Six big-game experts share their secrets for finding, stalking, and killing big bulls on public land.
1. ■ Miles Fedinec
“It’s as much a life experience as a hunting trip. On day four, when it’s cold and wet, the elk aren’t bugling, and you’re 14 miles from your truck, hunting the backcountry sucks. You have to learn to be comfortable when you’re miserable.”
“Here in the semidesert country of New Mexico, moisture is the first consideration for finding elk. Elk need water, and more of it during the rut. If there’s no water, it’s probably not worth scouting.”
3. ■ Travis Reed
“In the backcountry, you’re hunting elk that have everything in their favor. Yeah, you can probably kill a bigger bull on managed private ground, but any elk you get out here, especially in an OTC unit, is a true trophy.”