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Cow call, or Bugle?

Old 03-04-2010, 04:16 PM
  #11  
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AK Jeff-----I think you are spot on. CB
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:07 PM
  #12  
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Sex sells....................but some Competition never hurts !!!
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:10 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by AK Jeff View Post
Apparently I'm absurd, but that has been my observation time and again. Obviously it doesn't apply everywhere because elk act differently everywhere based on hunting pressure, natural predation levels, bull to cow ratio, moon phase, weather conditions, habitat type, blah, blah, blah.

If you really want to call elk then it's best to get proficient with both cows calls and bugles and then use appropriate restraint in their use. More often than not people call too much when they'd be better off keeping their trap shut, and that holds true more often than not for calling any type of wildlife. One thing I have noticed over the years is that it elicits much more of a response if you bugle at a bull the same way he sounds. If he has a high pitched squeal with three chirps at the end, then do the same back at him. If he has a raspy growl with no chirps, then it's best to follow suit. If anybody tells you they can judge a bull by his bugle alone they're completely full of it. I've simultaneously watched a dinky raghorn let out the nastiest red stag roar, while in the adjacent valley a 380 bull was throwing out the highest pitch squeal I've ever heard out of a bull. Voice is certainly no indication of size. I intend to stick to my original statement though. If I'm going out after wapiti I'll probably have both calls with me, but I probably won't use them unless it's an absolute last resort. That's just my two cents.
Frankly Jeff, I find it hard to believe that has been your observation time and again, because it is not accurate. I have hunted all over Montana, and spent many nites on the mountain for many years, and that has never been what I experienced. There are up and downs depending on the estrus cycle, but they always sing. As far as sounding just like the bull you are bugling to, thats great for videos and what not, but situational calling is much better. To be an effective caller, one needs to understand the situation they are in, what the bull is saying, and what picture you painting for that bull. If you can master that, you can call in nearly any bull, even herd bulls. To say that calling is largely ineffective is ridculous, sorry man, thats the way I feel.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:26 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Muley70 View Post
Frankly Jeff, I find it hard to believe that has been your observation time and again, because it is not accurate. I have hunted all over Montana, and spent many nites on the mountain for many years, and that has never been what I experienced. There are up and downs depending on the estrus cycle, but they always sing. As far as sounding just like the bull you are bugling to, thats great for videos and what not, but situational calling is much better. To be an effective caller, one needs to understand the situation they are in, what the bull is saying, and what picture you painting for that bull. If you can master that, you can call in nearly any bull, even herd bulls. To say that calling is largely ineffective is ridculous, sorry man, thats the way I feel.
I agree
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:41 PM
  #15  
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Frankly....I'm with AKJ on this ......and Muley you pretty much said the same thing.It's about proficiecy with your call. I've called in bull's with a bugle.............way back in. But in any area that I've hunted that has a bit of pressure and guy's calling that shouldn't be calling. You're done............At best a cow call will help in these areas. I mainly stalk and use a call to get a shot not create one. But that is Colorado. Montana is a little less populas.
In my hunt area I'd go for the cow call.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by glob3006 View Post
Frankly....I'm with AKJ on this ......and Muley you pretty much said the same thing.It's about proficiecy with your call. I've called in bull's with a bugle.............way back in. But in any area that I've hunted that has a bit of pressure and guy's calling that shouldn't be calling. You're done............At best a cow call will help in these areas. I mainly stalk and use a call to get a shot not create one. But that is Colorado. Montana is a little less populas.
In my hunt area I'd go for the cow call.
GLOB
Well, what I really take exeption to with AK, is two statements, one that calling is not very effective in his first post, and two that they only bugle at night. One thing I've learned is that elk speak the same language where ever you go. I am not aginst cow calling. Last year I had a nice bull on a ridge doing some real light locates. I can't tell you why, but I felt like he had just been whoopped, so I lightly cow called for an hour and a half, he slowly came in and my hunter got an arrow in him. If I had bugled he would have beat the trail. However, most of the bulls I call into bow range, 150+ over the last ten years, are called with the bugle. The bottom line is to use both, but tailor your calling to the situation at hand. I feel that bugling is been sold down the river, it is still more effective calling. Running around cow calling in the early season is nuts, bugle your butt off, run and gun, they will respond. Sure you can over call, but is that worse than undercalling? Think about that for a minute. The best thing you can do is learn to adopt to the situation at hand, that is why I promote situational calling. Learn to understand what message you are sending to that bull, and how he will respond to it. I study elk, read books, listen to stories, consider post that folks make, I still think of myself a student, but I've learned a few tricks along the way. I few years ago I set a guy up and the bull hung up at 70 yards, wouldn't budge. I did the sweet talk/bull intercept call you name it, wouldn't budge. I run down to the guy and tell him I am going to do a "see ya" bugle at the top of the ridge. Well I stomp up the slope making a ton of noise, and when I get to the top I do a fading locate bugle then stomp over the ridge. About 5 minutes later a 5x5 comes out of the timber, nose down, looking to 'smell' the bull that is gone. My hunter missed. I learned this after watching bulls move in after the other bull left, and hearing bulls we bumped do one last bugle after they were well out of range. we actually call it an FU bugle.

