guide. The guide can give you more than ten elk hunting tips based on the previous experience he has in the field hunting both as a guide and on his own.
- Decide if you want to claim a cow or bull elk. While most people want to claim an antlered bull elk, you may not have the option in all areas. If the state you intend to hunt in participates in an elk hunt lottery, you may be given a specific tag and sex of elk you can kill. However, if you have the choice, you need to decide beforehand what you want to claim during your hunt.
- Scout for hunting spots. In many states or territories, you may have the option to choose your own hunting site. Scout the area for signs of elk. Choosing a hunting site with several signs of previous elk existence in the area increases a hunter’s chances of claiming an elk.
- Choose your hunting weapon. The most common weaponry used in elk hunting is the bow and rifle. Some areas may have specific hunting laws concerning which weapons you can use, while others will allow you to choose your weapon. Once you choose a weapon, start target practice to increase your chances of making a kill when the opportunity arises. You may need to sight in your weapon if target practice does not prove successful.
- Practice scent control. When you head out into the woods or fields to elk hunt, one of the top ten elk hunting tips that experienced hunters will recommend is practicing proper scent control. Scent control is the process a hunter uses to mask his scent and avoid odor detection by elk and other animals that may alert the elk. To control odor, elk hunters may use elk lures, scent-blocking suits and odor elimination sprays.
- Get in shape. Fitness is important during hunting season, too. As you walk while hunting or walk to your blind, you may have to climb rugged terrain or rush to get to your hunting area before sunrise or several hours before sunset. Simply walking the hunting area daily for several months before season starts helps keep you in shape for the hunt.
- Wear hunter’s orange when hunting. Actually, wear hunter’s orange anytime you enter the woods or an open field during hunting season. When you head out on a hunt, be sure to wear your hunter’s orange to notify other hunters of your location. This helps avoid accidents.
- Remain calm when a shot opportunity arises. As soon as an elk walks into your hunting area, you are likely to become excited. Known as “hunting fever” or “elk fever,” this excitement often causes many hunters to miss shots or scare away possible trophies. Keep yourself calm and quiet with deep breaths as you ready your weapon and take aim.
- Learn how to track a blood trail. If you were unable to make a well-enough shot, the elk will not immediately drop and you must track him or her down to finish the job or find the body. To ease the tracking process, learn how to look for, recognize and read blood trails.
- Learn how to field dress an elk. This is another area where a hunting guide and his more than 10 elk hunting tips will shine through. To more easily remove an elk from the field or woods, you can field dress the deer to remove the internal organs and make the elk lighter and easier to handle.