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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to be going after elk with a bow for the first time, and wanted to see if anyone had any tips or tactics that would help a first timer. I have hunted elk a bunch, just not with a bow. I am also not particular on size or anything, so I'm thinking I'll focus on the spike and cow units to really learn how to hunt them. I am also planning on doing a ton of hiking and getting away from people. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
 

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One of the best pieces of advice I can give is "Don't leave elk to find elk." I can't tell you how many times I've hunted with other people, we see elk, but decide to move to another location to look elsewhere. Perhaps they are too far away or we have to cross the canyon to get them. Every single time, we've regretted that decision to move elsewhere.

The other advice is keep track of where and when you see elk. Odds are, they'll be in about the same area around the same time next year. I got my nearly 70 year old father on a whole herd of cow elk last winter because I knew when that herd was going to be at that location at that time.
 

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My advice is take it slow while hiking, be vigilant, stay quiet, and use the wind to your advantage. I have hunted with new archery hunters before and they are always in a hurry and most of the time they spook the elk. That is why i say take it slow and the other reason to take it slow you wont sweat as much which will keep your sent down. Also, being slow you wont make as much noise because you are more aware of where you are stepping. One thing I cant say enough is to use a great broadhead that is proven. I am not going to go into what he best head is but do some research and choose a good head that gets good penetration. With elk penetration is the key. The most important thing to do is have fun and make memories.
 

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My advice is----Take ethical Shots if Presented. Make sure you practice shooting and know your limits. I don't know the area you are hunting, but pattern the elk, get to know the area, find water, and most of all enjoy your hunt!
 

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With elk penetration is the key.
This ^^^. If the arrow doesn't penetrate through and stays in the elk, it might clog the hole, and the blood trail will be thin and extremely hard to follow.

I'd also add that shot placement is vital. Always aim low on an elk. If you misjudge the distance and hit them in the hollow cavity just above the lungs, they'll run for miles. The blood trail will be nearly impossible to follow, and it won't kill the elk.
 

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Your idea of hunting cow/spike is a good one. It will likely offer you more shot opportunities than if you are hunting a mature bull. For building your skills and experience, a cow/spike hunt is the way to go...
 

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Hey Sid, I sent you a pm about pronghorn then saw this thread. I'm in the same boat as well. I'm going to get a general archery elk tag when they come available and hunt the cache unit for spikes and cows. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Simba, Good luck with your hunt! I have been out scouting and found some good places, so hopefully I can get my first elk with a bow. I'm getting really excited about this hunt. I also sent you a message back
 

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If you've hunted elk before than you understand how the operate. They are smart animals and hard to take down. The best thing you can do is prepare yourself. Make sure you're in good enough shape to hike in day after day and still be able to carry the elk out once you shoot him/her. And also make sure your shooting your bow a lot. There are a lot of wounded animals that don't get found on archery hunts because the hunters didn't practice enough. Other than that it's just the basics, be slow, quiet, keep the wind right, and have fun. Good luck with your hunt.
 

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It can be HOT on the archery elk hunt, so it's important to be prepared to take care of the meat. The way we do this is three fold:

1) Hike with frame backpacks, game bags, knifes, etc. so we don't have to make a trip back to the truck or camp.
2) Use Garmin Rino's to share GPS coordinates of the downed elk with others in the group. Once an elk is down everyone is called and converges on the kill site to process and haul out. Makes it really fast and convenient to get help as soon as possible.
3) Have coolers full of ice at camp or at the truck ready to go. Saves a trip to town for ice, cooling down the meat faster.

This seems to work well for the group I hunt with. The last elk we shot on the opener of the bow hunt was deboned, hiked out 1 1/2 miles, and in coolers in right around 2 hours from the time it was found. The meat was fantastic.
 
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