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  1. #1
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    Archery Elk, start high or start low?

    I am taking a week off this year to hunt elk with my bow. This will be my first actual week long archery hunt. My question is I can hike in from the south of my area and be at timberline almost right away. Or I could hike in from the East and start at the bottom of the drainage. What are your thoughts?

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    easier to go high to low, especially if you can see down into the drainage.

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  4. #3
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    Whenever in doubt I hunt high. There are always some toads that favor the cooler temps up there. Took this one at 11,500' in 2011.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Zim; 06-26-2013 at 01:10 PM.

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  6. #4
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    I always play the wind and hunt the elevation where the elk are but have found over the years I like to hunt down if I can. There are no roads and I try to have my camp high as well. When I first started Elk hunting it really didn't seem to make a whole lot of difference whether I was calling from the bottom or from up high. It might just be me but as time has gone on it seems like the Elk where I hunt have come accustomed to hunters calling and danger from below. I have had better luck being above or at slightly higher elevation than the Elk I am hunting. It is always easier to come down than go up. I am always pretty high at the beginning of the day and pay close close attention to the thermals and the wind. It seems that in September when I hunt there are more elk up high most of the time. Very few hunters are up where I am! Mark
    Last edited by 25contender; 06-26-2013 at 02:19 PM. Reason: More info.

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  8. #5
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    Impossible to say from such little info. If there is good road access up high, then don't expect the elk to be there. The elk will be wherever they have the best security, along with adequate food and water. If all the people are up high, the elk will be low. Or vice versa.
    llp

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  10. #6
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    Maybe start high with the thought that you could pack downhill if you shoot something?

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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by llp View Post
    Impossible to say from such little info. If there is good road access up high, then don't expect the elk to be there. The elk will be wherever they have the best security, along with adequate food and water. If all the people are up high, the elk will be low. Or vice versa.
    llp
    No access roads at the top, it's about a 3 mile hike. The bottom has a main forest service road running thru it. I was leaning at starting high just wanted to hear some opinions.

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    do some scouting and see what the elk are doing, laramie area has a healthy pop of elk. they wont all be up high. you will find some hawgs up high for sure put dont pass up the lower areas that always get passed by, by the sky goers. you will find some hawgs in those isolated low spots too. nothing like being on top of the world though... good luck!

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  15. #9
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    Depends on the rut and what your goals are. If your are targeting a herd bull and are in the prime of the rut, the herd bulls will be down with their cows. If it is pre-rut, the satellites might be down herding the cows while the herd bulls stay up higher. Oftentimes, the herd bulls will let the whipper snappers do the herd gathering during pre-rut. Then once cows start into estrus, the herd bulls will drop down and run the satellites off. Of course thermals should dictate your approach and that changes from morning to night.

    Going off of the information you gave us, I'd probably start high, but more information would be helpful.

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  17. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DryFlyGuy View Post
    Depends on the rut and what your goals are. If your are targeting a herd bull and are in the prime of the rut, the herd bulls will be down with their cows. If it is pre-rut, the satellites might be down herding the cows while the herd bulls stay up higher. Oftentimes, the herd bulls will let the whipper snappers do the herd gathering during pre-rut. Then once cows start into estrus, the herd bulls will drop down and run the satellites off. Of course thermals should dictate your approach and that changes from morning to night.

    Going off of the information you gave us, I'd probably start high, but more information would be helpful.
    Being my first actual archery hunt, the goal is to be into elk. Getting a shot opportunity would be icing on the cake. I will be hunting Sept 20th-29th. So the rut should be on. I am planning a few scouting trips to make sure there are elk in the area. My plan was to hike in and setup camp around 11000'. There are 3 drainages I will be able to access, there is a main forest service road that goes through the drainages at around 9700'. Then there is a valley floor at around 8500'. During the rifle season I see a lot of hunters going down from the road to the bottoms. I feel in September the elk should be higher. Does this sound right? I do have plans B and C if there is no sign of elk. Thanks for the advice.

 

 

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