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Author Topic: Elk Calling & Stategies  (Read 718 times)

Offline marvjf

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Elk Calling & Stategies
« on: February 06, 2006, 04:58:00 PM »
What are some of your favorite calls that produce?

How about the strategies you use when bow hunting and calling? Doe sthis change with two hunters?

Offline SoftPoint

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2006, 06:16:00 PM »
The call I use, that gets the most response, is the Primos Lead Cow & Calf Call. I have used it calling "blindly" and I have brought in bothe bulls and cows. After pre-season scouting to fid likely elk travel routes. I set up at daybreak and use this call, about 5 or 6 calls every 15 minutes. After about 2 hours in my set-up location, I then still-hunt thru the black timber,I stop after every 75 yards of still-hunting. and use this call. I have used it to call back elk after I have shot them. In one case a cow elk came back and dropped 10 yards in front of me.
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SoftPoint

Offline correlldm

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2006, 10:15:00 PM »
Marv, there is one techniqe I heard that works well! It can be done w/one or two: You are initially 100yr's out from a bull; first you call in all four directions w/cow calls then end w/a bull call; you walk 50 yards away and do the same again; you then go back an additional 50 yards making only one cow call (no other calls).  Then look out cause here he comes; usually a sattelite bull.

God Bless,

Dan

Offline gordonf

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2006, 10:57:00 PM »
Around here about the only thing you're going to bring in with a bugle is other hunters.

Offline shapeshifter

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2006, 12:46:00 AM »
gordonf-i agree, elk are way to educated these days especially by the bugles that use the silicone reeds over the top of the mouth end (they sound like a flute). if you are going to use a bugle you owe it to yourself (and other hunters) to learn to use a diaphram and bugle tube. as far as calling goes, i only bugle right at or just before first light if the bulls are just starting to talk strictly as a locator (once i have his location pinned, i stop calling and beat feet to him). the only other time i bugle is if i am lucky enough to be in the middle of the herd and in between the herdbull and his cows (worked fantastic on my 2004 6x6). other than that i never bugle. as far as cow calling goes, i call differently at different times of the season. my primary call is the primos hyperlip. during the pre-rut i will set up and very softly and VERY intermitently call for 30-45 minutes. at this time of the year don't be supprised if a bull is starring at you before you even knew he was there (amazing how a horse size critter can come in so quiet if he wants to). as the rut intensifies, i will get more agressive with the volume of my cow calls but not the frequency. at this time of the year i never set up and call since the bulls are usually talking pretty good by this point. for this reason, i try to get as close to the herd as possible before i ever call (75-125 yards). as far as the hoochie-mama call goes, I WISH IT WAS NEVER INVENTED. though it is an effective call in very limited circumstances, most guys over call with it so much that they sound like a ticked off squirrel (i have literally yelled down canyons before telling hunters to "shut that da*& thing up" (works every time LOL). a really overlooked strategy in elk hunting is locating wallows and hunting over them. the 6x7 that i killed this year would not come to any of my cow calls for three days and bugled his head off the whole time (i found out why he wouldn't come..... he had 12 cows). he also was bedding in that wallow every day and on the third day i was LUCKY enough to put a 6 hour stalk on him and kill in his bed out of that very wallow. to date, i have killed 3 bulls over wallows, 4bulls during the pre-rut, 3bulls during the rut and one bull at the very end of the early season when i was just in the right place at the right time (i think he thought my pop tarts smelled good LOL).
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Offline Canyon

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2006, 08:47:00 AM »
For calls I use a mix of diaphram cow/calf chirps with very little to no bugling. Instead of bugling I use the Woodswise Hyper Hot call with the wood body. I've used this repeatedly to get silent Bulls to give away their location when nothing else would.

My favorite tactic is to scout a lot and learn the bedding areas then I use either glassing or calling to determine travel direction to get in front of the herd as their coming or going. The herd bull will usually be bringing up the rear so you have to set up to allow the cows by.
Satellite bulls often will come in if you are on the perimeter of the main groups travel route and call softly.

Overall not one tactic works all the time and in all conditions so mix them up a bit.
A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight;nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety;is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free,unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

Offline gordonf

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2006, 01:21:00 AM »
Gino,

Actually I have taken the time to learn how to use a diaphram to bugle and people tell me that I'm pretty good at it. The problem is where I like to hunt there are so many hunters bugling their brains out that I can never tell for certain if the animal calling back at me has two or four legs (LOL). Now I pretty much confine my bugling to lure hunters away from areas that I want to hunt - and for that it works pretty darn good. Though some day I expect I'll be surprised to find myself staring eye-2-eye with the real thing.

I agree with you that hoochie-mama calls are WAY overused. Where I hunt the cows do a lot of talking before the season, but after about a week into the season they shut right up. And if you try to call them they turn tail and run.

Don't get me wrong, I love making elk calls with a diaphram but on heavily hunted public land I'm not sure they work very well.

Offline shapeshifter

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2006, 07:40:00 AM »
gordonf, i agree with everything you said. as far as calling other hunters i just make sure that by the time season rolls around that i am in good enough shape to make it back where most people don't go. it's great, i have the elk to myself and they answer when i talk. as far as the bugle calls go, i hope you did not think that i pointed "leaning to use a diaphram call" at you. i was just answering the thread. only the first sentence was was just to say that i agree 100% with your statement.
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Offline BradLantz

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2006, 08:45:00 AM »
walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call,walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call,
walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call,walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call,
walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call

Eventually you will find a love sick bull that will respond to your calls. Hard, tough way to hunt, but productive

Offline gordonf

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2006, 08:49:00 AM »
Quote
i just make sure that by the time season rolls around that i am in good enough shape to make it back where most people don't go
I'm still fairly new to this game, but I think that's probably what I need to start doing.

