Dead elk not good!

by Jim
(St. Helens, Oregon)

I just arrived home last night from an eastern oregon deer hunt, one day early due to getting sick. I was hunting a new unit and had to learn new terrain. The terrain varied from thick lodge pole pines to open ponderosa pines to open high dessert. Needless to say things were very dry and walking anywhere was like walking with bags of potato chips strapped to your feet. Although we didn't get a deer it was an overall good week until I got sick and spent a day in the trailer and then headed home the next day (of corse the weather had finally turned cold and the animals were moving more). We did see plenty of does and just a couple of bucks that we were unable to get shots at.
Now to the elk. there was a loop we drove several times and had seen plenty of deer on it. Off the bottom of the loop was a spur road that was not drivable but pretty good road to walk. Opening day my son and I walked it quite a ways down and moved one deer. On wed afternoon we decided to walk it again only this time we figured we'd take my father down it too and have him sit where there was a very wide spot and you could see a lot from. Partway down I noticed the ground on the side of the road had been dug up by what looked like badgers, there were holes and some had been filled back in, I stepped over by it and could smell something dead. Figured Mr badger had buried some squirrel meat or something. We walked down the road about another 50 yards or so to the wide spot and I noticed something that wasn't there 4 days ago, a 5x5 bull elk, now this would be exciting had this bull been standing but he was down. An now there was a new stink to the air. His neck and face were half eaten his guts had been ripped open and the stomach contents smeared a bit, there was about a 6 inch wide hole where his bung hole should have been. I looked it over a bit and couldn't see an exit wound but with the carnage it may have not been visible anymore. We did inform the ranger station of our find and they figured it was probably shot but would go look into it.
Now my rant!!!!!! If you don't know the difference between an elk and a deer then stay in your house during hunting season!! If you just see antlers and pull the trigger, STAY HOME!!!! This was a real downer to see this majestic animal rotting in the wild due to somebodies ignorance and poor practices.
I started hunting when I was in my mid 20s I'm now in my mid 40s (ouch that hurt to say) after 20 years of hunting I still review shot placement charts and photos I like to keep things fresh in my brain as to when to pull the trigger, let the arrow fly, or pass on the shot.


Comments for Dead elk not good!

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 10, 2014
Dead Elk not Good
by: Skip

I agree!

Oct 31, 2012
Most likely not an accident
by: Anonymous

My guess is that whom ever shot the bull did not mistake it for a buck. That is pretty hard to do unless you have never opened a field n stream magazine. I would first assume the person who shot the elk knew it was an elk and shot it thinking they could sneak out the head, horns and teeth. They probably got scarred and took off. I read more stories of poachers who shoot private elk behind high fences or on private land. They climb the fences to remove the heads and leave them to rot. My guess is this was no accident but an intentional act. To bad they didn't get caught. Carma will be back to pay them a visit.

Oct 09, 2012
by: MarDee McDougal

What a shame that that beautiful bull was sacrificed due to total ignorance and/or stupidity on the part of the "hunter". (and I use the word "hunter" VERY advisedly!!)

I've hunted nearly all my life & I'm now 78 years young. I've never shot at anything, be it bird or animal, that I was not 100% sure of what it was. KNOW YOUR TARGET. Male - female - young. And don't pull that trigger unless you're sure of what you have your sites set on and THE exact location of your shot which will produce a quick & painless death. I normally go for a heart/lung shot - & they drop almost instantly.

And another thing...MAKE SURE IT'S THE ANIMAL YOU'RE HUNTING ...NOT ANOTHER HUNTER. I'm so thankful for the careful, cautious hunters that I hunt with. We always look out for each other.

Enough of my rant. Happy hunting!!!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Share Your Elk Hunting Pictures, Stories, Comments or Questions!.

