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  1. #1
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    2 weeks to hunt, when would U?

    I would imagine this has been discussed more than once and if you don't feel like talking about it feel free to point me towards some previous post but if you don't mind me asking your opinions I would like to hear them. If you had 2 weeks to archery hunt elk in Idaho when would you go? I have spoke with many biologists, researched many articles etc. I researched the moon phase for 2014 and understand that historically (depending on many variables) the peak of the rut usually falls within a weekish of the autumnal equinox which is September 22, 2014. With that said I know different phases of the rut can present/create many different situations and opportunities so based on your experience when would you hunt? Thanks in advance of your opinions.
    -Introduce someone to the outdoors this year-

    Genesis 27:3 (NLT) "Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me"

  2. #2
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    Dont rely on the moon to tell you when to hunt. It is a factor to an extent, but in all honesty the rut is gonna change in every area every year due to many factors. Some areas bulls just don't talk at all during day, some places they stay silent due to wolves being present. It is about impossible to truly predict the "Best time". You can make an educated guess and go with it, and thats about as close as you will get. I have had elk in full rut during the beginning of september, then the following year in the same location the best action didn't come till first week of October. I have observed this both in Idaho and Wyoming. I personally would rather wait to the later section of September than earlier. Cows can come into a second estrus and I've had incredible rut hunting the third week of October. Each year changes and thats what keeps it interesting. If the area you are going is heavy wolf country, Which in Idaho is nearly everywhere unfortunately, Don't expect the bulls to be screaming all day, they usually shut up and go silent when the dogs are around. So in all that, to somewhat answer your question, I personally would wait to the last weeks of september to go, not the beginning. Much better chance that more bulls will be fired up than if you go earlier.

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    Personally I like the last two weeks of Sept or the last week of Sept and the first week of October. Seems like one of the two or both weeks have some great action.The only problem with Oct where I hunt is there is a really good chance you will get snowed out of the highcountry. That doesn't have to be a bad thing as a lot of the Elk will move to lower elevations.

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    We always bow hunt in Wyoming the last two weeks of September when we get bull tags. Last year the rut was real late and we ended up taking two bulls during rifle season the second week of October and later on October 26th and they were still bugling like we normally see in late September in a normal year.
    Last edited by Topgun 30-06; 03-31-2014 at 09:58 PM.

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    Thanks for the thoughts guys!
    -Introduce someone to the outdoors this year-

    Genesis 27:3 (NLT) "Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me"

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    Another opinion to consider- Most elk hunters focus on the last two weeks of September. I like the first ten days of the season. You have lower hunting pressure and you have better stalking opportunities on trophy bulls. Once those trophy bulls are with a herd of cows, they are extremely difficult to get in range. On September 1st they are usually alone or maybe with a small group that will be easier to approach or set up on. I like water holes and wallows early as well. I have also called in several bulls on opening weekend.

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    Hilltop makes some very good points. Some of the best bowhunters I know usually kill their elk early in Wyoming between Sept 10 and 14. I am a STRONG believer in hunting a dark moon, and in fact plan my deer and elk hunts years in advance to hunt a dark moon. I have never heard someone complain "the moon was too dark", but numerous times "the moon was too bright". You will get less daylight activity during a bright moon, but there are ways to compensate.
    Last edited by Umpqua Hunter; 04-06-2014 at 11:32 AM.
    Grand Slam #1005 + 2: Dall (1986 Yukon), Fannin/Stone (1987 Yukon), Bighorn (1988 Colorado Unit S-26), Stone (1995 British Columbia), Desert (2001 Nevada Unit 161), Bighorn (2009 Wyoming Unit 5)

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  9. #8
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    Best time for me is from 8-15th. I've taken a lot of elk then. Anytime being in the elk woods is a good time I just prefer those dates.

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    I second the dark moon. When its full the elk will keep you awake at night, singing and calling, then clam up and nap all day. The opposite seems to happen when its a new moon, and they sleep a bit more at night, and sing in the AM a lot longer till about mid morning. For me hearing them is key to getting close, vs calling blindly and hoping to get one to come running.

    Both have worked, but it seems to lean more towards getting to them as more successful, vs having them find you.
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  11. #10
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    Awesome info guys, thanks for the feedback!
    -Introduce someone to the outdoors this year-

    Genesis 27:3 (NLT) "Take your bow and a quiver full of arrows, and go out into the open country to hunt some wild game for me"

 

 

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