First Time Elk Hunting Tips
Bigger than deer and living on a more difficult terrain, elk hunting is the next step on North America big game hunting; but don't be wrong, the fact of being an experimented deer hunter won't turn you on an elk expert immediately.
In fact, being a deer hunter is like having an introductory course to elk hunting, but there's still a long way ahead to become a master and, as usual, you will need time, practice and patience to gather enough experience upon become a experienced, master elk hunter.
So if you are thinking about elk hunting for the first time, next you'll find some useful tips. Even when such tips won't convert you on a master, at least they will increase your success rates and will make you life easier up in the mountains.
Perhaps it doesn't seem a lot, but will keep your safe while will keep your frustration at the lowest level.
So, do you think you're ready? Let's see ...
1. Find a guide
If you have never hunt an elk before, best thing you can do is to find a local guide. Elk's territory is larger, very large and they are elusive, so if you don't know where to find an elk, there's a real risk of being out there for several days without even seeing one.
Local guides usually have lived and hunt elks on the same area for years, even decades, so they will help you not only to find elks, but also how to identify the best places to locate them, whichever the land you are hunting on.
2. Your fitness is important
Elk hunting is not about sitting on a stand and wait, instead you will have to hike, climb up and down and move for several miles to spot an elk, and once you have located the bull elk of your dreams, it's when the real job begins.
Stalking is the key for success, but on a hard terrain as mountains doing so it's not a children's game, so you must be prepared to make front to all kind of physical challenges and if you are not in good fit, your fail rates will be high because it won't be possible to achieve elks.ç
3. Be aware of weather
Up in the mountains weather may change from a sunny, warm day to heavy snow in a matter of minutes, so be ready to face all kind of weather.
Layer clothing is the best choice because you will be able to dress on/off layers according to weather conditions, without many inconveniences and fast enough to keep on the go.
Remember that the outer layer must be the camo one, otherwise elk will see you much before you are able to see them.
4. Proper camo
Elks keen sight allow these animals to identify threats hundred yards away, so you need to blend with the surrounding properly in order to avoid being detected. On this regard, it's a good practice to make a scout trip, not only to identify terrain characteristics but also the best camo pattern to use on the area.
If colors and patterns are not proper, your success rates will diminish to zero for sure.
Remember that up on the mountains snow may show at any moment, so a white layer camo suit is mandatory, especially on several days trips, otherwise you will shine like a dark sport against white background with your regular camo in case of snow.
5. Longe range weapons are necessary
For this spot-and-stalk hunting, long range rifle and scope will give you an edge, so be sure to count with proper equipment and high quality optics to assure that once you fire, the bullet achieve its target.
But having proper equipment is not enough, you must be sure about how to use it and how it respond where you are hunting. To assure that, it's useful to make several trial shots on your scout trip, this way you will practice with long range optic and rifle, small targets on the mountains where you are planning to hunt; then when the time to shot by real arrives, you will be more than ready.
As you may see, elk hunting is not just a switch from one game to other, instead is an evolution from other big game hunting, like deer. Now you are aware about that, are you ready to face this new challenge?