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How to Hunt Public-Land Elk with Dieter Kaboth

Day 2: Dieter Kaboth on the Elk’s Keen Ability to Smell – Especially on Public Lands

Editor’s Note: Dieter Kaboth of Orofino, Idaho, a member of the Hunter’s Specialties’ National Pro Staff and longtime avid elk hunter, is a four-time World Champion elk bugler. Although Kaboth has hunted elk many times on ranch land, he primarily hunts public lands. He’s called-in hundreds of elk but only has taken 52. Most of the time he’s calling-in elk for friends and family members.

Click for Larger ViewElk generally will move-in downwind to attempt to pick-up the smell of the bull that’s been bugling. Using the complete Hunter’s Specialties’ Scent-A-Way system is critically important. Early in my elk-hunting career, I didn’t use the Hunter’s Specialties Scent-A-Way system, and when I’d call-in bulls, they’d circle downwind, pick-up my scent and run away. However, since I’ve been using the Scent-A-Way system, I’ve been far-more successful calling-in and taking bulls on public land.

Click for Larger ViewWhen trying to eliminate human odor, most hunters forget about their watch bands, although those bands are constantly collecting and dispensing human odor. When I’m hunting, I take off my watch, put it in a Ziploc bag and store it in my backpack. I’ll take the time to set down my backpack, pull-out the Ziploc bag with my watch in it, look at the time and then return my watch back to my pack, rather than knowingly wear a watch that has human odor on its band. The more mindful you are of your scent, the more elk you’ll see and take. For any scent you may miss, Hunter’s Specialties Fresh Earth Cover Scent Wafers will help mask your human odor.

Click for Larger ViewMany times you’ll have a chance to prepare for the shot when you’re calling-in one of these silent bulls. When the bulls show-up close, they’ll become nervous like turkey gobblers do. And sometimes, though not always, they’ll bugle when they think they’re getting closer to the herd that’s been talking to them or you’ll hear them walking. Most bowhunters want to hear an elk bugle, go to him, get as close as they can and try to take the shot. But early in the season, when elk aren’t very vocal, your calling, set-up and scent-elimination skills may pay-off in big-bull dividends.
Common Sense about Scents

Click for Larger ViewAt first glance, you may think using all the Hunter’s Specialties’ several-different scent wafers and attaching them to your body to eliminate human odor when you’re hunting sounds strange. However, when I’m in the north woods with their pine and fir trees, I wear the Natural Pine wafer, one of several of Hunter’s Specialties Cover Scent Wafers. If I’m in southern Colorado or New Mexico, I’ll wear the Western Sage Wafer. Sometimes I’ll wear both wafers in areas where there are both pine and sage. I also use the Cow Elk Urine Wafer and often Fresh Earth Wafers. Once you start mixing and matching your scent wafers to adapt to your terrain and to help you smell like the elk you sound like, you’ll be amazed at how close you can get to a bull on public lands.

PHD ElkSecrets for Hunting ElkFor more information about hunting elk, check-out the new Kindle ebooks by John E. Phillips, “PhD Elk” and “Secrets for Hunting Elk,” both available by going to and typing in the names of the books. Too, you can download a free Kindle app to read the books on your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

Tomorrow: Dieter Kaboth Says You May Run-Off Public Land Bulls

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Hunt Public-Land Elk with Dieter Kaboth"

Day 1: Dieter Kaboth Explains Bowhunting Elk on Public Lands
Day 2: Dieter Kaboth on the Elk’s Keen Ability to Smell – Especially on Public Lands
Day 3: Dieter Kaboth Says You May Run-Off Public Land Bulls
Day 4: How to Rifle Hunt Bull Elk on Public Lands with Dieter Kaboth
Day 5: Hunting Pressure Makes Elk Move with Dieter Kaboth

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Entry 674, Day 2