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Scenario 3

It is opening week of elk season and temperatures are 75 degrees during the mid-day. It is also a full moon. The elk are nocturnal and not vocal. What would you do?


Danny Moore

I would get into the woods before light and listen. If I don't hear any bugling, I will try to locate a bull by bugling myself.


Paul Medel

Blind / Cold calling setups with either rapidly given separated cow sounds or estrus buzz sounds off and on for 2-3 minutes then wait a minute or two then repeat. Sounds as this ask for aid or attention from other elk. I'd stay put up to 40 min in the same area and keep a sharp eye out for silent elk slipping in (keep an arrow nocked)! In addition to this, I'd consider ambush setups at waterholes or wallows I was familiar with that were being used - especially ones near feeding areas in the morning and bedding areas mid-day or evening!


Paul Medel II

I would try to find fresh sign and locate where the elk are. After I find a bedding area I would sit on the outskirts and look for some movement. During this time of year you have to be very patient. I would do some low cow calls and see if I could either get a response or just get some curiosity happening. Most of the time you will call in a cow or smaller bull. It just depends on what you are wanting to shoot. If you are looking for a herd bull only, you will have to be much more aggressive and try to make something happen. You could try blowing the herd out of thier bedding area and make the herd bull react to another bull trying to steal his herd. If you try this you really have only one opportunity so this would be a last resort - seeing how there is a good chance you will scare the heard out of that bedding area and they will not be back for awhile.


Al Morris

I killed a bull in Utah last year on Aug 20th, it was hot and they were not vocal. I followed the elk sign high on the mountain and ended up in the densely timbered bedding areas around 11-12 AM. I started a rattling sequence followed with a small bugle and gave a few fighting cow calls that sounded like a cow coming into estrus. I heard a bull bugle one time as far away as I think I would have heard one, 40 minutes later I arrowed him at 40 yds after he came in bugling 12 or more times. The rattling and the sound of a small bull with a cow in estrus led him to talk even on an early, and hot August day.


Corey Jacobsen

I believe there is always a vocal elk somewhere - even with hot weather, pre-rut, and full moon. I like to stay very mobile and cover as much ground as I can in the early season, looking for the one bull that is talking. If you can find a bull willing to talk in the early season, the odds of getting him within bow range seem to be higher than later in the season, especially the bigger bulls. Once we get him to give up his location, we slip in as close as we can, undetected, and go into the "cow call" - "cut him off with a challenge bugle" routine. This tactic seems to work great even in the pre-rut and we've had bulls come screaming in to our set-up on opening day with temperatures climbing into the high 80's.

Full moon, hot weather hunting is also a great time to set up on a wallow for some mid-morning or early-afternoon action. Assuming you have the patience to sit and wait.




Rob Sherman

I would forfeit some sleep.  Find a place that you can listen for bugles during the night.  If you hear some, then work your way close enough so that when shooting light arrives, you can start working the bull(s).  Even with a full moon and warm temps, the bulls will normally be fairly active for a couple hours.  If there just isn't any bugling going on, then I would find a well-used game trail that has fresh sign.  I would set up an ambush along that trail.  I'd throw in some mews and a few bugles every  5-10 minutes just to see if I could get something going.  This is the perfect situation for a silent bull, so be very alert and keep your movements to an absolute minimum. 




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