How to get started big game hunting for deer and elk

Spike deer with eye guards shot in 2023

You already come to this website for fishing tips and a few other topics, but I’m telling you, you’ve got to get into hunting. Hunting is an integral part of the PNW harvest lifestyle. You need red meat in your freezer, and I’m not just talking about coho salmon here folks!

Hunting is practically a civic responsibility, vital for conservation and an important part of connecting you to the forests and mountains not just the rivers and seas!

But how does one get started? I’ve spent the last 5 years learning how to effectively big game hunt and I’m hoping this blog article gets you well on your way towards getting started. Highlighting easy approaches for beginners, tips and techniques I’ve learned and of course all the gear you will need.

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My 2021 Elk Hunting Season is over…

Bull elk coming through on a trail cam

With my 2021 elk hunting season now being over, I get to write about and share some of the many lessons learned and stories from the woods. I know I basically didn’t touch the blog or YouTube channel during this period as I was trying to balance being in the woods, family obligations and joys of having a new puppy in the house. I did keep my IG/FB followers mostly informed of how things were going though (pacificnwbestlife on IG and facebook.com/pnwbestlife on FB). Read on if you wish to learn about the shot I took on an elk during the season.

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Utah Elk Hunting October 2021

Utah Mountains elk bench 1

Another epic elk hunting trip in Utah with a good friend came to a close last week. While we didn’t tag out, I learned some very good lessons about Elk Hunting in high elevations that I can definitely apply to the local opportunity in the PNW. There’s also some extremely useful gear I discovered that I will share about as well.

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Washington Elk Hunting October 2020

nice bull on my trail cam

This is my first year hunting elk in Western Washington, but I’m learning a lot and putting in the time to climb the elk hunting learning curve quickly. I wanted to share about this, not from the perspective of an expert, but from the perspective of someone seeing elk hunting fresh, which means if you too are trying to get into elk hunting, my learning journey could be valuable to you as well.

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2019 Utah Elk Hunting

Standing on one of the highest ridges in the area
Standing on one of the highest ridges in the area looking for Elk in Utah

Hunting for elk in Utah during winter is an amazing experience whether you get to fill your elk tag or not. On this Utah elk trip, we ended up with a whole lot of tag soup, but this was largely a factor of the deck not being stacked in our favor. I’m not always as excited to write about trips which didn’t result in punching tags or fish. However, any hunting trip where you experience the kinds of back country views we had, where you learn a lot that can be applied to the next season and you stayed safe and warm (mostly), is a great trip.

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