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Old 03-04-2010, 11:00 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Muley70 View Post
Frankly Jeff, I find it hard to believe that has been your observation time and again, because it is not accurate. I have hunted all over Montana, and spent many nites on the mountain for many years, and that has never been what I experienced. There are up and downs depending on the estrus cycle, but they always sing. As far as sounding just like the bull you are bugling to, thats great for videos and what not, but situational calling is much better. To be an effective caller, one needs to understand the situation they are in, what the bull is saying, and what picture you painting for that bull. If you can master that, you can call in nearly any bull, even herd bulls. To say that calling is largely ineffective is ridculous, sorry man, thats the way I feel.
You're right dude, I just made that all up because it makes for such a great story. Obviously I was just hearing a bunch of really loud coyotes all those nights year after year that I stayed up listening to elk...I mean coyotes, by the light of the moon.

Bottom line is the original question was just asking for a matter of opinion. It was really no different than all the "what caliber is best for" and "what's the best camo pattern for" and "where's the best place to" and "atv or hike" or "blonde or brunette" questions that get thrown out at nauseum... You have your opinion and I have mine. I guess we just have to agree to disagree.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:36 AM
  #18  
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Quite frankly I have never called elk so perhaps my input means nothing at all. I have called alot of moose however and for some it will be the same question as this one. I find when calling the moose it depends on what season you are hunting them in. They have a time when they are challenging other bulls just before the rut kicks in. I find a bull call works best during this time of the hunt. Then when the bulls are joining the cows a cow call works best and the bull most of the time ignores the bull call. When using a bull call every time a bull answered I would call back to it. Trying to mimmick the sounds the bull is making. But like I have stated I have no experience hunting elk. I would just think it would close to the same thing how ever...
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:07 AM
  #19  
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As the years go on I am getting to the point that my bugle barely gets enough use to brush the dust off of it from year to year.

For me and the way I call elk I will use a bugle to locate or when I get between a bull and his cows. I only challenge a bull when I'm in real close.

In all other situations I will use different variations of cow calls. I have a hoochie mama in my pocket too but I don't use it whole lot. I mostly use the reed calls and the diaphram calls to do lost cow, normal mew, calf sounds, and estrus sounds. I mostly use the hoochie (one in each hand) along with a mouth call to sound like several cows and generate excitement. The key is understanding their language and knowing how to respond to elk that are talking to you. Understanding stage of the rut and other factors such as weather are important as well, and it's not an exact science and sometimes takes trying several different things to see what will work on a given day.

Having said that I don't rely on calls to close the deal and bring elk all the way to me (I'm not saying anyone else does). I use them as a tactic to get close. 90% of the time when elk are responding to my calls I am closing the distance on them and using the calls as a way to stalk rather than just bringing them all the way to me. Even though every situation for me isn't successful, and sometimes I say the wrong thing, I have a lot of success calling elk in the areas I hunt.

As a side note in the areas I hunt I hear a lot of hunters bugling and a few of the standard cow calls. But I rarely hear someone out there doing good estrus and general herd sounds. In other words if you get proficient using mouth calls I think you will be in the minority and be able to do what most hunters aren't doing.

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:20 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by AK Jeff View Post
You're right dude, I just made that all up because it makes for such a great story. Obviously I was just hearing a bunch of really loud coyotes all those nights year after year that I stayed up listening to elk...I mean coyotes, by the light of the moon.

Bottom line is the original question was just asking for a matter of opinion. It was really no different than all the "what caliber is best for" and "what's the best camo pattern for" and "where's the best place to" and "atv or hike" or "blonde or brunette" questions that get thrown out at nauseum... You have your opinion and I have mine. I guess we just have to agree to disagree.
I don't disagree with all that your are saying, just some. I think perhaps I am giving my perspective from somebody who hunts in the interior back country as opposed to some who hunt closer to the roads. I agree that there is a difference there. Elk, in their natural state, are different then pressured elk, no argument from me there. I rarely if ever hear other hunters anymore. As I stated, I still consider myself on student in the greatest university of them all!
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