Wapiti Talk | Elk Hunting Forum | Elk Hunting Tips
 

Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated, Part 2..

Moderators: Lefty, Swede, Tigger, Indian Summer, WapitiTalk1

Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated, Part 2..

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 03 03, 2021 •  [Post 1]

Date/Time: Mid-September, 8:20 AM
Location: Somewhere in the Elkwoods
Hunt Pressure Status: More than you'd like
Hunt: Partner Hunt
Tag: Archery tag; 3 PT or better bull

The knowns:
1. You've received locator bugle responses the night before after sitting on a walk in/gated road till after dark (the gated road starts on a saddle and works its way down one side of the draw and peters out 3/4 of a mile in). It appears that two bulls (and who knows how many cows) have moved up and into a pretty steep draw below the road. No access roads/FS trails from below so you'll have to figure out start your hunt from above in the morning.
2. There are other hunters camped up in the general area but to your knowledge, nobody has been hunting down the draw.
3. Terrain is mixed vine maple, alder, and some pretty darn high huckleberry bushes. Pretty steep on both sides of the draw with some benchy areas and smaller, false draws coming down on both sides of the large draw. There are no cliffs or really any significant rocky spots in the draw. It's pretty much sparsely timbered with afore mentioned brush and really, no truly open areas, i.e., side hill meadows.

Go time:
1. 8:20 AM the next morning (now):
2. You and your partner have walked 1/2 in on the gated road and hear what appears to be the same bulls singing (unsolicited) on the other side of the draw. To you, it sounds like one may be a herd bull and the other a satellite.
3. As the crow flies, it's about 1/2 of a mile across the draw. The night before, when you walked in on the old gated road, the bulls were below you (below the road) on your side of the draw. This morning, they are on the other side of the draw sounding off once you get down the distance mentioned. Vegetation clarification: old growth vine maples and alder (vine maples in bunches, up to 10-12' tall and the alder brush/mountain variety is up to 20+). The timbered spots (Douglas fir, piss fir (spruce), and some intermittent Tamarack pine) haven't been logged in many years and are several hundred or more yards wide in spots. Needless to say, visibility is minimal from any form of distance. I'll add that the draw has its fair share of elk/game trails through the vine maple jungles. Think NW Montana.

Your move. What is your immediate game plan at this point in time? The scenario may change as the thread rolls on a bit.

At a point you decide to shoot (a pic will appear when its time), reminder that if you save the picture to your desktop and open in MS Paint, you'll be able to place a spot, X, or whatever on the critter before you save it back to a jpg and add the marked up pic with your post.
User avatar
WapitiTalk1
 
Posts: 7933
Joined: 06 10, 2012
Location: WA State
First Name: RJ

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4

Postby Tigger » 03 03, 2021 •  [Post 2]

Okay, they have moved from where you found them last night. At 8:20 am they are likely headed to bed and singing their way there. So you have to get going and get over there. Due to the vegetation, you probably will not get there before it is elk nap time, so starting now and at every bugle, I will mark their location on OnX. I cannot make any game plans past that. Get moving, mark the bulls. When we get over there, we will make a plan.
User avatar
Tigger
Rank: An Elk Nut
 
Posts: 1844
Joined: 01 12, 2015
Location: Minnesota

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4

Postby Swede » 03 03, 2021 •  [Post 3]

It is about 1/2 mile to the bugling bulls. The bottom of the draw is nearer. I am going to hurry down to the bottom and get to a position just above the draw bottom on the same side as the elk, but lower in the drainage. That should take less than 1/2 hour. If the bulls are still bugling, I will slowly work in closer. If they are quiet when I get there, I will start with a cow call and see what happens. If they are close enough to hear, maybe the herd bull will answer. I would cow call again then move in closer (less than 100 yards) and stop where I can get a shot. I do not expect the herd bull to come, but that satellite may.
Swede
Wapiti Hunting - Tree Stand Tactics
 
Posts: 8763
Joined: 06 16, 2012

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4

Postby Wyo67 » 03 04, 2021 •  [Post 4]

Agree with Tigger on this one. A lot depends on the prevailing winds. By time you get there it will be about time for the thermals to get squirrely and possibly switch. Experience has shown many times that I cannot keep up with elk as they travel and my strategy would be to keep tabs on them, try to get on the same elevation and quietly close to within a couple hundred yards and see what we've got.
User avatar
Wyo67
Rank: Satellite Bull
 
Posts: 360
Joined: 06 10, 2012
Location: Cheyenne, WY

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4

Postby Swede » 03 04, 2021 •  [Post 5]

I don't understand. Are you guys done hunting at 8:20 in the morning, and just going to wait somewhere until later? Do you have a better option like looking for possibly some other elk? How are you going to get within a couple of hundred yards of the elk without crossing the draw? Maybe that is where I would go if that is a viable option. Can I just drive around and come in from the other side? I did not read that in the set-up story. I am reading this as a two option deal. 1. Take shanks mare and get moving closer to where you will set up or 2. go somewhere else. None of us know where the elk are going to bed from what we have learned so far.

