Wife Drew Grizzly Island Elk Tag

JaegerMeister

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Dear All,

Wife finally drew an elk tag. Not a bull, antlerless. I was sort of stunned yesterday when I saw she had drawn it, in disbelief really. She was really stoked and is looking forward to the hunt. She exclaimed, "Well can we get it mounted?!?" That's when I realized that she was unaware that I had put her in for a cow tag this year: "No hon. But we'll have a lot of delicious elk meat." She was still stoked.

I know that the biologists do their part to help put hunters on animals, which I'm sure we'll appreciate. But I was wondering if anyone had any tips or suggestions for this hunt in general. Who we might contact to maximize her odds at the best opportunity. I really don't mind putting out the extra effort or expense to make sure this happens for her. I'm wondering since she is hunting mid September if the herd will be pretty cautious by then, and about how far she should anticipate to shoot? She'll be shooting a 30/06 180gr Hornady, 3x9 Nikon scope. Also, she has to have an unexpected knee surgery in 2 weeks so her mobility could be slightly limited, although 3 months time should be time enough to heal. How is access to the elk? The terrain in general? I plan to take her there a couple of times prior to the hunt to familiarize ourselves with the layout and to do whatever I need to do to help her connect and make a memory in the field with her that she won't forget.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks,

Chris
 
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Bossbrott

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Shoot shoot shoot
Rangefinder/spotter is your friend.
A 30' A frame ladder would be nice lol.
Shoot some more.
The one chance you get at Mr Big make it count
Shoot some more.
 

Brnsvllyjohn

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Talk to the elk biologist he is a great guy and is very helpful. Everyone I know that has hunted said he was great to deal with. The terrain is typical duck refuge type. Very flat so seeing animals a long way off is difficult. Some scout from the bed of their truck and I have seen guys standing on top of their ladder racks to glass. Of course you cannot shoot from your vehicle but you have to find them to shoot them. You might need to get wet to go get your animal but I think the orientation will give you a lot of helpful info.
 

hntndux

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Congrats to your wife. My son got a spike out there last year and you won't have any problem finding the elk, one of the main area they always hang out in is just behind the camp area where you'll do the orientation. With the hunt in September the main thing you'll be dealing with is the flood up for duck season so a lot of area will have water which means extraction could be difficult if you get one in those areas. They'll give you the "elk Phone" number and when you kill on they'll come out and haul it back to the camp area for you. I know using a ladder was recommended to us as well, but we never needed to use it. Spotting them was pretty easy, it just can be difficult when sneaking on them because then you can't see with the flat terrain and tules.
 

Planetcat

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My buddy drew the holy grail bull elk tag there last year. They were tagged out on a 6x7 at 6:30 am on day 1. It was a later hunt and there was a fair amount of water to wade through (inches, not feet of water). The advice here is spot on with what my buddy said. Apparently, the cow elk are everywhere and you can be selective.

My son got drawn for the junior antlerless elk hunt this year in August. I'll report back prior to your hunt. Apparently the biologists there are nice as can be and helpful.
 

JaegerMeister

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Dear Bossbrott, Brnsvllyjohn, Hutndux and Planetcat,

Thank you so much for all of this useful information and guidance. I've passed it along to my wife who is very excited. The primary obstacles that I've taken away from this are spotting, because of the high grass, so a ladder could be useful, and also likely encountering some H2O. Other then that the biologists seem super nice and helpful putting hunters on animals. We're really looking forward to this opportunity. Also, Planetcat, congrats to your son! I hope you have a terrific hunt. I'd be grateful for any info that you can pass along to us following his hunt. Looking forward to pictures and a great story!

Best wishes,
Chris
 

Brnsvllyjohn

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I am not sure they are going to "put you on an animal". It is not a guided hunt but they can tell you where the elk are typically found or where they were in the past.
 

