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There are a few things that Mr. Jimmy makes sure are in his Gunhunter’s Vest before he leaves to go elk hunting. The 1st thing is a, Little Debbie Snack and the 2nd thing is a back up Little Debbie Snack, and a Diet Dr. Pepper to wash it down. Once he knows those important items are in his vest, he makes sure to pack: Gloves, Masks, Windchecker, a Hoochie Mama, an Imaka-da-bull crazy, a rangefinder, a flashlight, handsaw, gutting gloves, extra ammo, gun cleaning wipes, a multitool, and some dude wipes.

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Every time we hunt elk, we learn something . Over the years, we've recorded their language and listened to it over and over. Then we put what we have learned into our calls, calls that hunters have grown to depend on to make their once in a lifetime hunt a successful one. Not only do we want to develop the best calls on the market, we feel that it is our mission to make sure that our customers have the knowledge and skills to use them out in the field. 

3 TIPS FOr making your Elk Gun Hunt a Success

 

1. Have Confidence in your Gun

We have all said this phrase, "The gun was on the last time I shot it." Just because your gun was on THEN, doesn't mean your gun is on NOW. You need to have confidence in yourself and in your gun when that moment of truth happens. You're only going to get that level of confidence by practicing. 
 
Don’t just practice on a bench, not many mountains have a 10,000 ft. rock steady shooting platform. Odds are you’ll be taking shots in uncomfortable positions, at animals that aren’t going to wait for you to find the perfect spot. This is where a Trigger Stick really comes in handy, as it allows you to adjust your rest to uneven terrain.

Months before your hunt and all the way up to the day of your hunt, you need to be out on the range. Often times you’ll be stretching the distance to reach out and touch a trophy bull. Keep this in mind when you’re practicing. Making a range card you can laminate and put onto your stock makes life a lot easier for quick reference. If you plan on shooting out to say 500 yards, find the drop for your particular caliber and shoot at 50 or 100 yard increments out to 500. Mark down the drop in inches, or even better if you have turrets, or a ballistic reticle mark the number of clicks or mill-dots on the card at each distance. The last thing you want to be doing when that giant walks out is messing with your scope.
 
Another tip is to practice acquiring targets in your scope quickly. If your hunting in thick cover, you might only have mere seconds to send a perfectly placed shot. Practicing for this is easy and you don’t need a be in a live fire situation. Pick out small various objects outside with your naked eye, shoulder your gun, and try to acquire the target in your scope
 
One mistake some first time elk hunters make, especially the ones not used to hunting out west, is how differently your rifle might shoot in western climate and higher elevation. So remember to always shoot your rifle when you get to camp. Often times you’ll be traveling whether by plane or vehicle, and even if your scope has been driving tacks for 10 years, it only takes a negligent baggage handler or your buddy dropping the gun case a little too hard to ruin your zero. That one or two practice shots might be the difference between sailing a round over his back, or carrying him out on your back

 

2. Locating Post-Rut Bulls

After the grind of the rut, it’s time to get off the beaten path to locate post rut bulls. Only a month ago, finding a mature bull wasn’t too hard...now it’s about as difficult as it gets. Find the cows and there was sure to be a bull or two looking for a suitor, they had breeding on the brain. Now everything has changed. 

By understanding the needs of bulls this time of year is how you will ultimately locate and kill one! If you’re looking for a mature bull, ignore the big group of cows and rag horns. The biggest elk didn’t live this long by being lucky, and they know by hanging around with the group, they are making themselves vulnerable to predation by hunters and animals alike. Bulls no longer are looking to breed, they are in survival mode.
 
It’s time to leave your truck before dawn, and get into a good glassing location where you’ll spot them moving in the first half hour of dawn or the last half hour of light. Your destination is places other hunters don’t want to or can’t get into. The next priority for a mature bull this time of year is food. Don’t look for the biggest meadows, but small meadows in proximity to secluded bedding areas.

 

3. Importance of Calling during Gun Season

Some hunters don't think that calling can work during the after the madness of rut is over, but remember that elk are vocal year round. Just because the mountain isn’t constantly roaring with bugling and estrus mews doesn’t mean you can’t use calls to connect on a trophy bull. 

The last thing you’ll want to do is bust out your bugle, and rip off a challenge bugle. Think about it, bulls have been engaged in countless bar room brawls over the ladies all September. The last thing they want to do is get into another fight during the rut hangover.

Cow calls are going to be your best bet. If you know an area where a bull is holing up, get on the downwind side in an area you can set up for a shot, and give a few mews. Sometimes this is enough to peak the curiosity of a bull looking for a little late season lovin’. Just like during bow season, it's always a good idea to have that drop back caller, as often times a bull won’t make as much of an effort to come roaring into a set-up.

Another situation where a call can save the day, is when you’re moving through the woods and bump a herd. Quickly whip out a call, and give a number of mews in succession. It often times will settle down the herd, especially if they only heard or saw you, but didn’t get a whiff of your scent.
Even if it doesn’t completely stop the herd, the call can give you precious seconds for you to squeeze off a shot at a spooked bull.


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE CHECKLIST 
 

FOR THE FIELD

FOR THE CAMP

GUN (Rifle/
Muzzleloader)

❒ TargetS

Gun Scope

❒ Battery Charger

Ammo

❒ Bore Sighting Tool

Gun Case

 

Gunhunter Vest

 

Shooting Stick

CLOTHES

❒ GPS /Phone/ Compass

Camo

❒ Phone Pocket Charger

Rain gear

Wind Checker

❒ Underwear

Rangefinder
    ◻︎ Extra Batteries

❒ Base Wear

Binos

❒ Insulation

❒ GPS /Phone/ Compass

Hat

❒ Phone Pocket Charger

Gloves

❒ Lens Cloth

Balaclava

❒ Hunting Knives

❒ Beanie

Saw/Clippers

Boots

❒ Hatchet/Axe

Socks

❒ Multi-tool

❒ Sock Liners

❒ Thermacell

    ◻︎Spare refills
    ◻︎Butane cartridges

Gaiters

Bugles

Blaze Orange VEST &HAT

Mouth Calls

MEAT CARE

Hand Calls

❒ Para Cord

Diaphragm Calls

❒ Tarp or Drop Cloth

❒ Regulations

❒ Game bags

License/Tags

❒ Processing Knives

❒ Small ziplocs 

❒ Sharpening Tools

❒ Electrical Tape

❒ Cooler

❒ Zip Ties

❒ Vacuum Sealer + Bags

❒ Bear Spray

❒ Packing Supplies

❒ Survival Kit

 

❒ Lighter

 

Headlamp or Flashlight
    ◻︎ Extra Bulbs
    ◻︎ Extra Batteries

 

❒ Orange flagging

 

❒ Toilet Paper

 

❒ Field Wipes

 

❒ Hand Sanitizer

 

❒ Small Role of Duct Tape

 

❒ Decoys

 

Daypack

 

Pack

 

ATV/UTV with spare tire

 

❒ Air Pump

 

❒ Fix a Flat

 

❒ Jump Starter

 

❒ Tool Box

 

FOOD & WATER

 

Water Bottle

 

❒ Nutrition Bars

 

❒ Trail Mix

 

❒ Jerky/Summer Sausage