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afirsttimer08

Elk and Water

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This year has been incredibly dry and it looks like there won’t be much (if any) snow for the late season bull rifle hunt. I’ve hunted the last hunt the past 3 years and there was plenty of snow each week of the hunt, so it did not seem like water was too much of an issue. How important is it to find a water source for this years late hunt? Also how far will elk typically travel each day from where they are watering/feeding to where they bed down? Already have been out scouting a few times but not seeing elk in the same spots as last year, probably because of how dry it is? 

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With how dry its been, water is pretty important for them and typically they don't travel / bed far from their water source. Ideally catch them at first light and dusk traveling to / from water and bedded down in shade in the afternoons. What unit is your hunt in?

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I tracked a couple bulls in the snow a couple of weeks ago, they covered two miles like it was a walk in the park. That being said the bull I missed was bedded within 200 yards of water. 

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2 hours ago, trphyhntr said:

The herds I chase in September move 2-3 miles from where they water to where they bed. 

That's pretty far!

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I remember a post from awhile back.  Elk need a lot of water, whether it's summer or winter. They need it. 

Not like coues that get a large majority of their moisture from plants 

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4 minutes ago, trphyhntr said:

Not really 

Maybe, but even on the otc hunts that's considerable distance.  

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11 minutes ago, CatfishKev said:

Maybe, but even on the otc hunts that's considerable distance.  

What’s the significance of the otc hunt 

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1 minute ago, trphyhntr said:

What’s the significance of the otc hunt 

Because water is farther between places in my experience.  Compared to places I've hunted elk at least.  Seems northern units have way more tanks and natural water sources.  

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I don’t think 2-3 mile for water is that far. But these are actual mile...not internet mile 

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7 hours ago, AZ513 said:

With how dry its been, water is pretty important for them and typically they don't travel / bed far from their water source. Ideally catch them at first light and dusk traveling to / from water and bedded down in shade in the afternoons. What unit is your hunt in?

Unit 27. We hunted up here last year and saw quite a few elk, but again they don’t seem to be in the same places as last year. At least that’s been our experience scouting. We also hunt the northern half of the unit so I would think it would be less affected by the warmer temps/less water but maybe not? I appreciate all the insight! Just trying to get an idea for how much closer to water we need to look/set up at

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