As exciting as elk hunting sounds, it can become a risky business if you aren’t fully prepared for it. Veteran hunters know the importance of prepping up for a hunt and they sure know how to do it well. As for the newbies, we have got you covered! Here are some helpful and easy-to-follow elk hunting tips for beginners.
So, read through before you set out for your new exciting venture!
1. Get Fit and Build up Stamina
Considering the fact that elks are usually found in mountainous regions, be ready to hike your way up while hunting. Plus, elk hunting is mostly done out of the blind on a terrain that is uneven and rocky. That is the reason why elk hunters begin to work out and get in shape when the hunting season is around the corner.
If you have good stamina, trust us; you will find it a lot easier to hunt at a steadier pace.
2. Pack the Right Hunting Gear
Beginners usually tend to go overboard with packing. They do not want to miss out on anything and that is why they end up with a bag that weighs them down and affects their performance.
Fret not! Here is a checklist of essential hunting gear that you need for elk hunting.
- An extra pair of tops and bottoms
- A rain jacket (just in case it rains)
- A lightweight and packable sleeping bag
- Hunting license
- A pair of latex gloves
- A sturdy pair of binoculars and a tripod (I recommend Nikon Monarch 5 if you are in a hurry, alternatively read my reviews of best elk hunting binoculars)
- A 40 ft. parachute cord
- A sharp blade knife secured safely in bubble wrap
3. Take an Experienced Partner Along
Setting out on the first elk hunt can be very overwhelming. It is definitely a more challenging type of hunting than the others. So, take our advice and take another more experienced hunter along on your first venture.
By doing so, you will be able to get a lot of free advice and it will be an open opportunity for you to watch and learn as well. Your first few hunting experiences should be more about learning than coming home successfully.
4. Scout for Successful Hunting
Elks usually move back and forth between the south and north for feeding and sleeping. They head to southern ridges to find their feed and move to the northern woods in the dark for rest.
You will find maps and other sources that can help you find the best location for elk hunting. But we will advise you to get your boots on the terrain and look far and wide with the help of your binoculars. You will be able to learn the usual abode of the elks and their habits and plan accordingly.
5. Choose the Rifle or Bow Carefully
For hunting down an elk, your only tool that gets the job done is either a rifle or a bow based on your choice. No matter which type of hunting you prefer, selecting the right one for yourself is essential.
In order to make a successful kill shot, the choice of your equipment matters the most. Make sure to get an arrow that weighs between 450 to 500 grains for better handling. Also, getting a stiff arrow can ensure better penetration and a more successful kill shot as per the experts.
For a rifle, go for a bolt action one rather than a lever action and pump action. Such a rifle has more accuracy, durability, and robustness. It works well for elk hunting. Above all, choose a rifle or bow that works for you and you feel more comfortable with.
6. Perfect Your Kill Shot
Now, the crux of elk hunting is how perfect your kill shot is. If you are heading out for your elk hunt, you definitely need to work on it and prepare in advance.
In order to work on your kill shot, you need to know where to aim and where to shoot. Once that is decided, start practicing way before the hunt. Work on the ranges to get a better idea of which range works well for a kill shot. Make sure you practice keeping your terrain conditions in mind.
7. Use an Elk Call
Using an elk call may or may not work but we will advise you to give it a shot. It may help minimize your struggle and bring the elk to your spot. Keep in mind that being successful at it requires you to use the right call at the right time.
In rut season, a bugle call can help attract a male elk that is looking to challenge the other male. On the other hand, using a cow call helps better when it is not the rut season.
After reading these elk hunting tips for beginners, we are sure you have a clear idea of what is needed for a successful elk hunt. Basically, elk hunting is a lot about prepping up before you get yourself out in that difficult terrain. It will save you a lot of hassle and increase the probability of a successful experience.
Before we finish off, we will emphasize again the need for a license for hunting. Plus, make sure you are fully aware of the hunting rules and regulations related to prevalent in the area. Every state has its unique rules and not complying with them can get you in serious trouble.
So, in order to become a truly professional hunter, abide by the hunting rules and always make sure you are fully prepared for your upcoming hunt. We wish you good luck and hope that you enjoy a perfect feast made of elk meat after your first hunt!
Binos enthusiast since I was 12 – A real expert in all things optics including rifle scopes and red dots. Live in Dubai & love writing, beaches and eating!