JaegerMeister

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Congrats to your wife. My son got a spike out there last year and you won't have any problem finding the elk, one of the main area they always hang out in is just behind the camp area where you'll do the orientation. With the hunt in September the main thing you'll be dealing with is the flood up for duck season so a lot of area will have water which means extraction could be difficult if you get one in those areas. They'll give you the "elk Phone" number and when you kill on they'll come out and haul it back to the camp area for you. I know using a ladder was recommended to us as well, but we never needed to use it. Spotting them was pretty easy, it just can be difficult when sneaking on them because then you can't see with the flat terrain and tules.
Htndux,

I sent you a PM but something must be wrong with my settings, because the message didn't seem to go through (can you let me know if you received my message). Basically I was thanking you for your further information and encouragement, and I also I wanted to inquire where the best place to take the elk following the hunt for processing would be? I assume she has a high chance of success based on previous years. We are from the Fresno area, and I'd like to get the elk in a cooler to hang and have it processed here in northern California (Sacramento/ Fairfieled area), rather than drive it back to Fresno and chance any spoliation or waste. I was wonder who the go-to butcher is in the area. Cost or extra driving is no concern. I want to make sure it is handled correctly. Thanks for your advice!

Thanks again!,
Chris
 
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Toashtman

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I fish out there all the time, still hoping to eventually draw a bull tag. Hunting elk out there shouldn't be a problem at all, the elk are pretty tame to vehicle traffic and it's not hard to spot them from the road. As for a butcher maybe try Browns Valley Meat in Napa. Congrats on the tag, let us know how they taste out there.
 

dokyte

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I had a buddy who drew a cow tag and we watched the herd bed down the night before, came back the next morning and at dawn they were within 200 yards of where we left them. They got spooked during the stalk by another hunter driving up the road and stooping next to them but only ran about 200 yards. we walked down a irrigation ditch and he shot his cow at about 75 yards less then a hour after we started hunting.
 

Planetcat

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For butchering, maybe try Lockeford Meat and Sausage Co. It's a short jaunt from Stockton, probably less than an hour from Grizzly Island. I hear they have fantastic everything and do butchering. Here's their info:

19775 N Cotton St, Lockeford, CA 95237
Cross Streets: Near the intersection of N Cotton St and CA-12
(209) 727-5584
 

JaegerMeister

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Thanks everyone for all of your advice on how to hunt Grizzly as well as for advice on butchers! Special Thanks to Hutndux and Planetcat for connecting me with info on butchers, much appreciated. I'm considering buying my wife the gun that she's always wanted to add to the excitement of her hunt: a Browning 30/06 medallion in walnut. Beautiful gun, but they don't come cheaply. Still debating, but I'll have to pull the trigger soon! I'll be sure to post pictures of the hunt in mid-September. Thanks again!

Thanks again,

Chris
 

Calif_Mike

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Awesome and congrats to your wife. My dad had a bull tag there last year and I helped him scout and hunt. I posted the hunt log on here, it provides a lot of info. Feel free to contact me.

A couple of things... Most of the cow hunters will fill out the first day. Don't get in a hurry, take your time and enjoy your hunt. It will be the only time in your life where you can see so many elk every day. I'd hunt the first day but pass on taking an animal, once everyone else is done you will have the run of the island.

The elk will be in the rut and will be all over the island by that time of the year. Don't get hung up hunting where everyone else is.

Its going to be hot, pace yourself. Watch the forecast for your hunt. I knew from the forecast that the weather was going to cool down significantly on the third day of my dad's hunt so we waited to take his bull. It was much nicer dealing with his elk in cool temps.

I have a good butcher down here in Modesto who will agree to be on call for you and will come in late to take you animal in if needed. Let me know if you want their contact info.

Mike
 

brushstomper

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Glad to see this post! My daughter drew the spike bull elk tag for Grizzly!!! She is so pumped, can't wait for it to get here. Thanks for all the info guys!!!!
 

