To Scout.....Or Not To Scout

Timr245

Active Member
Jul 21, 2016
445
196
Northcentral PA
As the title implies I’m debating my moves when I arrive in Wyoming this fall for my hunt. I’ve now been in my hunt area, seen good sign & animals near a few of my e-scouted locations. I’ll be arriving 2-1/2 days before the season opener, so I’m now wondering if early morning/late evening glassing sessions near my planned opening day location will do more harm than good if I would happen to bump some elk during those scouting days. That said I only have 4-1/2 days to actually hunt. Somebody sway me haha.
 

Joseph

Active Member
Jan 25, 2014
189
33
Creston BC Canada
I think I'd still want to make sure they're around, I've heard a lot of experienced elk hunters say elk are where the elk are, if they're not there any more it'd be a shame to waste precious time. As you said you only have 4.5 days to actually hunt. I would tempted to use some of those 2.5 days to see if they're still around and if they are figure out your plan and maybe even scout some other areas so you have a plan B and C. You could wake up opening morning and have other hunters already where you wanted to go.
 
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ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
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Last year I scouted for about 8 days in area i KNOW WELL to find the buck I killed. It also helped me pattern elk that live there as well. My buck was dead within 24 hours of our arrival to the spot and I had seen several other deer that we had scouted. With your quarry being elk, and how much they move I would scout. Knowing where they were helped me kill last year.

Some things to consider, the big bulls are still in their hidey holes prepping for the rut right now, but those spots tend to be where they go to recover. The cows on the other hand are hanging out in their nurseries with a ton of grass feed and close to cover. Generally speaking the big bulls will let the little bulls round up the cows, then go and take them splitting up big herds. A lot of my friends who are die hard archery elk guys really like to kill the big bulls when they wake up to the rut and are looking for the big herd. Once they find the big herd and take their cows you are fighting the odds with their numbers but the satelites and smaller bulls working the edges are vulnerable. After the big group is split up is when a lot of guys find rut fests, I watched 16 six point bulls one year work about 10 smaller groups of cows all in one basin. After the first cycle cows are bred the big bulls start cruising looking for second cyclers. This is when a lot of the good rifle seasons open, bulls still bugling and on the move. After this they shut down and they tend to bachelor up again to recover from the rut and get fat and happy. Edges of black timber in secluded holes and hillsides is where they tend to hide. The cows usually chill in the same spot until its time to migrate out for winter. Guy goes in depth on this in Elk Hunting The Rut, I think we sent this out as part of a survey.

Here are a couple video examples that hopefully help.

In this one Guy finds a bull that was cruising after the rut checking groups of cows. The bull was cruising later in the season looking for second cyclers.

This video has a great example of the big bulls showing up and splitting the cows:

Here is an example of bulls together after the rut:
 

Timr245

Active Member
Jul 21, 2016
445
196
Northcentral PA
I was able to locate a great vantage point via satellite. Its about 300’ higher than a high meadow I want to glass & 600’ higher than a drainage. I think I’ll be able to see into a good portion of an adjacent drainage with a dark steep timber edge facing northwest. Vantage point is about 1 mile to the south, should also keep the prevailing winds on my side. 48 days til arrival.....
 
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