Utah Wildlife Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wrapped up my late season La Sal LE bull elk hunt earlier this week.

With the weather that rolled through during the general season deer hunt, I thought I would be hunting bull's in the low country of the La Sals. Couldn't have been more wrong. As the weather warmed up, the elk returned to summer grounds. In fact in most cases, the cows / calves we were spotting were often at higher elevations than the bulls we were spotting. A couple early observations from the first couple of scouting trips last week. One the elk seemed spooked and skiddish. Two, there was hardly any deer rutting activity going on.

Cloud Sky Atmosphere Plant Afterglow



Cloud Sky Mountain Ecoregion Plant




I know the unit fairly well, so I didn't spend a whole lot of time scouting during the summer for a November hunt that I believed the elk would be in totally different areas. In some cases, this was true, in others, the elk were where they had been since May. I spent a week on the La Sals over the muzzle load deer hunt. We didn't see all that many elk during the deer hunt, but the few bulls we did see, got me really excited about the prospects of the elk on the unit this year. I posted a couple of videos just below. I really appreciate the first one as the bull makes me feel better about my trips and falls in the mountains! The video just below is of another bull. Those two 6's were really going at it. They of course stopped just as my camera started rolling!


My 10-year old son and I headed for Moab on November 11. We scouted some low country that evening and turned up three smaller bulls in the low country. The next morning on the 12th, we glassed up a couple of nice 5x5s, and a decent looking 6x5. Those bulls were all together with another smaller 4-point bull. My son was adamant that we hunt that 6x5 first thing in the morning. We went back to the same area in the morning and spotted a couple of bulls feeding in the same area. The elk were spooked. We were probably 2000 yards from them, and in the trees. Yet, I could still see them alerted to our location. We started our approach from there. By the time we were within 1000 yards, they were gone. Sat in the area for a few hours in hopes that others would work their way through but to no avail!

Sky Plant community Natural landscape Plant Grassland


This kid has turned into a nice extra spotter. Wherever we stop, he's out on and the glasses right away. He did get a feel for my spotter on this trip too. Any time he would turn something up, he wanted my spotter to see how big, or what exactly it was.

Sky Military camouflage Hat Marines Plant


Turned up a small rag shed while hiking toward the elk on the opener. This kid loves picking up sheds.


This is the bull Kash wanted to hunt Saturday morning. But unfortunately he wasn't there! Saturday evening was really slow. Saw a lot of mule deer does but absolutely no elk. Really quite a humbling experience thinking you have the elk pegged, and then they're just gone! Day two we went into an area on the other side of the mountain. We hiked into an old logging area where elk frequent at least in September and October. Just as we began entering the opening, there were 10-12 cows and calves right in front of us at about 100-yards. I had a cow tag in my pocket but we had seen enough mature looking bulls hanging with cows that I didn't pull the trigger on any of the cows in hopes that a mature bull was in there. Unfortunately no bull! We let them pass, and continued our hike in. As we got to a point to sit on, we observed another 20-30 cows feeding below us. Again, no bulls!

After a couple of hours, we pulled out of there, and drove through the area where we'd seen elk in the past. As the day aged on, it got warmer. We went back to the truck, had lunch and took a nap. We decided we would go around to the Loop Road for the afternoon hunt. As we drove through the Loop Road, we stopped in many places and glassed where I had observed many bulls and elk in the past. Because of the unseasonably warm weather, there were no elk in any of those areas. As we continued our drive, a couple of elk were glimmering in the early evening sun about 1000 yards from the road. We stopped and put a scope on them. Both were good 5-points. Kash wanted to get a better look at them. Unfortunately, there was not an easy access to them as there was a chunk of private between us and the elk. So we had to let them pass. We ended up spending the last hour of light glassing some distant mesa's and spotting some elk. We made a plan for the next morning. Knowing there were other hunters putting glass on the same elk that had some decent looking bulls, we made a plan to hike into them knowing that the morning thermals would likely be with us. There was a road that led right onto the mesa which was tempting. But with as spooked as the elk had been, we knew we'd likely bump them before even seeing them.

Got onto a well defined trail early the next morning. Began our ascent in the dark. Just as we began to exit the trail and walk up the ridge toward the mesa the elk were on the evening before, Kash spotted a couple of cows that bailed into the trees we just came out of. I didn't believe we bumped them as we were pretty quiet, and we had the wind. In looking at the drainage we just came into, I thought to myself this is very likely an escape route for the elk. As we gained elevation climbing out of the drainage, a massive herd of elk came pouring into the drainage and onto the very trail we had just left not 5-minutes earlier. I estimated 50 or more elk in this herd... Bulls, cows, etc. They were SPRINTING for the dark woods we just came out of. Kash and I talked afterward about the ground shaking beneath us. A friend hunting with us had a cow call in his mouth and hit it once. These elk slammed on their brakes and circled up. Insane to witness. An opening came and I shot and hit a decent 5-point bull. I then moved my crosshairs to a cow and just about pulled the trigger when the thought hit me that I already had a lot of work to do with the bull. The antlerless hunt goes to the end of January.

I was pretty happy with the bull, and the meat that's going in the freezer. Kash was ecstatic! He'd never been that close to an elk and was astounded at their size. The whole experience of the elk pouring into the drainage was awesome! I had packed my spotter up to video the action, but it ended up just being dead weight in the end. I really wish I would have had the action camera going when those elk poured into that area.

The kid couldn't have been happier! This is probably what made the hunt most memorable for me. As Steven Rinella would say, it was absolutely high grade fun. Something Kash and I will never forget.

Smile Snow Plant Tree Outdoor recreation


Kash and I packing meat out

Snow Fawn Dinosaur Terrestrial animal Snout

Trophy hunting Hunting Deer hunting Sky Elk


Hunt was a blast. Can't wait to do it again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
Loved reading your story Big T. Congratulations and so happy your son got to be there with you. Seeing elk like that is an experience not to be forgotten. Man this stuff is so fun. I love feeling like I was there participating in the hunt reading your story. Thank you!

FH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Great read, and I appreciate all the pictures / videos. Just curious, do you remember what elevation you were seeing elk at? I was running around the greater Taylor’s flat area Friday the 19-Sunday the 21st.
I saw a bunch of does and just a few cows that were too far off. I was around 8600 give or take most of the weekend
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great read, and I appreciate all the pictures / videos. Just curious, do you remember what elevation you were seeing elk at? I was running around the greater Taylor’s flat area Friday the 19-Sunday the 21st.
I saw a bunch of does and just a few cows that were too far off. I was around 8600 give or take most of the weekend
I was seeing cows anywhere from 9000 to 12000 feet. There was a bunch of cows hanging out above Taylor Flat on Redds on Nov14. Most of the cows I saw though were literally at the tops of the highest peaks we could see .
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top