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varnco

Sept Archery: 1st half or 2nd half?

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I was pulled for 7E archery, (Starts 9/10) and was wondering if there's an advantage of early part of the 2-week hunt or later part? I can only hunt a max of 5-7 days, so I need to pick wisely. I unsuccessfully hunted this unit for late rifle a few years ago, so have a decent lay of the land (at least the side I hunted, which tended to be the east side of the mountains).

My brain says early, as there's usually never a better day than the first day the season opens. Are they likely to be bugling in the early part of the hunt, later, or is bugling just over-rated (makes for great TV shows).

I was also planning on scouting starting in late July, to get the lay of the land, find trails, setup a few cameras, look for active trails/bedding for cows, assuming the bulls will come to the cows in September. Any bulls on cameras in July won't be there in September.

Thanks!

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Hunt Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you don't tag out come back Friday through Thursday.

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Ounce every 12 years or more I would make the whole hunt happen. 

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Any day out hunting early bulls is worth it. I would say what ever slot you can hunt more weekdays. 

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It always seems like the bulls are going better the second week when I’ve hunted, but I’m sure there are plenty of exceptions and lots of factors. I can’t hunt opening weekend this year and will probably be out Tue or Wed through the end of the hunt. If I had to pick one or the other my gut feeling would opening weekend then come back for the second week. 

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11 minutes ago, oz31p said:

Any day out hunting early bulls is worth it. I would say what ever slot you can hunt more weekdays. 

+1 on whatever you can do to maximize the weekdays and avoid the weekend crowds. 

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A lot of things to consider. Many of which have been touched on.

1. The advantage of hunting mostly unpressured elk on opening day is very attractive and often is the paramount advantage on the first hunt of a season for a species. Advantage first week.

2. Rut activity. My experience is that the closer you get to Sept 28 the better the rutting. For whatever reason that’s just the date that seems to be near the peak most of the years I have hunted elk. Advantage second week.

3. Pressure. It’s not as true as it used to be but there is still inherently more people hunting the first week than the second just due to attrition and tags being filled. Advantage second week.

4. Moon phase. This year the full moon is on 9/20. My experience has been that elk may increase rutting activity during a full moon but that a lot of that occurs at night. Especially with the full moon coming near the end of September I would expect a lot of bugling during the dark. This is generally a disadvantage, but can be used to locate elk by bugling and spotlighting in the dark and then hunting them the next day. But it’s likely that there will be less day time rutting. Advantage first week.

D. Weather. If it’s dry and still hot it’s likely the rut will suck any away. But sitting water may be very effective early in the hunt. As things cool off the elk may be less predictable on water. Advantage first week.

Unit 7E doesn’t have the highest elk densities and therefore less reliable rutting activity. If circumstances allow, it might be good if you can go prepared for the first week and if it’s a bust (too hot, too many people, no rut, etc.) pull the plug and come back later. If not, then there are advantages and disadvantages either way. Best of luck and let us know what you decide.

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Both can be great, elk will do what they want when they want, so as said above you have to be there, so 2 week hunt , then be there for 2 weeks if you can.

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This will be my first elk hunt. I drew a Cow tag in unit 11m and I have to choose 1st or 2nd week since I live in Georgia.  Which week would be better for Cow or is it the same as for Bulls? 

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Thanks everyone. It appears there are pros and cons to both, but the moon phase with 9% illumination on the 9th, no pressure for months appeals to me immensely.

Perhaps splitting this up may make sense and give this older body time to recover and come back later for round 2 if not successful the first round.

Full 14 days is not an option.

Early Pro:
Unpressured new season
7% moon

Early Con:
Low rut activity
500 fellow hunting friends

Late Pro:
Potential higher rut activity - autumn equinox (9/22)

Late Con
Pressured elk, likely moved out of August scouted area
Less elk (hunter success)
Full moon

I appreciate everyone's feedback!

Screenshot_20210510-155826.png

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