Every year, thousands of hunters from all over the world make the trip to the western states for a chance to go elk hunting. When the sound of bugles is heard through the rugged mountains that they call home, many are gearing up to test their luck.
But while thousands of hunters enter the elk woods every year, there are only a few who will successfully find and kill a mature bull. Looking at the average success rates of antlered elk hunts, you will see that there is usually a 5 to 15 percent that fill their tags. So why are some successful and others aren’t? Well, the unsuccessful hunters are usually making these five mistakes!
1. Road Hunting
One of the worst things an elk hunter can do is either hunt from the road or not far from it. Elk are smart animals, and once the season starts will avoid areas of high human traffic. The hunters who punch their tags every year are those who are not afraid of hiking miles in search of perfect elk habitat and finding where the elk actually are instead of where they wish they were.
2. Quitting Too Early
Another mistake made by too many elk hunters is quitting too early. After days and days of bad luck and maybe not even seeing an elk, most hunters will throw in the towel. For obvious reasons, these hunters will never tag an elk if they are not actually out there hunting. While elk hunting can be very tough, only those that stick it out will find the most success.
3. No Scouting
Most successful elk hunters spend just as much (if not more) time scouting than actually hunting. This puts them leaps and bounds above the competition. Unsuccessful elk hunters waste their valuable hunting time actually scouting and finding areas to hunt than they do elk hunting. Even if it is only a few days, take some time in order to scout for the hunt!
4. No Shooting Practice
Along with the scouting, another important part of the preparation is making sure you are efficient with your weapon of choice. Whether you are hunting with a rifle, muzzleloader, or bow, you should be practicing with your weapon. When the moment of truth finally presents itself, you can be assured that you will be ready.
5. No Physical Fitness
Falling in line with even more pre-hunt preparation, most unsuccessful elk hunters have little to no physical preparation before an elk hunt. The elk mountains are tough for anyone, and the more out of shape that you are the harder it will be to efficiently hunt them. Cardio is king in elk hunting, so try to get in good physical shape!
While there are many more errors that unsuccessful elk hunters can make, these five are by far the most common. If you try and avoid them, you will be in a much better position to find success on your next elk hunt. Don’t forget to check out the Bradley Smoker Blog For Expert Hunting & Fishing Tips Year-Round!