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Old 01-10-2023, 05:31 PM
Buckhorn2 Buckhorn2 is offline
 
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Default I Want to pick someones brain on 402 Elk?

Ive been spending lots of time in central 402. Trail cameras, exploring areas. Im getting close to the elk but cant seal it. Ive got couple questions not looking for your spots just tips on the movement. I have legal bulls and cows on camera frequently during archery season. Opening day of rifle they dissappear. We have multiple cameras in different areas, they all go dry of pictures. Also we have gone back after season and no pics or tracks in the snow? Can any one tell me if they believe the elk head east across the trunk road into (bob or waldron) or west into BC? Or are they there and just mostly stationary. We have put the time and feet on the ground i honestly think we would see them if they were there. We have gotten up high and glassed around as well with zero elk seen. I find the area we are in doesnt really lend well to glassing (like the hunting shows seem to make it look like easy glassing spots on every hillside) but thats another topic
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Old 01-10-2023, 05:44 PM
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Most likely they migrate to the east following heavy snow or pressure from predators such as humans blowing on their elk calls and or wolves.


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Old 01-10-2023, 06:42 PM
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I know the feeling. Too bad our slopes dont have elk on them like Wyoming and Colorado, or we at least see the good stuff. Took me 16 years on a general tag in 400 to fill mine. I dont have much for advice other than keep grinding.
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Old 01-10-2023, 07:36 PM
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Some of my observations on many seasons in 402:

*Rut seems to start very late September (or even later) or requires a noticeable temperature change to bump it sooner; the past 3-4 years have been smoky and/or hot early on which has led to lean hunting
*Bulls generally don't call much, and spook on aggressive calling. I've had one lone calling sequence with a bull play out successfully in that unit
*Getting up high is ok, but I've had more interactions at treeline or in shady drainages with decent water. I actually see many similarities to spot and stalk spring bear tactics this way
*I have zero data to back this up, but I'd estimate at maybe half of the elk migrate through the Livingstone range and into Bob Creek (308) and even the Porcupines (304/305) once there is reasonable snow cover. The rest I'd deem residents but the population density is low and probably prone to predation issues and tough winters

Sounds like you put a very solid effort into your scouting and hunts. I hope you are rewarded soon! All the best.
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Old 01-10-2023, 08:37 PM
Buckhorn2 Buckhorn2 is offline
 
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Thanks for the info, im not a very good caller so i actually rarely do it, mainly just plan on spot and stalk. Maybe thats a weak spot in my tool kit. I decided to plan vacation this year for sept so will have 10 days to dedicate to the areas we know and gonna explore farther as well.
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Old 01-11-2023, 12:36 PM
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Loads of pressure in 402,Elk are quick to smarten up as soon as hunters move in.

Horse guys probably do better. Later in the season may be more productive.
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Old 01-11-2023, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by KBF View Post
I know the feeling. Too bad our slopes dont have elk on them like Wyoming and Colorado, or we at least see the good stuff. Took me 16 years on a general tag in 400 to fill mine. I dont have much for advice other than keep grinding.
Wyoming and Colorado (USA) manage wildlife. Alberta does not (BC and Sask do a little better job)
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Old 01-11-2023, 01:43 PM
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Wyoming and Colorado (USA) manage wildlife. Alberta does not (BC and Sask do a little better job)
For sure. Seems like most of the Western US states value hunters where here I don't get that impression.
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Old 01-11-2023, 02:05 PM
Pekan Pekan is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Buckhorn2 View Post
Ive been spending lots of time in central 402. Trail cameras, exploring areas. Im getting close to the elk but cant seal it. Ive got couple questions not looking for your spots just tips on the movement. I have legal bulls and cows on camera frequently during archery season. Opening day of rifle they dissappear. We have multiple cameras in different areas, they all go dry of pictures. Also we have gone back after season and no pics or tracks in the snow? Can any one tell me if they believe the elk head east across the trunk road into (bob or waldron) or west into BC? Or are they there and just mostly stationary. We have put the time and feet on the ground i honestly think we would see them if they were there. We have gotten up high and glassed around as well with zero elk seen. I find the area we are in doesnt really lend well to glassing (like the hunting shows seem to make it look like easy glassing spots on every hillside) but thats another topic
This is the question I've been trying to find the answer to for several years.
I've heard that there are sometimes hundreds of elk on the Elkford area mine properties. That's not too far by elk standards.
In 305, 306, & 308 they can rut without a rifle season taking place. Makes sense they'd go where the pressure is less. But there doesn't seem to be any guarantees with that from my experience.

I don't know what kind of pressure the wolves see in 402 but I do know that a trapper used to work Bob creek in the winters, not sure if he still is. I would imagine wolves like the forest of 402 better, less chance of getting picked off by a hunter or rancher than the more open country to the east.

