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2021 Elk Hunting Goal

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2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Swede » 01 25, 2021 •  [Post 1]

Are you new to elk hunting and trying to learn, or maybe on the way out? Regardless of where you are at, you must have hopes and goals. Some may be reasonable and others more elusive. A 400 class bull may be more of a pipe dream. Let's discuss them and what the likelihood you have for fulfilling them.

I would like to get a branched bull this coming season, but won't hold out long for one. I want to hunt an area I know that has more bulls than where I have spent the most of my time the last few seasons. That will improve my chances, but it is a harder area to hunt, and even harder to pack out a bull.
Based on many seasons of hunting, and knowing my lack of real commitment to holding out for a branched bull, I would say I have a 30%-40% likelihood of success.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Indian Summer » 01 25, 2021 •  [Post 2]

My first goal is to draw the Wyoming elk license again. If that happens I have 2 goals... not necessarily in this order: A younger guy here in Pa is applying with me. He’s the son of a guy I went to school with. He has archery hunted Colorado 3 times and so far the only thing he’s killed is a bear. No shot opportunities for an elk. He has no plans of giving up though. Quite the opposite he wants it more than ever. Right now he’s saying he’ll shoot the first cow he sees. But I think that after a couple days in the area before hunting starts he’ll probably change his mind and set his bar at the first bull he has a crack at. Either way I LOVE getting people their first elk! So that is one goal.

The other, of course, is to hang my tag on a 6 point bull. I shot a 5 point last year and every year my goal somewhat depends on what I shot the year before. That means this year I am going the extra mile to find a 6 point. I’m a realist though and I live on elk meat so if I get to the point where I’m down to 4 or 5 days to hunt it’ll be time for the 5 points to run for cover!

Good luck Swede. I hope you shoot a good bull this year. I also hope you’ve been buying some points in the Cowboy state. I know a tree or 2...... and I’d LOVE to put you on a bull some time. That would definitely be an accomplishment for me to be thrilled with. But for the record you are not allowed to shoot a cow until you’re down to 3 days.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Tigger » 01 26, 2021 •  [Post 3]

My goal is to tape my tag to a branch antlered bull, most preferably bigger than a raghorn. Not sure if I could pass up a raghorn. It will depend on the moment and how I feel at that time. I won't shoot a spike and probably will not shoot a cow. But that is my hunting and that takes a back seat if my daughter goes. If she goes, then getting her an elk will be goals #1 through #783,954.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby 7mmfan » 01 26, 2021 •  [Post 4]

At this point, it's just to hunt elk in a state other than WA. I applied to WY for the first time with my Dad, for both the general tag and the reduced price antlerless, so we're hoping we can at least go shoot some cows and learn some new ground while banking points for a future general tag.

If I'm really lucky I'll get a returned or leftover Idaho tag in the zone we like to hunt. If that happens then I'm going to work hard to kill a mature bull. I've killed spikes 3 years in a row there. I love eating elk meat, and spikes are tasty but I have a hankering for another big one. I could have done it this last year, a couple of times, but I made bad calls and got impatient. I've learned and feel confident I can go back in there and kill a mature bull now.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Swede » 01 26, 2021 •  [Post 5]

Thanks I.S. for the invitation to go and sit in a cowboy State tree. I appreciate it, but I have never put in for a tag there. I have people I hunt with here in Oregon, and feel comfortable here, even though getting a big bull is less likely. I will bring an extra stand along in case you ever want to hunt Oregon.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Indian Summer » 01 26, 2021 •  [Post 6]

Swede wrote:Thanks I.S. for the invitation to go and sit in a cowboy State tree. I appreciate it, but I have never put in for a tag there. I have people I hunt with here in Oregon, and feel comfortable here, even though getting a big bull is less likely. I will bring an extra stand along in case you ever want to hunt Oregon.

I don’t have the time that you do. Plus it doesn’t seem like my odds of a mature bull are near what they are where I hunt. Step out of your elevated comfort zone for just one week Swede. It will be an experience you’ll be glad you had. I swear that every year I look at a tree and say to myself “I’d like to send Swede up that one for a few days”.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Tigger » 01 26, 2021 •  [Post 7]

Indian Summer wrote:
Swede wrote:Thanks I.S. for the invitation to go and sit in a cowboy State tree. I appreciate it, but I have never put in for a tag there. I have people I hunt with here in Oregon, and feel comfortable here, even though getting a big bull is less likely. I will bring an extra stand along in case you ever want to hunt Oregon.