Of coarse I can't say from what I read what the orientation of the draw is or what the prevailing winds are like, but the diurnal winds should not be a problem until the sun starts heating up the canyon bottom. They should not be a problem as long as we are on the opposite side of the canyon. Diurnal winds are not completely unpredictable. As the lands warms up, the wind start shifting. They go upslope where the sun is hitting directly on the open landscape, and continue to go downslope in draws where it is not hitting directly. There are zones where it is mixed along the edges and it seems crazy if you are passing between these zones.

It doesn't sound like we have a problem going undetected until after we cross the draw. From the description above we cannot really say what the wind situation is after we cross the draw, but throwing in the towel at 8:20 is a little early for me. Would a guide tell a client they were done this early in the day? What is the plan Mr. guide, and don't expect a tip from me if you say it is time to go to camp or "let's study the map and come up with a plan B."
Swede
Wapiti Hunting - Tree Stand Tactics
 
Posts: 8763
Joined: 06 16, 2012

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4

Postby Lefty » 03 04, 2021 •  [Post 6]

First is this a dream,.. or a nightmare. I moved from old-growth, vine maple and 20 foot alders The thick stuff; Im looking for bobcat trails instead of focusing on the bugling elk!
opps
no
Im going after the bulls.

I'm not sure what were going to come up with ,.. I dont know, yet! but only 1/2 mile away, I think were headed the direction of the elk, with possible plans, similar elevation and down wind.
How noisy are the girls, are we falling down every 5th step,. maybe make a cow or calve sound while busting through this mess.
I dont want to blow them out of the area, but we have a leg up on the other group of hunters,,, maybe?

Ive passed on taking too many precautions in the past,.. Were not charging in, but getting closer than make a plan

Two years ago we were working 3 bulls. As soon as the other punks realized we weren't elk they literally ran at the one bull only 60 yards and coming toward my partner.
User avatar
Lefty
Wapiti Hunting - Strategy and Tactics
 
Posts: 5493
Joined: 06 25, 2012
Location: Pocatello Idaho
First Name: Dennis
Last Name: H

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4

Postby Tigger » 03 05, 2021 •  [Post 7]

Swede, Didnt you read my response? :D My plan is to get over there as fast as I can and then make a plan. I am for sure hunting those bulls but I am not assuming anything now. How long will it take? Who knows given the vegetation. So when I get there I will make a plan, but right now it is too far out to cement a plan in place. As I said, " Get moving, mark the bulls. When we get over there, we will make a plan." I know what I won't do. And that is find the nearest tree and climb it! :o
User avatar
Tigger
Rank: An Elk Nut
 
Posts: 1844
Joined: 01 12, 2015
Location: Minnesota

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 03 05, 2021 •  [Post 8]

Situation Update: As you sat and listened off the end of the cat road, you determined that the elk were starting to move back down the draw, more than likely on their way from the café to the elk motel at the bottom of the draw in Web Creek (the large drainage/draw that the draw you're in feeds in to). Reminder that there is really no access to this area from lower, only from above. These are vocal bulls spitting back and forth with more than likely a group of cows, perhaps a hot one or two (cows) guessing by the bull's vocalization/behavior. Now, from your position at the end of the cat road.... what's next to try and bring one of the bulls home for dinner. It's now about 9:00 AM. Your move..........
User avatar
WapitiTalk1
 
Posts: 7933
Joined: 06 10, 2012
Location: WA State
First Name: RJ

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated

Postby Swede » 03 05, 2021 •  [Post 9]

You are right Tigger. :o I misread what your plan was. You two jerks didn't edit your posts did you? :D
I thought you and Wyo planned to stay back due to uncertainties relating to the wind, the time and the distance. I know you posted before Wyo, but I was lumping you two characters together like you were hunting partners. I see now Wyo wasn't out of the game either. Now I am l left to wonder what difference there was in our plans. It seems it was insignificant.
Swede
Wapiti Hunting - Tree Stand Tactics
 
