Big Game Hunting Moose, elk, mulies, caribou, bear, goats, and sheep are all covered here.
 Nosler

Calling in elk question?

Old 09-25-2009, 09:12 AM
  #1  
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
 
sclwald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location:
Posts: 120
Default Calling in elk question?

Ok so here is my background. I have hunted elk for many years growing up. I left Wyoming and am now back. For the past four years I have been into archery more than rifle season. I just got back from 7 days in the Southeastern part of the state. Sierra Madres to be exact.

My question is every morning and night I go out I learn more and more about calling. It is an ongoing discovery of how to do it. I have noticed over the past year or so that the elk are not responding as well. Do you beleive in the discussion I have heard before about elk getting call shy?

Hunting the rut is such an extemely exciting time of year. I wish I would have started much earlier in life. Still waiting for my first archery elk kill. Makes rifle hunting almost non existant for me.

Also is it normal for every hunter on the mountain to bugle? Seems I get more elk through cow calling than bugling. Can anyone give me any pointers for an experienced elk hunter but not so experienced caller?
sclwald is offline  
Old 09-25-2009, 03:59 PM
  #2  
Typical Buck
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 797
Default

scwald,

In public lands in area's that get a lot pressure, I would have to say yes elk are getting call shy, not bugling as often during the legal shooting hours, and for sure a lot more cautious on approach when coming in to a call whether it's a bull call or a cow call. Cow calling has become the tend of most hunters because bugling is more successful if your already into the elk and not trying to bring one too you. Bulls are gathering cows for the rut which makes cow calling more appealing to a lonely bull or a bull with only a few cows in his harem. If you get a huge bull to walk away from his cows for a great distance to investigate a call you just might be the worlds best elk caller, it just don't happen. Now if your right in amongst the harem and bugle he will most likely come in hot and ready to fight.

I use my calls in a few basic ways that my help you get in close for the shot. But not all elk act the same way in different area's. It's mostly situation vs. past experience.

Only two reason's I use a bugle.
1st- Early morning locating the bull. Call once to see if anything answers back and if not then don't keep calling. If the bull answers and you didn't get his location then you may have to do it again. But that's when I shut up and go at the bull in a semi circle down wind from him if possible.
2nd- If I have managed to sneak into the bull's harem and he's on the outskirts from me, that's when I'll rip the biggest baddest bugle I can and let him know this is gonna be a fight and I' m not leaving. Sometimes you will push the herd but most times the bull will be on you before you can even draw.

Cow calls have many different uses for me anyway.
1st- I use a cow call more to cover my mistakes than to actually call in a bull. Especially when I'm stalking in on the whole herd. If I happen to make a noise loud enough to cause suspicion then I'll use a small mew. It tends to relax them a bit.
2nd- If the elk see's movement but has no other sense of what it saw they will bark. They didn't smell you but you alarmed them. I will come back with a bark myself like I'm also worried about what's in between the elk and I and if the elk doesn't break for it then do a soft mew to relax the animal. This is less than a 50% chance in my experience but your already busted anyway so trying don't hurt.
3rd- Cow calling a bull, I only call once about every 20 minutes and change position by 50 to 100yds after trying two to three calls. But bulls come in quiet and they know exactly where that call came from. Just make sure he's not there watching you when you do so.

What works for some elk may not work on the next group. There's no absolutes in calling elk and every situation is different. The day they nail that pine box shut on me then I'll be the best elk hunter I ever could have been. Until then I'll keep learning about them.

Good luck to you. You'll learn more about elk from archery hunting than any other method out there. Be patient you'll know when it's time to make a move to get that shot.
Blackelk is offline  
Old 09-25-2009, 07:13 PM
  #3  
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
 
sclwald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location:
Posts: 120
Default

Sounds like I am doing everything close to right. Just need to experience the rut a little more. I just need to find the elk that is willing. I tend to bugle as you said to locate. Once the herd bull stops bugling that is when I go on alert. I cow call when in close but have tried close in bugling and as you mentioned seems to push the herd farther.

Bugling seems to definitely bring in the satelite bulls more. I love the close encounters that archery brings. Next year I am going to do my best to draw a limited tag. Might have a better chance at calling and also less pressure. I live in one of the greatest states for elk and hope that I can close the deal sooner or later.

I live by the motto: "The more time you spend in the wilderness the more likely the chance of a lifetime will happen"

I have passed on more small bulls in rifle season than most people have seen in their lifetimes but archery I am not picky at all when making the first poke but still trying for the first.

Just trying to be a sponge since this is relatively new to me. Rifle VS Archery is like Rod fishing VS Fly Fishing.
sclwald is offline  
Old 09-26-2009, 04:02 AM
  #4  
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Kerrville, Tx. USA
Posts: 2,722
Default

I highly recommend Elknuts videos/CDs. They are not just hunting videos with a little calling lesson thrown in. They are: what are the elk saying to me/each other and what is the proper way to respond. They made sense to me and have helped me tremendously. He also has a "elk playbook" out this year. Have not seen it, but it should be helpful as well.

