Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

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Redman232
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Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby Redman232 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:41 am

So more or less on a whim, a friend and I have thrown together an elk trip to Colorado for mid September. The last 4 or 5 months I've digested every bit of information I can get my hands on, from dozens of sources. I've read and or watched basically everything I have been able to find from Randy Newburg, Paul Medel, Cory Jacobsen, Born and Raised, multiple articles and literature on elk. For as popular as it's become and as many studies that have been done, I can't help but get feeling that there is a ton of missing information. There just doesn't seem to be the understanding or there isn't anyone sharing the knowledge that we have in the whitetail world. Is it just that Elk are so very different than deer? Or that the landscape they inhabit is so large that it's impossible to get to that level? Don't get me wrong, I've learned a ton, but coming from a beast perspective, I don't feel like i've found the information that makes me confident I'll be able to find or get on elk. Any beasts out there with the knowledge I seek feel free to chime in.


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tbunao
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby tbunao » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:16 am

So far I’ve seen a little correlation between deer and elk. That’s just from what I’ve learned from the elk 101 course (way more info than what is shared on YouTube) , Cody rich, and talking with locals. Deer are creatures of habit, you can pattern them. Elk are far more nomadic and a lot of things cause variance. I also think due to the large scale of there home it makes it difficult. A few little things I’ve learned that are similar to deer are rutting areas, apparently they like 30 degree slopes (not necessarily leeward) and that’s about it.

I think the most patternable time is before season kicks off, bachelor groups. They don’t travel far from a core little area.

Weather, food, predators play a huge role of where they’ll be. Unlike deer where relocating is a mile a way elk can go 20-30 miles away.

I’m speaking from just what I’ve learned and seen from my limited time. I also think coming from a low dpsm area and having to use a microscope to find sign makes me a little more in tune to what’s going on than that of a guy growing up in a target rich environment. It’s like a thread the other day “don’t be afraid to screw up”. It’s nothing to these guys out here to mess up several times on multiple critters. There’s more out there.

Oh and they guys who are getting technical with elk, bedding slopes, rut areas, etc are transplant successful whitetail hunters.
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby tbunao » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:24 am

Here’s an example of a transplant. I thought I was technical with my e scouting this dude is down right a master at it.

Part 1
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/t ... 0413764359

Part 2
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/t ... 0445291811
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby Redman232 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:30 am

I think what you are saying matches what I've found and my overall assumptions. There just aren't alot of nuts and bolts to it. I'm super excited, and I'm sure I'll really enjoy the experience, but the more I get into it, the more I get the impression this will be a one time trip for me. The older I get the more I enjoy the nuts and bolts. Thanks for the input and good luck this fall, you just moved out west correct?
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby elk yinzer » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:41 am

There's a lot of good info out there for elk noobs to learn. I would focus most of it on the biology and behavior aspects, get a good understanding of what elk do and what their needs are. If you think there's an easy to follow "playbook" I have thoughts on that and they aren't favorable to Mr. Paul's theories.

I'm not really sure what to make of trying to crown a "Dan Infalt of elk hunting" so I'm not even going to try.

Are elk different than whitetails? Heck yes, very different? Are there some similarities? Sure, a lot of those also.

What do elk need? Sex, water, food, security. In September during the rut, pretty much in that order. Not all that different than whitetails, right?

The biggest difference I find that I think tend to throw most whitetail hunters off is scope. A herd of elk might be hanging out in one tight little basin for two weeks and the next day be 5 miles away and that's just normal behavior for them. I hope you're ready to burn some boot leather.

They are obviously also a herd animal (during the rut, outside of rut bulls are more solitary or hang in bach groups). Being a herd animal also means when you find elk, you find them all. The flipside of that coin is you can cover a mile after mile of elky habitat and see not hide nor hair of an elk.

Map scouting in that regard is very different scope than whitetails. With deer, the scope is you pick X swamp on a map and narrow down 10 little tiny areas within the swamp and know there will be deer there using some of them. You know deer will be there somewhere. Elk it's more like you may pick 10 big area X's on a map and cover all those and find elk actually using one of them. There is no need to get down to the micro level detail.

They do relate to bedding like any other animal, obviously. As I'm sure you've read, they bed with similar strategies in that they use wind and vision to their advantage. They like to bed high on benches in dark, moist basins with wind tunnels.

Elk are also 5x the size of a whitetail, smell like a barnyard, and when they are talking are super loud. They are not subtle animals. You'll know when you're in an area with fresh elk sign. And again I emphasize fresh, because you'll see some 6 foot high rubs on telephone pole trees. Don't get too excited because that bull is somewhere within a 10 miles radius is about all you can glean from it. Keep moving until you find elk and then is really when you slow down and hunt.

