Elk Hunting From A Blind
3 Tips for Success
Elk hunting isn’t often associated with sitting in a blind, but adding this tactic will give you more opportunities.
Elk Hunting From A Blind
Hi, I’m Jimmie Norris with ElkHuntersGuide.com.
You know, when you think about elk hunting tactics, you often think about calling during the rut, or maybe “spot and stalk”, and those are essential tactics for elk hunting. But today, I’d like to talk to you about a tactic that whitetail hunters would be familiar with, and that’s waiting in ambush from a blind.
Tip #1 – Location, Location, Location
The first thing to think about when setting up a blind is the location; that’s going to be critical. You can’t set it up just anywhere. It’s got to be a place where the elk are naturally drawn to. Now, a lot of elk country is relatively dry, so a water source is really a great place to set up a blind. Or, in early season during the rut, you might come across a wallow where the elk have been rolling in the mud, and that’s a great place too.
If you’re hunting a thickly forested area, a wide open meadow where the elk have been feeding might be a good place to set up a blind. Another place to consider is a natural funnel, such as a saddle in between two peaks, where the elk have been crossing over from their bedding area to their feeding area. Or else, a fence crossing, where you’ve seen evidence that they’ve been regularly crossing a fence in a certain location.
Bottom line is, wherever you set up, there needs to be fresh sign there. Just because it looks like a great place for elk doesn’t mean they’re coming there at this point.
Another thing to consider is the winds. What is the prevailing wind direction? And, you need to consider the thermals. The cold air that comes downhill during the mornings and the warm air that goes uphill in the afternoon. You need to make sure you’re downwind.
And finally, it needs to be a secluded location. It needs to be a place where the elk feel comfortable, feel safe coming in, so there’s got to be enough cover around it, and there’s got to be enough cover so that you can set up your blind without being too obvious.
Tip #2 – When to Hunt from A Blind
The second thing you need to think about when using this tactic of sitting at a blind is when do you use it. Now, a lot of that depends; what is the elk’s behavior at that point in time? Are they hitting your blind location? Or are they out and about and are they in other places? Would some other tactic be better?
And a lot of it may depend on your personal preference. Personally, I almost never sit at a blind in the morning. There’s too much other stuff going on, I have energy, I want to get out and I want to chase the elk. So I often sit in the evening, because I’m tired, and it’s just a good time to just sit still and wait for the elk to come to me.
Let’s talk about the potential blind locations and what’s the best time to sit at those particular locations. If you’re setting up over water, early in the morning or late in the day are good times to sit there, because elk will often go to water before they go to bed, and they will often water first thing when they get up in the afternoon. So, if you’re going to go in early, make sure you’re getting in there well before daylight, because you don’t want to spook them as you’re going in.
If you’re hunting over a wallow, midday is a good time of day to hunt that. Bulls will often get up in the middle of the day and go roll in the mud to cool off, and then they’ll head back to bed. Or, they’ll get up late in the day, and go wallow before they go water and go feed. So, midday or late in the day are great times for a wallow.
If you’re hunting in a meadow, I would recommend that you only do it late in the day, because the elk are going to be feeding there in the night and if you come in early in the morning, there’s a good chance that you’re going to spook them before you ever get there.
If you’re hunting a funnel location like a saddle or a fence crossing, I’d recommend that you hunt early or late, because remember, they’re going to be on the move because they’re moving back and forth between their bedding and feeding area.
Tip #3 – What Kind of Blind
The third thing to think about is what kind of a blind should you use. You can use a tree stand or a commercial ground blind, but the challenge with those is transporting them to your secluded location. Now, you might be lucky enough that you can drive close with your truck or ATV, but often that’s not the case. Another option is that you can pack it in on your frame pack. I’ve done that before. But, one of my favorite options is to build a natural ground blind out of the materials that are nearby.
My son and I recently did this on a scouting trip and we took a video of it so you could see what I’m talking about. Take a look.
Building a Natural Ground Blind
My son and I were scouting recently in the area we’re going to be hunting in September. We went to this water hole that my son had found last fall, and even though it doesn’t have water in it right now, we’re hoping after the summer rains, it will this September when we’re hunting there.
Last year, somebody had built a ground blind under this tree, and we decided it was in a great spot, so we would build it up in preparation for our hunt in September. The limbs that had been placed there last year have settled, so we’re going to add some to it. As you can see, we’re adding these larger limbs, and ideally, with some smaller ones attached to it. Then, we just keep adding limbs to build a frame or an infrastructure that we’ll use this fall.
When we come back a day or two before season starts, we’ll cut some small, green limbs and then weave them into this infrastructure, and then that’ll make a really great blind. You may not be able to see it here, but we’ve also added some limbs near the back of the tree, to kind of cover our backs and keep the light from shining behind us.
When we add the green limbs, we’ll cut some shooting lanes, and be ready for that elk when he comes in.
Hunting out of a blind is certainly one of the tactics you want to consider when you’re elk hunting. I’ve actually killed several elk while sitting in a blind. I wouldn’t recommend it as your only tactic, but include it with all your other methods.
What about you?
Have you found this video helpful? Do you agree with me or disagree with me? Either way, scroll on down and leave a comment. I really do appreciate the feedback.
For more tips on elk hunting, go to my website at elkhuntersguide.com and check it out.
Until next time, shoot straight.