The one who is lucky enough to draw an elk tag and take part in a season of elk hunting will not only be the center of envy, he or she will likely need to start brushing up on elk hunting basics soon as possible. There is much that goes into the preparation of hunting this massive creature, from equipment and gear to reading materials to mental preparation. Even those who opt for a guided hunt where everything is provided still need to prepare themselves by reading as much literature on elk behavior as possible. This make sures not only a better chance of success but a safer hunting experience as well.
There are many resources such as websites, magazines and even TV shows that dedicate themselves to the art of elk hunting. These sources of information can help a hunter understand various elk behaviors and the habitat in which they live. As technology and conservation practices improve, so does the data collected on elk and their natural habitats. Guides and wildlife professionals who have spent their lives and careers in the outdoors often provide extremely valuable insights into the world of these stunning creatures. Although nothing replaces the real thing, elk are the type of animal that have the ability to captivate whether in magazines or on TV.
While elk hunting with a full service outfitter means less to think about, hunters are reminded to pay special attention to the clothing they pack. As elk hunting tends to take place in the fall season, there can be snow on the ground with temperatures down around 20 to 30 degrees. Many outfitters recommend materials such as wool and items made of Gore-Tex for moisture protection. Layering clothes is a common practice for this type of hunting. Items that can be added or removed when necessary allow hunters to keep a consistent body temperature. Other items such as scent free toiletries, snacks and a set of good binoculars are also recommended.
One of the most important prerequisites of elk hunting is understanding the how and why of bugling for elk. There are many exquisite elk calls available on the market that can effectively mimic the sound of both bulls and cows. It is important to get in some good practice for the various gurgles, whinnies and grunts that will take place on the trip. When one takes the time to learn about elk behavior during a rut, one will be able to get a general idea about which sounds mean what to an elk. It is not necessary to be an expert and while many have their own ideas of what sounds best to an elk, only the elk knows for sure what he or she will respond to. Learning to effectively bugle for elk is simply a matter of time and experience.