Archery Elk Hunting
Elk are huge animals. Most hunters don’t realize just how big they are until they see them live for the first time. To be successful at archery elk hunting you need to be a good shot. You also need to understand the animal; where they walk, where they like to feed, where they drink and their habits. Understanding your prey is the first step in the journey to becoming successful in archery elk hunting.
All animals need to drink, so any fresh water source is a good place to set up camp. If you wait near their water source, they’re bound to show up sooner or later. They also tend to linger around the densest treed areas of the region.
Elk feed on grass and some berries, such as strawberries, snowberries and blackberries. Finding these food sources could be your first step in creating a stand. Where the food is, the elk will follow.
You can also set up a stand on the ground or in a tree. You might have to sit in that stand for hours, so you should make sure it has everything you need and is comfortable enough. Try setting up several stands and alternating between them, that way you give each stand time to “”air out.”” Human scent can linger for days, and elk will tend to avoid such places.
Since elk are so big, you also need a bow that packs a considerable punch. Your arrows should be big enough to make a clean kill, and you need to practice long hours to develop the skill needed to make a good enough shot to kill them.
When practicing to shoot an elk, make sure you are wearing the same gear you’ll be wearing when you’re in the field. Shooting a bow clad in heavy coats and camouflage is a whole lot different than firing while wearing a T-shirt. This small difference could mean the difference between a successful shot and a failed one.
When archery elk hunting, some hunters use a cow call, or a method called bugling, which works well when the animals are in heat and rutting. Most hunters of elk will recommend using the cow call.
Archery elk hunting can be a daunting task. They are huge animals and you have to be a good enough shot to kill it quickly. Learn the vital parts and only make a shot when you’re almost sure to make a good one.
Getting Started With Elk Hunting
Take Colorado for instance. Its home to a large range of wild animals and contains numerous gorgeous mountain ranges. Elk hunting proves to be among the most beloved activities in this state. It’s a test of skill, physical aptitude, and patience. Yet in utilizing the proper location, the best point in the year, and with the correct gear, nearly any sportsman will enjoy a victorious hunt.
The right gear is necessary so that you can fill your tags, in practically all endeavors. The sex of the elk that you are after, as well as the season of the year that it is, will determine the kind of elk call necessary. A large range of Elk calls exist, from squeezable calls, to small mouth calls, to electronic calls. A bugle might be required to achieve the necessary superior sound quality, where bulls are concerned. Often ignored, scent is important in hunting elk. You must attempt to hide the human smell contained on your clothes. Yet, the smell of a cow in heat’s urine may bring the large bull elk to you.
The season you seek to hunt elk in matters too. Elk experience a variety of different rut phases. Typically going from mid-August until the first week in September, the first type is the pre-rut. Bulls begin to show their dominance and velvet sheds from the horns. Second is the primary breeding stage, and this bugling attains its highest point from the first to the third week of September. Following the primary breeding stage is the first resting stage, and this goes from the second week of September until the first week of October. At this season, the bulls are having a break from breeding, chasing cows, and fighting. After the break ends, bulls start the second breeding point, which goes from the first to the third week of October. As previously, this stage is followed by yet a second resting stage beginning following the third week of October. Lastly comes a final breeding stage running from late October until early November. In this stage, the bull elk turn out to be less aggressive, and they prove to be more difficult to bring in with a call.
The location that you choose to hunt proves to be a second critical facet for a victorious hunt. Colorado possesses among the finest hunting environments in all North America. It contains a large variety of mountainous regions to travel and areas which are appropriately called “”trophy units””. Fewer hunters and bigger bull elk occupy a “”trophy unit””.
Scouting out the locale that you plan to hunt in advance of the fall hunting season always turns out to be a smart plan. So prepare early for a fall hunt.
Hunting Elk can be challenging. And yet, with the proper gear, the best location, and in the right season, any hunter is able to have a victorious and secure hunting experience.
