Considered one of the most majestic animals on the continent, the Rocky Mountain elk is emblematic of western hunting. From the bugling of herd bull monarchs keeping their harems of cows in line to the breathtaking vistas and, oh!, those towering tiers of antlers, this is a prized experience for anyone with the patience to hike the miles and put in the hours behind a binocular to plan a stalk. Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah are always top destinations, but reintroduced populations in states like Kansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and even Arkansas, with others in the planning, are offering fresh opportunities.
Elk tags are most often acquired through lottery tag draws, but there are states that offer over-the-counter tags, even for non-residents. You can hunt them DIY on public land if you like to camp and are map-savvy. If you’d prefer a helping hand, there are dozens of reputable hunting guides who can get you where you’re going via horseback or llama and tent camp if you like roughing it, or with a wake-up call in a five-star lodge, whichever you prefer.
For more information, see our friends at Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
- Mirage, which refers to the way light rays are bent due to the heat difference of the ground and the air, can be used, if they’re moving, to help illustrate wind direction and intensity. Read the full article to get a better understanding of how to use Mirage to assess the wind.
- Grass, leaves, tree branches and other flora are good indicators of wind speed and direction. Read the full article to learn how to use these natural clues.
- If you’re hunting in a foreign environment, use a windmeter to measure values and their effects on flora; then, you can estimate wind values at range based on the amount of movement of that particular plant. Read the full article for the benefits of a windmeter.
- Canyons can prove particularly challenging, especially if compound winds are present. Make sure you understand how canyon walls affect wind currents.
Read the full article at GunDigest.com for a more detailed explanation of how to use these environmental elementsSpecial thanks to GunDigest.com for providing this insightful content. GunDigest.com is a shooter’s opportunity to keep up with what’s going on in the world of the gun.In this video, former Army Ranger sniper team leader Ryan Cleckner explains how to estimate wind speed, shares a formula for calculating wind drift, and explains how ballistic charts and empirical data gathered at the range can help hunters and target shooters properly compensate for the effects of wind.