ABSHUNTS

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I also drew a cow tag for Grizzly Island this year. My hunt is in late August so I will be able to post some info on it after I get done. I'm not sure if I have ever saw anything but 100% success on cow hunts since I started putting in for this hunt many years ago so like it was said before, enjoy the hunt and don't get in a hurry to shoot the first one you see.
 

JaegerMeister

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Awesome and congrats to your wife. My dad had a bull tag there last year and I helped him scout and hunt. I posted the hunt log on here, it provides a lot of info. Feel free to contact me.

A couple of things... Most of the cow hunters will fill out the first day. Don't get in a hurry, take your time and enjoy your hunt. It will be the only time in your life where you can see so many elk every day. I'd hunt the first day but pass on taking an animal, once everyone else is done you will have the run of the island.

The elk will be in the rut and will be all over the island by that time of the year. Don't get hung up hunting where everyone else is.

Its going to be hot, pace yourself. Watch the forecast for your hunt. I knew from the forecast that the weather was going to cool down significantly on the third day of my dad's hunt so we waited to take his bull. It was much nicer dealing with his elk in cool temps.

I have a good butcher down here in Modesto who will agree to be on call for you and will come in late to take you animal in if needed. Let me know if you want their contact info.

Mike

Dear Mike,

Thank you for posting that wonderful story about the hunt that you were able to share with your father. I'm sure the hunt was especially meaningful since he had worked in that area for quite sometime and actually had a closer connection to the tule elk there, seeing their herd grow over the years than most ever could. I'm sure it was difficult to wait until later in the morning to contact your father of the good news when you first discovered at 4:00am that he had in fact drawn the golden ticket for a California tule bull elk!

I really appreciate all of the input and information that you have all provided. It is very helpful and it is encouraging that my wife will have an opportunity to harvest a highly regarded big game animal that is unique to California. I also congratulate the other hunters and or their representatives on this forum for their successful draw in the California 2016 big game drawing, and I wish you all a memorable hunt.

I also really appreciate everyone's encouragement and willingness to share on this forum, which reinforces the unique community and camaraderie among hunters. I'll keep you all posted as to any developments in the hunt and certainly the story and pictures from the hunt itself. Regretfully, I won't be able to do much scouting because I sit for the California bar examination at the end of July, but hope based on the information from the few times I've fished on the island coupled with scouting before and after orientation will provide suitable for a successful hunt and grant enough familiarity to navigate the island in pursuit of a tule elk.

Wishing you all a successful and safe hunting season,

Chris
 

Calif_Mike

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The bar exam???!!! Ah man I retract all the help I gave you. Lol. Good luck on the exam.

Give Orlando Rocha, the biologist a call. the island will be closing to public access but there will be a few scouting weekends before your wife's hunt. You should try to hit at least one of those.
 

JaegerMeister

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The bar exam???!!! Ah man I retract all the help I gave you. Lol. Good luck on the exam.

Give Orlando Rocha, the biologist a call. the island will be closing to public access but there will be a few scouting weekends before your wife's hunt. You should try to hit at least one of those.
Hey Mike,

Thank you for all of your help, even if you did help a soon to be attorney, but really my wife gets the benefit, so we're both appreciative for everyone's help! Don't worry, I've heard every joke in the book, E.g. "What is the difference between a lawyer and a catfish?" Answer: "One is a scum-sucking bottom dweller, and the other is a fish." lol

Thanks again and best of luck this season,

Chris
 

Calif_Mike

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Good luck to both you and your wife and if I can help in anyway, don't hesitate to ask.
 

JaegerMeister

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Good luck to both you and your wife and if I can help in anyway, don't hesitate to ask.
Hi Mike!,

Thank you for your willingness to help us out. That is much appreciated. I would like to chat with you sometime about specific areas on the island map that we should target based on your experience. I'll try to PM you, but for some reason I've been having trouble with that function on this website.

Thanks,

Chris
 


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