John's Journal...

The Monstrous Scent-A-Way Bull Elk with Wayne Carlton

Time to Reflect

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Wayne Carlton, host of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s “Elk Country Journal” TV show, has hunted and guided for elk for more than 32 years. He recently took a bull elk that unofficially scored 410 points on Boone and Crockett. This bull was the biggest he’d ever taken with his bow and the biggest bull elk ever filmed by Hunter’s Specialties “Primetime” video crew. This year, Carlton has been on a missionClick to enlarge to learn more about elk hunting than ever before, and some of his insights will change the way we all hunt elk.

Question: Wayne, last week you told us about taking the bull that had a rough score of about 410 on Boone and Crockett. Now that the hunt’s over, and you’ve had a chanceto reflect on the hunt, what did you come away with as far as new knowledge for bagging bull elk?
Carlton: I re-confirmed what I learned last year that explains how to become a great elk hunter and more importantly, how to become a great elk caller. We tend to forget certain basics that always result in effective hunting. One of those elements is if you’re where the game wants to be, your calling is far-more effective. Deer hunters know that to consistently take deer, they need to travel near a bedding area or along a straight line because these are places deer want to be. Duck hunters understand that if they can pinpoint a place where ducks were feeding yesterday, more than likely, the ducks will be in that same location feeding toClick to enlargemorrow. Turkey hunters know that if a certain gobbler takes the same route to a field every day, if they go along that route, they should be able to take that turkey. Too, if they see a gobbler strutting in the same place for 2 or 3 days, chances are that turkey will be strutting in that same spot the next day when they hunt him.

Last season, I took a 370-class bull because I found a wallow with a lot of sign in it and around it. So, instead of going out and trying to locate a bull, I stayed at the wallow, calleClick to enlarged intermittently and let the elk come to me. When I took the bull this season, we heard him growl, but could tell he didn’t want to come to the call. So, we went to the water tank we’d scouted and also found a lot of sign there. By our staying at the tank and calling, the bull came in to us, and we took him. Generally, elk hunters go out in the morning and bugle to an elk. If the elk bugles back, the hunter spends all day chasing that elk and calling to him to try to entice the elk to come to where he’s positioned. But last season and this season, I’ve learned that when you elk hunt, if you’ll look for the places where elk want to be, such as wallows, water tanks and feeding and bedding sites, and reach those areas before the elk, your calling will be 100%-more effective. Put simply, hunt the places where elk want to be, not where the bulls already are located.

Tomorrow: More Lessons Learned from Carlton’s Big Bull Elk

Check back each day this week for more about "The Monstrous Scent-A-Way Bull Elk with Wayne Carlton"

Day 1: Elk Pie
Day 2: Leave the Bull to Take the Bull
Day 3: No Sight, No Shot – The Almost Miss
Day 4: Time to Reflect
Day 5: More Lessons Learned from Carlton’s Big Bull Elk


Entry 478, Day 4