The Bear Facts – Your Options When Hunting Bear
Most hunters begin their hunting adventures by pursuing locally available species. Depending on your geographic location, these typically include mule deer, whitetail deer, elk and all types of waterfowl and upland game birds. As we start to tick off our “”bucket list”” of huntable game, our interest eventually turns to bear hunting. There are several species of bear to hunt, but here are the most popular, in no particular order:
1. Black Bear:
The name Black bear is really a misnomer as this bear comes in several colors, not just black. Color phases include blond, brown and cinnamon. The most populous of all the bears, it is estimated that their population is twice that of all other bears combined. Common in all areas of North America, this is a great choice to begin your bear hunting career with. Professional bear hunting outfitters are abundant, and many areas have multiple bear limits. Expect to pay $2,500 for inland bears, up to $6,000 for big Coastal black bear.
2. Brown Bear:
These behemoths are truly the king of bears, rivaling the Polar bear as the largest member of the bear family. Distributed through much of Northern Eurasia and North America, this bruin can grow to 1,700 pounds and in excess of 10′ tall. With population estimates of 200,000 these bear are plentiful and are one of the most stunning trophies any bear hunter can have. Look to Alaska and Russia for the best Brown Bear hunting. Expect to pay $9,000 to $12,000 for one of these giants.
3. Grizzly Bear:
Actually a subspecies of the Brown Bear, this bruin is found in the interior areas of North America. The term Grizzly bear comes from the distinctive brown coats with gray or “”grizzled”” tips on the end. Smaller than the coastal Brown Bear, the Grizzly bear typically weighs about 800 pounds and stands 8-9 feet tall. Highly adaptable, the Grizzly can be found in mountain pine forests, temperate rain forests and arid scrubland. Look to British Columbia for great Grizzly hunting and expect to pay $8,000 to $10,000 with a reputable outfitter.
4. Polar Bear:
The least populous of our huntable bears, this giant is found only in the Arctic Circle and is the largest of all the bears. With its elongated skull, adapted for hunting seals in open air holes, this bear is born on land, but most comfortable at sea. It’s scientific name actually means “”maritime bear””. Polar bear hides are not currently importable into the United States due to CITES restrictions. Hunting of Polar bears has been sharply curtailed over the past few years, and finding a current hunting outfitter can be difficult. Costs for this bear will run in the $30,000 range, but could be higher.
Well that is a quick rundown of your choices for all you new, and you old, bear hunters. Check out our quality bear outfitters to find the bear hunt you have been dreaming about.
Remember, time in the field is a gift. Savor it!
Until next time, Happy Hunting.
Get an elk into your crosshairs during a rifle elk hunting expedition
If you were passionate about hunting with a powerful rifle but did not think that it was possible anymore then you need to think again. You can enjoy hunting elk with a rifle in several states in the USA and fulfill your lifelong dream of getting an elk into your crosshairs during a rifle elk hunting expedition.
Elk are large animals that can weight between 350 to 1000 pounds but they are also very agile when alert. You will need to practice your shooting skills if you want a clean shot and fell an elk with your first shot. There are several types of rifles to choose from such as the .270, .280, .300, 7 mm, etc. You will also require a matching rifle scope so as to get the elk within the crosshairs before you pull the trigger. You will also need to encounter an extremely cold or slightly warm climate when you are on a rifle elk hunt since you will need to climb up around 6000 to 10000 feet above sea level to locate these elusive animals. Warm clothing, tents and waterproof sleeping bags are also a must on such expeditions.
You need not worry if you do not have the required equipment for turning your dream into reality. A specific search over the internet will provide you with several sites that offer a wide array of services for newbie hunters. You can get much of the equipment on rent although you should make sure that you get comfortable in handling a rifle so that there are no serious accidents or misses during your rifle elk hunt. In addition, you can also practice calling elk by bugling or making cow calls so that a bull elk walks within range. You will certainly need permits from local game or forest authorities. Thus it would be better to engage the services of an efficient outfitter or guide so that your paperwork is in order before your hunt begins.
While shooting elk from around 200 yards is quite normal, you should also practice by shooting targets that are around 450 yards away. This will provide you with the expertise needed to down a bull with a single shot that passes through its lungs. You might also be allowed to take your children on such hunts and they too are sure to love stalking an elk. But care should be taken that they are always far away from any rifle while ensuring that they too are outfitted with the right equipment including ear muffs. Your rifle elk adventure will be a success if you take adequate precautions, make advance arrangements and manage to stalk or ambush a huge bull before shooting it down with your rifle. You can hunt elk in many states across America such as Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Washington, etc, although you will need to ensure that your guide is conversant with local hunting laws. You will also be able to shoot only during certain months of the year such as in October, November, June, etc depending on the state and their laws.
