Elk Calling

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In order to initially locate elk you can use just the bugle portion of a Full Bugle Sequence. You may also get a herd bull to come in to a bugle, but I’ve that found herd bulls may not challenge from another bull unless the other bull is within 30-40 yards of the herd, or the herd bull can see it. You should probably be in a wooded area or within close range of a bull when you use a bugle to get a bull to come in and challenge you.

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If you are interested in a bull of any age you can use a high-pitched bugle, similar to a spike or two year old. If you only interested in bulls over the age of three I suggest you use a lower-pitched bugle, which can be preceded with a roar and followed by a chuckle, but a simple bugle will work. Don’t worry about making mistakes when you bugle. After listening to over 1,000 bulges a day, I’ve learned that you probably can’t make a bugle that doesn’t sound like a bull elk. Probably the best calls to use to attract bulls, whether they are with a herd or not, are the sounds typically made by the cows and calves throughout the day, the Social Contact Calls and any of the Maternal/Neonatal Calls.

I’ve used the Fighting Squeal to bring in entire cow/calf herds, probably out of curiosity. Usually the herd bull will come in behind the cows, and eventually get between the cows and me, often putting the bull with 15-30 yards of my position as it gathers up the cows. I’ve also had spikes and lone bulls come into a Fighting Squeal. In fact, the largest bull in the herd, a massive 7×8 bull with two clubbed drop-tines, came in from 200 yards away as I continued to use a Fighting Squeal while crouched behind a small bush.


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