What Unsuccessful Elk Hunters Tend to Do During Hunts

Hunter getting ready to shoot elk

Elk hunting is a challenge because it’s difficult. What are some common mistakes elk hunters make that you should avoid?

Wrong Time

For starters, don’t pick the wrong time to expect to shoot and kill an elk. Ideally, you want to listen for and locate a bull before dawn, in the dark, and get close to them as the sun comes up. The true hunt then begins when there’s shooting light available. So, don’t make the mistake of going out too late and still expecting to find elk.

No Thermals

Next, don’t make the mistake of forgetting thermals. They pull downhill during the pre-dawn/early morning hours. Later they go uphill. Check the wind. Elk have great noses. You don’t want your scent carried by thermals, alerting elk that you’re stalking them.


Thirdly, don’t call elk too much. That can sound desperate and not do you any good. Blowing an elk call should be done sparingly– a less-is-more approach is ideal. That said, you might make the mistake of not calling enough or not calling at all. Ask your guide what’s best.

Ready for Higher Elevations

Be prepared for hunting at higher elevations. Ideally, you should workout for 3 to 6 months beforehand, doing cardiovascular and strength exercises at the gym, as well as hiking near your house to build up your stamina. Wear a packed backpack on your pre-hunt hikes. Also, practice shooting before you’re on your actual elk hunt. Don’t make the mistake of not being prepared.

Don’t Rush

Finally, don’t rush your shots. When you do, you often shoot incorrectly and miss the elk. Take your time.

Many hunters look forward to coming out West to Colorado to hunt elk with Samuelson Outfitters. Guided hunts are great for camaraderie and it’s always nice to have someone nearby to share the good news that you “got one!”

For more info about guided elk hunts in Colorado, call Samuelson Outfitters at 970-726-8221.