One other factor, Grizzlies. I was in central 402 in May of '22 looking for a Blackbear and saw three grizzlies on the side of a hill together. Looked like two Boars fighting over a sow based on the sizes of them. Just imagine how many calves those three could eat?
There's grizzlies east of 402 but that was the first time I've seen three grown grizz's together.

If I were king I'd get rid of the September 17th rifle season in 400, 402 and make the whole area 6 point or larger, 400, 402, 304, 305, 306, &308.

After a few years the elk hunting would be amazing. But too bad the ranchers control things, they'd never allow that.
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Old 01-11-2023, 03:57 PM
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Wyoming and Colorado (USA) manage wildlife. Alberta does not (BC and Sask do a little better job)
A foreign concept for sure.
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Old 01-11-2023, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MountainTi View Post
Wyoming and Colorado (USA) manage wildlife. Alberta does not (BC and Sask do a little better job)
You're giving B.C way too much credit.
Hunting opportunity and game populations have plummeted over the last 10-15 years. Between predators and UNDRIP, licenced B.C. hunters are running out of game and land to hunt.
The B.C. politicians have handcuffed wildlife managers from properly looking after large game animals..



Quote:
Originally Posted by Pekan View Post
This is the question I've been trying to find the answer to for several years.
I've heard that there are sometimes hundreds of elk on the Elkford area mine properties. That's not too far by elk standards.
In 305, 306, & 308 they can rut without a rifle season taking place. Makes sense they'd go where the pressure is less. But there doesn't seem to be any guarantees with that from my experience.

I don't know what kind of pressure the wolves see in 402 but I do know that a trapper used to work Bob creek in the winters, not sure if he still is. I would imagine wolves like the forest of 402 better, less chance of getting picked off by a hunter or rancher than the more open country to the east.

One other factor, Grizzlies. I was in central 402 in May of '22 looking for a Blackbear and saw three grizzlies on the side of a hill together. Looked like two Boars fighting over a sow based on the sizes of them. Just imagine how many calves those three could eat?
There's grizzlies east of 402 but that was the first time I've seen three grown grizz's together.

If I were king I'd get rid of the September 17th rifle season in 400, 402 and make the whole area 6 point or larger, 400, 402, 304, 305, 306, &308.

After a few years the elk hunting would be amazing. But too bad the ranchers control things, they'd never allow that.


And everyone would be chasing the few raghorn six points.

As long as the wolf and grizz population is allowed to remain high, the mature bull elk hunting will never become amazing.


From a hunting harvest perspective, the three point rule at least allows for some harvest before the wolves kill those bulls.


BTW, There are lots of grizz in all of these units.
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Old 01-11-2023, 04:57 PM
Pekan Pekan is offline
 
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Originally Posted by walking buffalo View Post
You're giving B.C way too much credit.
Hunting opportunity and game populations have plummeted over the last 10-15 years. Between predators and UNDRIP, licenced B.C. hunters are running out of game and land to hunt.
The B.C. politicians have handcuffed wildlife managers from properly looking after large game animals..







And everyone would be chasing the few raghorn six points.

As long as the wolf and grizz population is allowed to remain high, the mature bull elk hunting will never become amazing.


From a hunting harvest perspective, the three point rule at least allows for some harvest before the wolves kill those bulls.


BTW, There are lots of grizz in all of these units.
Sounds like you're satisfied with the current wildlife management plan for elk in wmu 402. Except for the Grizzly bears -which we cannot do anything about and the wolves which have a hunting season that's like 9 months long.

Hunting 1.5 year old bulls in the rut with a rifle tho?

Again, if I were king I'd do it differently.
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Old 01-11-2023, 09:21 PM
Jjolg123 Jjolg123 is offline
 
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I see no shortage of nice bulls on camera, I find they will respond to bugling by coming in but not too often vocally. I find cow calling to be most effective, where they are for me varies on pressure both human/wolves and the amount of snow. They’ll move from the bc side and jump the Livingston then come back and do it again. Often I found the best approach to find the bulls is to think your sheep hunting and get high, but at the same time my last bull wasn’t more than 400m from the trunk rd so what do I know lol

I will say this past year was by far the fewest wolves I’ve had on camera in probably ten years
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Old 01-12-2023, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Pekan View Post
Sounds like you're satisfied with the current wildlife management plan for elk in wmu 402. Except for the Grizzly bears -which we cannot do anything about and the wolves which have a hunting season that's like 9 months long.

Hunting 1.5 year old bulls in the rut with a rifle tho?

Again, if I were king I'd do it differently.

Satisfied, heck no....
Our ungulate management throughout the mountain units has been terrible for the last 30 years. That's why we are in this mess now. Be assured, 402 elk are not stable or increasing, the problem is getting worse.

