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What's Up Outdoors: Taking a break from elk hunting

The Montana rifle elk season opener was one to remember. At least as memorable as a hunt can be without filling my tag. After all the prep and months of waiting for the day to come, it kind of snuck up on me. The elk kind of cooperated, I had my ...

Mule deer were not far from camp for hunters during the opening of the elk rifle season in Montana.Submitted photo
Mule deer were not far from camp for hunters during the opening of the elk rifle season in Montana.Submitted photo
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The Montana rifle elk season opener was one to remember. At least as memorable as a hunt can be without filling my tag. After all the prep and months of waiting for the day to come, it kind of snuck up on me. The elk kind of cooperated, I had my chance on a few nice bulls but each one came with an excuse-none of which are acceptable.

With bull No. 1, I took too long to range and it disappeared in a valley.

Bull No. 2 went into a timber strip with some cows, the cows came out and the two bulls went out a different way. And on day three I got into a herd of 200-plus elk with a bunch of bulls bugling about an hour before light. I got downwind and by shooting hours they were on private land.

Just being around the silhouettes in the dark and watching them chase cows and bugle that close to me, well that's the memorable part. There were a few other opportunities, but I was really wanting to fill my tag with a bull.

With the weather getting a little warm, we spent a few days checking out new areas. Turns out there are quite a few of them in Montana. So we ended up coming home early and will be returning out west as soon as our whitetail season is over. So for now it's deer stand time in northern Minnesota. It's not the mountains but it will have to do for now. Yep, I'm still an elkaholic, but I haven't found any meetings to go to yet.

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A herd of elk are safe on private property within sight of the author.Submitted photo
A herd of elk are safe on private property within sight of the author.Submitted photo

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