Solo Elk Hunt
Hunting elk by yourself can be difficult, but also very rewarding. In the image to the left, I have detailed the route I would take for this particular area on the first day of my elk hunt. Keep in mind that if you see fresh sign, tracks, or hear elk calling, you will need to adjust your route accordingly. Also, with any luck, you will not follow this exact path and instead make your own trail as you stalk some elk that you ran into along the way.
Phase 1–First, it is important to make it to the beginning of the ridge before sunrise. Once there, you will want to stop for awhile and listen for elk movement or calling. If you do not hear anything, start walking slowly along the ridge up towards the “The Point”. Stop often and listen, preferably about every 15-20 steps for about 5 minutes. Stopping will make any elk that you are close to nervous and they will have the tendency to bolt out of their beds. If you do not stop often, nearby elk are likely to just let you walk by and you will never know that you missed them.
I would choose the ridge as my starting point for two reasons–
- You would most likely have many opportunities to scope both the east and west side to help you determine which direction you need to hunt.
- Elk like to bed down on ridges because it gives them the ability to survey the landscape from their beds for approaching threats as well as easy escape routes.
Phase 2–I have shown this phase as one linear path, but in reality you should be zig-zagging back and forth along this route from the top of the high point on the east side of the saddle to the bottom of the “Elk Hot Spot” to the south and then back again. Stop often and listen.
Phase 3–This route is somewhat arbitrary. You can choose to follow the designated route or another strategy would be to head north towards the two small ponds near the middle of section 13. The overall goal is to get to the “Elk Hot Spots” to the east and find a good vantage point for the evening elk hunt. Since it looks like most of the areas designated as “Hot Spots” are also security habitat as opposed to being open meadows, there is a good chance you will find some beds in or near these areas. Walk slowly into and out of these areas as you work your way back to your truck. Stop and listen often. If you have time, check out the “Hot Spot” that is right by the text “Wind”.