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Full Moon Elk Hunting!

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Re: Full Moon Elk Hunting!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 02, 2012 •  [Post 1]

This is one of the biggest questions many out of State & in State bowhunters have these days, that is, should I pick my hunting days during a Full Moon or just before or after or avoid this time frame completely? Personally, I love hunting Full Moon Phases! Hunting the full moon phases can be very productive when you approach it with the right attitude & knowledge of an elks activity at this time! Even in non peak rut times bulls & cows alike can become very vocal & nocturnal come Aug.--Sept. --Take advantage of these times, hunt elk in a manner you can take advantage of.
When elk are vocal at night they're in their feeding/watering/wallowing & nighttime bedding areas. Calling after dark can be productive! When you find vocal elk in areas at night be assured they'll be there come morning & if not severely harassed, they'll be right back there the following evenings. It's a desired feeding/breeding area & it's tough to push them out of these types of areas. Hunt smart, keep the wind in your face, you'll be able to hunt them for several days!

ElkNut1
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Re: Full Moon Elk Hunting!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 02, 2012 •  [Post 2]

During Full Moon times we get to our hunting area an hour or so before light & sit & listen, elk are generally vocal at this time & you can really narrow down right where they are, moving in towards them with good wind & getting good positioning will give you an edge come daylight. It's up to us as hunters to use the best possible methods to either ambush them or lure them in with calling that fits the encounter & phase of the rut! At this time I personally like taking care of business while they're still in their feeding areas. You have about one hour generally to get in there & get it done before they head off to their daytime bedding areas, after that time you'll find yourself "dogging" the herd! If it doesn't pan out then, do your best to keep tabs on their movement as they head to bedding areas, many times bulls will bugle their way to them with the lead cow leading the way & avoiding possible confrontations with other vocal bulls.

Finding those bedding areas is a great key to our success. If not real sure where they are or where the elk bedded, we then stake out the higher peaks within reason & sit & listen, many times for a couple of hours, elk will get up midday/afternoon for light feeding & watering especially on hot days, we like being within earshot of these areas. At this time it's possible for bulls to sound off, this will not only give away their immediate position but also his aprox bedding area as bulls will bugle right from or very near from their beds at this time! Make mental notes of bedding areas, they use the same ones yearly. Be willing to use Location sounds early afternoon to trigger a response!

ElkNut1
ElkNut1
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Re: Full Moon Elk Hunting!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 3]

Once you have elk located & return to hunt them hopefully they're vocal on their own so now you can get position on them as you keep cover & the wind in your favor. Terrain features will basically dictate your best plan of attack whether it be calling or silently ambushing! Some areas will be open enough that you can move in the direction of these elk with just the bright lit moon, this will help you get into position before daylight hits. There will be days that these elk are extremely vocal on your return & days they are not! Hot cows create vocal bulls & the opposite can hold true. On these days where they seem to bugle & cow talk for the first 15min-30min of light then shut down you need to really pay close attention to their direction of travel in thickly forested areas where you cannot visually see direction of travel to bedding areas. Get as close as possible but high enough up so you can hear well but not winded. Sit & listen, no need to do much calling during these slow times. Listen, listen, listen! Those elk you heard earlier are there, sooner or later there's a good chance they will talk & now you've got them pinpointed! Come up with a plan & work them accordingly! There are many methods to choose from at this time!
ElkNut1
ElkNut/Paul
 
Posts: 4632
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Re: Full Moon Elk Hunting!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 4]

If you're hunting elk in "the rut" or during rutting times then they'll be bugling somewhere! It may be early or late in the day or both. Midday can be great at times as well, especially cloudy drizzly days & you are within earshot of bedding areas. In heavier hunted areas closer to human activity look for the elk to turn nocturnal, full moon or no full moon. During those bright lit nights elk can become quite vocal, this gives away their position as well as their feeding & night time watering areas. If un-harassed by other hunters there's a good chance of their return to these areas. Make a mental note of this during your hunt!
ElkNut1
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Re: Full Moon Elk Hunting!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 5]

Here's a bull I took during a Full Moon on Sept. 9th I dogged this bull for 1-1/2 mile, fortunately he was vocal as he & another bull exchanged bugles on the way towards bedding! (grin) I climbed aprox 1100' in that distance as I did my best to keep up, their bugling helped a bunch, I was 54 then! I noticed the bigger bull (by sound) had finally bugled from the same spot several times up ahead of me, I figured that was his bedding area & that's where he & his cows would hold tight, this is where he wanted to be, now was the time to try & take him! (At no time did I call as I dogged this group) I got between the two bulls which were now several hundred yards apart, we chose a bull so got closest to him & cow called excitedly, nothing happened! I kept moving his way calling cutting the distance to under a 100yds. There was good wind in my face & lots of heavy timber so going to him undetected was easy. At 80yds or so the herd bull finally bugled to me (this cow) to get over to the group, I did exactly as he asked! I went straight at him cow calling excitedly & breaking branches with some foot stomping accepting his invite, I stopped all calling at 40 yds, he now had bugled my cow calling a 1/2 dozen times to that point. I went in silent to a tree 20yds ahead that gave me some cover but should put me in his lap at the same time. On my approach the bull had walked to an Aspen tree & started raking it displaying for this new cow (me) he was showing me what he had to offer, I liked what I saw & took him at 18yds! (grin) This was done on a brightly lit full moon! Good Luck to you & have full confidence you can do the same!
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ElkNut1
ElkNut/Paul
 
Posts: 4632
Joined: 05 11, 2012
Location: Idaho