Hunting Elk – Complete Guide, FAQs, & More

It is almost fascinating how thrilling elk hunting is. There is no doubt that the sport has been practiced for many years. It requires talent, skill, and the right equipment to take down the animal. 

However, new hunters find it difficult to understand where to start from. There are so many things to keep in mind while planning for an elk hunt

If you are someone who is planning to go elk hunting, I would advise you to read this article carefully. It has all the information you need to know. 

What is the average cost for an elk hunt?

An elk hunt could be really costly. 

On average, a cow elk hunt could cost you anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000. However, the estimated cost for a bull elk could go up to $5,000.

However, the cost could vary based on the duration of your hunt. Moreover, the price could also vary based on your location.

Do I need to train myself for Elk hunting?

Well, it may not be necessary, however, I would advise it. Exercise could most certainly help you. 

Many Elk hunters say that they consider doing push-ups, sit-ups, and squats to prepare themselves. This will help you increase your stamina.

Is it possible to go for Elk hunting without a guide?

Guides are not really necessary if you are trained and skilled. If you are someone who has been in practice for some time, I would advise you to go alone. 

However, if it is your first time, I would suggest you take some help. 

Elk hunting is not as scary as you might think, so try not to get intimidated.

What size gun should I get for elk hunting?

You will need a bullet strong enough to penetrate through the animal. Otherwise, you may not kill the elk, allowing the animal to escape. 

I would advise you to pick a medium weight caliber. This should be approximately 140 grains and 6.5mm. 

Can I go Elk hunting in the rain?

Yes, of course. Elks usually don’t mind the rain unless there is an actual storm.

Some hunters even prefer a light drizzle. This is mainly because the Elks may choose to come out to cool themselves down if the temperature is higher. 

How long does it take to get an Elk tag?

The deadlines to apply for an Elk tag could vary depending on your region. Moreover, you may only be able to get an Elk tag during hunting season. It could take you approximately 20-25 days to get an Elk tag. 

How much does an Elk tag cost? 

The price range of an elk tag could vary based on the species. 

On average it could cost anywhere between $22.17 for residents and $1,481,70 for non-residents. 

For a pronghorn antelope, the average cost is $22.17 for residents and could go up to $162.82 for non-residents. 

However, for bighorn sheep, the cost could start from $443.25 for residents and $1,641.00 for non-residents.

Moreover, the estimated cost for wild pigs starts from $24.33 for residents and goes up to $82.08 for non-residents. 

What is the best time for Elk Hunting? 

Elks are active mostly during the day-time. This means the ideal time for Elk hunting is in the morning and in the middle of the day. 

Can I get more than one tag for elk hunting?

You could be able to get more than one tag for elk hunting. However, you are required to have at least one List B license. 

A single license could allow you to take any antlered animal for various species. 

Is it necessary to sling my rifle?

No, it may not be necessary to sling your rifle.

However, it is highly advised. A rifle sling is usually 36 inches. 

Slinging your rifle will provide you with additional sport. Moreover, it could also help you stabilize your position before you fire.  

I would advise you to have it on your rifle. This is mainly because slinging your rifle could become essential if you are shooting under-cover or from extreme angles.  

How many types of rifles are there for elk hunting?

It is important to understand the types of elks and the various rifles you could use to take them down. 

There are two types of rifles commonly known for elk hunting.

The first type is a semi-automatic rifle. They help to quickly administer a second or third fire. This saves loading time and allows you to take the elk down faster. However, for professional elk hunters, this is usually not the first choice.

The second type is a bolt action. They are commonly known for their use in the military, however are also used by elk hunters. Bolt action rifles have a high accuracy and reliability level. For elk hunting enthusiasts, this is normally their first choice. 

If you are a beginner, I would advise you to get a bolt action rifle. They are comparatively safer and dependable. Moreover, they allow accurate shots to be made. 

Is Elk hunting difficult? 

Elk hunting is considered an extremely difficult sport. The rate of success varies based on skill and experience. 

Usually, Elk hunters like to go together. They share 10% of the success equally amongst themselves. However, this could vary depending on your region.

hunting elk

To conclude

There are several different things you should keep in mind before going out for an elk hunt. If you are a beginner it is crucial you understand the cost attached to the hunt. 

Moreover, you might need to take an elk hunt guide with you if it is your first time. It is important you apply for your license and elk hunting tag. You may not be allowed to hunt otherwise. 

Everything you need to know has been mentioned in this article. Being aware of the circumstances will help enhance your hunting experience.

For any further information, please feel free to contact us. 


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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