July 23, 2021, 01:56:27 PM

Author Topic: Best time to Scout?  (Read 5135 times)

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Offline COLOelkman

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Best time to Scout?
« on: February 18, 2016, 07:51:16 PM »
I hunted a good draw area last year and scouted 2 weeks prior to season opening and saw lots of elk glassing.  I also went up 2 days early to scout before opening day then hunted for 22 days.  A couple problems I encountered was unusually hot weather during the season  as well as cattle suddenly invading the area as soon as the season started.  I had cattle in nearly all of the meadows I had spotted elk in during my time scouting so needless to say, the elk seemed to all but vanish in the areas I was seeing lots of elk in before season.  So for this year, a friend of mine is going to draw the same tag so we need to decide when to scout.  I'm guessing he'll only be able to do 1 preseason scouting trip (3 days max including 8 hrs travel time) and possibly get there a day or so early.  We are very likely to backpack into a new area that I've not been to for the hunt (based on some knowledgable advice).  I believe last year was a fluke for me due to warm weather as compared to previous hunters experience that I've heard.

So my question is when do you think would be the best time to scout and why, with the options of 1.) 2 weeks prior, 2.) 1 week prior or 3.) arrive 3 1/2 days prior to opening.  (opening is mid-Sept) 4.) scout the backpack area in late August, then arrive 3 1/2 days early to scout other areas before backpacking in.

Season starts on a Wed so we could probably leave Saturday if we choose option 3 or 4.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 07:56:38 PM by COLOelkman »

Offline lang

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Re: Best time to Scout?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2016, 08:55:20 AM »
I'd go 3 or 4.  The closer to the season the better.  The big change in movement will happen towards the end of august through the first of September as bulls leave bachelor groups and start prepping for the rut.  After that your are just dealing with typical elk feeding patterns, rut movement, and whatever pressure your area gets.  Cattle are what they are, no predicting that, just have to have several back up plans.

Offline montanaelk31

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Re: Best time to Scout?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 11:28:40 AM »
4.

Scout new area early.  3 1/2 days early in a known elk area.  I'm with lang
"The harder I work, the luckier I get"

Offline VTHOKEE

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Re: Best time to Scout?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2016, 12:36:54 AM »
I agree with what LANG said. The closer to the season the better. We started scouting in June of last year and we had lots of bulls on our trail camera. Probably between 20-30 different bulls. But come the end of July we started to see a decline in numbers. Once September started the bulls had spread so far away from our original scouting through the summer we had to start fresh on opening day. We ended up being successful I was lucky enough to kill a big ol cow and my buddy took a nice 6x6. Be as flexible as possible and ready to change tactics.

Offline Maxhunter

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Re: Best time to Scout?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2016, 07:55:13 AM »
Yep, I agree with Lang.  To many folks scout to early and then when the season opens the elk aren't around.  They have certain places where they go when the rut happens.  Also if the area is having a serious drought the majority of the elk will be where the water is. 


I've hunted an area in my state since 1994 and from year to year certain areas hold elk more than others.  But I've seen areas that were the go to spot the year before is now dead. 


I always recommend a person take 2 weeks when elk hunting because it may take that long to find where most of the elk are!




Offline jvanhoy

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Re: Best time to Scout?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2016, 07:20:25 AM »
The only thing i would do different is if you can just stay 3 days later and get there on opening. I'd rather scout with bow in hand the first three days.

Offline COLOelkman

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Re: Best time to Scout?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2016, 10:34:35 PM »
I think we are going to initially scout the new backpacking area in August just to get a feel for the terrain, water, camping areas, etc.  May put up a camera or 2.  Then not sure when my buddy will be able to go early.  We are hunting in WY and he has the tag that starts on the 15th but there will be other bow hunters starting on Sept 1. so I don't think the opening day is a big deal.  If it were me, I'd want to scout 2 or 3 days before season but considering his time off work, he sounds more likely to get there just before season and spend any extra time hunting vs scouting before his season starts.  We also have an option for me to go early and scout for him before season as I don't have the work issues he does.  So I may go up 2 or 3 days before him but probably not scout in the backpack area as I'd be a little leery of bumping any animals out of this more secluded area.  I know other areas I can glass from a distance.

Offline jvanhoy

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Re: Best time to Scout?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2016, 09:24:10 AM »
Sounds like a good plan. I need to find a buddy out west to scout for me! Lol I've got a 28 hour drive to where we hunt.

 

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