When it comes to hunting big game, elk are among the most revered of quarries.
This magnificent creature may weigh as much as 800 pounds, making them a fruitful target. And their keen senses and survival instinct provide a challenge for even seasoned hunters.
But how do you start hunting elk as a beginner? It can be a challenge for a novice to have a successful hunt. But nothing worth doing is ever easy.
To address both points, let’s first look at why you should take up elk hunting and how you can use the best elk hunting tools and techniques to make your first outing a bountiful one.
Why Take Up Hunting Elk?
You might not have even considered the question, but it’s a worthwhile one to ask. Why do you want to become a hunter?
Perhaps you’re a nature lover. That might sound contradictory, but most conservation efforts in the United States are paid for by selling hunting licenses and tags. They’re so crucial that the decline in hunting’s popularity now threatens many of those efforts.
Maybe you decided that if you were to continue to eat meat, you wanted to have a direct part in the process instead of relying on factory-farmed and processed fare. Or maybe you want to participate in a tradition as old as humanity.
Whatever the case, keep that reason in mind. It will help keep you motivated through the challenges of your first hunt.
Elk Hunting for Beginners
One thing you need to hunt elk is time and lots of it. Often the best elk hunting location will be in remote parts of the wild, long distances from civilization. And once you get there, expect to do a lot of walking and waiting.
If you can afford it, taking a guided hunt on a private ranch can be a great way to get your toes wet. The guides know the lay of the land and the herd’s patterns, increasing the chance for you to make a harvest. Otherwise, expect to walk a few miles while trying to learn that information yourself.
Next, expect to spend time researching the best guns for elk hunting. The types of weapons you’re allowed to use depend on the state and season.
In general, a good game rifle is your best bet as a novice. With a bow or a muzzle-loader, the two other weapons most often permitted for large game, you’d need to get closer to your target, increasing the odds of spooking it. To check out some of the best options available, check out targetsportsusa.com.
And then, start learning how hunts in your region are conducted. Hunting regulations, license requirements, and fees are all state-specific. And you’ll usually need to pass an exam to qualify.
From there, though, the world is your oyster. With the internet, you can reach out to other hunters in your neck of the woods to learn from their experiences what you’re in for.
Embarking on Your First Hunting Adventure
The most important thing to remember when hunting elk is to practice patience. You can spend a long time in the elements before you spot your first target. But if you keep your composure and pack the right gear, you’ll be bagging your first bull in no time.
Once you get a taste of a successful hunt, you may not want to limit yourself to only elk. For tips on expanding your takes to include other quarries and seasons, follow our latest hunting guides.