Bow Hunting Elk Q & A with Michael Waddell and Nick Mundt
If heaven was a place to hunt bugling bulls, you can bet that we’d elect to already be there! Hunting the western slopes for September crazed bulls is where any bow hunter would hope to be this time of year. However, the ideal thought of elk hunting is a far cry from the reality experienced on the mountain. Bow hunting elk amongst the rugged and unforgiving terrain is no walk in the park. It can be done, but only when the strategies, weather, elk, the wind, and the hunter align just right. In recent years elk hunting has grown in popularity and interest. Discussing tactics, gear, and of course sharing stories is what allows us to become better hunters and keeps us so engaged over the long offseason. It also happens to be what this great passion is all about…sharing the love of the hunt! If you have plans to start bow hunting elk this year, check out our Q & A with Nick Mundt and Michael Waddell!
What do you love most about elk hunting?
Nick – Beating the king of the Mountain on his turf, but ultimately tricking him and his unbelievable nose!
Michael – I like elk hunting because it’s offensive. You can take it to them and don’t rely as much on strategic luck. It’s you vs him on his turf. You take the approach to him vs sit and wait of deer hunting.
What was your best elk hunt and why?
Nick – Kentucky elk hunt, we found a bugling bull and kept getting closer and closer to his bugles. We could tell he was bedded down, and when we got within 100 yards, he actually charged in! I was lucky enough to kill him at 20 yards.
Michael – For me, It was Colorado seeing Dad (Paw Paw Waddell) get his first elk and being with him on the mountain!
How many different states have you hunted elk in?
Nick – I have hunted elk in 6 states.
Michael – I have hunted elk in 8 states, Idaho, New Mexico, Kentucky, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Montana!
How many elk hunts do you have planned for this season?
Nick – I have elk hunts planned for South Dakota, Navajo Nation, and Oregon.
Michael – Only have 2 planned. Navajo Nation in New Mexico and in Arizona on public land for Realtree Roadtrips and Bone Collector!
What are the most common mistakes an elk hunter can make?
Nick – The first would be that most elk hunters do not get aggressive enough. A close second would be running the elk call way too much. If the bulls are bugling you can follow and sneak in on them, something a lot of new elk hunters are reluctant to do.
Michael – The biggest mistake elk hunters can make is being too conservative and approaching elk like a whitetail. It’s easier to hide and move on an elk vs a whitetail. So take advantage of that opportunity!
What bow do you use and what setup do you run for elk?
Nick – I use the same setup for all animals. For elk, I do leave my quiver on when hunting, but I do take it off if I am hunting in the stand. The two different hunts don’t require a different bow setup necessarily, just smarter use of the equipment.
Michael – I stay consistent with everything when it comes to bow hunting. I don’t change anything on my bow from elk to whitetail. I shoot a Carbon Defiant at 78 lbs. I shoot 425-grain arrows total. I hunt elk with my quiver on.
Two items you wouldn’t leave home without for an elk hunt?
What broadhead do you use for elk and why do you choose it over other broadheads?
Nick – This year I will be shooting the new G5 DeadMeat broadhead. I have practiced a lot this season with the Ballistic Match Point, the field point version of the DeadMeat. This way I am combining the accuracy needed for longer shots, with the cutting diameter of an expandable broadhead, both critical factors when bow hunting elk.
Michael – When it comes to bow hunting elk I prefer expandable broadheads. I either go with the G5 Havoc or the new DeadMeat broadhead.
One place you have always wanted to hunt elk but haven’t yet?
Nick – Arizona! Has great elk hunting, big bulls, and lots of them!
Michael – Hunting Tule elk in California!