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Elk Hunting - 6 Tips for Better Late Season Elk Hunting

By Doyle Moss

A spotted heard during late-season elk hunting

Many states have adopted late-season elk hunting. These hunts have a higher percentage of draw success and make it attractive for the hunter to apply for based primarily on the numbers game. The early season rut hunts have become so sought after that the draw odds are dismal. They have become so low in fact that most hunters can only expect to draw these types of tags once in their lifetime. Late-season premium tags could possibly be drawn two to three times during a hunters life depending on thier luck.  This is the main attraction to late-season hunting. It gives more opportunity for the hunter.

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Late and Long Range Elk Hunting


Elk hunting by its very nature is most often challenging and demanding.  The ultimate test of a hunter’s determination and skill is to succeed on a late season elk hunt on public land.

This is easy to confirm by checking success rates for late season elk hunts vs. rut hunts.  In Arizona, the late season success for the most part runs between 30 to 40 percent.  What most people don’t realize is that of the successful hunters on late hunts, the vast majority of the bulls taken are four and five point bulls and spikes.  To succeed during the late hunt on public land with high numbers of tags issued is difficult; to tag a mature 6x6 bull during this season is without question a huge accomplishment.

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Eva Shockey's First Elk Hunt


Colorado's Jurassic Park


Eva and Jim Shockey discussing elk bugling

The author and her father, Jim Shockey, discussing the sounds surrounding them.

Dinosaurs??” I whispered.


“Shh!” hissed my dad.

“Tigers?!” My whisper grew more audible. 


“Elephants? Chimpanzees? Gorillas? Sasquatch??!”

“Elk,” my dad replied.

“Those are elk?” I asked. 

“Yes, those are elk. It’s called bugling.” 



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