When hunting with a group, a good strategy to use is called “The Drive”. The overall goal is to push and funnel any elk from their beds in the timber towards one or two other hunters in the group who are located near the “pinch points”. Pinch points can consist of many different types of topography. The classic pinch point is shown on the map to the left and consists of a large area that forms a triangle or funnel pointed at a narrow valley (the areas marked as draws) in between to high points. Another example would be a patch of timber that runs between two open meadows that are located relatively close to each other. When looking for pinch points, keep these three principles in mind–
- Elk will generally follow the easiest path when trying to escape from hunting pressure.
- Elk like to remain hidden in the timber and will try to avoid open areas during the hunting seasons.
- The hunters who are walking should be walking in the same direction as the wind.
To setup the strategy illustrated in the above map, the two hunters to the east would need to hike into their spots from the east and be sitting in a good location near the top or end of the pinch point before daybreak. The three guys to the west who will be driving the elk (I will refer to them as yellow, green and blue) will need to coordinate start and stop times prior to separating. All three should enter into the timber from the northwest. Green should be the first to head into the timber and should find a good vantage point somewhere in the meadow in the middle. Once green has stopped, blue and yellow should begin slowly hiking in and should try to walk at the same pace and remain even as they work their way to the two red stars.
When blue and yellow have reached their locations, green should start wandering back and forth across the north facing slope until he reaches the purple line. At that time, all three hunters should start making their way towards the draws while working the north facing slopes and trying to stay as even as possible. Green should head towards the top of the peak, since elk may be bedded down in the timber at the edge of the meadow. With any luck, the three walkers should start hearing some nearby shots as they get closer to the draws.