Posts: 8763
Joined: 06 16, 2012

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated

Postby Swede » 03 05, 2021 •  [Post 10]

To answer RJ's post: I knew it! Tigger was still hanging around on the road picking his nose. In the 40 minutes from the time since we got to the end of the road and determined the location of the elk, we would have moved closer to the elk and positioned ourselves to get a shot on one of the bulls. Trust me, Tigger would be leaving the road, unless he just was along for the campout, and the experience of packing out elk from an awful drainage. In this situation paying attention to the elk and positioning yourself will be critical. Since they are still on the other side of the draw, stay on the near side and well up from the bottom so you scent does not go down and you are discovered. Since the diurnal winds are going down when you get into the cooler lower parts of teh drainage, stay up and find a place to intercept the elk below them. Hurry!
Swede
Wapiti Hunting - Tree Stand Tactics
 
Posts: 8763
Joined: 06 16, 2012

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated

Postby Tigger » 03 05, 2021 •  [Post 11]

My move now? Shoot! When you hear a bugle, pull your bow back, aim about 200 feet over the sound and let fly! What could go wrong? :lol:

Okay, this got a little trickier. the thermals will be a'changing shortly, but deep in the draw they very well last longer. Since I am already ahead of Swede and am closing in on the bulls (he stopped to admire every tree over 6" in diameter), I want to play that wind right and wait until they check into their rooms. Unless.....unless it is so cool and shady down there that I still have consistent wind. If that is the case, and I am within 100 yards, I might start singing a sweet lullaby in my most feminine elk voice. If I can get a bull to answer, I will key in on him and only him. He bugles, I whisper sweet nothings at him. I keep doing that until he starts looking for me or he chuckles. If he chuckles, I let him start to reel in the caller....with the shooter out front sneaking ahead. This is exactly the scenario for the bull in my avatar. The tricky part of this is at some point the shooter needs to set up and the caller needs to entice that bull to come just a few yards to get into range of the shooter.

If he doesn't chuckle, but is coming in, we have to find a good place to setup where the caller can shoot him before the bull thinks he should see the caller/smooth-talking-cow. We all learn this lesson the hard way. The bull hangs up. There is not enough distance between the caller and the shooter and that bull thinks he should see that cow and he doesn't....hang up!

But I am assuming he chuckles us in and we shoot him. About the time we are done taking pictures, Swede will arrive and can start the guttin' and gillin' while we enjoy a nice sandwich. then Swede can start hauling quarters while we sun ourselves and have a short nap. Swede, it would be nice if you could make us another sammich when you get back to camp and bring it out before you haul the next load.
User avatar
Tigger
Rank: An Elk Nut
 
Posts: 1844
Joined: 01 12, 2015
Location: Minnesota

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated

Postby Lefty » 03 05, 2021 •  [Post 12]

So I think they are headed down to bed!,. how far? how deep? how steep?

I had one evening and one morning that was similar this year. Both times the elk won. Not so deep and steep but thick quakies most of the time. I could move relatively fast on the cattle trails
and I did end up with cows and calves 13-37 yards .The evening the bulls were trailing, and a number of times I was under 30 yards of the bulls , I only saw bits and pieces of bulls before it was dark, then 90 minutes out to the ATV.Knowing now I would have cut in front when the wind was good Thermals dropping. And let them them continue down the draw, the last 15 minutes of shootable time I would have move to an opening and waited,. as they came towards me,.. thats the plan next year.

Another day same canyon. Thermals still going down, good wind. Again in about 60 cows and calves, bulls bugling Just no way to get in front with out giving them my wind. They left the canyon at sunrise and went literally miles to bed.


I had glassed the elk miles away the previous evening. An hour before shooting light I was listening and they were where they had been the previous evening. This is grizzly country And I was alone. I moved in from a bare hillside instead of following the creek bottom or timber covered north facing slope.
Cows caves, and a bunch of mature and smaller bulls. The thermals were good. I moved into the timber trying to cut the herd off. As it got lighter the elk moved faster.
I had cows show interest in cow and bull sounds,.The bulls stayed in the open, and the first sunlight they moved out. This was one of the times if I would have been in top physical condition I could have beat the elk to another area.

So this years experiences. If Elk are on the move. Bulls weren't too interested in what they couldnt see ( other cows and bulls)
User avatar
Lefty
Wapiti Hunting - Strategy and Tactics
 
Posts: 5493
Joined: 06 25, 2012
Location: Pocatello Idaho
First Name: Dennis
Last Name: H

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated

Postby Swede » 03 05, 2021 •  [Post 13]

Tigger, I think I will pack out the backstraps. When I get to camp I will make us both a nice sandwich. Don't be too surprised if I have to eat both of them before I get to you for another load.

