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What do you need for archery elk hunting and where can you go?

Elk Hunting With A Bow

Elk hunting is an exhilarating way to test your skills in the natural world while tracking down a majestic animal in its own habitat. You will need to hone your senses to their maximum while you traverse the wilderness with your bow to catch your quarry; and it’s only with the right equipment and techniques that you will succeed! Do you know what is needed to go elk hunting with your archery bow? Do you know where to go?

What kind of bow do you use for Elk Hunting?

When you are hunting elk, you can use a wide range of bows including a recurve bow, a compound bow, a long bow or a crossbow. What you choose will depend on your own personal preferences and what you have previously trained with. The compound bow is one of the most popular options because of its incredible power and accuracy, although the recurve bow is also a good choice.

You will need a Powerful Bow for hunting elk?

Whatever you decide to use you are going to need to make sure it is powerful enough, so a 60 to 70-pound drawing weight on your bow is ideal. Be careful though not to use a drawing weight that is too high for you because this can negatively affect your accuracy the lowest drawing weight that you should use to hunt elk is about 50 pounds.

Elk are large animals and you are going to need a great deal of stopping power to bring down an adult male so you will want to have the most powerful bow you can use without sacrificing too much of your accuracy.

Top Tips for Elk Hunting

  • Get yourself in good physical shape! You are going to need to hike for miles through the wilderness to bag an elk, so you have to make sure that you are physically fit and healthy.
  • Practice your shooting from different positions. When you are elk hunting you won’t be able to shoot from your favored position every time so before you head out practice your shooting from on your knees, crouched behind bushes and trees and from over the top of shrubs and bushes.
  • It’s better to hunt in small groups or pairs. This way your partner can call to attract the elk while you focus on the shooting. With more eyes and ears on the hunt you will also be more likely to catch up with the elk and bring home your game!
  • Hunting during midday is a great time to successfully land a bull. Elk often rest in the late morning and are back out on the move by lunch and can often present you with the best opportunities of the day.
  • Learn some basic camp craft skills to make your evenings more comfortable. Most people will camp for a night or two while on the hunt for elk and so if you can pick up a few camp craft skills it will make your trip much more enjoyable.
  • Wear good sturdy hiking boots to protect your ankles while you are out in the wilderness.
  • Take a First Aid kit with you and be safety conscious while you are far away from hospitals and medical assistance.

What kind of arrow do you use for Elk Hunting?

The arrows that you use are extremely important. You need to select an arrow that is light enough to maintain a good flat trajectory in flight while being heavy enough to penetrate the animal.

This is a personal choice but a good starting point for an arrow is between 450 and 500 grains will give you a good balance between straightness in flight and weight. This works well with your bow drawing weight at 60 pounds. The other consideration that you need to keep in mind is that although elk cannot see colors as vividly as we do, they are very alert to a glint of light flashing off of your equipment; so when selecting your arrows choose ones that are a dull color and won’t reflect the sunlight.

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What Gear do you need for Elk Hunting?

When you go elk hunting you will need to bring your camping equipment, including a first aid kit, but for your hunting gear you will specifically need:

  • Bow and arrows
  • Binoculars
  • Maps of the area and a compass to navigate
  • Tape to mark out trails
  • Altimeter
  • Day pack to carry food, water and other supplies
  • Camouflaged clothing
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Warm fleece
  • A brimmed hat to keep the sun out of your eyes while hunting
  • Comfortable walking boots

How do I find Locations to Hunt Elk?

Throughout the United States areas that you can hunt in are divided up into Game Management Units (GMUs). This is partly because it would be dangerous for people to hunt anywhere they wanted but it also helps officials to maintain animal numbers at healthy levels. So you need to remember that you should only hunt in officially sanctioned areas, or Units, to safely and legally enjoy your hunting trip. In these areas you will find healthy populations of Elk with stable herd populations.

If you want to take a guide with you for your hunting trips you can easily contact one of the many companies in the areas below and they will be happy to assist you. Not only can they help you with the tracking and hunting aspects of your trip but they can also give you a hand with the camping, food and other arrangements to make your trip as smooth and enjoyable as possible!

Elk Hunting Near me in New Mexico

The Cibola National Forest is a popular area for elk hunting, with two excellent GMUs, 13 and 17 being top spots for your trip. The forest is a protected area which means that the natural life and ecosystem is thriving and makes the perfect backdrop for you to truly experience the thrill of the hunt.

In the North West of New Mexico, the best units for hunting elk are the GMU 2A, 2B and 2C. The elk populations are larger in these areas than in the Cibola National Forest and hunters come away with great trophies each year.

Elk Hunting Near me in Colorado

Colorado has some fantastic elk hunting locations. The GMU 74 has superb herds of elk that range all the way across the counties of San Juan and La Plata. There are also some great hunting opportunities in the GMU 65 that is stretched out across the counties of Montrose, Ou Ray, Hinsdale and Gunnison. Some of the finest elk hunting in Colorado, however, is to be found in Grand Junction, with over a hundred square miles of territory and the largest migrating elk herd in the nation!

Elk Hunting Near me in Idaho

With a total herd of well over 100,000, Idaho is an elk hunters dream! With some incredible sites for your hunt, the state is a magnet for bowhunters from all over the country. With outstanding natural beauty and lovely camping grounds, you can really experience the joys of stalking your prey. The top elk hunting areas for archery in Idaho are the GMUs 1, 11 and 13. All of these units have healthy populations of elk and beautiful landscapes for you to explore.

Elk Hunting Near me in Montana

Montana is one of the most popular states for Elk hunting with most of the animals living in the areas between Yellowstone National Park and the Glacier National Park. With some of the most stunning scenery in the country, Montana is also home to thriving herds of elk that migrate around the state. The Gallatin National Forest is also a great hunting spot where you can comfortably camp in the evenings and stalk elk all day.

Archery Elk Hunting

Taking your family, going in a group or with a guide, elk hunting is an exciting way to reconnect with nature while making use of your bow skills as all those hours of training finally pay off when you bag yourself a trophy!

Remember to hunt in officially designated areas, both for public safety and because the sustainably managed herds will give you the best chances of coming home with a prize!


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