Bush Elk

2009 Hunting Diary—Day 3

Bush elk can be difficult to find, let alone hunt.

Bush elk can be difficult to find, let alone hunt.

Once camp was set up, it was time to try to find the main object of our hunt: bush elk (wapiti, Cervus elaphus). Now, bush elk have always been conundrum for us. Unlike elk found further south that live in large herds and regularly frequent large open areas to graze on grass, the bush elk of northern Alberta live in dense bush in smaller herds that are only occasionally found in small open areas. Although these elk have been increasing their numbers in the last few decades and indeed have expanded into new areas, they are difficult to hunt.

For us, the first order of business was to get oriented in a region we had not hunted before. Using both our vehicles we split up, two of us going one way and two of us going another to get a handle on the landscape and hopefully find some evidence of where the elk might be. This was difficult because it was warm and dry and tracks were at a premium. However, we did our share of driving and walking but the few elk tracks we found were old.

We did see a lot of white-tailed deer, and before our first day was done, we had one hanging up on the game poll.

So what’s wrong with that?



About Don Meredith

I am a writer and biologist living in Alberta, Canada. I wrote a monthly column for the Alberta Outdoorsmen magazine, and have published articles for several other magazines.
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