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Elk bowhunters

Old 11-28-2004, 07:31 PM
  #1  
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Default Elk bowhunters

Ok Ive been going to CO. ANd WY. for 10 years now 2years gun 8 with bow have done pretty well considring Iam a flat lander from IL .

We go out 2 weeks before black powder season and we hunt west of Yampa Co. on Route National forest the Elk seem to just start to scream when we are leaving the day before blackpowder season. My question is does black powder season mess them up. We always seem to do farly well but we our hunting funels and cutting them off we are runing pretty close to 50% on kills .
But my dream is to work elk with calls get the big one in close screaming in my face .
I read how you guys call them in close can you help me please.
What are we doing wrong ?
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Old 11-28-2004, 09:53 PM
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Default RE: Elk bowhunters

Check out elknut's website. He has great instructional videos. Nothing like screaming bulls. Alot of shooting will usually shut them up though.
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Old 11-28-2004, 10:18 PM
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Default RE: Elk bowhunters

ORIGINAL: Elkcrazy8

Alot of shooting will usually shut them up though.
Especially, if you hit one!
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Old 11-28-2004, 10:28 PM
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Yes Kodiman you are correct!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-28-2004, 11:36 PM
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First off you have to learn how to use the calls to sound like an elk. Then you have to learn what the calls mean to the elk. Elkcrazy8 is correct, and there is no one better to learn from than elknut1 and his instructional videos, they are top notch! If you can find a partner to tag team one hunter, one shooter that is the best scenerio. My favorite way of hunting/calling elk is first know the general area where the elk are. Then get up early between 4:30 and 6:30 use a locator call to find out where the elk are. Then close the gap, working with the wind to where you are around 100 yards or under. If it is still dark perfect, just wait for shooting light and tag team with a partner to bring them in. In the rut you can do this any time of day, but I like the morning the best. But I hunt hard all day long, and the evening can be just as good as morning. Just my 2cents thanks. Jason
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:13 AM
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Justhuntitall, I have been hunting Colo. since 88 with a bow, but I hunt draw areas, mostly #49. By doing this, it limits the number of hunters I have to contend with, muzzleloaders or bowhunters. I have not had the problem you are talking about. But I am hunting up about 10,500 to 11,500ft [Timber line]. Also it is an uphill walk of about 2 miles and there are no roads. It is a lot of work, that is why I am by myself up there. The only person that is still my hunting partner is my son, he doesn't know any better. Back to your question, anytime you put a lot of pressure on an elk herd they will do one of two things. 1 Leave the area. 2 Go nocturnal. In either case, it makes it harder. Muzzleloader season is prime time for the rut, so it is something you have to deal with in Colo. And calling is an issue now, too many people calling wrong or too much. Either way it makes it harder. Best answer, get away from other hunters and hikers, another huge problem here now. One trick I use is to talk to other camps and find out where they are going, so I am not there. Hope this helps, you are coming a long ways to have fun. You might want to look into the area around Taylor Res., over near Gunnison. Hard country but a lot of elk. I have had elk screaming at me from the start of bow season. And remember elk have issues also, heat is a big one, they can take more cold than heat. If it is too warm they go nocturnal to rut. they go to timber early, sun up. Spot them above timberline and catch them in the trees.
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Old 11-29-2004, 05:43 PM
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THanks for the info guys .

We have hunted the same area the hole time we know the area well and how to get away from the other hunters its easy hunt the hard stuff thats where we usauly kill our elk. Maybe you guys are right I need more info on calling I use the Primos calls and some Carlton calls also .

gselkhunter

Thanks for the info on the other places to hunt that means alot coming from another elk hunter thats been hunting the area as long as you have . Its hard to leave a place that you know so well too go to a diffrent place and start all over again. This Taylor Res. sounds interesting . I like hard teraine it kind of seperates the guys that are serious from the jokers.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-29-2004, 05:46 PM
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I dont know if we sound good or not called in a rag horn once and a local CO. elk hunter once must have been close
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Old 11-29-2004, 10:25 PM
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justhuntitall---You certainly have the right attitude to both hunt elk by ambush or by calling. Both take skills to be successful. Calling takes a lot of practice, which can be done in the off-season. The more you practice the more confidence you'll have in crunch time. --- Of course your question would be, what do I practice? It takes more than just blowing a cow call or bugle. Like gselkhunter mentions, you want to be able to say the right thing at the right time when calling in elk CLOSE!---You say you want bulls to scream in your face, are you sure?? <grin> just kidding!!

I've called in bulls and ambushed them too, and you're right, calling them to bowrange is as exciting as it gets, I don't blame you for wanting them up close and personal!

