Ep 228 – Mark Livesay: Elk Scouting Strategies


Mark Livesay of Treeline Pursuits joins Sam again on The Wild Initiative to further discuss the world of elk scouting and the powerful tools and strategies that lead to success. In this episode, Mark shares his wealth of knowledge and experience, emphasizing that elk hunting is a dynamic blend of technology, strategy, and teamwork.

Mark begins by underlining the necessity of early preparation, stressing that success begins long before you set foot in the field. Just like a seasoned whitetail hunter who knows every tree on their 40 acres, understanding your hunting area is paramount. A detailed journal filled with notes and waypoints can drastically enhance your hunting experience. As Mark puts it, “A bull that’s mature is not dumb; he’s played this game, and you might have one chance.

Delving into the heart of elk behavior and movement, Mark unveils the importance of recognizing elk-finding features. Elk have distinct preferences when selecting a hunting area, from drainage and slope degree to food sources and water. Scouting involves playing the odds, focusing on locations where elk are more likely to be found, even if it goes against conventional wisdom.

Mark’s expertise extends to the realm of technology. His passion project, Treeline Academy, offers invaluable resources like a two-hour tutorial on using third-party data files with Google Earth for scouting purposes. Technology, such as Google Earth, onX Maps, Gaia and Basemap have transformed elk scouting, making it easier for hunters to locate and track elk. However, Mark offers a word of caution: “No single hunting app does everything, so it’s important to understand that each app has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to the hunter to determine which app is good enough for their needs.

Mark reminds us that, despite technological advancements, elk hunting success rates have remained relatively stagnant. He and Sam explore the benefits of having multiple hunt locations, seeking the highest concentration of elk-finding features, and harnessing all available tools to increase the odds of success.

In this episode, Mark Livesay unravels the art of elk scouting, offering a comprehensive guide to both beginners and seasoned hunters. Tune in to gain insights into this dynamic and challenging pursuit. And remember, you can get $20 OFF access to the Treeline Academy E-Scouting Masterclass with code TWI.

Guest Info

Mark Livesay/Treeline Academy

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