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#3113101 - 06/19/09 What's the best bait for elk? li
billrquimby Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 304
Our summer home is in the middle of Arizona's best elk country. We have elk in our yard frequently, but mostly it's in the middle of the night and we only see their tracks and scat. So far, baiting to view wildlife is still legal in our county. (We can't hunt near the cabin.)

I've tried salt and mineral blocks and "deer blocks", but so far they have ignored my offerings. Any suggestions as to what I should put out for them? Has anyone had any luck with alfalfa pellets?

Bill Quimby

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#3113252 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: billrquimby]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 36996
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
Dunno about summer, but elk used to really like a potato patch a friend had on his 7-acre place in a Montana canyon.
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John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015

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#3113315 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: billrquimby]
Granger Offline
Member

Registered: 11/05/08
Posts: 32
Loc: Colorado
Here in Evergreen, Colorado I can't even get the dogs to chase them out of the yard anymore so I have to do it. Five minutes later they're back. Anything green attracts them. Native mountain plants, the herb garden, poppies, the vegetable garden. Big mountain rats they are...

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#3113643 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: Granger]
mudhen Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 05/30/05
Posts: 9979
Loc: Boot Heel of New Mexico
Just about any ornamental plant or vegetable that you really love will also be attractive to elk. I learned this the hard way when I lived up in Evergreen Meadows in Colorado twenty years ago...
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#3113685 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: mudhen]
700LH Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 03/06/07
Posts: 11060
Loc: Gem State
Alfalfa works, I have shot elk before sunrise, on their way back up the mountain, after they had spent the night in a alfalfa field.
Good meat that was.
Not much better than alfalfa fed deer and elk.
Easy to pack out too.

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#3113686 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: mudhen]
Rock Chuck Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 29729
Loc: Filer, ID
+1 on a bale of alfalfa hay. Just ask any rancher who has elk in his winter pasture running his cows off their feed.
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#3113896 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: Rock Chuck]
99guy Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 4618
Loc: SE, PA
+2 on the alfalfa hay. Throw a bale of hay out there if you want to see elk. Just be careful what you wish for though!

It might not be to long before your back on the campfire asking how to get rid of the filthy things.
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~Admiral Yamamoto~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ~Thomas Jefferson~

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#3114020 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: 99guy]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 36996
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
I'll just add that the potato patch pulled in more elk than the green alfalfa field next to it--though they liked both.

My bet (based on some experience) is that elk are more attracted to green lawns than baled alfalfa--or alfalfa pellets. The original post is about Bill's summer home in Arizona. Elk sure do hit haystacks in the winter in the northern Rockies, but that ain't what we're discussing here.
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John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015

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#3114083 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: Mule Deer]
99guy Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 4618
Loc: SE, PA
Grow potatoes for elk in AZ?

Alfalfa hay got to taste better than cactus
_________________________
"You cannot invade mainland America. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass"
~Admiral Yamamoto~

When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty. ~Thomas Jefferson~

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#3114089 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: 99guy]
exbiologist Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 5190
Loc: Colorado
rose bushes
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#3114593 - 06/20/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: exbiologist]
idahoguy101 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/28/08
Posts: 2795
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
I know in the past Idaho has issued winter depredation hunt tags for Elk that are eating up Ranchers stored alfafa.

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#3117800 - 06/22/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: idahoguy101]
billrquimby Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 304
Thanks, all.

Alfalfa seems to get the majority of votes, and I intend to buy a couple of bales this week.

Problem is, we can expect to be deluged with rain during July, August and September here in Arizona's high country, some days as much as an inch in an hour.

Wouldn't that sour alfalfa quickly? Any suggestions on how to keep it dry?

As for rose bushes, our property is covered with wild rose plants, but the mule deer cropped them to ground level and are working on our aspens.

Early Arizonans grew lots of potatoes 80-100 years ago in our little valley so it could be done today, but someone else would have to do it. I'm a hunter/gatherer not a farmer.

Same applies to lawns, decorative plants and gardens. I prefer to simply watch our aspens, ponderosas and firs grow.

Bill Quimby

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#3117851 - 06/22/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: billrquimby]
Huntbear Offline
Member

Registered: 09/29/08
Posts: 196
Molasses and oats would be my vote, or alfalfa pellets.

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#3118141 - 06/22/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: Huntbear]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 36996
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
Molasses and oats would get my vote over baled alfalfa this time of year. You also don't have to grow the potatoes. I'd bet dumping a few pounds out on the ground for a few days might do the trick.
_________________________
John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015

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#3118341 - 06/23/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: Mule Deer]
billrquimby Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 304
We have so many Abert, red and fox squirrels and cottontails (my wife feeds them) here that I suspect they'd gobble up or pack off 100 pounds of potatoes before the elk found them.

The deer blocks I set out a couple of years ago were full of molasses and oats. The squirrels and bluejays picked out the goodies, and the rest of it washed into the ground. I never saw a track or other sign of a deer or elk touching those blocks. They also ignored the salt and mineral blocks I put out.

I think I'll try putting out a couple of bales of alfalfa first, because it has a strong scent, and try to switch to pellets if the elk find it.