Your dream to mount an elk head on your living room wall along with a matching story can turn into reality when you look into your rifle crosshairs while hunting for elk in a designated area. With the help of an expert outfitter or guide your rifle elk hunting expedition will surely reward you with a clean shot as you pull the trigger and watch an elk take a bullet in its flanks.
Antler Art Brings Nature Indoors
Bring the nature of outdoors indoors with antler art. The Michigan artisan creates several antler items that make great nature accessories for your home, lodge, cabin or business. Each antler art piece is unique and special. Many are available for purchase or you can work with the antler artisan to create a one of a kind custom antler piece using your own antler sheds. Chandeliers, finials, lamps, shelves, wall sconces, wine racks and cork-pullers are some of the artisans favorite pieces to create.
A chandelier is an antler light fixture that includes your choice of twelve, ten or eight antler sheds. The light bulbs range from eight to four and they are Leviton sockets that are enclosed by the antler itself. The chandeliers are typically twenty five inches wide, twenty three inches tall and around thirty pounds total weight. All the wiring is internally sealed within the antler shell so that the chandelier makes an amazing light fixture and beautiful display for any home, lodge, cabin or business!
The finials range from angled antlers to burrs and mushrooms. Whitetail deer antlers and Mule deer antlers are used for single and double angular antler sheds. Antlers can also be shaved down to morels, which are tall button mushrooms and act as a finishing touch to a lamp. The finials can also be polished and stained black to give it a sharp and more detailed style. The finials have internal female threads that fit any standard size lamp as they are considered universal size threads. These custom finials make a great accent to rustic decor in any space!!
The artisan has also creates unique antler lamps that are truly amazing. The shade on the antler lamp consists of paper and faux leather that is stitched around the top and wrapped around the bottom. The scene on the lamp shade is rustic and features a moose and a bear with a scattering of some trees and a few birds flying above. The pull chain is an actual tip of an antler and adds to the creativity of the lamp. The lamps typically measure approximately twenty three inches high, however, each piece is unique. In addition, the artisan has utilized wood and paired it with antler sheds to create lamps with a wood base and wood stem. These lamps are great decorative art pieces as they assist to bring nature indoors.
The antler artisan creates shelves made of wood and antler sheds as well. The Michigan Black Poplar wood slabs are cured for a long length of time and then angle cut to prevent any splitting of the wood, as it provides the backdrop to the shelf to bring more nature to your decor. A smaller round wood piece is then used as a single (or double if preferred) shelf with an angled antler shed acting as the pillar(s). These antler shelves make great art pieces for your wall as well as hold picture frames, displays or knickknacks.
Light wall sconces made of antlers and wood are another specialty of the artisan. The artisan designed a matching pair of wall sconces that possess four bulbs and four antler sheds. The Leviton sockets are wrapped within the antler casing for a polished look. In addition to the pair of sconces, the artisan has created a wall sconce that actually resembles a lamp on the wall with a wood background and antlers wrapped around the lamp shade. Both styles of the antler wall sconces make beautiful rustic lighting displays.
For those that enjoy wine, the antler artisan has created an antler wine cork puller and a wine rack for safe wine bottle storage. The wine cork puller is made of Whitetail deer antlers and is a single shed that is attached to a corkscrew. The wine rack is created with Elk, Whitetail Deer and Mule Deer antler sheds. The antlers are designed in a way to hold several wine bottles, some upside down to allow wine to remain within the punt. As a final detail, the artisan added polished Elk burrs to finish the piece.
Each antler piece is unique in size, shape and color due to the nature of antler growth on the animals. Because of this, these antler pieces are considered collectibles and are also viewed as art in addition to the practical purpose that each piece serves to the consumer. Each antler piece is amazing and special because they allow nature’s beauty indoors!
Game Cameras for Elk Scouting
As any elk hunter knows, the key to a successful hunt is knowing where the elk are at the moment. Since elk are, by nature, a nomadic creature, this is crucial information. It used to be that you would simply walk into the area, look for good sign, post yourself and wait. Sometimes, you may go all day without even a sighting.
