When it comes to chasing the monarchs of the Rockies, September attracts the majority of hunters. First up are the bowhunters. Eager to get afield in hopes of finding a cooperative bull, they like the period between late August and September 10, when the weather is still favourable. Then come the hunters who enjoy the intense activity of the peak rut, which runs from September 10 to 25.
About three weeks after that, however, there’s a lesser-known second estrus cycle that hunters shouldn’t overlook. That’s when many of the younger cows come into estrus for the first time, along with older cows that didn’t conceive earlier.
While this secondary breeding period produces many good hunting opportunities, the same hunting tactics you’d use for the peak rut rarely work. But if you understand how elk behaviour changes in October, you can change your approach accordingly and still fill a tag using a variety of strategies, including calling, stalking and setting up an ambush.