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Hunt up or down

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Hunt up or down

Postby Kessler10 » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 1]

I know thermals/wind is the biggets factor here.....but....

Do those of you that back country hunt prefer to start low in the mornings and hunt up, or start high and push down?
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby Swede » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 2]

Luke, I start low. I don't want the elk below me if the wind in downslope. As the sun heats the land up, I work my way up. There may be a time to back off. Sometimes I work my way upslope by staying in side draws or on opposite side-slopes.
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby Lonnie » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 3]

Right there with you on that one Swede. I usually hunt low first thing in the morning. I use powder puffer bottles. As soon as I see the thermals changing I go high. But that is all in a perfect world. If the wind is blowing then who cares about thermals play the wind. So now you just have to make your big circle down wind to get the wind in your face. Does anyone know of any good books about thermals and wind. Most of my hunting book just barely touch on these subject.
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby Tigger » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 4]

Two ways to answer this question. My priority is to always play the air movement, be it thermals or wind. That is undoubtedly priority No. 1. However, I would much rather work down the mountain than up. Soooo much easier. I know there are a few nut jobs out there that like to walk up a mountain rather than down, but I question their intelligence! No doubt they are in better shape than I.
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby Roosiebull » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 5]

whatever direction I think the elk are compared to my current location (given wind is reasonable) I have never planned a hunt based on direction I will be hunting. I personally don't like packing elk down steep terrain, it is as hard as packing them up hill it seems. your muscles are struggling to keep control of every step....flat is my favorite ;)
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby ORelksniper » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 6]

So, let's assume the elk spent the night feeding in the bottom of the drainage. At or near daylight they start moving up to their bedding area. You, the stealthy thermal playing ninja hunter, start hunting your way up the mountain at daylight. How do you hunt the upward moving elk, who by the way, walk much faster than you can ninja up? And, of course, these elk ain't talking to give away their location.
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby saddlesore » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 7]

I like to hunt up in the morning and play the wind.PLUS, then it is all down hill going back to camp. That seems pretty intelligent to me than having to climb back up a mountain when I am dead tired . I also like to hunt across the mountain.Elk out in front of me don't catch my scent from above or below
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby Swede » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 8]

Lonnie wrote:Does anyone know of any good books about thermals and wind. Most of my hunting book just barely touch on these subject.


I don't know what the books are that would be a good read, but the fire behavior training I had was very helpful. I learned a lot from that training that I apply to tree stand hunting. There are things you study that explain the why, when and where of winds. I would check out a weather book that has a chapter or two on diurnal and prevailing winds.
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 9]

Roosiebull wrote:whatever direction I think the elk are compared to my current location (given wind is reasonable) I have never planned a hunt based on direction I will be hunting. I personally don't like packing elk down steep terrain, it is as hard as packing them up hill it seems. your muscles are struggling to keep control of every step....flat is my favorite ;)


This... I oftentimes start my hunts from high to gain perspective of what is occurring then adjust (which sometimes requires great movement measures) to eventually position myself and partner where I/we are in the best location in relation to the elk to make a play.
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby RAMMONT » 06 16, 2017 •  [Post 10]

I start low, if I'm sitting in a ground stand then I'll stay there until around 10 AM or so and then work my way up toward known bedding areas. If I'm still hunting I'll start low and work my way uphill until I find something that makes me think I'll see elk and sit for a while. I watch the winds but more often then not they'll swirl in the mountains that I hunt in so while I keep track of the wind I'm not too concerned about it unless I'm on a stalk toward elk that I've already seen.
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby scubohuntr » 06 19, 2017 •  [Post 11]

Pack down or up?
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Re: Hunt up or down

Postby BrentLaBere » 06 19, 2017 •  [Post 12]

Depends where the elk were the day before. If I dont have an idea, work your way into the wind. Keep it simple. If you need to start your morning looking for elk, you are either calling before sun up or glass at sun up at a good glassing point. It really depends on your plan for that morning.
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