The game camera has changed all that and is a vital tool for successful elk scouting. Using them is a science and, yes, there are right and wrong ways to use them. I hope these tips help you bag that big bull, either for the first time or many times to come.
First, elk scouting needs to be done some time in advance. Go into the field and search out fresh signs of activity. The best evidence to look for is fresh droppings and tracks mixed with older of the same. This tells you the elk are still there and moving around a bit. Do this as much as possible so you know where to place your game camera.
Concentrate more on watering areas and food sources rather than highly used trails. I know that sounds counter-productive, but here’s why. If, during your elk scouting excursions, place the game camera on a high traffic trail, guess what other hunters are doing? You got it. They see it too and you will probably find several of them set up if you look hard enough.
By concentrating on lesser used water holes and food sources, the elk are more likely to be stopping for a minute allowing your game camera to snap their photo. Likewise, stick to secondary trails and really look for signs of habitation. Stay away from bedding areas and such as this will only drive the elk way if they sense danger may have presented itself.
Next is placement of the game camera. Be sure to mount the camera around waist height and away from the sun’s rising or setting positions. Radiant heat could cause the camera to snap blank pics. After you have placed the camera, wipe it down with a good scent blocker or eliminator. Human scent will cause elk to leave an area for good and will attract more aggressive animals like bears. Not a good thing to have bears hanging around your hunting spot, is it?
One big worry for the elk scouting game camera enthusiast is thieves. This is a main reason I say stick to secondary trails and lesser trafficked water and food sources. Use a protective cover that disguises your camera. Locks are also available to deter thieves.
In doing all of this, when the time comes for the hunt to begin, you will have inside information on where the elk are at, when they are there and what they are doing. Especially important if you hunt areas that are extremely cold is that you can know what time of day elk are moving through the areas you have scouted.
All in all, using a game camera for elk scouting increases your possibility of a successful hunt by at least 50%. Get a game camera or two and go bag that bull! Good luck!
Some Bowhunting Tips For Beginners
Bowhunting is a sport that has really emerged and become popular in just the last 60 years or so. Many sportsmen enjoy bowhunting because it is far more challenging than simply taking a rifle out and shooting an animal at 100 yards or more distance. Here are some bowhunting tips that may improve the experience for beginners.
Choose the bow that is right for you. Bows come in different styles. Longbows have been in use since the dawn of time. Recurve and composite recurve bows were invented in the mid twentieth century. These do not have the effective range of a longbow, but within their range, they are more accurate and more powerful. Compound bows, the latest advance in bow making, use pulleys and cams to both multiply the force exerted on the arrow when the string is released and to provide a let off of tension when the bow is drawn to its full length that aids the hunter in aiming because he can hold the bow in firing position longer if necessary.
Choose arrows that are right for your bow. Different bows have different draw lengths. It is important to choose arrows that are of a length that closely matches the draw length of the bow. Too long and the arrows will tend to drop off too soon after being fired. Too short and the archer loses some of the power of the bow by not being able to draw it to its full length.
Know the requirements for arrowheads for the type of game you are planning to hunt. Many states have specific requirements for broad heads to be used when hunting big game such as deer, elk, or bear. The fines imposed for not using the right heads on the arrows are too expensive to by justified by not knowing the rules.
Practice with your bow and arrows frequently. It is impossible to put your bow away at the end of archery season and ignore it the rest of the year and hope to be able to hit where you aim with the first shot after an extended period. Practicing during the off season assures that if you are presented with an opportunity, you will be able to make a clean kill.
Spend some time in the woods where you plan to hunt all through the year. If you only scout the areas right before the beginning of season and decide where to put a stand, you miss out on several opportunities to practice your stalking skills. These are essential to the bow hunter because the effective range of the bow is normally not over 60 yards. Optimal range is within 30 yards.
Purchase some scent neutralizers for your clothing and your body. The sense of smell possessed by almost any animal that is hunted with archery equipment is hundreds of times more acute than a human’s. They also have better hearing and many have sharper sight. This makes it very difficult to stalk an animal without him becoming aware of your presence. Deer are actually allergic to the smell of humans. This is why they snort when the scent you. They are actually sneezing.
