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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I decided to take up archery elk this year and my wife is overjoyed. I've been paying my dues and figuring out the game. Just at sunrise one morning, I was sneaking down an elk path when I heard the dreaded warning bark. I looked to my left into a grassy park area and watched a herd run away. Game over. They went way up the hill and I heard the bull chuckle to assemble the cows. I didn't try to go after them, figured it was pointless. My question is, will they come back to that same park to feed at night or travel through the same area, or are they gone for good? If I go back to that area, about a week will have passed, and I didn't see any other trucks or hunters at all so I don't think there is a lot of pressure there.
 

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Heck yeah they return, I have seen them walk right past a few carcasses of their fellow elk a day or two after they were shot.
 

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They'll come back, the question is when? Usually when a herd of elk spook out of a area they usually stop in the next county. But that isn't saying that there are not some elk that frequent that same area that you might get into.
 

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I got into a herd of cows & calves last fall during the muzzleloader deer hunt & missed one trying to fill my control tag. We thought we had pushed them into the next county when we went to attempt to find blood. Since they got out of the area with such a ruckus we decided to abandon the canyon. After a short ATV ride we peeked back into the canyon only to find that herd of elk making their way back into the ponds at the bottom of said canyon.

Sometimes they come back after a day or two... sometimes they come back faster.
 

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If they haven't spooked too bad, I've had them run a 1/4 mile and then circle downhill and walk back to where they spooked from. I've had this happen about 1-2 times a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well this sounds promising! Guess I'll go back and set up there. I may see some and I may not, but it is my best spot so far.
 

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Good luck finding them again. Let us know how it goes!
 

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Good advice on this in the posts above. I've seen all of the above and then some. Really depends on the personality of the elk. But if you watch that same area day in and day out you will see them again. They like to be in certain areas wether it's a square mile or 1/2 square mile, larger or smaller. Spooked elk might change their location for a however long they decide it takes to feel safe to venture back. Most elk I bump go a few hundred yards then stop to see if they are being pursued. Then I've had them literally go 5 miles before stoping. Followed in the snow! So with elk I live by a rule of " never say never and never say always!

You'll find them again if you stay patient
 

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I have had both experiences with Critter where they waste no time changing their residency and also had them cut right in between people trying to push them out just not willing to leave their home stand of trees and then circling back too, mostly had them change residencies. However, there are so many factors like other pressures or where they feel safe that it would be a matter of this specific herd. Best of luck, sounds like you have the first half of the puzzle cracked.
 

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They'll stick around, especially when they run over the ridge and find 5 more hunters there. I've had deer and elk spook and return to the same spot with as little as 15-20 minutes, especially if you don't chase them. These critters deal with stuff all the time - coyotes, cougars, mountain bikers, hikers, boy scouts, idiots with little drone thingies, and white tail ptarmigans to name a few. So a funny looking bush smells weird and they decide to go to the next ridge. If they don't feel pushed, they'll be back. Or not. They might just find a nice place to feed over there. The point is, especially in most of Utah, there is a hunter, house, four wheeler, or some other person in every canyon and every ridge.

The reason that some hunters ALWAYS fill their tags, and some hunters happen into filling their tags, is some hunters have a spot and know there is game always there, and know that the game sticks around in the same spots, even when pressured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the input. I went back to the same area this past weekend expecting to find some elk. I didn't see any. A herd of sheep had moved into the area. The sheep herder was riding around on his horse whistling and yelling. One of those big white sheep dogs came running up right through my set up and started barking like crazy. The next day, I decided to hike up high above the sheep. I came across some real fresh poop, but that's about it. Now I've pretty much depleted all my resources for the season so I guess I will wait for the rut and try the extended. One good thing, I'll be going back with the dog to shoot some of those grouse!
 

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Thanks for all the input. I went back to the same area this past weekend expecting to find some elk. I didn't see any. A herd of sheep had moved into the area. The sheep herder was riding around on his horse whistling and yelling. One of those big white sheep dogs came running up right through my set up and started barking like crazy. The next day, I decided to hike up high above the sheep. I came across some real fresh poop, but that's about it. Now I've pretty much depleted all my resources for the season so I guess I will wait for the rut and try the extended. One good thing, I'll be going back with the dog to shoot some of those grouse!
Yeah, I have found some great grouse spots as well while looking for elk, toss a couple in the crock pot with your favorite salsa and make shredded tacos with it.
 

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I just love general elk behavior threads like this, for some reason they seem better than any book. Thanks for getting it started @chukarfool.
 

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I think there is always a gamble...they can come back the next day or awhile later...
I like to share evidence with the crap i fling so here is a archery hunt I saw on youtube where the bull comes back to the same exact spot to feed...and he had shot it in the shoulder the weekend before or the previous day...

 

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I think there is always a gamble...they can come back the next day or awhile later...
I like to share evidence with the crap i fling so here is a archery hunt I saw on youtube where the bull comes back to the same exact spot to feed...and he had shot it in the shoulder the weekend before or the previous

He was on a podcast with jay scott and talked about this hunt. The funny thing is everyone told him he was wasting his time by going back. He didn't give up and in the end it paid off!
 

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Here is my rule of thumb on elk behavior: If you jump an elk herd out of it's bed, they're gone and they ain't coming back. If you jump an elk herd that is already up and feeding, they'll still likely hang around the area unless you really push them hard. There are exceptions of course, particularly during transitional times like when they are getting ready to move from summer range to winter range where even the slightest interruption will send them packing. Or when they are already on the winter range and there are fewer options available.
 

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I think there is always a gamble...they can come back the next day or awhile later...
I like to share evidence with the crap i fling so here is a archery hunt I saw on youtube where the bull comes back to the same exact spot to feed...and he had shot it in the shoulder the weekend before or the previous day...

that's a cool video.
 
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