I helped a friend years ago butcher and pack out his bull. It was a nice 6X6. He asked me to go out and get us a bottled tea. I brought back two. I set mine down and gave him one. I turned around and he had downed them both. I was ticked off and thought about walking out, returning to camp and leaving him and his stupid bull. I didn't, but I was not a happy camper, especially since I had to forger dinner and everything else to take care of his critter. Normally I fix dinner when it is time even if I have an elk down. Priorities.
Swede
Wapiti Hunting - Tree Stand Tactics
 
Posts: 8763
Joined: 06 16, 2012

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated, Part 2..

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 03 08, 2021 •  [Post 14]

Situation Update:

OK, for the case of discussion in this scenario, we've chosen the route of dumping off the end of the cat road, angling down towards the bottom of our draw towards the main draw, on "our" side of the draw and we try to continue to keep track of the vocal elk on the other side. It's a normal weather day in the elk woods (no crazy weather going on) so the thermals are their usual self but getting dangerously close to the typical swirl before they change to head uphill. It's now right around 10:00 and the antlered creatures on the other side of the draw are not spouting off on their own anymore. The last time we heard them was across the draw, up the side hill about 200ish yards, almost directly across/up from us (we're now almost at the bottom of the insignificant creek in our draw), perhaps 10 minutes ago. By their vocalization, they have been constantly moving down the side hill/draw towards the bottom to the elk motel. Seeing as its pretty much gone quiet, we decide to do a setup while the thermals are still coming down in an attempt to get an answer and move across/up towards the elk. As we stop to set up, just on our side of the small, barely trickling stream... we hit bookoo elk sign and can see that this may perhaps be a bedding area just off the creek. The caller sets up in the huge sign area and the shooter heads across the tiny stream and sets up 25-30 yards away. Hand signals are given "ready?.... check!" and the caller throws out a couple of cow sounds (two soft, then one a bit louder and whiny) and....... the two bulls spout off on the other side of the draw, perhaps 100 yards across/up the side hill and one of the most pathetic bugles you've ever heard sounds off directly above the caller about 100 yards (on our side of the draw). Your move, what's the game plan now?

Been here more than a few times, got the T shirts ... Remember what you know about the area and the access (or lack of access as it were) from below... Your move, what's next?

We're down on the trickle of a creek, time as mentioned, sign as mentioned, vocal bulls across and you/we’ve just heard a sick dog sounding bull above us. Anybody else have a thought on how to proceed?
User avatar
WapitiTalk1
 
Posts: 7933
Joined: 06 10, 2012
Location: WA State
First Name: RJ

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated, Part 2..

Postby Tigger » 03 08, 2021 •  [Post 15]

Panic! You are surrounded and they are closing in! Run for your lives!

I am worried about the bad bugle. If I have the map right in my head, the bugle is behind you toward where you came from. Could that be another hunter? If I dont think so, then it is a good thing. If I think it is, then it is a bad thing.

Sooooo, which way are we going to play it....is the sick dog bugle another hunter or just a bad sounding bull??
User avatar
Tigger
Rank: An Elk Nut
 
Posts: 1844
Joined: 01 12, 2015
Location: Minnesota

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated, Part 2..

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 03 08, 2021 •  [Post 16]

Tigger wrote:Panic! You are surrounded and they are closing in! Run for your lives!
:lol: Ya, pretty much.
User avatar
WapitiTalk1
 
Posts: 7933
Joined: 06 10, 2012
Location: WA State
First Name: RJ

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated, Part 2..

Postby Swede » 03 08, 2021 •  [Post 17]

I would move over a few feet and start thrashing a bush or small tree. After a minute or two of that I would give out a short small two note bull bugle. This would be followed by a coupe of cow calls closer to the elk, so it would sound like the small bull was in danger of losing his cow(s).
Swede
Wapiti Hunting - Tree Stand Tactics
 
Posts: 8763
Joined: 06 16, 2012

Re: Your Move Hoss, 2021 Episode #4 -Updated, Part 2..

Postby Lefty » 03 12, 2021 •  [Post 18]

We no longer consider any bugle from any direction a hunter untill we have a visual.
Too many times ,and more often than not the hunters were bulls
User avatar
Lefty
Wapiti Hunting - Strategy and Tactics
 
Posts: 5493
Joined: 06 25, 2012
Location: Pocatello Idaho
First Name: Dennis
Last Name: H


cron