The Elk Wallow

Much like the scrape of a whitetail buck, bull elk will use a wallow to make their presence known. It’s quite the process when you consider it’s ultimately a bath of mud and bull urine. While I’m glad it’s not the way God intended for us humans to meet a mate, the elk wallow seems to serve the elk population well. I recently blogged about a bull caught on trail camera during my New Mexico elk hunt. Here’s a step by step look at how that bull used the elk wallow.

elk wallow

This bull came on the scene from right to left and eased up to the edge of the wallow.

I came across the photos when I climbed into a ladder stand just 15 yards away from an active elk wallow. I thought I was doing good by climbing into the stand four hours before dark. However, when I climbed into the stand and pulled the SD card from the Browning trail camera mounted by the stand’s platform, I realized I had just missed one heck of show by a bull that stopped by less than two hours prior.

It was a mixture of excitement and disappointment as I discovered images of the bull that had just barely beat me to the wallow. I quickly scrolled through the card to see exactly what I had missed.

elk wallow

The bull puts his nose down at the wallow to check things out.

elk wallow

Like a dog in a cow-pie, the bull lays down and begins to wallow.

elk wallow

The bull is diligent. He works to get himself covered from horn to hoof.

elk wallow

After a time of thrashing and splashing in the wallow, the bull pauses for a break.

elk wallow

Complete coverage of the noggin’.

elk wallow

When his work was done, the bull walked out of the wallow.

Hunting over an elk wallow is nothing new. It’s a tactic as old as any of us alive. Some people hate the tactic, while others swear by it and punch tags each year sitting over them. Either way, you got to admit that what happens at an elk wallow is something every elk hunter ought to see…even if through the lens of a trail camera.

Brodie Swisher

Brodie Swisher

Editorial Manager at Bowhunting.com
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
Brodie Swisher

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