Western Hunting Journal, Premiere Issue whj001_premiere - Page 51

Elk hunting is fun if you do your part and make a quality shot. Holding the antlers of a public land bull is the pinnacle of western big game hunting. 10 Steadfast Rules For Archery Elk Hunters Think of your scent like a wall floating through the air. When an animal is hit with the “human wall scent” they immediately associate it with danger and run. I don’t care how fast your bow is, or how effective your camo is, if you don’t have the wind right, you’re wrong. 2. CONCEALMENT Whether it is as simple as a depression on the ground or a piece of brush, you just need something to break up your outline. I sat down with an old timer the other night and he told me how he killed his bull in blue jeans and flannel again this year. The trick? He was concealed in the brush. 3. LET THE ELK REST If you do like we did and push them all morning, let them rest for a few hours. Allow them to get comfortable, then slip in and rattle their cage. The results will sur- prise you. 4. WAIT IT OUT Wait at least 30 minutes after you shoot. Give them more time after you’ve hit them. If you don’t see the elk go down or see an entry or exit wound after the shot, wait an hour. I think if I would’ve waited an hour before I started my track that maybe my bull would’ve been bedded and possibly stoved- up by the time we got to him possibly giving me a chance for a follow up shot. Elk can run a long time on adrenalin. Their will to sur- vive is unmatched. chances are your shot was less than perfect. Back out, and give the elk more time. 9. SHOT SEQUENTIAL Having a shot sequence in your head for the moment of truth can be crucial; it can also help keep your composure. 10. MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE Find success in every hunt, no matter how big or small. If you define success purely on a notched tag, then that’s fine. But in today’s fast-paced world, take a second and slow down and enjoy the moment you are living in. 5. ANATOMY 101 You owe it to the animal to know where the vitals lay inside its chest cavity. Best to take a lung shot. Elk lungs are big. Aim for a small spot on those and you’ll get them. 6. MID-DAY FUN Mid-afternoon is prime time to get a bull out of his bed and into bow range. 7. SILENCE IS DEADLY As long as the wind is in your favor and the elk are not pressured, sneak up on a herd and let them come to you; they’ll never know you are in the neighborhood. 8. BACK OFF If you think you made a perfect shot and you don’t find the animal in the first 100 yards, Make good on your opportunities when chasing elk. One well-placed arrow is all it should take. 1. KNOW YOUR WIND www.westernhuntingjournal.com 49