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Bull Smell/Stench What To Do?

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Bull Smell/Stench What To Do?

Postby Solitude » 06 11, 2012 •  [Post 1]

Two Basic question going into my fourth elk season.....so you are sneaking/walking through moderate timber/terrain (say 10 yard visibility tops) with a gentle breeze at your face and the elk smell/stench hits you hard....

1) how close do you think the elk are at this point?

2) what would you do if the entire encounter has been silent to this point?

And if you are wondering, yes I came up empty handed on this situation my second year out!
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Bull Smell/Stench What To Do?

Postby slim9300 » 06 12, 2012 •  [Post 2]

What time of year? Early September? Are you following fresh tracks? Are you on a semi-established trail or are you in the middle of the thick stuff weaving / crawling your way through? I ask because it really depends on if you can walk through the woods quietly or not. If you can't sneak without making noise, I would say your only option is to call depending on the time of year of course. I guess a little more detail is needed for me.
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Re: Bull Smell/Stench What To Do?

Postby Elktracker » 06 12, 2012 •  [Post 3]

It all depends on the terain and sign but I would say find a good setup spot and do some calling. I work in the brush setting chokers and there has been several times where we are working in a cirtian spot on a clear cut and you can just smell strong urine of a bull. The wood has been down for a month or so, so it can linger around for quite some time. I just need to find out where these bulls are moving to when we cut down that section of there stomping grounds!
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Bull Smell/Stench What To Do?

Postby Solitude » 06 12, 2012 •  [Post 4]

Slim,

Mid September on an old overgrown logging road. Granted you can never be totally quiet, but would you call? If so, what would everyone do?

In my case I took a few more steps and all heck broke loose. So maybe I should have held tight, soft cow called or immature bugle?
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Re: Bull Smell/Stench What To Do?

Postby >>>---WW----> » 06 12, 2012 •  [Post 5]

I generally freeze right in my tracks, take and extra good look around. If I don't see anything and I have the wind in my face, I proceed at a snails pace. Could be you have just entered a bedding area.

But don't count on it as a sure thing. Often times, cows will hear you coming and get up and leave. When they do so, they often urinate to leave a strong odor in the area. Many seem to think this is one of the ways they use to confuse predators.
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Bull Smell/Stench What To Do?

Postby slim9300 » 06 12, 2012 •  [Post 6]

Depends. Were you looking for a bull only or would you be happy with a cow? It would be a lot easier to kill a cow in this situation than a bull assuming we are talking about Roosevelt elk.

When I smell elk like you did it's pretty easy to tell if they are right there or if it's a lingering smell. You will learn from this experience. When I smell elk like that I quickly nock an arrow. You should also have a reed in your mouth at pretty much all times already. If it was WA and I was okay with a cow, I would have crept forward very slowly ready to cow call like crazy and shoot. Roosevelt's almost always stop and look back within longish bow range once busted. My experience with Rocky's has been the opposite. They just seem take off and stop maybe 1/4 mile later (or further) so they can regather the herd. The calling makes it even more likely in my experience that Roosevelt's will stop quickly.

If it was a bull or nothing I would have froze, nocked an arrow and then projected 2 soft cow calls behind me. I would have hoped the herd bull would have immediately come over or belted out a scream for me to come back to the herd. I would expect that he's within 100 yards or less. If you can quickly get closer without being detected or if he's clearly outside of 100 yards, move forward and setup there. After waiting for him to come to me, if his position stayed the same, I would introduce "the threat." Something like level 2 with only some chuckles projected backwards for the bull sounds and obviously the typical mixture of excited and distressed cow sounds. This has pretty much worked for me without fail when I am within 100 yards in the timber.

Sorry about my typing. I'm on my phone. :)
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Re: Bull Smell/Stench What To Do?

Postby Wyo67 » 06 12, 2012 •  [Post 7]

WW probably has it right, you most likely entered a bedding area. If they thundered out, you have have nothing to lose -- I think your best bet would be to show a threat to the herd bull. Don't be afraid to run towards them and give your best challenging scream and give a few whiney cow sounds as if she's being held up by the new threat (you).

Mike
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