Shop Our Store

Elk Tips Outdoor Gear Logo


Newsletter Opt-in:
"I just get so excited talking about elk.." ~Tristan, CO

Search This Site Here:

Hunting Gear Reviews

ElkNut Outdoor Prod.
Bugling Bull Game Calls
HECS Stealthscreen
Montana Decoy
StringSling Bow Sling
Skull Hookers
Safari Sling Rifle Sling
Clip-Shot Mini Camera Mount


Free U.S. Shipping

Bugling Bull
Game Calls

ElkNut Productions

Free Shipping on
ElkNut Products Here

HECS Stealthscreen:
A New Type of Concealment!

HECS Stealthscreen

Including U.S. Shipping

Montana Decoy Elk/Deer
Available Here!

Montana Decoy

$59-$109.99 Free Shipping!

The StringSling:
Best Bow Sling Design!

String Sling Bow Sling

$29.95, Including U.S. Shipping

Clip-Shot: 1 oz. Camera Mount

$21.85 Free U.S. Shipping

Skull Hookers

Skull hooker

$34.99 & 59.99 Free U.S. Shipping!

The Safari Sling:
Best Rifle Sling Design!

Safari Sling Best Rifle Sling Available

$27.99 Free US Shipping

Share your elk hunting pictures and stories on our Facebook Page!

Go to Forums

Forum Topic Discussions:

How often should I use my cow call?, I am new to the sport of bow hunting elk and my question is how often should I use my cow calls?

295 yard kill with a Kimber Montana 325 WSM, by Don from Dallas: My ELk did not even twitch once. He was dead when he hit the ground.

325 WSM is worth considering, Palmer Lake,CO: I believe that the .325 WSM is the ultimate elk caliber...

30-30 for Elk? : I have a 30 30 with 170 grain round nose bullet. Will this work to shoot an elk ?

(More comments about Best Elk Rifle below)


Unique Elk Talk by Idaho Steve (Hailey, Id ), In the middle of the night, a herd of elk came traveling through the drainage and right past my tent...

Smelly Elk Areas? by Jimmy (New Mexico), I've come across many areas that just stink of elk, literally. I have heard two somewhat contradictory stories...

DIY Gear List Must Have's! by Craig (Florida) "Here are some of the items I use on my DIY hunts in the CO backcountry..."

Elk and Deer Hunting and Mountain Bikes, by Skip Shepherd (Tucson, AZ)~ At 67 I am thinking a lot about investing in a mountain bike to get back into remote areas...

Solo archery hunting -- tips for calling/set up?, by Idaho Steve (Hailey, ID )~ I hunt by myself a lot...I'd love to hear your thoughts on strategic set-ups when solo hunting and calling.

Non- Lead Bullets for Elk?, by Dave, Elk Hunting Tips.Net (Garrison, MT)~ What do you ballistics guys think about the use of non-lead bullets for elk? According to this story...

Rage Broadheads by Chris, buddy gave me a rage practice tip and when I shot it you could not pick out the broadhead from the field points. I was sold...

Recent Submissions:

Finally filled the freezer..., Colorado Rockies~ "I was bummed when I got to the property and no elk, nor any hoof prints in the snow. ...I pulled each of the elk into shade then started gutting..."

Wounded Veteran Elk hunts, by Joshua FL), I am a disabled veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and have always dreamed of hunting elk. I am posting this to see if anyone would know of any elk hunts free to disabled vets....

First Elk with a Bow, by Ryan H. (Colorado), ...Finally after many years of hunting with a bow "I got er did"!

First Elk!, by Tater (Sheridan, Arkansas) I took the advice I received from this website and was successful…I wanted to Thank You and Your Forum and the folks that share on here for the knowledge and information that helped me find an elk I was quite happy with.


Any success in Unit 14?, by: Dave (MI), "I'm planning on doing a DIY in Unit 14 for 2012..."

Share Elk Hunting Secrets

Bugle in Herd bulls, by Swiltbank (Az) The key to calling in a herd bull is to get into his bedding grounds and threaten his herd. Start off sounding like…

Best Big Game Rifle?

