Elk Finding Guide: Top Tips & Strategies

Aug 11th 2023

Elk Finding Guide: Top Tips & Strategies

Elk hunting is a thrilling experience, but locating these elusive creatures can be a challenge. Whether you're a seasoned hunter or just starting, understanding elk behavior and patterns is crucial. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you find and hunt elk successfully.

Where do elk hide during the day?

Elk are crepuscular, meaning they're most active during dawn and dusk. During the day, they often seek refuge in dense forests, thickets, and rugged terrains to avoid predators and rest. These areas provide shade, protection, and cooler temperatures, especially during the hot summer months.

What is the best time of day to hunt elk?

The early morning and late afternoon are prime times. As the sun rises and sets, elk move from their hiding spots to feeding areas. This transition offers hunters the best opportunity to spot and approach them.

Where do elk hang out?

Elk are social animals, often found in herds. They frequent meadows, open forests, and grassy hillsides for grazing. Water sources like rivers and ponds are also popular spots, especially in the dry season.

How do you find elk during the rut?

The rut, or mating season, is a unique time to hunt elk. Bulls become more vocal, making bugling calls to attract females and challenge rivals. Listening for these calls can lead you directly to them. Additionally, look for signs like rubbed trees, where bulls have removed bark to display their strength.

How do you hunt elk for the first time?

For beginners, preparation is key:

Research & Scouting: Understand the elk's habitat and behavior. Start scouting early to identify trails, feeding areas, and water sources. This can be done both by e-scouting and putting boots on the ground.

Gear Up: Invest in quality gear. A reliable tent, like The Mesa 3-4 Person Tipi Hot Tent, ensures comfort during multi-day hunts.

Practice Shooting: Familiarize yourself with your weapon, be it a rifle or bow. Practice makes perfect.

Hire a Guide: If possible, consider hiring a local guide. Their expertise can be invaluable for first-timers.

Why do elk like north facing slopes?

North facing slopes receive less direct sunlight, keeping them cooler and retaining moisture longer. These conditions promote the growth of lush vegetation, providing elk with ample food and shade.

When should I start scouting for elk?

Begin scouting a few months before hunting season. Early scouting helps you understand elk movement patterns, identify potential camping spots, and familiarize yourself with the terrain.

How do you identify elk feeding areas?

Look for areas with abundant grasses, shrubs, and young trees. Fresh droppings, tracks, and signs of grazing indicate recent elk activity. Water sources nearby are a bonus, as elk often feed and drink in close proximity.

What is the easiest state to hunt elk?

The "easiest" state varies based on personal preferences and experiences. However, states like Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming have vast public lands and healthy elk populations, making them popular choices for many hunters.

What is the easiest state to shoot an elk in?

Again, this is subjective. While states like Colorado have large elk populations, others like New Mexico might offer better odds due to fewer hunters or specific management strategies. Always research and consider factors like elk density, hunting pressure, and available tags.


Finding and hunting elk is a rewarding experience that requires patience, knowledge, and preparation. By understanding their habits and equipping yourself with the right tools, like the The Mesa 3-4 Person Tipi Hot Tent, you can increase your chances of a successful hunt. Whether you're in the rugged mountains of Colorado or the vast plains of Wyoming, the thrill of pursuing elk is an adventure every hunter should experience.