How To Locate Elk?

In this situation, topo excels. Look for benches, or breaks in the steepness, in the terrain that elk frequently inhabit. These will manifest as…

Find Elk with a Truck or UTV

I think of myself as being the hardest-core hunter there is when it comes to elk. I have spent weeks at a time in the backcountry and spend the whole offseason keeping my mind and body in top physical condition. But in recent years, I’ve found that using my truck helps me find more elk.

I use the access roads, use glass, and search for signs. Additionally, by driving out on a point that divides two drainages and making a few calls, I’ve been able to get a lot of bulls to bugle. Elk are, as I said previously, where you find them. Due to their inability to comprehend why an elk would be that close to a road, many hunters pass suitable holes containing an elk. They might be. My elk hunting friends and I arrowed three bulls in 72 hours on public land in Colorado three years ago, and all but one of them were situated close to a main road system.

Creating a strategy for attack

I return to using the unit boundaries in conjunction with Google Earth to create a strategy for how I want to approach the area. I try to choose locations that will place me two to three miles from roads or ATV tracks in unpopulated areas. Next, I check to see if the location has the three necessities for elk survival: food, water, and cover/bedding sites.

Since I never know what the pressure will truly be when I arrive or if the region is devoid of elk, I attempt to select four or five spots like this. Even while “feet to the ground” scouting is the best and I highly recommend it, this approach works great for busy hunters because they don’t have time for vacations.


Hunting during the rut has its advantages and disadvantages. Elks’ lives might be completely turned upside down at this time of year. Bulls frequently keep their cows moving in an effort to escape other bulls. Patterning them can be challenging at times. The herd may decide to move in the daytime instead of sleeping.

During the rut, listening for bugles is the greatest way to locate elk. Bull elk will bugle at one another to keep track of one another. Bulls will bugle not just when the herd is eating, but also when they are bedded. I’ve discovered that the best method for finding elk during the rut is sometimes to listen for bugles. To attempt and entice bulls to start “talking,” I might bugle in addition to my elk call. Finding elk with this method is possible, but excessive calling may make a bull become silent. Then he could assemble his harem and depart. I hardly bugle and pay close attention.

How do I locate and follow an elk?

Find paths in open areas like parks and other sunny clearings in the forest. Only at night do elk feed and sleep in these exposed locations, pawing through light snow to look for sedges. Although the animals will have left before dawn, there is a fair probability that you will discover new tracks when it first light. Move a few yards back into the timber in order to sort through the jumble of prints you will discover there. Here, you may isolate particular animal bands because this is where the trails converge.

What to watch out for during elk scouting?

Finding suitable hunting grounds and the surrounding area is the first step in the E-scouting process. You may examine Draw Unit and OTC/General area borders by installing a GPS app like HuntWise. Using mapping layers, you can see county boundaries, government-owned land, and landowner boundaries with owner contact details. Consider regions that adjoin private properties or restricted areas while planning your hunt because they can experience less pressure. On the boundaries, you can sometimes find the best hunting.

How can one locate a suitable elk habitat?

In addition to the abundance of grass, elk prefer grassy ridges near waterlogged creek bottoms because the ridges’ wood provides them with pathways from their food source to their bedding areas. Early in the day and later in the day are the times to look for them there. The best place to wait for elk is close to a ridge since you’ll be able to tell they’ve been there if you see fresh traces.

Elk are able to remain in one place?

Elk are nocturnal creatures, therefore a bull’s “day” will start in the late afternoon. He will get out of his bed in the dense wood, frequently on a hill to the north. He will slowly make his way through the woods as dusk falls, feeding along the way. The bull will often stay in the shadows while the sun is still up as he makes his way to a drinking well or his preferred meadow to graze for the night.

Bull elk may drink from a seep in a distant canyon, a muddy puddle made by recent rain, streams, rivers, lakes, or water tanks set up for domestic cattle, depending on availability and perceived threat.

Elk will feed and interact with one another all through the night, either remaining in the same meadow all night or lazily moving to another meadow if the whim strikes.

Bull elk will begin moving toward a bedding place as the night transforms into day and the sun rises over the mountain tops, maybe stopping along the way for water. Bull elk frequently select the same general place to nap during the day when not disturbed by hunting pressure or other circumstances.

Up until the rut, both bull and cow elk typically exhibit the behaviors indicated below. The rut has a huge impact on habit change, as we’ll see in the following section.

Where can I find elk sheds the easiest?

Elk shed hunting is best done on south-facing hills with at least some vegetation. Don’t disregard, though, slopes that face north and dense forests. Elk frequently do this on slopes that face north because they enjoy sleeping in the trees. In locations where elk feed, play, and fight with one another, look for sheds.

