Exo Journal — Elk Hunting
The internet is full of elk hunting advice on tactics, calling strategies, shooting tips, and gear. With so much information readily available, it is easy to get overwhelmed or stuck in "paralysis by analysis.” Let's clarify the confusion and focus on 3 simple strategies to effectively hunt on public land.
Whether hunting with a bow or a rifle, it is our responsibility as hunters to be effective and efficient in killing the animals we pursue. More than just placing a projectile "in the vitals" — we should understand the animal's physiology and the different ways that the impact of a bullet or broadhead can be fatal.
Elk, especially mature bulls, are incredibly large and tough creatures. As a point of comparison, it’s not unusual for a big bull to weigh 3-4x as much as a big-bodied whitetail or mule deer. Stories also abound of poorly hit elk running into the next zip code with no signs of slowing down. For this reason, hunters going afield after elk with a rifle should be adequately armed. With all that in mind, my goal with this article is to provide you with a couple of good recommendations on selecting the right caliber for hunting elk.
You have yourself an out-of-state elk tag and you cannot put boots on the ground until the hunt starts. What do you do? Here is the process I use to scout for out-of-state elk hunts...
I drew for a New Mexico archery elk tag in March 2015. It was my first elk tag. I worked my tail off in the gym, at the range, and in my garage bow shop, determined to hike into the mountains a predator. It took over 5 months of preparation and a full workweek of high-country hiking, with several tough lessons learned on the job to accomplish the goal...
I have spent six years hunting elk on public land. I have learned new lessons on every trip, brought home new experiences each time, and thankfully, I also tagged-out 4 of those years. I am far from an expert, but as a regular do-it-yourself guy, I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned that could benefit other folks, like you, that are learning to hunt elk on public land.
I am not an expert when it comes to drawing elk tags, but you can bet that I will have at least a couple of elk tags in my pocket every fall. In this article, I am going to attempt to give you my approach to applying for and seeking out elk tags through draws and over-the-counter opportunities. I hope this information helps unfold some of the mysteries behind getting into the elk draw game, so that you can set yourself up with a long-term plan that works for you and your budget.
The possibility of hunting out of state is becoming a reality for more and more folks. When I was younger, I thought I would never be able to do something like that. I remember thinking how it must be such a hassle and way out of my price range. In reality, however, an out of state hunt is totally doable for the blue-collar hunter. Doing the hunt as a backpack-style trip only adds to the level of adventure. That was actually how I pulled off my very first out of state hunt. Since then, the idea of doing it on...
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