Expert offers helpful hints on how to hunt elk
Outdoors By JOHN PHILLIPS
By hunting different areas of the
country with people you've never hunted with before, you'll learn
new techniques, try out new equipment and broaden your hunting education.
As an outdoor writer for 35 years, my job allows me to have a continuing
education in the out of doors.
Last week, I went to Montrose, Col., to hunt with my friend, Wayne
Carlton, one of the nation's leading elk hunters. Here are some
items I learned about while there:
Super Sneakers — After climbing to the top
of mountains, we stalked elk on benches and in parks (plateaus).
To get close to the elk, we wore Super Sneakers, thick yet lightweight,
felt-soled sandals that we quickly slipped on over our boots, The
Super Sneakers muffled the sound of our walking on leaves, sticks
and rocks and allowed us to stalk close to the elk. White-tailed
hunters can soak Super Sneakers with deer lure to dispense deer
lure and cover their human odor.
Smooth Talker — I hate not being able to
use my cell phone to tag in at home and with the office when in
hunting camp. However, a new product called Smooth Talker, a bi-directional
radio-frequency amplifier that amplifies the receiving and the transmitting
signals of a cell phone, increased the range of my cell phone by
60 miles or more. Our hunting camp in Colorado was 20-miles away
from the nearest telephone. But I hooked my cell phone up to Smooth
Talker, plugged it into an electrical outlet and could talk clearly
and easily when no other cell phone could send out or receive a
signal. I also could operate the Smooth Talker on house current,
plug it into the cigarette lighter of the car or attach it to an
Vanish Camo — This year for the first time,
Dickeys, the work-clothes folks, will introduce a new western camo
pattern, Vanish, which combines shadows, light spots and an evergreen
overlay that makes it very adaptable for eastern hunters. Most camos
feature hardwood leaves and limbs.
The McDaddy — Most hunters find bugling
elk with a diaphragm mouthcall tough. But Hunter Specialties' new
McDaddy elk call, which hasn't arrived at stores at this writing,
allows the hunter, by simply blowing, to make the lowest-pitched
sound of a bull elk and then by pushing the lever, to reach those
high-pitched notes of a screaming bull elk without having to use
his tongue to meter air over a diaphragm. Even a beginner can bugle
elk effectively with this new call.
GPS — I always take a hand-held GPS (Global
Positioning System) with me any time I hunt in unfamiliar territory.
However, last week I learned that when hunting in high country,
a GPS must be able to determine elevation and show your route in
relationship to the elevation to be effective. The GPS I carried
showed the route we took. But, because we walked back and forth,
sidehilling the mountain we were climbing to gain elevation, much
like traveling a switch-back road, the trail on my GPS had so many
lines on top of lines that I couldn't identify the route back to
Therefore, if you plan to hunt in mountainous ranges and navigate
with a hand-held GPS, make sure it has some type of elevation discrimination
device built into it. If not, you'll be as lost as last year's Easter
Learning about the latest equipment will help you broaden your
hunting education and in the process, increase your hunting skills.
I know I have.
Sept. 7, 2005