I don’t have the time that you do. Plus it doesn’t seem like my odds of a mature bull are near what they are where I hunt. Step out of your elevated comfort zone for just one week Swede. It will be an experience you’ll be glad you had. I swear that every year I look at a tree and say to myself “I’d like to send Swede up that one for a few days”.



I look at trees all the time and think to myself," I would like to send Swede up that one" as well. And the vast majority of them are not in elk country, nor during any hunting season!
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Swede » 01 26, 2021 •  [Post 8]

You rascals are just too eager.

My son and I were talking today about shooting a bear. I have purchased many bear tags but have never ever shot one. I have had many come around my stand, but I am just not in the mood to shoot, when I see one. I guess the bears are lucky that way. When I urinated on that one I wrote about, a friend saw the bear and me. He really wanted a bear, and I just let it walk off.
I told my son this morning if he would gut and pack out the bear, I would shoot and tag it. I was not sure who would eat it, so he should probably plan to eat at least a large portion of it. My enthusiasm for killing a bear is about the same as planning a Wyoming elk hunt.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Indian Summer » 01 26, 2021 •  [Post 9]

Swede wrote:You rascals are just too eager.
My enthusiasm for killing a bear is about the same as planning a Wyoming elk hunt.


I guess lots of people have their priorities mixed up! :lol:
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby TimberCruiser » 01 27, 2021 •  [Post 10]

Good luck all. Goals for me are to call in a big 6 point for my brother that we had to 40 yards in thick cover but couldn't make it happen. He was chuckling to my cow talks a few times and we didn't go at it..lesson learned. Then I plan on going to one of my spots I've left alone for 3 years, last time I was there I let a nice 5 point go so there could be something big running around. One thing is for sure I'm just happy to see elk and enjoy the meat for the next year.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Elkhunttoo » 01 27, 2021 •  [Post 11]

Oh man, for myself it will depend on if I draw a rifle tag or am slinging arrows. Arrows any decent mature bulls and if rifle I want to be a little more picky. Last year I mainly hunted one bull and I so hope he is still alive next year... if I can confirm he is early enough in the season he will be what I push for



For my group I would love to see everyone be successful. I have worked extremely hard to get my wife a herd bull over the last several years. I’ve definitely put her being successful over my own success. We have came really close but she hasn’t been able to get one. If she decides to hunt again next year she will once again be at the top list for goals.

So overall a little early for me to say for sure but one thing is certain. DIY OTC Public land herd bulls in a super hard unit here in Idaho
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Lefty » 01 28, 2021 •  [Post 12]

Tigger wrote:I look at trees all the time and think to myself," I would like to send Swede up that one" as well. And the vast majority of them are not in elk country, nor during any hunting season!
:lol: :lol:
My wives' parents need lots of help,..And we help a lot,.. but its time for my wife to spend more time with me at camp.
And Swede I plan to find a tree,.. for a stand.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Old school » 01 29, 2021 •  [Post 13]

First things first - draw tags.
Next goal - call in a bull for my son and son-in-law. They should both draw bull tags.
Next goal - kill a cow (after I draw a cow tag).
Last goal - enjoy the mountains in a new state in Sept.

Is it too ambitious to have the goal of coming home with 3 archery elk - 3 for 3.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Indian Summer » 01 29, 2021 •  [Post 14]

Old school wrote:First things first - draw tags.
Next goal - call in a bull for my son and son-in-law. They should both draw bull tags.
Next goal - kill a cow (after I draw a cow tag).
Last goal - enjoy the mountains in a new state in Sept.

Is it too ambitious to have the goal of coming home with 3 archery elk - 3 for 3.


Maybe. Depends on how much time you have and also how well you know the area. Oh and of course how lucky you are.

Point creep is scary this year. All the important point brackets look like they’re going to jump up one. Instead of being good with 2 or 3 it could very well take 2.1 and 3.1. That small fraction could be a huge factor. How many points do you guys have Mitch?
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Swede » 01 30, 2021 •  [Post 15]

Mitch, going 3 for three in a new State is a pretty ambitious goal. It is always possible, but I wish you had several seasons of experience in your hunting area.

