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View Full Version : Elevation and elk



joemf1985
06-08-2012, 10:23 PM
I am relatively new to elk hunting and was wondering if there are zones of elevation elk prefer more than others when in areas which range from a valley floor of 7-8,000 feet and peaks of 10-13,000 feet or do they just seem to float depending upon pressure, cover, and snow through different elevations?

Ikeepitcold
06-08-2012, 10:33 PM
My experience is it depends on weather, rut, pressure, pretty much everything. I killed my bull in early Dec. at 11k most of the bulls we found were just below tree line. That year was very cold but not much snow. So depending on when your hunting I think that will determine we're to start to look.

Old Hunter
06-08-2012, 10:48 PM
There are patterns, but to be honest. They can be anywhere. Some will even stay at one altitude all year.

In God We Trust
06-09-2012, 10:30 AM
Old hunter is right, I hunt some units where there are herds hanging out at 11,000 and 8,500-9,000 ft. at the same time of year. You just have to scout and hunt an area for a few years and you will realy figure out the elk's pattern. Call a biiologist and warden for the area you are going to be hunting and ask them what their thoughts are as well. Good luck,

meathunter
06-10-2012, 10:38 AM
Food can also be a factor. At this time of year, elk can be found around agriculture fields in lower elevations and up in the higher mountains until the snow pushes them lower. They like the new green grasses that grow from spring runoff. They're also seeking cooler portions of the area, thick cover with access to greener feed with water nearby. As the others have mentioned, this time of year, elk are scattered. Scouting is best, as long as you have a hunt in the early fall before the snow pushes them down. Later hunts, it helps to know where the winter feeding grounds are located. At least my experience in elk hunting in New Mex., Wy, Mont., ID and AZ. and harvested 16 elk.

It's a good idea from the earlier post to find areas on this forum and talk with the fish & game biologist in the area you wish to hunt to get a starting point to scout. Good Luck!

ivorytip
06-20-2012, 09:40 PM
said just right, food food food. elk are desert animals naturaly. in areas with booming elk populations they all cant hide on the same ridge. my experince, if the area looks like good habitat and u know there is a good elk population in or near that area go take a looksee and i think u will be surprised. biggest bull i seen shot with my own eyes was in the foothills everyone drove past to get high up, when i say foot hills im talking 5-6thousand feet. good luck

BKC
06-20-2012, 09:53 PM
its all about food and pressure. I was above timberline in the middle of Oct. glassing down into trees and bowls, I heard a noise above me and caught my first bull running in the rocks at easily 11,000' + elevation. The next year, same time, I couldn't get hardly out of camp because of the snow. They would have been buried in the thick timber at 8000' at the first sign of snow more than 4" deep.

Old Hunter
06-21-2012, 08:46 AM
said just right, food food food. elk are desert animals naturaly. in areas with booming elk populations they all cant hide on the same ridge. my experince, if the area looks like good habitat and u know there is a good elk population in or near that area go take a looksee and i think u will be surprised. biggest bull i seen shot with my own eyes was in the foothills everyone drove past to get high up, when i say foot hills im talking 5-6thousand feet. good luck


I've never accepted that elk used to be just plains animals. Granted that they were on the plains. They were actually everywhere. They were on the plains if that's all there was. I think this, because there is no pressure on them in the summer here. They could just stay on the winter range, but they don't. They go high, because it's cooler, and there's much more fresh food and water. I can't see how this was any different before man showed up.

ivorytip
06-21-2012, 08:42 PM
valid point, i know we have a large local heard on the arco desert that stays on desert year round, guess it depends on whats available and what they have grown accustomed to, eitherway, what a magnificant animal to hunt with stick and bow or rifle.

Old Hunter
06-21-2012, 09:50 PM
Right you are. I wish I had tried it when I was younger with good shoulders. A lot of my kills are in bow range. I'm not sure why it never dawned on me to try a bow.