Scouting is one of the most important aspects of being a successful hunter and guide. Elk scouting for a RUT hunt is probably the SINGLE toughest hunt to prepare for. Often, clients and misguided hunters get infatuated with velvet bull elk trail cam pics. I call it, “TRAIL CAM MANIA”.
Just this past week I ran into a hunter who was frantically checking and placing trail cameras. He looked like he had been running them all summer and he said, “man, there was some nice bulls in here, but I am not sure where they went?” I hope the guy doesn’t get burned out, because he obviously had been working his butt off.
Last year, on my Utah Elk Hunt I hunted a big bull I dubbed Mr. Heavy. A hardworking young hunter sent me pictures of him after my hunt and stated they had been looking for him all season! The bull moved 10 miles, which actually isn’t that far for an big bull elk.
Jay Scott recently told me about a bull they killed 2 years ago while on an Arizona Archery Elk Hunt, the bull had moved 16 miles from where he summered. I have personally heard of a story about a collared bull elk traveling OVER 60 miles in 48 hours.
My point is… If you have a rut elk tag, don’t base your scouting on velvet trail camera pictures. You are better off looking for cows and learning the unit/area during the early season scouting phase.
The most critical time to scout for a RUT elk hunt is…