To me, knowing my area and the elk that run there is huge. Indian Summer has been gracious enough to invite me to hunt an area he knows. By hitchhiking on his knowledge and having have my own, I think getting an elk, even a good sized bull would be doable. I would hunt the whole season if necessary which is also a big factor.
That said; I would rather hunt one elk in a ten square mile area, where I know the critter and the area he inhabits, than going into a similar spot with ten elk, but I am clueless about what is there.
Some years ago I had a friend come to hunt with me for a week. On the last day he told me he had watched a good bull walk down a tree line on a side hill every afternoon. It would go down the tree line and return about the same time every day. I asked him why he never went there? His answer was that his tree stand was at the waterhole where I set it up. I had taken an elk there, but that elk was gone. This friend had never elk hunted before, so he relied totally on my insight, but at some point you need to at least suggest a change. As Groucho Markx said "Are you going to believe me or your stupid lying eyes". This friend had no elk experience, so I understood. Experience and knowledge are deadly.
It is unfortunate that more and more States are going to use the draw system to restrict hunter numbers. That will make the hunters apply in several States, or hunt every few years only. It is going to mean that knowing an area, and the elk there is going to be more difficult in the future, for everyone, especially out of State hunters.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby lilshootergirl » 02 01, 2021 •  [Post 16]

1st hope I'll be drawn for wyoming, I bought several draws hoping ill land in Wyoming!
Lots of praying for me! On a sad note my brother just completed 3 months of radiation & chemo!
He's supposed to go? If not it will be little brave me! Good luck everyone! Remember dreams will come true!
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Indian Summer » 02 02, 2021 •  [Post 17]

Your license application plan is good. As much as I’d like to see you draw the bull tag I also think it would be good to go hunt it the first time with a cow tag and get to hunt it two years in a row when you come back with a general license. But I’m pretty confident you can kill a bull too after a summer scouting trip so I wish you luck in the drawing.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Old school » 02 03, 2021 •  [Post 18]

Joe - our average is 3.0 for general tags. I’ll be saving mine and trying to draw a cow tag.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby GoGriz1234 » 02 05, 2021 •  [Post 19]

This year I’m hoping to be able to hunt both archery and rifle, but will likely hunt a different unit for each. I’ll apply for a general tag, as well as a cow tag, to try to ensure I can chase one, or the other, or both. I am selling it to the wife by telling Her I will be working out for an extra two months in preparation for both seasons. I might also pick up a bear tag, just incase - it’s a lot of money to dump into tags, but if it gets me working out and gives me a pretty cool goal to work towards, it seems worth it (as long as the paychecks keep coming in!).
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Roosiebull » 03 02, 2021 •  [Post 20]

Swede wrote:Are you new to elk hunting and trying to learn, or maybe on the way out? Regardless of where you are at, you must have hopes and goals. Some may be reasonable and others more elusive. A 400 class bull may be more of a pipe dream. Let's discuss them and what the likelihood you have for fulfilling them.

I would like to get a branched bull this coming season, but won't hold out long for one. I want to hunt an area I know that has more bulls than where I have spent the most of my time the last few seasons. That will improve my chances, but it is a harder area to hunt, and even harder to pack out a bull.
Based on many seasons of hunting, and knowing my lack of real commitment to holding out for a branched bull, I would say I have a 30%-40% likelihood of success.

i have been shooting my recurve like a mad man, and have a new arrow build i'm really liking, so i think i will make a bull with a recurve the goal.... i will say, i'm no purist, love hunting and like eating elk, so my pse mach 1 will be ready to rock and i'll stay well practiced with it.... i will not touch it in Sept unless there is a legit reason to.... it won't be because i can't get a shot with my recurve...... but lets say i miss 4 bulls with it like i did in 19' :lol: and have a week of season left.... grabbing the wheel bow with no shame, haha.

it's certainly no where close to "too easy" with a compound, it's not about that, but i think i can keep killing elk with a recurve.... new challenge. as it is, i feel tempted to hold out for some 5+yr old bull, or a 6pt, or whatever with my compound, but it sounds a lot more fun to be able to make a move on any bull i can encounter with a more difficult weapon.... that's the draw to me.

i miss those days when i was younger, and any time i saw elk i was hunting those elk.... no standards besides calves.... that was fun, lots of action. other years i have made antler goals, go through all of the effort to figure out a group of elk, get them dialed in, get within bow range, and there is nothing i'm wanting to shoot. that game gets frustrating on the coast, because you can't confirm from any distance if there is a mature bull in that bunch of elk.... i like making moves on elk, getting that type of action, feeling like it may happen that hunt.

plus, i have way too much time and effort invested in shooting my recurve to not have that culminate standing over an elk with it in my hand.... as well as unfinished business. i can't wait! there is a huge bull that lives behind my house (current house) he is very similar sized of my biggest bull, but he's super unique, he is bigger than most roosies get regardless of age, big long main beams, of course being a big timber bull he has charcoal black antlers, lots of mass... huge bodied awesome bull, but he was a 5pt.... he's an old mature bull in his prime, he just didn't grow the 6th point.... dream bull regardless, and i will be putting some effort into him.... him as my first recurve bull.... may just start golfing in Sept, there would be nowhere to go but down if that happened :lol:
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Trumkin the Dwarf » 03 08, 2021 •  [Post 21]

Dang it Roosie! Sell that compound and be done with it. It's nothing but a flirtatious ex girlfriend, intent on wrecking your marriage. :lol:
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby ElkNut1 » 03 08, 2021 •  [Post 22]

Malachi, that's exactly what I did! Had to get rid of that temptation to apply all my attention to the longbow!

