SCOTT AND ANGIE DENNY
Scott and Angie Denny own Table Mountain Outfitters (tablemountainoutfitters.com) and guide in Idaho, Wyoming, and Nebraska. They also host the television program The Life At Table Mountain.
As the weather cools and breeding activity heats up, calling will entice bulls into range. But the Dennys stress that calling too much can either silence or repel vocal bulls. The Dennys prefer to use cow calls or the weak, tentative bugles of a subordinate bull to bring a herd bull in close.
Because the Dennys hunt elk in areas where the herds spend the majority of the season, they don’t really have specific midseason tactics. They do note that rut-weary bulls will often separate from herds and bed down in areas with timber escape cover. Hunting them is often a matter of glassing from a long distance and then working into shooting range.
The key for the Dennys is what they call “comfort zones.”
“We don’t have a high amount of migration in our hunting areas,” says Angie Denny, “so elk mainly stick to known comfort zones as winter approaches. By this, we mainly mean food sources, whether that’s low-elevation agricultural areas or wintering areas with an abundance of south-facing slopes where the snow will bare off. We generally hunt these by spotting and then stalking into range, using any terrain features we can to get into these comfort zones.”
“Good optics are maybe the most fundamental and critical piece of gear,” says Scott Denny. “Seeing [the elk] is half the battle.”
They recommend good-quality 10x42 binoculars for spotting elk, and riflescopes with good glass for the shot. Shooting is often done in the low-light conditions of morning or evening, so optics with good light transmission are critical.
Rifles and Bows
The Dennys prefer that hunters bring along a flat-shooting rifle capable of making a shot at longer ranges, and their favorite caliber for elk is the .300 Win. Mag. Scott shoots a Mathews Halon 32 bow, Angie a Mathews Avail. Both shoot a two-blade Rage broadhead. “A good shot with any broadhead will kill a bull,” says Angie, but “a marginal shot with a Rage means your odds are still better than with a fixed blade.”