When you book a guided elk hunt, you might think that is all you need to do, but there are a few things you can do to get the most out of the experience. Actually, many hunters say that the first guided trip is the most challenging. It will push you in ways that your usually hunting excursions haven’t because of the terrain, game, and unique conditions of elk hunting.
Elk is an elusive species. They aren’t easy to spot and are even harder to hunt. If you come across a trophy bull, they will probably respond by pushing deeper into the terrain. This spot and run movement will take a toll on your body in ways that you need to train for, or you will have a hard time under the pressure. While this makes elk hunting super challenging, it is also the reason why elk is one of the most prized animals in the sport.
All in all, the challenges of elk hunting are incredibly technical, mental, and physical. Fortunately, you can minimize these challenges by preparing for your guided trip ahead of time. You are probably getting ready to head out for your trip and need a few tips on how you can prepare. The team at West Canyon Ranch has put together a list of things you can do to prepare for your guided elk hunt.
Take a look at what you can do to make your elk hunt the best experience possible.
6 Tips to Help You Prepare for a Guided Elk Hunt
- Get in Hunting Shape
You are often in rough terrain when you elk hunt. You will also be pushed further than you have in a long time. That is why you must be as in shape as possible. At West Canyon Ranch, we recommend that our hunters are able to hike more than five miles a day. While there are transportation means available on our guided elk hunts, you will probably hunt in areas where hiking is best.
If you are in good physical condition, you will also be more agile during your hunt. This is especially important when hunting elk because the species is extremely challenging to shot. You will also have a more enjoyable experience because you won’t be as exhausted at the end of the day.
Of course, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, but getting into shape before your guided hunting trip is a good rule of thumb. Remember that if you are physically healthy, you will most likely adapt better to the environment throughout your journey.
- Research the Area
Where you are hunting during your guided hunt will most likely be foreign to you. You should do your best to understand the terrain and location before you begin. Study maps, watch videos of people visiting the area and ask your outfitter about the environment you will be hunting.
The West Canyon Ranch team has plenty of experience hunting elk in the area, so they will know what to do. However, most hunters want to get as involved in the hunt as possible. You can do this by getting familiar with landmarks, training for the terrain, and getting as educated as you can while you are at home.
- Practice Shooting
When most people take part in a guided hunt, they haven’t hunted for a while or are shaking off the off-season jitters. You should visit your local shooting range ahead of your trip to make sure it is up to snuff. Practice hitting standstill targets, moving marks, or even go on a few small hunting excursions ahead of your guided hunt. Any practice will help you prepare for your guided hunting trip. It will also lend a hand for when you spot a trophy bull and are ready to make your mark.
West Canyon Ranch also has a shooting range for guests to practice throughout their stay. You can visit the shooting range before your trip begins or to freshen up your skills throughout the hunting season.
- Find the Right Hunting Tool
You will also need to consider whether you want to hunt with a rifle or hunting bow. If you decide to use your current rifle, you should properly clean it ahead of your trip and make sure it is ready to go. You should also take it to the shooting range and give it a whirl a few days ahead of time.
You can also work with your outfitter deciding which weapon would work best for your hunting trip. Whether you use your own, buy new, or rent, finding the right rifle or bow and arrow will make your hunting trip much better.
- Appropriately Dress for Your Guided Hunt
Dressing for an elk hunt is just as important as finding the right rifle. If you don’t wear the right hunting clothes, you will be uncomfortable throughout your hunt and won’t enjoy your experience. Research the environment where you are hunting, understand the average weather conditions, and ask your outfitter what is best. Taking the time to dress correctly will make a tremendous impact on how your hunting trip will go.
It is also imperative that you find the right shoes. You won’t get anywhere without a pair of quality hunting boots and good socks. If your favorite hunting boots are out of commission, research which boots are currently the best on the market. Read reviews and determine which boots offer the highest value and will work well for a demanding hunting trip.
It would also help if you broke your shoes in before taking them on your guided hunting trip. Forgetting to do so could leave you with blisters that will last for weeks after your trip ends.
- Learn to Take Direction Well
Another tip that we make sure our hunters understand ahead of time is learning how to take direction. You might be used to taking control of your hunts. A guided hunting trip will put you in a different position than that.
You will be a stranger on the land and need an extra hand. Our guides will be there to help, but that means receiving direction. Together you will figure out where to go, where to look, and how to stalk your prey. Keep in mind that your guide wants your hunt to be successful.
They want you to have a great experience. If you learn to take your guide’s direction, you will probably get a chance to shoot a trophy elk. This opportunity is an experience that most hunters would die to have. Do your best at taking direction, and we promise that you will have a successful hunt no matter the season.
Private Elk Hunting at West Canyon Ranch
West Canyon Ranch is one of the most sought after guided elk hunting programs in the United States. Our private hunting ranch in Utah is on 4,000 acres of breathtaking scenery. Our herd management techniques ensure superior genetics, allowing our big-game animals to reach a mature age and maximum trophy size. Not only are our hunts guaranteed, but we also promise a once-in-a-lifetime experience for every one of our visitors.
Now that we have given you some tips on preparing yourself for the hunt, it’s also important to know What to Look For in Your Elk Hunting Outfitter.
For additional information on guided hunts at West Canyon Ranch, contact our team.