With one week until elk hunting season opens up many hunters are cramming information into their heads for the season. Searching through youtube videos, blogs, books, podcasts, and your grandma’s friends for information. This approach can be tiring and cost your grandma some friends. So I thought I would share the five bases you should cover before the season starts and the best sources of information on elk hunting I have found. You need to know:
- How to scout before and how to find elk once you are there
- The traditional approach
- The Non-traditional approach
- How to master the elk call
- When to use each elk call
- How to scout before and how to find elk once you are there:
For information on which states to hunt, and internet scouting it is hard to beat Randy Newberg. He has a youtube scouting series, as well as videos breaking down each state individually that simplifies things. He has hunted for so long that he knows how to work the most complex of Western hunt options. He also often shows the best websites and apps for effectively determine which unit to hunt and where to go once you get there.
- The traditional approach:
If you don’t know very much about elk hunting, you might as well start at square one. Don Laubach’s book is a quick read that will cover the traditional approach to elk hunting effectively. Don’t feel overwhelmed, hunting is hunting and you will likely find that hunting turkey and whitetail in Iowa has prepared you in a lot of ways. For instance minding the wind, diaphragm calling, and executing an effective shot are all skills you have already attained.
- The non-traditional approach:
The book: Radical Elk Hunting Strategies
The expert: Randy Ulmer.
The book Radical Elk Hunting Strategies is a great one once you have read a more traditional elk hunting book, and Randy Ulmer uses similar strategies to get in close to big bulls. For example both authors talk about sprinting directly at bulls while they rub their antlers on trees because the elk will close his eyes. Max has found success in New Zealand using a similar approach with red deer. No matter what animal I am of hunting, whether it is in Iowa or New Zealand, I tend to stray away from the fully-traditional approach. I usually do this to match my strengths as a hunter. I am in shape and I have more time than other people, but I am not as good of a caller, and I don’t have the money for gear that older hunters have. So I try to move quickly and be aggressive while hunting to limit how much calling I need to do and to give myself more chances. If your hunting strengths are similar to mine than a non-traditional approach may be for you. I also find Randy Ulmer’s articles on Western hunting gear to be very helpful.
- How to master the call:
The expert: Corey Jacobsen
Corey Jacobsen is a great one for teaching you how to make the call. He keeps his calls and strategies simple enough to learn quickly. It is a good idea to keep your elk call in your car and throw on a Corey Jacobsen podcast or interview on your way out West. If you have called turkeys before you should pick up cow mews quickly.
- When to use each elk sound:
The expert: Paul Medel
Paul Medel on the Interviews with the hunting masters is the most extensive calling podcast episode I have listened to, and I highly recommend buying the 5 dollar Elk Nut app. The app breaks calling elk down to a step-by-step approach and has every elk sound you could want to imitate. Paul uses more bull sounds and his approach is slightly more radical than Corey’s, so it may be slightly harder to master that is why I recommend listening to Corey Jacobsen first.
I believe you can cover all of the material I mentioned in this article before the season opens pretty easily. Good luck and hunt hard.