5 years later I picked up the compound again but I still think about hunting with a longbow every year! ;)

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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby BlazingSaddle » 03 08, 2021 •  [Post 23]

I have my fiance's Dad(soon-to-be father-in-law) coming with me for his first archery elk hunt. My goal is to get him an opportunity. I am hunting an OTC area in CO since he has no points anywhere, so I am a bit nervous about that, but I think I have some solid areas picked out.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Swede » 03 08, 2021 •  [Post 24]

Welcome to the forum Mr. Saddle. I hope you, and your soon to be father in law, do well. Join in the conversations here and participate as you feel inclined.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Indian Summer » 03 08, 2021 •  [Post 25]

Welcome aboard man! You cannot possibly put too much time into planning your hunt. Be ready to work harder than ever and you’ll be fine. Good luck!
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby 7mmfan » 03 09, 2021 •  [Post 26]

Welcome BlazingSaddle, when you get a minute tell us a little about your past hunting exploits. Pictures are always appreciated. Just beware of Swede, he'll try to steal them and enter them in our photo of the month contest.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Roosiebull » 03 09, 2021 •  [Post 27]

Trumkin the Dwarf wrote:Dang it Roosie! Sell that compound and be done with it. It's nothing but a flirtatious ex girlfriend, intent on wrecking your marriage. :lol:

it's more like having a hot exciting girlfriend that treats you like crap, and your ex still wants to be with you, and you know she will treat you better, but she is a little homely and doesn't really have a soul. you're addicted to the abuse of the hot one, even though she'll throw you under the bus if you don't act perfect..... don't want to burn the bridge with the ex, because the thought of being alone (in Sept) is sickening :lol:
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby 7mmfan » 03 09, 2021 •  [Post 28]

Roosiebull wrote:
Trumkin the Dwarf wrote:Dang it Roosie! Sell that compound and be done with it. It's nothing but a flirtatious ex girlfriend, intent on wrecking your marriage. :lol:

it's more like having a hot exciting girlfriend that treats you like crap, and your ex still wants to be with you, and you know she will treat you better, but she is a little homely and doesn't really have a soul. you're addicted to the abuse of the hot one, even though she'll throw you under the bus if you don't act perfect..... don't want to burn the bridge with the ex, because the thought of being alone (in Sept) is sickening :lol:


That was an excruciatingly detailed description. Sounds like it came from painful past experience. Good on you for keeping your head up and persevering every day.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby >>>---WW----> » 03 09, 2021 •  [Post 29]

A big w(ELK)come to the forum ,BlazingSaddle ;) What unit for OTC do you have in mind for you and your pappy in law?
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Indian Summer » 03 09, 2021 •  [Post 30]

Roosiebull wrote:
Trumkin the Dwarf wrote:Dang it Roosie! Sell that compound and be done with it. It's nothing but a flirtatious ex girlfriend, intent on wrecking your marriage. :lol:

it's more like having a hot exciting girlfriend that treats you like crap, and your ex still wants to be with you, and you know she will treat you better, but she is a little homely and doesn't really have a soul. you're addicted to the abuse of the hot one, even though she'll throw you under the bus if you don't act perfect..... don't want to burn the bridge with the ex, because the thought of being alone (in Sept) is sickening :lol:

Oh my God Roosie have you been spying on me!!! You nailed it. A little crazy was ok for awhile but good Lord I may have had enough! No wait.... one more week why not.
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Re: 2021 Elk Hunting Goal

Postby Trumkin the Dwarf » 03 09, 2021 •  [Post 31]

Roosiebull wrote:
Trumkin the Dwarf wrote:Dang it Roosie! Sell that compound and be done with it. It's nothing but a flirtatious ex girlfriend, intent on wrecking your marriage. :lol:

it's more like having a hot exciting girlfriend that treats you like crap, and your ex still wants to be with you, and you know she will treat you better, but she is a little homely and doesn't really have a soul. you're addicted to the abuse of the hot one, even though she'll throw you under the bus if you don't act perfect..... don't want to burn the bridge with the ex, because the thought of being alone (in Sept) is sickening :lol:


:lol:

That's some funny stuff right there. I guess I'm just a sucker for the hotness.
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