Actual hunting strategy once elk are found is where a lot of the self proclaimed experts differ. You'll find everyone has their style and I encourage you to just take it all in your first elk hunt and develop your own. Some guys rely a lot more on ambush, others want to bust in there and aggressively call. There's a lot of in between. I'm not sure any strategy is necessarily better than another, I think the best elk hunters by and large are the best at finding elk.
Last edited by elk yinzer on Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:57 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby DaveT1963 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:44 am

Folks that try to hunt elk like whitetails will usually be disappointed. Being mobile and putting a ton of leather work in finding them is the single hardest step. Once you find them, it is not anymore difficult then most other hunting. One big difference is that you will usually have to deal with a ton of noses/eyes when getting close to a mature bull. Do not underestimate their eyesight or their nose.

They can travel 5 miles in a night, usually don't but it is not uncommon. They are also very weather oriented and a snow storm can move them a considerable distance over night. To me elk were the funniest animals to hunt - there is nothing like having a bull elk blast you with a bugle from a few yards away.... nothing.
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby tbunao » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:16 am

Redman232 wrote:I think what you are saying matches what I've found and my overall assumptions. There just aren't alot of nuts and bolts to it. I'm super excited, and I'm sure I'll really enjoy the experience, but the more I get into it, the more I get the impression this will be a one time trip for me. The older I get the more I enjoy the nuts and bolts. Thanks for the input and good luck this fall, you just moved out west correct?



Yes I moved out to Montana in January
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby stash59 » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:55 am

Elk average 3 times bigger than a whitetail, in body size. And that easily translates to, they'll move 3 times farther in a day also. Add in they're migratory animals. And alot of great looking elk habitat will be totally void of elk. At least today and tomorrow. Then boom sign is all over, cause they moved in, for a few days.

Like not setting up a stand until you find fresh buck sign. Keep moving until you find fresh elk sign. Big advantage you have during bow season. Is you can locate bulls by bugling/calling.

Concentrate on dark timber areas. Usually on north and east facing slopes. These slopes get less sunlight. So they stay more moist and cooler. Elk get hot easy. Find those marshy spring areas at the heads of draws or on hillside flats. Anywhere you have rockslides, you often find wet areas below. If these wet areas are open enough you'll often find grasses for feed. They utilize these for quick nibbles, before they head to the more open "park" areas used at night. Wallows are often found there also.

Don't worry if your not a champion caller. I've herd plenty of real elk that didn't make "perfect" elk sounds. Or just try stalking. Many of the largest bulls killed by bowhunters, are taken without uttering a peep. Once they were located.

Most important is just have fun. Making a kill isn't everything. Enjoy the adventure. Appreciate all of the sights and sounds, you'll only find in the mountains. Biggest problem is most guys that try elk hunting once. Get hooked, addicted. You'll always be wanting more.

Good luck and please share some pics!!!
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby headgear » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:33 am

Good read, need to dip my toes in this one of these years, I should just go but way too much young family crap going on right now.
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby roosterstraw » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:23 am

Have several different areas you are planning to hunt. I showed up to Colorado a day before season last year and marked my A, B, and C locations off without getting out of truck. Two of them were marked off due to a numerous amount of hunters in those areas and the third was marked off due to no access. I went the remaining seven days trying to avoid the crowd, averaging 6 miles a day on foot and couldn't get away from the people. That being said I absolutely loved every second of it and will be going back again this year.
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby 218er » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:02 pm

Randy Newberg is legit. Focus on getting away from the crowds, look for recent burns, and keep moving dawn till dusk best you can to keep covering ground.
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby Hawthorne » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:30 pm

The Dan Infalt of elk hunting is probably a mountain man no one has heard of.
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby Redman232 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:36 am

Hawthorne wrote:The Dan Infalt of elk hunting is probably a mountain man no one has heard of.


That's what I'm thinking. Part of the issue is anyone can start a youtube channel, and I'm so unfamiliar with Elk and the mountains I don't know who/what to trust. I just want to make sure I'm getting good information, that's why I turned to the crowd here. Thanks for all the replies gentlemen. I was fortunate enough to run into a guy at a graduation party in May that has been a guide in Colorado for 10+ years, so he's been great source as well.
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby justin84 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:21 am

stash59 wrote: Anywhere you have rockslides, you often find wet areas below. If these wet areas are open enough you'll often find grasses for feed. They utilize these for quick nibbles, before they head to the more open "park" areas used at night. Wallows are often found there also


Spot on! Here's a picture of what you described, definitely a spot I'd be watching.


Capture.JPG
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Re: Dan Infalt of Elk Hunting?

Unread postby The Runt » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:30 am

Dan Evans, Brendan Burns, and I am sure countless others. Both of those guys have killed some absolute slobs on public ground and they do it consistently.

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