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Bulls raking trees

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Bulls raking trees

Postby planebow » 07 06, 2012 •  [Post 1]

Several years ago I had a bull about 10 yards in front of me raking a tree and I was afraid to draw my bow with him facing me. Later I as told that bulls close thier eyes when rubbing a tree. Does anyone know if this is the case or not?
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Bulls raking trees

Postby Freebird134 » 07 06, 2012 •  [Post 2]

I'm quite sure I've seen elk in videos rub trees with their eyes open.
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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby ctdad » 07 06, 2012 •  [Post 3]

Lots of people talk about drawing when an elk is raking though. Maybe they are just pre-occupied with the bush and don't notice you draw?
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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby Goneelkn » 07 06, 2012 •  [Post 4]

Couldn't you see his eyes??
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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby Freebird134 » 07 06, 2012 •  [Post 5]

ctdad wrote:Lots of people talk about drawing when an elk is raking though. Maybe they are just pre-occupied with the bush and don't notice you draw?


Sounds logical. A slow, smooth draw while his head is bouncing off a tree should go unnoticed!
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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby Goat Boy » 07 06, 2012 •  [Post 6]

ImageAs I filmed thebull rake this tree he did not take his eye's off of me one time.
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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby BowElkDwn » 07 06, 2012 •  [Post 7]

I would say it really depends on how intensly he is raking the tree. If he is tearing up ground and really getting after it you can definently change your position and get ready for a shot. That said they still can see most of the time and you need to make sure you approach him correctly. I have blown it before when I thought that a bull was all consumed in beating up the tree and for whatever reason he must have saw some kind of movement. From then on he had me pegged at about 30 yards. He didn't know what I was but wouldn't take his eye's off me until he just slowling melted into the timber.
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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby ElkNut1 » 07 06, 2012 •  [Post 8]

I'm with Goatboy & bowelkdown, not because he's my son but he's spot on in his description! If they have their back to you then yes it's a sure bet you can move position within reason! Elk will both close their eyes & blink them open quick as a heart beat, they do not miss much as they are raking! Bowelkdown saw this bull raking an aspen tree as I repositioned for an 18yd shot on this bull, his rear was facing me when I made the 4' move from behind a tree to out in the open with a longbow, this bull never knew what hit him! Be cautious when bulls are raking, only make your move when you know he cannot see you!

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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby elkmtngear » 07 06, 2012 •  [Post 9]

ElkNut1 wrote: Elk will both close their eyes & blink them open quick as a heart beat, they do not miss much as they are raking! ElkNut1


X2 on this, I tried stalking in on a bull raking on the other side of a big spruce once. I got close enough to actually watch him open his eyes and bust me!
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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby dreamhunter » 08 24, 2012 •  [Post 10]

It's always a judgement call,just how good are you.All you can do is sit still or chance it and hope it works in your favor
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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby jedbuzz » 08 27, 2012 •  [Post 11]

I tagged a 5 pt in 09 in this situation. He was so preoccupied with tearing apart an alder tree that I basically walked up to him dead on to 10 yards. (I stalked, but it was as if I didn't need to) His eyes were open, but not at all focused on anything but the task at hand. It took 3 insanely obscene cow calls from my partner 30 yards back to get his attention. He decided to step around the tree to see what the racket was and promptly absorbed a Gold Tip from 8 yards. That is my only experience with a raking bull to this point...
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Re: Bulls raking trees

Postby T/H » 08 27, 2012 •  [Post 12]

i was in prime position a couple years ago to kill my first "herd" type bull as he was thrashing a pine 40 yards from me. quick deductive reasoning told me i had a 66% chance to kill this bull if i did "nothing". 33% chance that when he's done raking he moves to the left which has me sticking an arrow thru the boiler room. 33% chance that he steps to the right with the same result and a 33% chance that he moves out in the direction he came in with no chance for a shot. so i did nothing. i drew my bow several times in anticipation of him stepping out and a few tense moments but he never did. finally when he didn't see the other bull (me) that was raking the tree and he walked straight away from me not offering a shot. some say i should have moved into position for a shot while he was raking and some say i "did the right thing and that is just elk hunting" but the bottom line is, i blew the opportunity.

if i get into this situation again (which is highly unlikely because "no 2 encounters are created equal") i will try a nervous grunt to get him to step out when he's hung up behind the deadfall. i already no what doing nothing gets you.
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