But just further limiting hunting is not the solution if one desires a healthy elk population and to continue a hunt.
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Old 01-12-2023, 01:51 PM
matt1984 matt1984 is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Pekan View Post
Sounds like you're satisfied with the current wildlife management plan for elk in wmu 402. Except for the Grizzly bears -which we cannot do anything about and the wolves which have a hunting season that's like 9 months long.

Hunting 1.5 year old bulls in the rut with a rifle tho?

Again, if I were king I'd do it differently.
Though they are hard to find I would argue the legal bulls I see in 402 are often larger (and more mature) then the the majority I see in the neighboring zones that don't have a September rifle hunt. The terrain of 402 makes it a harder hunt, and hunter success numbers are an indicator of that along with reduced populations. Going 6 point would not solve any of the issues, an aggressive predator management plan is the only way to improve things IMO.

Look at all of the nearby 400 zones that are on draw and 6 point only. They have arguably gone down-hill more than 402.

Last edited by matt1984; 01-12-2023 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 01-12-2023, 02:47 PM
Pekan Pekan is offline
 
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Satisfied, heck no....
Our ungulate management throughout the mountain units has been terrible for the last 30 years. That's why we are in this mess now. Be assured, 402 elk are not stable or increasing, the problem is getting worse.

But just further limiting hunting is not the solution if one desires a healthy elk population and to continue a hunt.
Yeah maybe so.

I wonder what kind of incentive it would take to have some subsistance hunters exercise their treaty rights on the grizzly bears.......sounds like a legal grey area
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Old 01-12-2023, 02:55 PM
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Though they are hard to find I would argue the legal bulls I see in 402 are often larger (and more mature) then the the majority I see in the neighboring zones that don't have a September rifle hunt. The terrain of 402 makes it a harder hunt, and hunter success numbers are an indicator of that along with reduced populations. Going 6 point would not solve any of the issues, an aggressive predator management plan is the only way to improve things IMO.

Look at all of the nearby 400 zones that are on draw and 6 point only. They have arguably gone down-hill more than 402.
I want to hunt 402 because of the big country aspect, but success comes easier in other wmu's.
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Old 01-12-2023, 04:44 PM
WinefredCommander WinefredCommander is offline
 
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Get pushed around by sheep hunters.
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Old 01-12-2023, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by matt1984 View Post
Though they are hard to find I would argue the legal bulls I see in 402 are often larger (and more mature) then the the majority I see in the neighboring zones that don't have a September rifle hunt. The terrain of 402 makes it a harder hunt, and hunter success numbers are an indicator of that along with reduced populations. Going 6 point would not solve any of the issues, an aggressive predator management plan is the only way to improve things IMO.

Look at all of the nearby 400 zones that are on draw and 6 point only. They have arguably gone down-hill more than 402.
Heavily thinking of drawing 404 next year , so disappointed to read regarding neighbouring units haha . Saw a decent bull way up high in 402 this past summer when exploring sheep country , not many nicer sights out there . Will likely be controversial , but I wonder if the reduced atv traffic throughout 402 is starting to help them out a bit now , at least wouldn’t hurt I’d think . Regardless of mountain zone , think all of us would like to see more elk on the mountain sides .
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Old 01-12-2023, 09:25 PM
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I love the 402 area. Wish it had big elk numbers. I come near one before and seen some cows.

Never seen wolves but I have seen the evidence of them.

I wish I knew what elk did in any zone haha.
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Old 01-13-2023, 09:57 AM
Big Grey Wolf Big Grey Wolf is offline
 
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Couple years back Mark Boyce U Of A collared bunch of elk in Southern Alberta. He found they migrated to BC, then moved to US. Later in year migrated back to Alberta. You may need elk tag for 2 provinces and one state. Elk move a lot when under pressure.
Just another migration example, one of first wolf packs we gave to them Americans in Wyoming. The pack came All the way back to Pincher Creek, killed an Alberta elk then returned total of 1700 km back to Wyoming where the elk hunting was better.
Want a third example, cougar from Nordegg AB went way down into US forget total miles covered.
PS I am on a roll.

Last edited by Big Grey Wolf; 01-13-2023 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 01-13-2023, 12:06 PM
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Couple years back Mark Boyce U Of A collared bunch of elk in Southern Alberta. He found they migrated to BC, then moved to US. Later in year migrated back to Alberta. You may need elk tag for 2 provinces and one state. Elk move a lot when under pressure.
Just another migration example, one of first wolf packs we gave to them Americans in Wyoming. The pack came All the way back to Pincher Creek, killed an Alberta elk then returned total of 1700 km back to Wyoming where the elk hunting was better.
Want a third example, cougar from Nordegg AB went way down into US forget total miles covered.
PS I am on a roll.

