A couple of cow & spike elk behavior pre rut questions

mjb

One life don't BLOW IT!
I have a buddy that next year SHOULD pull Fishlake unit in UT during the rifle/rut.

So this year a hand full of us are going to hit the cow/Spike archery tag for the same area to learn the area. Hunt dates are the first week in September.

So I'm more interested in the cow Behavior. I've had a few early rut experiences while deer hunting and they're very close to Deer. Where you have the lead cow and several cows all over following her lead & there up high 8-11k.

I shot the lead cow one time while deer hunting....big mistake....the other cows would not leave her side. Deer aren't that dumb.....

So I've never really put much effort into learning their behavior but now I need to.

Normally I follow the rule, find them first!
If they're walking you need to be running and if they're running you better be driving!

I've hunted cows post rut into winter so I know that angle. But I want your real world stories/experiences for pre rut cows & spikes
 

JNDEER

Well-Known Member
I believe the temps in that area stay warm and the general elevations are not super high? Hunted wasatch for cow and the key was water, water, water. Morning and night to hidden drainages that had water. Then they would book it after the morning drink to the highest ridge with the thickest timber. My experience is very general- but for the early season cows water will be key. Also if you hunt the later dates of the OTC tag the bulls will start bugling and that should help you narrow down some possible areas where the bulls may be at for his tag dates.
 

JNDEER

Well-Known Member
and.. it is assumed, but lots of internet searching and the use of various forums will provide a boat load of information... some youtube videos will help as well.
 

mjb

One life don't BLOW IT!
I've only killed elk in the early season way up high so I know this will suck for the pack out.

Videos and forums.....other than TOF.....I don't use for knowledge waste of time in my book. I know enough hunters and my own experiences then tie them together.
 

photohunter

New Member
I've hunted cows in the early rut - including 1 year I hunted the Fishlake cow/spike hunt you are planning. My experience is they have a daily routine: feed at night in the open and head for the timber at daylight. There was water everywhere. I didn't see any branched bulls during that hunt, but saw a bunch of very long spikes. The spikes were bugling, but they were just part of the herd. No rutting or chasing going on. I'm not stud enough to keep up with them and was successful by getting in front of them at daylight. Figure out their routine and spend the night where you thing they'll come thru. I woke up 1 morning with elk all around me before light and almost got a shot from my sleeping bag. The next morning I was down lower, woke up earlier, and shot a cow as the bull hunters chased them through. It was a really fun hunt. Good luck!
 
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