Elk hunting is one of the most popular forms of big game hunting. And just like when you go hunting for big animals, it can be a very challenging task to hunt an elk down. This is especially true when you are a new hunter and have a limited knowledge in this area. Nevertheless, if with proper techniques, a lot of practice session and the understanding about this species’ habitat and behavior, it isn’t a hard task at all. In case you are interested in hunting this big game, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will give you some of the most essential and useful techniques on how to hunt elk effectively.
Here is what you need to know on how to hunt elk
Decide Which Equipment You Should Use
First of all, you should think about what hunting weapon you are going to use to hunt an elk down. You can use a wide variety of weapons in this case including a high-powered rifle, a shotgun or a pistol. Also, you should do a lot of researchers well before you make a purchase. The right hunting tool should match your shooting skills as well as being suitable to hunt down a big animal like the elk.
Choosing a long range rifle might benefit you with long-range shooting. However, it will slow down your step and make you feel tired quicker. Therefore, it is better to have a lightweight rifle of up to 9 pounds maximum and get as close to the target as you can.
Make sure the weapon that you are going to use is acceptable by law.
Make Sure You Practice Shooting And Exercise
Elk hunting requires you to walk a lot as well as stalking and to make a quick decision. To hunt effectively, you should practice shooting in both short range and long range. Also, you should practice in different positions as well namely standing, sitting and off hand shooting. Make sure you can shot precisely will help you have as many humane shots as possible.
As I mentioned above, you have to walk a lot, carrying a heavy load. Also, elk can move fast in a vast area. Therefore, it is crucial that your fitness is ready for the elk hunting session. Therefore, make sure you exercise- walking, jogging or gym training. This way, you can get into a good shape and have the best stamina for the task.
Bring Necessary Equipment
Besides hunting tools and weapon, you also need to prepare some other items including clothes, binoculars, and calls. This will help you to hunt elk effectively.
Your clothes can be in brown or green color or have camouflage pattern. You should not wear clothes in blue or white color. In busy seasons, you should wear a solid orange hat or vest to be recognizable.
You should prepare a day pack including essential items such as first aid kit, knives, drink, and snacks.
Furthermore, you should use a binoculars or spotting tools which enables you to spot elk from long range. For enhancing your calculation about the distance between you and the target, you can use a rangefinder.
Calls are also an effective tool to draw the elk closer to your shooting distance. Most of the calls on the market are mouth calls, which you need to blow into the device to make a sound. You should prepare both of a bull call and a cow call, just in case.
Plan The Time
When you decide to go elk hunting will contribute a great deal to the success of your hunting trip. The most suitable season could be during breeding season ranging from late September to October when male elk’s bugling can be heard. It is the time when you can also use a bull call to attract elk to your spot.
Going for elk hunting later is fine, but it would take you longer to locate an elk.
You can also go hunting in late November. During the time, the elk move from a higher area to a lower one when it is getting colder.
Spot The Elk
Hunting for elk requires a lot of spotting and stalking. You can spot for one by using your binoculars or listening to elk bugling during their mating season. Moreover, you might have to spot and locate an elk a few days before the hunting begins.
Get close to the target as quietly as possible to the shooting distance. Make sure that the wind is on your face and in the opposite direction towards your aim to avoid it from noticing human’s scent. It is very sensitive towards strange smell and become alerted quickly.
Elk will not go a far distance during a day. They might come back to the same spot for feeding or sheltering. In the summer, it is a good tactic to spot for elk around the water source.
Make The Shot
When an elk is within your range, you should ensure that it is safe to shot before pulling your trigger. Don’t shoot if you are unaware of other surroundings. Look past the elk to see if there is any other human or animal behind it.
Remember that since elk is a big animal, it can sustain some of the shots before falling. When you see the shot animal standing after the shot, shot again until it falls.
It’s a hunt!
It is not easy, sometimes challenging for you to hunt down an elk. But the challenge is very worthwhile in the end. With patience, skills, and proper techniques, I’m sure that you will know how to hunt elk without much difficulty and bring home a lot of prizes in the future. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask other experienced hunters questions about elk hunting. They would probably like to have you out, and you can learn much more quickly when you go hunting with some experts.