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2010 Elk Hunting Success?
September 17, 2010
Field Dressing and Quartering Elk Photos
Report Elk Hunting ProgressPlease use the elk hunting forums to share your experiences regarding the 2010 elk hunting season. General discussion of your hunts or plans this season can be posted on the main forum pages. There is also a specific forum for 2010 Elk Hunting Success. A bragging board, if you will. You can upload up to four photos of your hunt. (Which is now true of all forum pages.) Don't worry, if you would rather just post it on the general forum, I will move it to the "Success" area for you.
You will also note that I have organized several discussions about hunting in Idaho, Montana, and Colorado into specific areas on the forum. Just look for "Colorado Elk Hunting", etc. on the subject list. As other states have multiple discussions going about hunting in their states, I will organize those as well.
Peak of the RutMy elk hunt was over on Labor Day. I took advantage of the pre-rut when bulls were running around looking for interested girlfriends when the pickings of cows in estrus was still pretty slim. The 6 X 6 bull came in to an estrus call, after a light challenge bugle “discussion”.
Now that I’m guiding and calling for my 16 year old, the bigger bulls are mostly hung up with harems. You kind of have to sneak right into their “living room” and challenge them to get them close enough for a shot. The cows’ watchful eyes usually do a good job of keeping that from happening.
The younger bulls are still wandering from herd to herd and seeking out the single cows making sounds that interest them. I’ve actually called up a bull of some kind or another four out of the five days that I’ve hunted since the season began. Where I hunt they really aren’t call shy. Yesterday it was just a cute little knobby spike that walked up to us.
Local InfluencesThe peak of the rut should be in full effect soon. It’s funny how that seems to play out at different times in different areas. I guess it has a lot to do with local hunting pressure, moonlight/phases, wolves and weather. Regardless, the elk will mate and mating activity will increase at some point, but they just might be less vocal under certain conditions. Wolves can be a big influence on all that! If a bugle makes them feel like a target, then they don’t bugle! You can still hear grunts and light whistles, though.
I’m hoping to write a web page for ElkHuntingTips.net about trying to predict the peak of the rut, but it might be too late for this season. I have a call in to a wildlife biologist to discuss the common technique of counting 25 weeks from Easter Sunday. That is September 26th this year, give or take five days on either side. If that has any merit, it will be the 21st through the 31st.
That Darn Moon!Unfortunately, the full and harvest moon occurs from the 22nd to the 25th. The result is that there will be lots of light at night, so daytime activity might be less at that time. I guess a moonlit night is more romantic! Being out there at daybreak and before twilight will be important. That said, the elk don’t read the “rules”, so hopefully the bright moon during the rut won’t hamper daytime hunting too much.
Have a good hunting season! My boys still have four elk tags they can fill and Dad is guide and outfitter. No rest for the weary!
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