December 07, 2019, 05:02:15 AM

Author Topic: 2019 Rut  (Read 455 times)

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Offline rcb46

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2019 Rut
« on: October 08, 2019, 04:50:52 AM »

This year was my first year elk hunting. I hunted the Sept 21-27d between Steamboat Springs and Walden, CO. We heard some bugling but mostly only in the morning and late evening. Everyone hunting the area was claiming it was a late rut and that the Aspen's had not started changing either.


Did anyone else experience this and believe it was a late rut? If so, was this the general feel for most of the west of a regional dilemma?

Offline big44a4

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 05:08:10 AM »
I feel the same way about where I hunted in Colorado based on the groups of elk I saw.  But have had people tell me areas they were in NM where elk were all fired up. Saw a bull chasing a cow across the highway when I was driving through NM.


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Offline cnelk

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2019, 05:48:08 AM »
Here is my take:


Ive hunted the Walden / North Park area for 30 years. The last cow elk I saw was opening day archery in 2017 and I shot her. The last 3 years we have hunted later and have been blanked.


This year I spent 10 days in early Sept in a S/Central LE unit and then went to my OTC units for the last 10 days.


Since the CPW basically BEGS people to buy cow elk tags in North Park and surrounding areas with liberal amount of cow tags available, I believe the herd is on the decline. Then add in more hunters.


With the decline in cow elk, I think the bulls have most of the cow elk bred by the 20th of Sept, then the rest this week [October].


In the LE unit I hunted early Sept, my buddy hunted from when I left there [Sept 14] until the end. He said the elk were continually going silent, but when I was there [Sept 5-14] they were vocal.


I think the elk have it figured out. Mid Sept means more ML elk and deer hunters in the woods. And later Sept more people are going [because everyone HAS to hear bugles to hunt elk]


Well, Im switching it up from now on and going back to my bread and butter. You guys can have the bugles, Im out there to kill elk and that will be early Sept. Before all the bugle chaser, night time road buglers and YouTube wannabes screw up the elk woods.








Offline cnelk

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2019, 05:57:21 AM »
I will add that during the last 10 days in the OTC areas, putting on over 50 miles on my boots, I got on 5 different bulls. I basically had to get right on top of them and bugle before they responded.


And ya know what? Every one of them was by themselves, on a ridge resting and not a cow around.


That tells me the big breeding time had past

Offline cohunter14

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2019, 10:49:53 AM »

I have mixed feelings on the rut as well. We got on a herd that had a bull in it on the 9th and 10th of September. On the 9th, we had thrown out location bugles and cow calls near the bull and it hadn't responded. Only after adding chuckles to the bugle did the bull respond with his own chuckles. On the morning of the 10th, he was bugling like crazy and the cows were chatting up a storm as the herd headed to the bedding area. I never did lay eyes on the bull, so I'm not sure if this was a true herd bull or a smaller bull that had rounded up all the cows, only to be sent on his way when a herd bull showed up.


Two weeks later on the 24th, I got on a huge bull that responded to cow calls. I bugled over the top of him and he came in on a string. I never saw if he had cows, but I certainly have to assume he did.


My thoughts and experiences the last two years have been similar to something cnelk said: I believe once the muzzleloader hunters show up and the guns start going 'bang' the elk start to shut up unless you are right on top of them. As far as the true timing of the rut goes, we'll see if any of the 1st Rifle hunters hear anything this upcoming weekend. That should give us some clues.

Offline ribo451

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2019, 06:43:22 PM »
I had a ton of bugling/rutting activity opening day (sept 6th) and didn't hear much after that. I saw herds with bulls and they were doing rutty things but elk talk was pretty hard to come by.

I had wolves howling in one area and that probably limits there talking and everywhere else I went the hunting pressure was high which would probably account for the rest of the silent treatment.

Seemed like rutting was right on schedule here in North Idaho but I haven't talked to anybody that had much luck getting elk to talk.

Offline Wyo67

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2019, 07:29:09 AM »
I will add that during the last 10 days in the OTC areas, putting on over 50 miles on my boots, I got on 5 different bulls. I basically had to get right on top of them and bugle before they responded.


And ya know what? Every one of them was by themselves, on a ridge resting and not a cow around.


That tells me the big breeding time had past

This is what we saw in the south central WY general areas as well.

Offline Castle Oak

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2019, 07:08:49 AM »
I see this same conversation on forums in my home state regarding whitetails.   And, I've seen this/heard the same discussions when I'm hunting elk in Montana.  When trying to make a decision on when to hunt in MT, I called the local elk biologist.  He told me that the peak of breeding occurs nearly the same day every year.  Their breeding date data is derived from conception dates of calves.  He said that while the peak day may vary a couple of days from year to year, there is no huge swing as some believe.  We have the same with whitetails in NC.  The peak breeding dates do not vary more that a day or two regardless of weather or other environmental factors.  Remember, estrous is controlled by photoperiod.  Rut activity(bugling, tending, etc.) can be influenced by hunting pressure. 

Offline rcb46

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2019, 07:21:47 AM »
I see this same conversation on forums in my home state regarding whitetails.   And, I've seen this/heard the same discussions when I'm hunting elk in Montana.  When trying to make a decision on when to hunt in MT, I called the local elk biologist.  He told me that the peak of breeding occurs nearly the same day every year.  Their breeding date data is derived from conception dates of calves.  He said that while the peak day may vary a couple of days from year to year, there is no huge swing as some believe.  We have the same with whitetails in NC.  The peak breeding dates do not vary more that a day or two regardless of weather or other environmental factors.  Remember, estrous is controlled by photoperiod.  Rut activity(bugling, tending, etc.) can be influenced by hunting pressure.



I understand this about the rut as well. Doesn't the leaf color change have to do with the same factors? less sun light?


Thanks a lot of the replies. I have been too busy chasing whitetails to look at a computer...unless at maps.


I really appreciate it and it gives me things to consider heading into 2020

Offline Wyo67

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2019, 09:23:49 AM »
I understand this about the rut as well. Doesn't the leaf color change have to do with the same factors? less sun light?


Thanks a lot of the replies. I have been too busy chasing whitetails to look at a computer...unless at maps.


I really appreciate it and it gives me things to consider heading into 2020
Leaf color of the aspens in the west is way more affected by temperature and available moisture than a specific date on the calendar.  This year in central WY,we had green leaves on almost all aspens until the end of September - and it had been very warm month.  Usually we get a good freeze and cold temps in the mountains that causes the aspens to turn and drop most of their leaves by mid September.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 10:19:58 AM by cohunter14 »

Offline cohunter14

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2019, 10:13:28 AM »
Leaf color of the aspens in the west is way more affected by temperature and available moisture than a specific date on the calendar.  This year in central WY,we had green leaves on almost all aspens until the end of September - and it had been very warm month.  Usually we get a good freeze and cold temps in the mountains that causes the aspens to turn and drop most of their leaves by mid September.



Yeah, we hunted the exact same time this year as we did last year and the difference in the colors was remarkable. Last year everything had changed and this year very few trees had. It was all based on the spring moisture from my understanding. The crazy thing is most of the leaves never did hit those colors this year. Instead we got that hard freeze in Colorado and the leaves went from green to brown.

Offline lang

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Re: 2019 Rut
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2019, 01:43:41 PM »
Elk ecology and Management says that a huge percentage of cows go into heat within 5 days (if I remember right) of the 22nd.  Weather had no effect on dates.  Younger and older cows tend to vary more.  Then if not bread they come into cycle again 3 weeks later.  What we see/hear can vary a lot with all the factors listed above, but the rut happens whether we see or hear it the same each year.

 

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