Bill Quimby

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#3118543 - 06/23/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: billrquimby]
Mule Deer Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 07/24/01
Posts: 36996
Loc: Banana Belt, Montana
I'll be real interested in how everything works out.
_________________________
John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015

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#3118959 - 06/23/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: Mule Deer]
rosco1 Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/03/08
Posts: 3423
Loc: utah
a farmer friend of mine found a dead moose in his potato field, said he choked on one!

the dairy farm i live by used to feed them to cows, said they had a few choke on them too, they dont feed them potato's anymore!

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#3119134 - 06/23/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: billrquimby]
Tonk Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/29/09
Posts: 3090
Loc: Chicago, Ill.
You want to bait elk so you can view them correct? Well, get yourself a couple bales of alfalfa, honey and oates too. You open up the bales of alfalfa and flake them out some, then pour the oats over them and pour the honey over the top of the oats. Once they come in and taste this snack, you will have a hard time running them off later.
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#3120218 - 06/23/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: Tonk]
billrquimby Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 304
 Originally Posted By: Tonk
You want to bait elk so you can view them correct? Well, get yourself a couple bales of alfalfa, honey and oates too. You open up the bales of alfalfa and flake them out some, then pour the oats over them and pour the honey over the top of the oats. Once they come in and taste this snack, you will have a hard time running them off later.


Thanks. I'll try it.

Bill Quimby

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#3120354 - 06/24/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: billrquimby]
K_Salonek Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 05/11/09
Posts: 870
Loc: Base of the Rockies, Colorado
Dead of summer your going to be a little more hit and miss on trying to keep elk around, they have places to go, things to do.

Really, everything is green now, lush and elk dig it.

Elk also like to be about as hi in elevation that gives them good graze. It's cooler and fewer flies. The hotter the higher, they also go more nocturnal.

An old Elk Guide showed me a place were just the tops of grasses were eaten off, he claimed that bulls need the proteins more, and cows need more carbs, grass leaf and stem to make milk, he may be on to something?

Dead of winter, elk can and will kill horses to eat there alfalfa.

Elk tend to like burned off areas as it releases more nutrients back into the soil.
Fertilized your place well, keep things watered and lush and you will see more elk.
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#3120372 - 06/24/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: billrquimby]
Tom264 Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/19/06
Posts: 21643
Loc: above you.....
 Originally Posted By: billrquimby
summer.........Arizona
Water!
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#3122177 - 06/24/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: Tom264]
swampfoot Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/09
Posts: 135
Loc: chehalis,wa
try canned cat food you will be surprised
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#3122267 - 06/24/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: billrquimby]
rost495 Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 38918
Loc: La Grange, TX
 Originally Posted By: billrquimby
Thanks, all.

Alfalfa seems to get the majority of votes, and I intend to buy a couple of bales this week.

Problem is, we can expect to be deluged with rain during July, August and September here in Arizona's high country, some days as much as an inch in an hour.

Wouldn't that sour alfalfa quickly? Any suggestions on how to keep it dry?

As for rose bushes, our property is covered with wild rose plants, but the mule deer cropped them to ground level and are working on our aspens.

Early Arizonans grew lots of potatoes 80-100 years ago in our little valley so it could be done today, but someone else would have to do it. I'm a hunter/gatherer not a farmer.

Same applies to lawns, decorative plants and gardens. I prefer to simply watch our aspens, ponderosas and firs grow.

Bill Quimby


They make a bale feeder. Some various versions but basically a 55 gallon barrel with the bottom out, elevated of the ground, and the bottom more or less wire mesh, IE cattle panels welded to just let the bottom stick out but the animals can pull hay out between....
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#3122385 - 06/25/09 Re: What's the best bait for elk? li [Re: K_Salonek]
billrquimby Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 304
It seems several of you don't realize that at least a third of Arizona is forested and that only a third of our state's terrain is "desert."

The elevation at our cabin is 8,900 feet, and the nearest cactus is at least a 2 1/2-hour drive south. Our cabin is on two acres surrounded on two sides by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Our land has maybe 200 aspens, 100 big ponderosas, and a half dozen firs and two or three blue spruce.

In many ways, our high country is a lot like Colorado's. Temps may reach 70 degrees during the hottest summer days; summer nights will range from about 35 to no more than about 45 degrees. After about September 15, it will freeze every night. I have seen it snow briefly in July. We will have nine feet of it in an average winter.

Flies at our elevation aren't a problem, nor is water. The Little Colorado River is about 250 yards away, and there are at least 30 trout-stocked lakes within a 45-minute drive on the A-S national forest and the White Mountain Apache Reservation. A year-around creek runs through our place, and there is no shortage of green, riparian growth.

About 30 elk cows and calves walk across our two acre parcel at dark thirty, following the stream, to reach a 25-acre meadow across the road in front of our place. (The bulls won't begin to appear until mid August.) The herd heads back to heavy timber about 1/2 mile up the canyon above us before first light, again crossing our place.

I hope to get a few elk addicted to bait so we can see them regularly in daylight. If they hit the bait only after dark, I'll put the bait where we can see it from inside and put up a motion-sensor light.

Bill Quimby

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