The good thing about catching an early-morning flight to Denver is that the plane was landing as the sun was breaking on the eastern horizon. Another short flight to the northwest corner of the state put me less than an hour's drive from my elk adventure for the next five days. With the special elk license I had under the Ranching For Wildlife program, I was able to hunt during the September rut. Though I could have brought a big magnum centerfire rifle, I opted to use a muzzleloader to make the hunt more challenging and rewarding.
When the rut is on, you know Bull elk are tearing it up across the Rockies. You know it’s time to get out there and get after them. Our elk hunting experts have compiled a few need to know calling tips to up your odds of locating a monster bull and getting within shooting range. And remember, in calling to elusive elk, less is usually more!
Can you tell an elk bark from a bugle? A cow mew from a cow moose? Put your elk hunting ear to the test with this quick quiz.
From the time humans started hunting for food, they have been improving technology to increase their chance of success. We each develop our own creed as to what works for us.
Silence is sometimes golden, and when the woods are full of loud bugling and constantly mewing elk hunters, pressured elk simply go silent—and hunker deep into thick cover. Maybe you should also go silent and move less. The less you do, the greater your chances of filling an elk tag.
Planning and executing an elk hunt out West is a major undertaking. Planning and initial preparations must begin a year or more in advance. Hunters with poor preparations wind up with the same quality of hunting experience.
Drawing an elk tag for the White Mountains of eastern Arizona is no easy task, and hunting the White Mountains is dang near impossible. Our destination was an area that locals call "The Blue", near Alpine, Arizona, very close to the New Mexico border. The hunt in November 2002 was one of the most challenging hunts of my life—one in which we actually feared for our lives.
According to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, approximately 1 million elk freely roam in parts of North America. Right behind those elk herds are hunters — hoards of orange-clad hunters who seek to place an elk in their rifle sights and eventually into the frying pan or onto the grill. Elk, however, have the upper hand (or hoof) and many hunters return home with an unused elk tag in their pockets.