Penetrating the woods and getting away from most hunters is the first thing I'd recommend. (muzzloaders) By penetrating you leave most behind and can have an opportunity to hunt elk in their normal daily routines, therefore getting them to respond to certain sounds or sound off on their own. A good way to locate elk is as Idahoelkinstructor mentions, which was by use of location type calls. This can be done in several different ways. With seperated or lost cow sounds or one single note high-pitched bugle minus any grunts, this is the sound bulls use when looking for cows. These simple sounds are easy to learn and most importantly non-challenging. Once a bull is located with one of these sounds, your work has just begun, getting him to bowrange is the tough part, especially hunting OTC public lands. I say this because most hunters can get bulls to respond but getting them to 20yds is where they fail. Main reason is they don't understand an elks language. Once a bull sounds off or responds you can tell if it's a herd bull or sattelite and what he's asking for or wanting. Is he inviting you over or telling you to hit the road? Regardless of a bulls frame of mind can you call him in? You bet!!

Here's one way that you can get bulls screaming in your face. --- Let's say you've called using a location bugle (looking for cows) and a bull responds, you recognize right off it's a bull with cows because of his challenging response for you to hit the road. (you're to close and doesn't want to share his cows) Your next move would be to move in on him to within 100yds, the closer the better, but don't be seen, especially by his cows. Setup!! Make sure of shooting lanes and have wind in your favor. Don't be in the open, but don't be in so much cover you can't draw & shoot, make sure bull has to come looking for you because of cover. Give excited to whiny cow calls, 2 or 3. The bull should respond quickly, when he does it means he's calling you to him, in some cases he'll come over to you, in most he will not. Hit him again with a couple of good excited to pre-estrus whines, don't overdue it. He should respond again demanding you to get over there. If you don't do something fairly quick he'll get nervous and leave because he knows you should be heading his way. In other words the bull is hanging up!! When this happens I use a method I call the "Threat". When I feel the time is right, (bull not coming, but getting nervous) I inject a bull sound, I start with dry huffing. (sounds like a woman in labor) and also low gutteral growls, I have excitement behind them. I immediately give cow in distress sounds, I start off real whiny and nervous followed by more huffing and growls. (no bugles) I escalte the sounds of both rapidly, the huffs now turn into huffing grunts (they're ape like in sound) and stronger growling, the cow distress sounds are almost panicky and painful sounding. --- These sounds show the real bull another bull is trying to intercept this cow and she is resisting him. Too it shows the real bull why she isn't coming when he ask her to. More times than not the real bull will "REACT" and come in quickly to run off the intruder, screaming as he does so!!! -- This is one way to get a bull to scream at you!!

Make sure you do a lot of stomping and breaking of branches or rolling rocks or whatever is around to paint a picture in the bulls eyes that there's elk over there scuffling around. -- If there's 2 of you, move a shooter up in front 20 to 30 yards on this method. If the bull still hangs-up but is really screaming, have the shooter hold his position then have the caller start going backwards as if he was running off with this cow calling the whole time, this is usually more than the bull can handle!! ElkNut1

P.S.---- I use Primos calls and Carlton ones for most sounds. I like the Single reeds and the double reeds.
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Old 11-30-2004, 10:21 AM
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Default RE: Elk bowhunters

Justhuntitall, An important issue, the cow makes the choice of what bull will breed her. She doesn't do this by the sound of his bugle, but by seeing him. The bugle is a clue to his size for her. There are three basic bugles, locational, courtship, and threatening. Elknut1 is using a style that starts as enticement with a hot cow, good plan it works well. Then telling the bull, no you don't that's my cow and a fight mode starts, also works good. If needed I will go to the next step, I will call so big, pants, high pitch to a buzz bugle and major grunts, all the time breaking everything is sight and call the old boys cows away from him. When he shows up his eyes are so red with anger you have to shoot him in self defense. You hunt with a group so you have an another option. Have a guy stay back and bugle at the bull. Make sure you cut him off in the middle of his bugle, it shows him no respect, he won't like that. Then have the shooter run up and split the difference of the bugles and pleade with the old boy to come and save you from this up start, remember he isn't thinking with his brain. There are some really good tapes and books out there. As for calls I use, Hunter's Specialties 3.5 reed bull elk, they don't make these anymore[:@] , 2 or 3 reed High plains call. For cow calls done on an external I have 2 Primos calls and 1 Carlton, the old one you can't get any more[:@]. Give you an idea of how much practice I did to get to this level, 3 /4 hours every night for 10 yrs. I called on Hunter's Specialties pro staff for 10 yrs. I won a few Colorado & Colorado Bowhunters Assoc. titles along the way. In other words I worked hard at it. If a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation shindig comes around your way go watch the calling competition, I called in a few of those too, learned a lot. And by listening to a lot of elk and making a lot of mistakes in the field, I now have a pretty good feel of what is happening in a situation in the field. Hope this helps. My best book "Elk of North America" is a management and biology book, great tool!
Gselkhunter
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