View Full Version : how elk react to fire ?

09-13-2012, 12:32 PM
well the bad news came and our idaho rifle elk spot is prety burnd up..i was hoping that some elk hunters with some experience could let me know how much this will affect the elk,how long till they return to the burn ? how far away from the fire will they go ? would hunting the edge of the new fresh burn be productive ? or should i just plan on hunting many miles away from my stomping grounds ? also how will the fire affect the rut ? will elk tend to stay away from the smell of smoke ?

any info will be very much appreciated

dying to kill
09-13-2012, 07:14 PM
search some past threads i remember one guy talking about fighting fire and seein elk back in the same area the day or two after the fire had passed threw the area u mite p.m. him if u find it

09-13-2012, 07:32 PM
Ya there was a recent thread on this same topic. Do some searching and you will find your answers. Welcome to the forum

09-13-2012, 09:16 PM
That would be me. I have seen elk return the next day after a burn. The ash has minerals in it. Im not saying that the elk arent gonna leave that area if there is no cover left for them.

09-13-2012, 10:06 PM
i think a lot of it depends on the burn, if its nuked black most likely there wont be any elk for a while, but if its a dirty burn leaving islands of green and not a ton of scorched areas i have seen elk remain very close. last year i was on a fire during the rut in Idaho and herd elk bugling from the line, actually called in 2 bulls while the fire was in monitor status. Good luck.

Chippy Hacky
09-13-2012, 10:52 PM
I have seen Elk and Deer back in the burn soon after. One good thing is that they are easy to spot, ! They are as black as the ace of spades though.

09-14-2012, 11:37 PM
okay thank you for the info ! this will def make for an interesting year

09-15-2012, 10:25 AM
well first they run because the fire is hot! and usually right behind it is some flashy lights and rotors in the air. lol just kidding guy. they move. if there is no food they find the next spot. i'd bet my bottom dollar they did not go far! once 3 or four weeks go by they will settle in to a nice routine. and the rut? thats a natural instinct in their body. nothing is going to stop that instinct. If the elk aren't bothered and get on a routine... that's where you come in!! have fun guy

09-16-2012, 07:22 PM
If it eases your mind any, I just came back from this years elk hunt. I was in some very heavy smoke early last week due to a fire that sprung up on the first day of my hunt. Elk stayed close by and I called in a Bull and a cow on the same day with the air thick with smoke.

The fire wasn't in the immediate area and they were not going anywhere.

10-19-2012, 04:14 PM
We've had two major fires in our area. The Rodeo-Chediski fire a few years ago and the Wallow fire last year.
Both burned huge areas, around 500,000 acres, of prime elk country. the elk wandered off as the fires approached, and came back when it passed or went out.
The fires didn't burn everything totally off over their whole area, but left islands of trees, and some areas were burned completely, hot fires, and other areas were cleared of underbrush, but left the trees, cool fires. Elk are found every where now, grazing the grass in meadows, bedding in the thick stuff, etc., just like before the fires.