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How to Prepare for Elk Hunting Season

Updated on October 11, 2014

The Essentials of Elk Hunting Success

Bagging an elk during hunting season depends on skill and luck. While the only way to increase your skill is through target practice, you can improve your luck by following some key strategies. Finding a good hunting spot and having the right tools will better your odds during elk hunting season.

Check Your Hunting Equipment

Whether you prefer bowhunting or gun hunting, inspect your equipment each year several months before the start of hunting season. Once you know your equipment is in good shape, head to the archery range or the shooting range and practice. It's not enough to consistently hit your target. Practice shots from crouching positions and from higher elevations. This will improve your odds at bagging an elk from a tree stand, crouched behind a blind or from standing level shooting up or down a ravine. The more practice you build in before the season opens, the higher percentage of difficult shots you'll be able to make when it counts.

Find Out Where Elk Hang Out

Plan your hunting strategy by driving around your area looking for elk. If you see spots where elk hang out, find out whether the land is public or private. If it's privately owned land, stop by the owner's home to discuss purchasing a hunting lease. If the land is public and open for hunting, walk across the terrain to plan a base camp. Find out if you can bring in tree stands or blinds and whether other hunters be competing for prime spots. The surest way to bag elk is to familiarize yourself with their hangouts. You'll need to do this every year; elk travel from year to year. Reliable places to find elk include ponds, streams and food sources.


Hide Your Scent

When elk hunting, purchase a scent masking product to better your chances of encountering the elk. Elk have great noses and if they pick out your human smell, they won't get near enough for you to shoot. Carry a wind indicator spray at all times while hunting. This product can help you figure out what direction the wind blows to stay upwind of the elk. Also use the scent-masking product at your base camp, equipment and personal belongings don't carry a human smell.


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