FreeTip: Bowhunting Herd Bulls
This tip comes from a veteran elk hunter, Matt Dorram. Matt, like the others who have provided elk hunting tips on our media outlets, is a stone cold killer.
Matt's Tip: "Too often, archery elk hunters believe that their key to success is calling. Certainly, effective use of calls can be an important skill, but in my experience, mature herd bulls are rarely taken with typical call-in hunting setups. These old and wise bulls have certainly survived numerous such encounters with archers and are wiser because of it.
For me, killing big herd bulls requires stalking skills almost exclusively. After locating a bull and his harem, slide in as close as possible and wait. Rutting bulls will actively circulate within their group. This active behavior from the bull, often as cows rest lazily, creates the opportunity for an effective shot. Play the wind, move as needed, and wait...."
Matt is an accomplished bowhunter and he is particularly good at bowhunting elk. He has a wealth of experience and it should be noted that Matt uses every tool in the books to get a bull in close or to help him close the distance on a herd. Stalking is his "go-to". Matt would agree with us when we say how important it is to develop an awareness for the situation. Experience and failure help you understand what is needed for any given situation. Matt never rules out calling or decoying. There is a time and a place for all types of elk hunting techniques. Our Heads Up Cow Elk Decoy, in a stalking situation, can help cover your movement or relax a cow that may have caught some movement. We built the decoy to be used many ways...and to be taken every day in the field. Make sure it is by your side when you need it.
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