Outdoor Life - - HUNTING -

Scott and Angie Denny own Ta­ble Moun­tain Out­fit­ters (table­moun­tain­out­fit­ and guide in Idaho, Wy­oming, and Ne­braska. They also host the tele­vi­sion pro­gram The Life At Ta­ble Moun­tain.

Early-sea­son Tac­tics

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.

Mid­sea­son Tac­tics

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.

Late-sea­son Tac­tics

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.”

Go-to Gear

“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.”

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