I shot a bull in 402 a few years ago that was collared. They said that bull was captured near Waterton and he was in BC for a while before meeting his demise upon Cabin Ridge.


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Old 01-13-2023, 01:35 PM
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What kind of numbers does the guide camp set up in there pull out per year?
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Old 01-13-2023, 05:12 PM
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Yeah maybe so.

I wonder what kind of incentive it would take to have some subsistance hunters exercise their treaty rights on the grizzly bears.......sounds like a legal grey area
I suggested that many years ago and nearly got lynched

And, well, I can kinda see why now, it’s not a great idea. We don’t need to encourage more raced based nonsense.

They are all hard on the undrip agenda now and wouldn’t risk public perception turning negative anyway.
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Old 01-13-2023, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
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Though they are hard to find I would argue the legal bulls I see in 402 are often larger (and more mature) then the the majority I see in the neighboring zones that don't have a September rifle hunt. The terrain of 402 makes it a harder hunt, and hunter success numbers are an indicator of that along with reduced populations. Going 6 point would not solve any of the issues, an aggressive predator management plan is the only way to improve things IMO.

Look at all of the nearby 400 zones that are on draw and 6 point only. They have arguably gone down-hill more than 402.
Correct, some of the six point zones have large 5 pointers doing the rutting, especially in areas where you can hunt them on foot,rather than on horseback.
Main issue is still wolves,cougars and bears. One of the main reasons for increased Elk herds in the zones farther east is less pressure from predators.
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Old 01-13-2023, 07:56 PM
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What kind of numbers does the guide camp set up in there pull out per year?
You can see what the allocations are for that area online
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Old 01-14-2023, 08:21 AM
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Wolves have been in 402 for a long time
Twenty years ago my friend Pat and I climbed up on a high ridge in the dark in the west Racehorse area.
We were sitting in the middle of the trail glassing when Pat said he comes your elk
A dozen or so elk were running right at us being chased by a pack of wolves
i thought we were going to get trampled so told Pat we better hide behind a tree
As soon as we moved all heck broke loose
Elk scattered and wolves scattered
The wolves all went down different drainages and for about a half hour we heard them howling until the pack got back together
we tried to get close to the pack of wolves but no luck
Some lucky hunter down on the road had the bunch of elk run past his truck and he was able to get one
such is life in the woods
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Old 01-14-2023, 04:39 PM
59whiskers 59whiskers is offline
 
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Hunted 402 a couple years ago end of October into November on couple of day trips. Seen elk on both outings. Not terribly far from road but it would be good to have help. Elk are not in high numbers like they used to be. Like hunting there when all the fair weather campers are gone with some snow on the ground. Yes there are more wolves around. Hunted there since 1970’s.
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Old 01-15-2023, 12:11 PM
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North faces early season when the leafs are still on the trees they like to hang out in the poplar Bowles and strands that everyone think are so thick they’re a waste of time (spoiler alert that’s what they like). You don’t have to go far off the road but I find more in that 2-3km range than closer to the road. Practice bugles they work. They can be at any elevation the 200 and 300 zone elk seldom leave the prairies for higher elevations so don’t beat your self up crushing those super tall ridges because you think you need to. Play the thermals and wind come down on them quietly when you find them don’t be try to come up on them or match their elevation or rush they can smell hear and see you coming even if your wearing HECS and have an ozonics module blasting in your back pack he will just run away that’s how the elk laugh at you. 200/300 zones produce better these days Than 400/402 but you can still get it done. Just have to decide if you want to put that effort into 402 vs more productive areas that require some door knocking. Elk for sure have their winter areas and move around a bit they are not always in the same spot like clock work every year but can be.

Last edited by Dubious; 01-15-2023 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 01-22-2023, 01:50 PM
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I suggested that many years ago and nearly got lynched

And, well, I can kinda see why now, it’s not a great idea. We don’t need to encourage more raced based nonsense.

They are all hard on the undrip agenda now and wouldn’t risk public perception turning negative anyway.
What was the logic with the people who disagreed with you? Grizzly bears are starting to be a problem in alberta - and with no recreational hunting, they have little to no fear of people.
I shot a grizzly a few years ago near swan hills, and the meat was phenomenal. If the general public and politicians don’t feel the need for a recreational hunt, i would encourage any indigenous harvester to make use of this resource and take a bear. Everyone wants a moose, but since those populations are struggling, I’d like to see more harvesters shoot a bear and let the moose numbers recover.
I honestly don’t agree with the continued ban on recreational grizzly hunting - but from what I’ve been told, the politicians in charge won’t make a change any time soon. An animal like the grizzly bear needs to be managed. Period.
With regard to the “race based nonsense”, i couldn’t agree more. In a perfect world, race wouldn’t matter, skin colour and historical heritage wouldn’t matter… but that’s not the world we live in, unfortunately.
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