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Lessons from 1st Elk Hunt - 30yds on 5x5, 50yds on 6x6, 15yds on spike and moose

 
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BracNSW
(26 posts)
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Sep-11-16, 
07:58 PM (MST)
"Lessons from 1st Elk Hunt - 30yds on 5x5, 50yds on 6x6, 15yds on spike and moose"

Background. I'm a 55 years old retired SEAL, rifle hunted deer all my life in dry AZ and CA mountains. Never hunted elk.

Bought a Bowtech Carbon Icon in Feb, practiced 3-4 times per week and can hold 5" groups all day at 50yds.

I wanted to share some lessons I learned on my first solo 6 day elk hunt south of Victor, IDAHO.

1. I'M ADDICTED. Played cat and mouse with a 6x6, a 5x5 and a spike for six days.

Daily Lessons Learned:

Day 1. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. 3 miles in (6,000 to 7,800ft), traversing steep scree at 7,600ft. See movement at woodline. Freeze. Watch a bull MOOSE feed at 70yds for 5 mins. Awesome!

Day 2. DON'T JUST SHOOT DOTS. Still hunting 12:30PM. Thick pines/deadfall. Spot 5x5 at 50 yds. I draw as he works his way to my only lane at 30yds. He stops, broadside in the lane!!! All I see is fur on all 5 pins? Does not compute, no bullseye/dot? As I spot the crease, he bolts! I'M STILL DEVASTATED, back in San DIego with empty coolers!!!

Day 3. PACK SMART. Carried 1.5 gals of water (12lbs) Wallows all over and I had a filter. Spotting scope (3lbs, never used). No heavy jacket (must have for still hunting at 35degs). No spare range finder battery. Pack (WITH down jacket and battery, WITHOUT water and scope) should have been 35 vice 45lbs. 6 hours later, back at tent with jacket and fresh battery!

Day 4. PRACTICE AT DUSK. 200yds my game camera, I spot 6x6 at 50yds, and draw. I'm baffled, can't see my rear peep. Bull in attached photo, sees me and slowly moves toward my camera. Curious, not bolting. Spot him one more time at 100yds as he meanders over the saddle. Note time stamps on two pics (me playing Bullwinkle with a shed in 2nd photo).

Day 5. ALWAYS, ALWAYS: PISS INTO THE WIND. 7:20pm, Still hunting, up hill into the wind, thick pines. Stop to scan downhill and empty bladder downwind (normal, right). Hear a crash behind me (upwind) and turn to see the ass and balls of a spike hightailing it uphill, no more than 15yds away!

Day 6. STICK TO YOUR PLAN. Last day. Planned to break camp at 6am, crash thick deadfall 1/2 mile downhill to wallow and sit all, day. Like a dummy, I stop at 6:30AM for an hour and still hunt where I spotted spike and 5x5. At 7:30, I crash deadfall toward the wallow. 50yds away...angry bugle and hear an elk bust away from the wallow. Couldn't entice him/her back.

Sorry for long post. Don't know if these will help anyone. At 55, I still learn something new EVERY DAY, as I TRY something new. I've never bow or elk hunted before!

To the 3 hunters who called me into the saddle I was camped in, I hope you had better luck than I did! Wish I had horses, like you did, your lights and camp looked pretty luxurious from my bivy tent! That bull photo was taken 10 yds from where we talked...look familiar?

Finally, thanks to BLANK, from Victor, on this forum. He said my plan for an early SEP hunt was good.



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  Table of Contents  

 Subject   Author   Message Date   ID 
 RE: Lessons fr...  Soj51hopefu...      Sep-11-16   1 
  RE: Lessons fr...  BracNSW      Sep-11-16   3 
 RE: Lessons fr...  rmanwill      Sep-11-16   2 
  RE: Lessons fr...  Rmhely      Sep-12-16   4 

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Soj51hopefull
(601 posts)
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Sep-11-16, 
08:49 PM (MST)
1. "RE: Lessons from 1st Elk Hunt - 30yds on 5x5, 50yds on 6x6, 15yds on spike and moose"

Are you going to go back before the season ends? (Assuming your season ends sept 30 like most of Idaho early seasons)

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BracNSW
(26 posts)
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Sep-11-16, 
09:16 PM (MST)
3. "RE: Lessons from 1st Elk Hunt - 30yds on 5x5, 50yds on 6x6, 15yds on spike and moose"

>Are you going to go back
>before the season ends? (Assuming
>your season ends sept 30
>like most of Idaho early
>seasons)


Unfortunately work in San Diego calls. If I don't fill my two deer tags down here I may go up for late season rifle cow hunt, on the same tag.

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rmanwill
(4100 posts)
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Sep-11-16, 
09:07 PM (MST)
2. "RE: Lessons from 1st Elk Hunt - 30yds on 5x5, 50yds on 6x6, 15yds on spike and moose"

Thanks for sharing. You did well for first archery elk hunt. You learned a lot and it will work out for you down the road.

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Rmhely
(7 posts)
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Sep-12-16, 
12:16 PM (MST)
4. "RE: Lessons from 1st Elk Hunt - 30yds on 5x5, 50yds on 6x6, 15yds on spike and moose"

Thanks, BracNSW. I hope I learn from this! Not my first time in the woods for elk this year, but been out of the archery game for the last 25. Some younger kids talked me back into it this year. Thanks for your wisdom.

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