Learn how to judge the direction the wind is coming from and always hunt across the wind or upwind. Any animal downwind of you will know you are there long before you could hope to know their whereabouts. Work hard on all your outdoors skills in order to become good at stalking.
Five Top Hiking Spots in Colorado
Hiking in Colorado can be the foundation of a real adventure, and this happens because you will feel totally immersed in your surroundings. When you walk the trails and footpaths that crisscross the area, you can see its beauty, feel its culture, and gain a sense of its history. If this is something that you would like to do, why not plan on visiting one of the five locations mentioned below?
Located in Estes Park, it is a spectacular U-shaped canyon carved by glaciers long ago. The first point of interest on your hike will be Alberta Falls, where Glacier Creek cascades down for about 25 feet, and the waterfall is pretty, although it is not particularly high. Then, the trail will lead you to a spectacular view of Mills Lake and the parks highest summit, Longs Peak. If you have a wide-angle lens, you will definitely want to take a picture, especially if you are there in the morning.
This wilderness area is known for its jagged peaks and serrated ridges, and their dramatic shapes were also sculpted by glacier activity. It includes a few remnant glaciers that some consider to be among the most permanent glaciers in North America. Nearly 50 turquoise lakes dot the area, formed in the rock debris from receding glaciers, and many are only a short distance from trailheads that can be accessed easily.
The trail to the summit rises from the east, circles to the north, and then goes up the western side of the mountain. At one point, you can view both the James Peak and Indian Peaks Wilderness areas. Along with Elk Meadows, its eastern slopes consist of meadows and open grasslands on the lower elevations, and deer and elk can be found in the ponderosa pine forests above, with scattered aspen groves and dense forests of fir trees on the higher levels.
Here mountain climbers and hikers begin their challenging ascent by 3 a.m. because of the thunderstorms that often pound the Colorado mountains later on in the day. A view to the northeast reveals The Diamond, a 1,700-foot cliff face, and the summit is nearly spacious enough for a professional football game. Most hikers choose the Keyhole route, and the others are only recommended for experienced hikers.
Canyon Loop Trail
This a fine “”nature trail”” where a variety of plants and animals can be seen, and it is also the most popular trail in the Pikes Peak District because of its scenic views and abundant wildlife. Along the way, interpretive signs and stations can be seen that reflect the geological history of Waldo Canon.
Antelope Hunting, Spot and Stalk With a Bow
Spot and Stalk Antelope (archery) Over the years spot and stalk bow hunting for antelope has become more and more popular on what used to be what was thought and almost impossible animal to stalk within bow range. This has been brought about mainly by improvements in equipment ie: bows that can shoot out to longer ranges more accurately and with more kinetic energy, better flying arrows, and more precise broad heads etc.
However, a well trained and seasoned hunter is still needed to wield this new technology. So what we aim to accomplish in this article is to give you some tools/tips ON HOW TO GET CLOSER, HOW TO SHOOT FURTHER AND HOW TO STAY CONCEALED UP TO YOUR SHOT.
How to get closer: An antelope’s main defense is his eyes (said to be equal to a human with 8X binos), so he will hang out in the wide open where there is no cover from brush or trees. However the landscape they live in is usually filled with rolling hills, drainages and even tall grass. These hills and drainages are your best friend. The key to spot and stalk is choosing bucks that are located in high percentage locations.
1) look for bucks that are hanging around areas which have hills or structural cover that you know you can stay behind long enough to get within range. 2) Find bedded bucks facing away from your approach. Look for bucks hanging below ridges or in drainages so you may ATTACK from above. Once you have located your buck begin your stalk. Find the path that will give you the most cover. Don’t be afraid to take the long way around he will still be there when you get there. You can cover ground quickly up until the last 150 to 200 yards then you must move slow an quite.
