I've been hunting the front since 1985 and have yet to kill a bull up there.
Last night they came right down through my glassing spot. Crossed the road and onto the sunny side of the hill somewhere. Tracks and piss every where. Why can't they do that some time when I'm actually there?
When you spend over 50 days a year up there, you'd think one of these times a dumb bull would come by me without a clue.
Ain't going to kill one from the couch so I figure the odds are in my favor
Update: I went out again and hiked a good 4 hours following a set of day old tracks. I got within 200 yards of this guy but got busted trying to move in closer. evem though I didn't get a shot, it was a great experience.
Ive had bulls fighting 80 yards (twice) from my tent on the wasatch, night before opening and just after enough sun had faded to place a clean shot. I had a nice six point come within 20 yards from my hammock multiple times(he would smell me then come back looking for a cow) right before first light because he smelled my cow urine wafer i left hanging in the tree next to me only to have a 30ft aspen fall ten feet away with no wind 10 min before legal shooting time. Theres plenty of nice bulls up there but they are smarter than your average elk!!! thats why theyre big!!! also they have more pressure from greenhorn hunters longer than any other elk in the state. some of the best elk spots ive found i cant count how many guys walked right through and kept on going, to that i say thank you for doing all the hard work!! If you want to get close to a big bull or any elk on the front my best advice to you is 1)find a decent spot that they frequent even if it seems pressured 2) if everyone is hunting water, or the animals wait till dark to drink...hunt the trail to water. 3)like i said before....wait, be patient and wait. when you get tired of waiting, wait some more. when youve waited long enough and your butt is numb, wait longer. when youve waited and waited and waited and waited and still nothing, wait a bit longer... -O\\__- I always see more when i wait then when i hike, also it gives you a better idea of what trails the animals like to take and where theyre going and at what times. these guys are up parleys 10 min hike off the road, saw them once a week everytime i checked cameras they were there, it was kind of fun to hone my stalking skills before the hunt started armed with a camcorder...just had to wait for it to find the right spot. didnt get a chance to connect because of limited time on the mountain and they went nocturnal. hey i didnt say i had it all figured out, just how to find them.
The elk I've found on the front always seem to be moving. You find them in a spot one day and there is no sign of them for the next 10 days. My buddies and I usually hit the same general area and sometimes the elk show up but many times they don't. We've had some really close calls and amazing experiences. If you keep hunting an area with good sign you'll get into them eventually. 2 or 3 times I've had entire herds of 30+ animals passing just out of my reach. One of those times they were coming right at me and just decided to change course giving my buddy a shot but a small tree took the arrow instead of the elk! What a great day that was. Keep at it, good luck.
I understand your frustration. Today we got within 300 yards of 5 Bulls one being of trophy size. They fed on the face of a hill where there wasn't a chance of a stalk. Then they bedded in a finger of aspen surrounded by oakbrush and snow. Again, no way to stalk them without sending them running for the hills. I know these Bulls are smart. But even smart people mess up ever now again. Due to work obligations we quietly backed out.
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