Hardest deer to hunt

Rifle for Catalina Goat Trophy Hunts in Texas

Hunting elk is a challenging task. The overall success rate for elk hunters is around 10%. Of course, this rate varies by unit, and individual success rates vary as well, depending on the hunter’s ability and experience. Even yet, it’s not uncommon to go five seasons or more without finding anything. Elk are more difficult to hunt than deer for various reasons. The following are some of the differences between elk and deer:


Elk are larger than deer. Elk have more muscular mass than deer because of their size difference. Elk, as a result, can cover far more ground at a much faster rate than deer. Deer, on the other hand, can sprint quickly and are quite agile, but they cannot cover as much land as elk. When shooting deer, this creates an advantage to the hunter. Unless they are being intensively pursued in open territory, deer will often stay in the same square mile. Due to the confines of their size and hence their habitat, you can hunt deer in a smaller area and worry less about trespassing.


The number of deer is much larger than that of elk. Elk are typically found in the Rocky Mountains, but their population is much smaller than that of deer. The number of deer in the United States is estimated to be at 30,000,000. Elk numbers, on the other hand, are believed to number in the 125,000 range. The Roosevelt and Rocky Mountain Elk account for roughly half of the population. Deer, on the other hand, are far more widespread than elk.

3. Natural surroundings

The habitat of deer can be found all around the country. From the East Coast to the West Coast, they’re usually found in forested areas. Various species of deer can be found depending on the location. Whitetail deer hunters have access to a large amount of public and private land. During hunting season, whitetail deer hunting is one of the most popular sports. Mule deer live in harsher circumstances than other seers, but their physical conditions and social interactions are identical to those of any other seer. Mule deer hunting is frequently conducted in the same areas where elk are found.

Big game, such as elk, on the other hand, has a highly specialized environment. They’re most commonly found in the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest, although they’re also uncommon in the middle and eastern United States. Access to public land can be difficult to come by, and because of their mobility, they are less likely to stay on it for long periods of time.

4. Interactions and Behaviors in Social Situations

Elk and deer have different interactions. Deer are usually encountered in the woods on their own. During the open season, you’ll see deer pairs bedded down together. This pattern continues till the conclusion of the rut. You’ll usually see fawns with their mother does when they’re born, but you won’t see several deer together very often. You can find them while they are feeding or drinking water. They are not, however, a herd animal.

Elk, on the other hand, live in herds. They are frequently seen in herds. I’ve hunted bull elk that had been excluded from the herd during elk season. When a dominant bull elk maintains a harem, they are frequently challenged by a younger bull elk. If one of these younger bull elk defeats the dominant bull, the elderly dominant bull will frequently quit the herd and live out its days alone. At that point, the younger bull will take over as the harem’s new leader. Before the rut, archery hunters will typically try to locate bulls. The rut is when a dominant bull seeks for a harem.

When a herd is on the move, a cow elk will take the lead. This makes them more difficult to hunt since when the herd decides to move, they all move together and do not scatter as frequently. Because of the way the animals are gathered, you have a very slim chance of getting a clean shot when you have a herd of them. Deer will be easier to hunt if you scare the herd, even if they may congregate at times. Deer will wander out on their own, allowing you to stalk them individually.

If you frighten an elk herd, the entire herd will flee until the lead, either a bull or a cow elk, is injured. When the herd’s leader cow elk is injured and unable to lead, the herd will normally stay together, but will run aimlessly and intermittently. Due to confusion, they may even stall and not run at all. During this moment, you may be able to break up a herd. They rarely scatter, but when the lead cow is down, one or two elk, or groups of elk, have a higher tendency to split away from the herd. Elk hunters in a hunting party will often target the lead cow or dominating bull in order to confuse the herd and increase their chances of harvesting their animals.

Why Elk are More Difficult to Hunt Than Deer

I hope you can see why elk hunting is more difficult than deer hunting based on these distinctions. I grew up deer and elk hunting. Normally, I would purchase an elk tag simply because the possibilities were numerous and varied. I would actively hunt deer knowing that a successful kill would fill my fridge and freezer.

If you have an elk tag and come into a herd of elk, you can harvest one. Hunting for elk is challenging on its own. I’ve tried it a few times but have never had any luck. Last year, I was fortunate to harvest my first cow elk after taking multiple shots at several elks. It was in a vast herd on private property. My friend and I were also able to harvest a bull elk from the same herd, but as the herd began to run, there was no way to harvest any more elk.

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