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Elk country constantly changing; can you adapt?

HUNTING -- Pre-season scouting has left me with some serious doubts about the prospects for a successful elk hunt.  The area I've been hunting in the Blue Mountains has been hit hard by logging in recent years. That was OK for awhile, but in the past two years they've removed critical patches of security cover.  It could be tough to find elk holding up there for the next 6-10 years.

Meanwhile, wolves have taken a fond interest in the area.

Sounds like I'll need to adapt or settle for Arby's.

A friend who's been scouting about 10 miles away and checking trail cams at the area his family's been hunting for decades reported capturing photos of "the pesky snowshoe hare that gives one of the cameras a real workout" plus bobcats, cougars, deer, elk,  black bears, "one very nervous-looking coyote," and wolves.

The hunters have been following the bull elk pictured above for a couple of years. They're all hoping to put their eyes on the big bruiser this season, although nobody drew a bull tag needed to hunt it. 

The next photo above is one of several my friend captured showing wolves in the same area as the bull elk within 24 hours.

Last weekend, the hunters set up camp and heard wolves howling in two different areas where they hunt.

"Max's dog wouldn't leave his bunk," he said.  "There's more wolves in the Blues than anyone is going to admit to."




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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