Best Rifle Caliber?, by Buglemup (Superior, MT), "I've been reading what people have been writing about rifle calibers and here is what 16 years of guiding elk has taught me."

7mm Remington Magnum, by Dean (Helena, MT. USA) I use my Liberty Ruger M77, 7mm Rem. Mag. for antelope, deer, elk... Comment: "What do you guys think about the idea of hunting elk with a 270? I also know a guy who kills elk with a 243."

338 Marlin Express, "Light, fast shooting, hard hitting, manageable recoil, and for a lever gun - very accurate."

Guns I like for Elk, by Mountain Walker (Kootenays east B.C. Canada),"I think the gun you shoot Elk with should be one you shoot a lot with... "

.35 Remington, by Bill Smith " .35 Rem appears to have dropped a medium deer flawlessly, but I now have serious doubts as to its capability to take an elk."

Arizona Elk Hunting

Where to hunt in Az unit 3B?, by Cliffjumper (Tucson, Az) ~ I got a late bull muzzle loader hunt in Arizona unit 3b. Does anyone know how to hunt bulls in the late season?...

First time elk hunter hunting Arizona unit 6A , by Rob Marchio (Omaha, Ne)~ I'm a first time elk hunter hunting Arizona's unit 6A. I'm planning on staying in the Pine Grove campground...

Elk Hunting Colorado

Help needed for 1st DIY Hunt w/Son, by Patrick (Parker, CO), "I was looking for some advice on my 1st DIY hunt for 2014 in CO with my 13 yr old son. I have countless hrs going over stats, topo maps & Google Earth"

Elk Hunting Colorado in 2013, By William (Midland, TX) "I am planning an elk hunt next year in Colorado and I wanted to know if hunting Gunnison National Forest..."

Unit 60 Elk 4th Rifle Season Nov 13-17 Either Sex 2013, By Chester "...Any general advice about the unit would be appreciated!"

Idaho Elk Hunting

Elk Hunting Idaho Unit 8 8A 11, This is my first year seriously trying to track down some elk. Is there anyone that has hunted in any of these units and can give me some friendly advice? Mitchell, Moscow Idaho

Elk Hunting Pocatello by Cameron (Pocatello) Where is the best place to elk hunt around Pocatello, Idaho? I'm a student at ISU and I'm looking for somewhere around here to hunt next season.

How is the elk hunting in unit 30A in Idaho?, by Terry (Richland Center, WI) Has anyone archery elk hunted in unit 30A in Idaho? What can you tell me about the area?

Elk Hunting In Montana

Hunting in Western Montana, by Mike A. (Alabama)

I did not draw a tag for Missouri breaks where I have hunted in the past. Having to start over and try western Montana.

New Mexico Elk Hunting

New Mexico Unit 49, by Silas (Los Alamos, NM)

If anyone has tips on areas to start scouting, I'd really appreciate it.

First Elk Hunt First Elk Hunt, by Big "R" (NM)

I finally got drawn for a late elk hunt in Unit 28, north of Road 506 and south of the boundary line of the Lincoln National Forest...

Elk Hunting Nevada

Cow elk in Nevada's unit 222:

"Any good places known in unit 222?"

Northeast Nevada Early Elk hunt, by John (Carson City,NV)

"Any suggestions on what areas I may see some signs of elk?"

Questions from Novice Hunters

Retired USMC MSgt Needs Advice, by Ken Wing USMCRET (Bealeton, Va)

Big Game Recipes

Popcorn VenisonPopcorn Venison with Maple Syrup?

Elk or Venison Steaks Grilled to Perfection Here's how to turn them into steakhouse steaks!

Spice-Crusted Grilled Venison Roast Recipe This Spice-Crusted, Grilled Venison Roast recipe works great for any red meat roasts, including elk, deer or beef roast...

Corned Elk Recipe You can easily make corned venison and elk, moose or corned beef from these instructions...