Here is the link: http://www.elknut.com/
txhunter58 is offline  
Old 09-26-2009, 07:02 AM
  #5  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 211
Default

Originally Posted by sclwald
Sounds like I am doing everything close to right. Just need to experience the rut a little more. I just need to find the elk that is willing. I tend to bugle as you said to locate. Once the herd bull stops bugling that is when I go on alert. I cow call when in close but have tried close in bugling and as you mentioned seems to push the herd farther.

Bugling seems to definitely bring in the satelite bulls more. I love the close encounters that archery brings. Next year I am going to do my best to draw a limited tag. Might have a better chance at calling and also less pressure. I live in one of the greatest states for elk and hope that I can close the deal sooner or later.

I live by the motto: "The more time you spend in the wilderness the more likely the chance of a lifetime will happen"

I have passed on more small bulls in rifle season than most people have seen in their lifetimes but archery I am not picky at all when making the first poke but still trying for the first.

Just trying to be a sponge since this is relatively new to me. Rifle VS Archery is like Rod fishing VS Fly Fishing.
The majority of bulls I call in are with the bugle. Unfortunately, the modern MO for calling elk is to locate with bugle, then switch to cow calling, thats ok, but not always the best method, and shouldn't be a standard MO. If you are having the bull shutup why your cow calling, he obviously isn't interested in what you are saying. If you are doing lost cow calls and he is answering, you need to imediatly switch away from lost cow calls, as you are not lost anymore and begin with increasingly excited calls etc. It is more complicated than one has time for on this board. In the times I have spent hunting near roads, the calls I've heard from 99% of the hunting public make no sense at all. I believe most people do not know what they are saying, or what the bulls are saying either, they just call and hope. Read Lipinskis' books, get elknuts video etc, and imploy tatics in the field. Never be afraid to engage a bull and try tatics, you manipulate the bull, or die trying, but calling and hoping is fatalistic.
Muley669 is offline  
Old 09-26-2009, 08:32 AM
  #6  
Giant Nontypical
 
skeeter 7MM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Saskatchewan Canada
Posts: 6,921
Default

I agree 100% with the last posters get your hands on an elknut video to help you understand the talk your producing and hearing. I thought I was good at calling but elknut informed me that some of my decisions I was making made no sense to the elk for which i was talking to, he gave me pointers and I also picked up his video. While I enjoyed success prior I am much more effecient today and my success isn't getting worse. It's nice to know when, what and where. I also totally agree with the last poster about bull calls, I use them a lot and in fact their are portions of my hunting season where they are the main attraction. Here archery starts the 3rd week of august, bachelor groups are breaking or broken up and the bigger bulls are defining both territory,dominance and starting to gather/find the ladies. At this time bull sounds work very well at calling both bulls and cows. In reference to cow calls i have found the easy to use single sound cow talks are to limiting, i prefer a diaphram or reed call that i can vary my sounds to be more realistic and switch. I prefer hunting solo when calling elk in rifle season however in archery I find tandem calling works better. This is where you place a shooter 50-100yards upwind of the caller. This avoids some hang up issues you may have and also draws the attention of the elk to the caller thus making it a little easier for the shooter to draw on the elk. Where we hunt in archery is different then rifle, we concentrate more on feeding/watering area's this avoids any bedding area bumps & less pressure at this time makes such areas effective during legal hours. The areas tend to be a little more open so we employ montana decoys, and set them up beyond the shooter usually closer to the caller. B/c the areas are more open i feel when the elk present to the location seeing an elk, eases them vs looking for the phantom caller. In years of use I have found the elk come to the decoy but tend to shy somewhat as they cross into the 60 yard barrier so when I use them solo I place them behind my position but to the side if possible or out to the side about 40 yards that works best for me and lloks natural to the elk. Results vary with elk reaction to decoys but I think most agree they can be a useful tool just need to find what is the best way to use them.

In regards to your question about learning, well I never stop learning about elk or calling. I have harvested an elk in each of the last 9 seasons, while the basic principles apply something new is learned and used each year. I don't measure my success based on notched tags but it certainly does help boost the confidence.

Good luck
skeeter 7MM is offline  
Old 09-26-2009, 08:43 AM
  #7  
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
 
sclwald's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location:
Posts: 120
Default

Originally Posted by txhunter58
I highly recommend Elknuts videos/CDs. They are not just hunting videos with a little calling lesson thrown in. They are: what are the elk saying to me/each other and what is the proper way to respond. They made sense to me and have helped me tremendously. He also has a "elk playbook" out this year. Have not seen it, but it should be helpful as well.

Here is the link: http://www.elknut.com/

Thanks for the link. Seems as Elknut come with high recommendations around here. It is a little late this year but I will put this on my priority list in the winter offseason.
sclwald is offline  
Old 09-26-2009, 11:17 AM
  #8  
Typical Buck
 
justhuntitall's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Iowa
Posts: 674
Default

I have also use Elknuts vids work great gives you a better understanding of the why when and where.

Good luck
Shane
justhuntitall is offline  
Old 09-28-2009, 09:46 AM
  #9  
Typical Buck
 
rather_be_huntin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cedar Valley Utah
Posts: 977
Default

Ditto on elk nuts videos. He's the man!
rather_be_huntin is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.