The Proper Mental Attitude for Successful Elk Hunting
When you leave the comfort (or confinement) of your office, fly across the country, land in Montana then drive into the mountains, are you prepared to take down an Elk? Are you confident not only in your abilities, but mental toughness? Can you walk across miles of rugged terrain, and then have the inner calmness to focus, relax, aim and slowly pull the trigger?
None of that is said as a negative; since hunting Elk can and should be an exhilarating, possibly life-changing experience; something you’ll look to many times over the years. Will this be your first Elk hunt? Have you thought of calmly squeezing the trigger on a seven hundred plus pound animal?
The Five Second Rule
Why is hunting Elk both exhilarating and difficult? One is the terrain, Elk enjoy being in the high difficult to reach places; two is their inherent sense of life and their continued living of same. If they see or sense you, you possibly five seconds before they will disappear, and the miles you walks may have been for naught. Be prepared both mentally and with practice to “”take the shot”” when the time is right. If you’re hesitant, your opportunity will be gone.
Know The Distance
How far can you shoot accurately? We’d all like to say or think we’re the best, but be honest. Can you get a bullseye at two hundred yards? And is that bullseye on a paper target? If it is, then know that when you sight your Elk, your blood will be pumping, you’re emotions will be taunt, your finger may twitch, breath, relax, squeeze slowly for the kill. Even with that and even with experience taking aim at an Elk more than two yards out is a fool’s shot; and I know you are not fool. Instead of taking a shot at three hundred yards plus, and possibly missing or wounding the animal, improve your hunting skills and move closer.
The One Shot Kill
Are you on the hunt for Elk or bragging rights? Now I’m not saying a bit of braggadocios is bad, but “”one shot kills”” are not the norm. If your rifle has a good rest, and your site line clear enough for the first shot, then take a second shot too. Better to be certain your Elk is dead, then tracking him for two days; that’s no fun for either of you. Your shot may be perfectly placed right behind the shoulder, but if you can take the follow-up shot, experience has proven that is the right call.
You’re in their domain, so when either skill or luck gives you an edge, take advantage and make your shot (both shots) count. One thing is certain, if you find yourself tracking a wounded animal, each mile will seem longer and longer, and the trip back to camp like a million miles.
The Primeval Call
Elk are an animal with strength and cunning for preservation that verges on supernatural. From the throated primeval bugles to the aggressing ruts, an Elk is a spectacular hunt. Learn to utilize finesse, skill and patience and your hunt will be the memory (and trophy) of a lifetime.