Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Track Soup

Apparently, they missed one...

I went scouting a week before archery season opened and found this sign. They have since taken the sign down so I'm assuming they have removed the traps as well. The wolf track from above was from yesterday after a pretty big rain storm so it's fresh.

From the sign, it looks like they were trying to relocate these wolves, which doesn't make a ton of sense except the fact that there are some cattle in the area and maybe the ranchers were losing some cows. Otherwise, this is pretty fricken burly back country were I'm hunting so I figure they belong there too.

As for the elk hunting...it's track soup right now. I've seen sign but haven't gotten into them yet. In fact, I've hiked about 14 miles in the last three days and I've only heard one bugle and it was a long ways away. I know there are elk up there and I'm not worried about the wolves. They'll push them around a little but when the bulls are ready, they'll start talking.

I'm not a big supporter of the theory that wolves make elk stop bugling. Elk and wolves have been occupying the same places for thousands of years and elk still talked. Next week should be go-time. This weekend was a lot of scouting.

Here's a couple signs I'm at least barking up the right tree. The bulls will start moving around, looking for cows and bring them back into these areas. The cows are where the food and water is but as things get more heated up with the rut, they will be back and they'll be talking.

A couple things I'll share with you that will save on your feet if you decide to take on elk hunting in Montana. First, buy good boots. Captain obvious, right? Make sure they are water-proof! I do leather because I can treat leather and they tend to last longer and stay dryer. Along with that, change out the insoles. I know, you spend a couple hundred bucks on a pair of boot and then you're suppose to change the insoles with a $40 insert? Yeah. Trust me. The original inserts are meant to fit the average user. Nobody is average. Go to a sporting goods store that sells Soft Sole inserts and have them test your individual arch and get the right inserts. You'll thank me.

The other purchase I made last year is the Onyx app for my phone. This WILL save you miles of hiking. I used to play a game with myself of trying figure out my way out of the woods with just a compass. There was something a little twisted in my psyche with liking the feeling of being lost and having the knowledge or the where-with-all to find my way out. I'm pretty sure that came from getting lost while making a deer hunting drive to my dad when I was 10 years old. It scared the crap out of me. I was lost for about 6 hours and hiked around 5 or 6 mile before finding my way out. Ever since then, I just kind of liked that feeling of being lost and the challenge of figuring it out. Unfortunately, that has also led to me hiking off the wrong side of a mountain and being 10 miles from my truck. I'm getting too old for that so now I set the tracker on my app and I use it. I never get lost. I might get "turned around" from time to time but I always make it right back to the truck.

If you have a hand-held GPS, try Onyx. You'll love it. It's so much more powerful than the hand-held because it uses your screen on your phone for graphics. If you're hunting in areas that doesn't have cell coverage, you'll have to download your area map before you go but that's pretty easy. You should have a good idea before you head out anyway of where you're going to hunt. Set the phone on airplane mode and set the app to "off-line" and it works way better. But you can track yourself, set way points and easily reference previous tracks to get back to places you've already hunted. Plus, all the updates are easily downloaded as well as new features like weather settings, and various map layers including hunting districts, Govt. lands, block management, CWD mgmt areas and more. It's pretty damn cool and again, way easier to read than your hand-held and WAY CHEAPER.

Keep 'em where they live...

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