Where can I hunt elk at the cheapest price?

Historically, Idaho has been one of the more affordable states for non-residents to shoot elk, and for the rest of 2020, the cost of an archery elk license/tag remains at just $586.

Where do elk spend the day hiding?

Elk don’t spend their nights lounging on day beds. Hunt during the day in lodgepole pine or Douglas fir second growth forests. Elk choose to sleep high on north slopes in warm weather where the forest is dense but the breezes keep the flies at bay. Elk prefer to forage in the open, primarily in the morning and evening.

Elk hunting without calling is possible.

I would always advise getting as close as you can without calling while trying to close the distance on a bull. The elk will have plenty of time and be able to continue its regular activities after a successful stalk inside bow range. The bull won’t have any motive to divert his cows from their usual course if he is unaware that you are there, which can occasionally happen if you bugle in their direction. Always be aware of the wind and thermal direction, the cover and terrain between you and the elk, their direction of travel, the number of animals in the area, and the wind and thermal direction. There is a greater likelihood that you will be caught on your stalk if there are more elk since there are more eyes. However, a mature bull can be taken quite successfully with a well-thought-out silent stalk.

Where are elk found? what elevation?

In particular in northern zones, summer herds tend to cluster in large numbers but may disperse before shooting season. While rifle hunters may camp at 8,000 feet for the same elk if snow forces them there, September bowhunters may pursue bulls above 10,000 feet.

What height do you hunt elk at?

Although the slopes can go straight up and down, you can often hunt these elk at heights lower than 1500 feet. From the perspective of private versus public lands, getting to them can be difficult, but there are also many logging roads available.

Why is hunting elk so difficult?

Deer are easier to hunt than elk. Elk are larger than deer. Elk have higher muscular mass than deer because of this size disparity. Because of this, elk are able to go farther and quicker than any other deer.

What frightens elk?

According to a recent study, elk see humans as predators and react with greater dread when humans are present.

The researchers reported their findings in the PLOS ONE journal. In Alberta, Canada, scientists looked at elk (Cervus canadensis). The findings came from an investigation that followed 424 herds and 870 individuals over the course of a year on public, private, and protected lands. From a secure distance, the scientists observed the animals and noted their behavior. Even more than natural predators like wolves, cougars, and grizzly bears, the researchers discovered that humans were the main cause of the elk’s disturbance.

Elk soon entered a state of alert vigilance when they came into contact with people, especially on public lands where hunting and ATV use were authorized. It just took one car passing every two hours to cause this behavior, which interferes with feeding and makes females less capable of reproducing.

According to Simone Ciuti, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Alberta and the primary author, “Humans are playing the same function as a natural predator, but perhaps at even greater levels.” Ciuti and her colleagues intend to look into the effects that various human activities, such hunting and trekking, have on the behavior of the animals. They also intend to determine whether this holds true for animals like the caribou (Rangifer tarandus), which may provide light on the animal’s recent decrease.

When are elk most active during the day?

Location: Elk can be found in a range of environments, including forested areas, alpine meadows, and valleys in the desert. They used to dwell across most of the United States and Canada, but since European settlement, they have tended to concentrate in the mountainous areas of western North America.

Solunar Calendar: John Alden Knight postulated in 1926 that animal movement is influenced by the moon’s position and degree of fullness. Before Knight’s idea was published, it was rumored that hunters and fishers employed this theory, which is still extensively used today.

Peak rut season usually begins around the first day of fall and lasts until the first half of October, though elevation and latitude have a little impact.

If you want to bring home a trophy bull from your hunt, now is the finest time of year to do it.

Elk, like many other animals, are most active in the morning and the evening. During the rut, midday hunts might be successful, but if you want to see the most activity, aim for dawn and dark.

Temperature: Because elk can survive extremely cold temperatures, hunting is usually best later in the season. Elk will seek refuge from the heat in woodland areas or shaded hiding places on prolonged hot days. They are compelled by the heat to feed when it is cooler—at night or around twilight.

Elk, like white-tailed deer, are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure. When a storm or cold front is approaching, they become more active due to the lowering air pressure.

Elk are accustomed to sudden and drastic shifts in the weather, but hunters might not be as ready. You may be in the midst of a violent downpour one moment while the skies are clear the next. Make sure you’re ready to endure all types of weather if you want to improve your chances of snagging that prize elk.

Wind: When elk hunting, wind ought to be one of your primary considerations. They have excellent hearing and vision, but their sense of smell is superior. You won’t get much benefit from cover odours when pursuing these animals. To avoid having your scent frighten them, your best strategy is to keep the wind in your face.