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Friday, May 8, 2009


What supplies should I plan to bring on elk cow hunts at Escondido Ranch?

As with any type of hunt on Escondido Ranch, elk cow hunts are going to be done from stands and blinds. You will therefore be somewhat protected from the elements, however it is a good idea to wear your clothing in layers so you can adjust for temperature changes. Another important consideration is to bring a couple of bottles of water with you. Binoculars and a camera are useful as well.

It is also important to bring enough ammunition and a sighted in gun with you. During the hunt is not a time to check to see if your gun is accurate or if your scope is correctly adjusted. Elk cow hunts do require skill so you want to be able to rely fully on your equipment to be shooting exactly where you aim.

In the wild, what are the natural predators of the species?
Since the elk is one of the largest of the deer family, the elk has only a few natural predators in the wild. This doesn't mean that on elk cow hunts these huge animals are complacent or inattentive of their surroundings. The natural predators of the elk include wolves and bears and in some areas mountain lions or cougars are also a problem for wild herds.

On managed game reserves and ranches typically the only predators on elk cow hunts are going to be the hunters themselves. Elk that have been hunted on ranches become very wary of even slight noises and sounds when they are approaching feeders and moving along game trails. These animals are very aware of their surrounding and despite their massive size they can quickly blend into the forest and move silently away from any perceived danger or threat. Hunters in blinds need to avoid moving or causing any type of sound as the cows move along their paths or move in towards feeders.

Are bull elk a concern for hunters during the fall elk cow hunts?

Bull elk are aggressive during the rut although they will typically avoid anything that looks, smells or sounds like a human. There have been recorded instances of bull elk charging people on horseback that have somehow stumbled upon a herd of cows that is under the protection of a bull elk during the rut.

They are, of course, highly aggressive in running off other bull elk that may be trying to take over their harem or herd of females. In the wild a mature bull elk may have up to 50 to 60 cows in his harem, however on managed game ranches the number is much likely to be less than 10.

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