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Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

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Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

Postby Phantom16 » 09 28, 2013 •  [Post 1]

Back from the Gem state hunt. Enjoyed the hunt with a couple of fellow Elknuts (Dotman and DirtyErn). Had a couple of opportunities early but on the day I pulled out to head back home, not a shot had been taken. Ernie passed up a small bull I had a nice conversation with on the first day of our hunt. A few days later, Tim was very close to having a shot opportunity at what was probably a very decent bull but was busted by a watchful cow. I was keeping the bull's attention with calling from a bit farther up the saddle as Tim and Ernie moved in for a potential shot. The saddle bull was prime for the taking (very vocal to say the least), and, was responding well but a wary old cow saved the bull's bacon. During the first week of our hunt, we were in close proximity of vocal elk pretty much daily. They were responding readily to locaters as well as banging out unsolicited bugles. The weather came in around the 19th I think on that high mountain ridge and did not let up until I headed home just a few days ago. If I remember correctly, the vocal wolf pack below camp moved in around the same time as the relentless rain, wind, and fog. The elk vocal switch almost completely shut off with very few exceptions, not just in the area the wolf pack had moved into. It was without exception, the strangest elk "vocal switch off" season I have every experienced. I've seen them go quiet for a few days but not for so long during what should be the peak of the rut. The silence of the elk and nasty weather won this year and sent me home with my tail between my legs.
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Re: Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

Postby Swede » 09 28, 2013 •  [Post 2]

I noticed the elk were vocal during the later part of the season, but the winds were very erratic due to thunder storms and cold fronts. Getting in close was impossible. I got busted even while I was up 27 feet above ground. Think positive, those bulls will be even bigger next season. We sure have a long time to wait now, and winter feels like it is already trying to set in here.
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Re: Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

Postby Ridgernr » 09 28, 2013 •  [Post 3]

I here ya between the unseasonably hot early season and then the rain and storms coming in later it has been tough for sure.
We were able to call in several good bulls and all were alone, been strange to see very few cows.
I called in a" herd" 4x4 bull with his harem of 2, and while I was work him we had a gaggle a hound dogs boil right up the draw chasing a bear right to us.
Even when all seems great something can mess it up, thats elk hunting though.

RJ do you hunt that late smokepole season? It can be a great time to be out .
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Re: Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

Postby wawhitey » 09 28, 2013 •  [Post 4]

sounds like you should have started cow / calf calling with a wolf tag in your pocket
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Re: Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

Postby Phantom16 » 09 28, 2013 •  [Post 5]

Had a wolf tag in camp wawhitey, just didn't come around. Don't think I'll make it back there this year Ridgernr, but thanks for the note on the smoke pole hunt (haven't owned any form of long gun for many years... just bow for me). I "will not" give up on this area though, probably back in the mix there next year. Yep Swede, I think winter is almost upon us friend. A few rainy windstorms have indicated the onslaught of the thralls of winter in the Evergreen state. I'll try to get out in the late WA season and see who's hanging around in the wet W Washington forests.. It's not over yet :)....
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Re: Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

Postby mtelkkiller » 09 29, 2013 •  [Post 6]

Yep weird year

Were up to almost a foot of snow in my spot with more setting in this week likely
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Re: Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

Postby Trophyhill » 09 30, 2013 •  [Post 7]

tough hunt for sure. the weather can definitely wreak havoc on a hunt. Friday Jeremy and I finally got into an area loaded with fresh sign then it started snowing mixed with rain. it put a damper on the rest of the weekend as we did not see or hear an elk. did see a moose at 10 feet though. talk about a big animal!
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Re: Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

Postby Washington Wapiti » 10 01, 2013 •  [Post 8]

"I'll try to get out in the late WA season and see who's hanging around in the wet W Washington forests.. It's not over yet ...."

That's the spirit! ;) Usually I consider the rain, if lighter, my friend. Not so this year. Man it really played with my mental state and pushed my constitution this year. Especially during the time I was out there solo. I got completely dumped on by the bucketfulls while in my stand a couple times, and went through that first bout of storms sitting in my tent alone. I thought lightning or a falling tree would certainly take me out. :shock: I'm not ashamed to say that I'm glad to be outta that crap the last week and a half. LOL

Go get 'em RJ!
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Re: Bad Weather, Wolfs, and Silent Elk

Postby Z Barebow » 10 07, 2013 •  [Post 9]

Reoccuring theme.

I just returned from MT. I hunted for elk ~ 9 days with an additional 3 days in mostly survival mode. (Snow) I heard two different bulls bugle over the 12 days.

I left 1st spot after one day. 12 miles of covering ground, saw 3 sets of fresh elk prints (A couple could have even been the same elk). Boot prints and more wolf prints than either human or elk. Woke up to 2" of snow (Sept 24)

Moved and had rain and snow most days. Not flurries mind you. Up to 12-14" per storm. Made for good tracking,,,,,,, if I could find an elk. I saw less than 10 over 12 days.

But I would do it over again. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
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