Wind is a concern but not nearly as bad as deer, if you are wearing a good concealment product (I suggest Huntech’s “”No Stinky””) you should be ok even if the wind is not in your favor. I walk as long as I can behind my cover but as soon as I feel like a glimpse of me may break the horizon I begin to crawl and the closer I get to lower I get until I am belly crawling. I will continue to belly crawl at a steady rate until I have made a visual of my target. Once I have a visual I try and take my first yardage reading, from this measurement I devise my plan. If the buck is to far for a high percentage shot I move closer but very deliberately a couple of feet every couple of minutes until I can
1) get close enough and 2) Find my shooting cover. Shooting cover is generally a larger sage brush or rock of some sort. Then I wait for him to be looking in the other direction or have his head down to feed before I do a concealed draw and raise up to shoot. How to shoot Most of us practice shooting our bows at 30-40 from a standing position which in my opinion gives little or no real life practice in any situation because you are almost never standing, your always sitting or kneeling. Anyway, if you want to be successful you must practice 50-70 yards and from a kneeling or sitting position. If I am hunting game that I know that a high percentage of my opportunities will be at 60+ yards I will practice at 90 yards.
1) it gives me confidence, there is noting worse then losing confidence in the field. 2) to it helps me fine tune and understand my equipment better 3) it builds the muscles needed to stay steady at that range which ultimately makes me more accurate at any lesser range. After I have tuned my bow in a 30 yard indoor range to ensure accuracy, I do most of my practicing in the field in real life situations from an elevated position, seated kneeling, trough brush, behind trees, rocks, etc. For antelope hunting I practice belly crawling up and working myself into a position I can shoot from and taking less time to get my shot off.
Also I practice drawing back while I’m still down low or even while lying on my back. It is very difficult and takes great muscle strength and control to lye flat on your back, draw, and raise your self up slowly using your stomach muscles, acquire the target and shoot accurately from a seated position. The kneeling position is a bit easier on the muscles but it gives up your concealment a bit earlier. You start by lying on your draw arm side with the opposite leg out. Straighten out your bow arm and tuck your draw side leg under your butt so that when you raise up you will be in a low kneeling position. Draw back with bow perpendicular to the ground and slowly lift up acquire and shoot.
Field Care of Your Game Meat – What You Do Affects What You Taste
Many people will tell you that venison (elk, deer, moose, antelope) is too “”gamey”” to eat, and that hunters only eat it to justify our sport. I will be the first to admit that some game meat that I have eaten is gamey, and almost inedible. Consider what your beef would taste like if you ran it for 400 yards before shooting it, then drug it through the mud back to your camp, didn’t field dress it for 24 hours, and then threw it in the back of your truck and drove 8 hours to the butcher. Chances are, it would be a bit “”gamey”” as well. Therefore here are a few tips for all us hunters to properly care for that trophy to insure it tastes as good as we know it can:
1. Make a Clean Shot:
This is the first, and most important step to insure that your game meat is tasty. An animal that has been wounded immediately begins pumping adrenaline which ultimately will affect the taste of your meat. Be sure of your shot. Practice so that when your opportunity comes you can be successful and make an ethical shot on that trophy elk or deer.
2. Keep it Clean:
During your field dressing make sure to keep your meat as clean as possible. Keep hair and dirt away from the meat as much as possible. Make sure the bladder and intestines stay in tact and do not contaminate the meat. While this is not always possible, take your time when field dressing your game and your results will be tasted at the dinner table.
3. Cool Your Meat Quickly:
This is very important to preserving the quality of your venison. Once you have field dressed your elk, deer, or bear, prop the chest cavity open to increase cooling of the interior body cavity. As soon as possible, skin the hide off your trophy which will also increase cooling of the meat. If you are going to skin your trophy in the field, take care not to contaminate it with dirt and other debris while working through your skinning process.
4. Keep it Dry:
Nothing will spoil meat quicker than rain or drizzle beating down on your game meat. Locate your meat pole in a protected area and make sure to cover it with a tarp or some other rain resistant cover. This will insure that your meat cools properly while still being protected from the spoiling effects of rain. Rain creates the “”sour”” taste sometimes associated with deer and elk.
5. Use a Reputable Meat Processor:
There is nothing worse than taking all the precautions mentioned above to insure that your game is tasty and delicious, then taking it to a meat processing center that mixes your game with all other hunters game. Inquire as to the procedure for insuring that your deer, elk or antelope is designated as the meat you receive after processing.
As always, if you have any other great tips for insuring that your game meat is the best it can be, feel free to comment and leave your suggestions.
Remember, time in the field is a gift…savor it!
Until next time, Happy Hunting.