Out of all of the big game animals that are hunted in North America, elk is perhaps one of the most popular and sought after. They are known for having unique habits, requiring very different hunting strategies than other big game. Hunting them can easily be done on your own, although it will take some extra preparation and work!
When to Hunt
The rut time period is one of the most popular times to hunt these animals. This is when you will hear the high-pitched bugles coming from the woods as bulls compete for cows and breeding rights. These sounds, along with cow calls, can be used by hunters to locate and even call in elk to our location. If you plan on hunting during the rut, learning and understanding these calls will play a major role in your success!
Of course, one of the major aspects of any elk hunting trip, especially one that you plan on doing on your own, is the planning stage. After deciding who you want to invite on the hunt, you must then decide on a state to hunt. You must then research that state and how you can obtain a tag. There are generally options for things like preference points or bonus points in many states, but you usually will need to save a few of them up first for certain areas. Other states may offer over the counter options, or at the very least places that you can draw without any previously acquired bonus or preference points.
Let’s say you have a plan in place and an elk tag already in your pocket. After arriving at your destination in the elk woods, now what do you do? At that point in the process, your ability to find and shoot an elk comes down to your other preparation. Do you have all of the right gear that you will need? Have you been practicing your elk calls? What about your maps and GPS? Besides all of this, one of the most important preparations that you can make is your physical fitness.
The elk woods can be very physically demanding, so efficient elk hunting requires some degree of training and conditioning. You should be preparing physically for a hunt just as you prepare mentally and financially. Plenty of cardio well before your elk hunting trip will pay off huge after the first couple of days of elk hunting. Something as simple as walking on a treadmill as often as you can put you well ahead of other hunters who do not prepare.
If you plan on hitting the elk woods this fall on a DIY hunt, there is no better time to start preparing than right now. By preparing all of your gear, practicing your elk calls, researching hunting regulations and maps, and by getting in plenty of cardio, you can significantly improve your chances of tagging out on an elk on your hunt! Don’t forget to check out the Bradley Smoker Blog For Expert Hunting & Fishing Tips Year-Round!