Offline gordonf

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2006, 09:21:00 AM »
Quote
walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call,walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call,
walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call,walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call,
walk, bugle/cow call, walk bugle/cow call
 
Yep, a lot of that going on around where I hunt. I can usually hear them coming from a half mile away.

Offline Rich Baker

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2006, 10:20:00 AM »
Most times on this board I have nothing to contribute. but in this case I am skilled in the art of elk calling. Public land hunting you need to sound small, think spike bull. small squeles that don't even sound like a bugle. IMHO to many guys have Power Bugles, terminators and most of the primos stuff sounds to big and to good.

Depending on where you hunt the season/ weather has a lot to due with how vocal elk are, here in Oregon, season starts in late august and gose till the end of september. I have found the first few days of season you can bugle and cow call and get a response even in 90deg weather. after the boy start chaseing them around even if your 3 or 4 miles away from the crowds. I find the small squeal with one or two cow calls will draw a bull. Most times I'll just cow call once and then rake a tree pretty loud and always be ready. I have found many of the bulls come in silent and from down wind. I literaly soak my clothes in cow urine and if I find beds or fresh pee I will role my body into it. this trick has acounted for some nice bulls that I can't post pic's of as they were taken with training wheels. Mouth diaphram is the only way to go. Hooch mama is dead IMHO cow no that the call is not a elk it sound good to good. put a little whine in your cow call and never call more than twice. Make some noise in between your calling elk are noisey. Rake trees and stomp feet followed with a small squeal. the bug boys hate that. LOL Hope this helps you bag a nice bull cheers Rich

Offline gordonf

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2006, 11:17:00 AM »
Some good stuff there Rich, thanks. I'll have to try that trick where you roll around in fresh pee and beds. Of course my wife probably won't let me bring my stuff into the house after a hunt (LOL).

I know what you mean about Hoochie Mama's - after I hear two or three calls I know it's another hunter because the pitch and tone is EXACTLY the same and they sound too good. If I'm not fooled, I can't imagine that an elk will be.

Offline shapeshifter

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2006, 02:22:00 PM »
rich- once again i agree, there is so much to talk about as strategies for elk goes, there have been books written about it. i still can't stand the sound of any of the primo's or any silicone reed bugles (they sound like flutes to me (at least i know it is another hunter LOL). good points that forgot to mention that you brought up about making noice (ie snaping twigs ect) and especially sounding smaller. if a new hunter HAS TO bugle, best not to sound like a herd bull since no lesser elk in it's right mind would want to come it to have is butt handed to him LOL! oh yeah, also good to see that other hunters roll around in fresh elk pee. i posted that same thing not too long ago and got laughed at. that is the best cover scent ever and it is FREE! although if a bull gets directly down wind of me (pee or not) it is game over.
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Online Roughcountry

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2006, 03:23:00 PM »
Gotta agree with what Rich, Gordon and Shape are sayin. The only time I get real vocal is when I'm on private ground working un-spooked elk or way back in deep where they are not pushed around much.
Funny thing is, Thats just what the Elk are doin also. I like the mouth diaphram and a small tube. Takes more time to master but simpler is better.

These days I never bugle unless a bull starts it first.

Offline Rich Baker

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2006, 07:54:00 PM »
Just for fun, the next time you see a rag horn on the first day of season. blow a bugle at him and watch what he does. Only do this if you don't want to shoot him./ the next one you see just give him a hi pitch squeal. and get ready. LOL I learned this at the portland zoo elk pens. LOL I got kicked out when the big bull was trieing to get me through the fence  :readit:    "[redneck]"   turned around the next day and took a nice 5x5.

Offline Donnie

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2006, 08:30:00 PM »
I'm very fortunate in the since that I hunt an area that has no pressure at all.  (Small herds of Roosevelts... but I'm alone in the woods!)  But!... even with this... I can still ruin a good thing!

Last season, I made some really dumb mistakes, and I cant wait to get back into the woods to prove to myself that I actually learned something from them.

Typically... I have started out with some cow calls, simply using them as my locators.  I have blown on my bugle to many times, only to scare the begeeziz out of the herd that was only 50 yards away!  (Opening day, I had a small bull come into my cow calls, but I wasn't prepared for a shot.)

Towards the end of the season, I was walking around the woods quietly, and trying to locate the elk by their signs... not by trying to call to them.  On the last day, I located the herd, by listening to them make their social calls to one another.  I tried to get in on them using a few of my favorite calls.  The herd went silent... but were very interested in my calls.  Ultimately... when things didn't go the way they thought it should have... they slowly moved on.  (All I did was educate them!)

My plan for this year is to strictly play the wind, and try to locate the herd by their signs, and or maybe even hearing them.  I don't plan on calling unless I'm close.  If I do call... it will most likely be cow calls, and "wimpy" squeals.  Nothing domineering.  

I'm even considering using one of those hanging decoys.  I feel as though I might have been able to close the deal last season if I had one.   Has anyone else used one?

Take care!

Donnie

Offline rthompson

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2006, 08:45:00 PM »
I like a diaphragm call for those times that I choose to use calls at all.  I've been fortunate to hunt elk in a variety of mountain ranges throughout WY, MT, and CO.  In my experience, when and how often to use calls varies depending on where you are.  In some areas, calling can be counterproductive while in other areas calling can be very effective.  Unfortunately, much of what has been written and many of the elk videos out there lead some folks into believing that calling is the only effective method to hunt elk, and that simply is not true.  Best of luck.  

Rick
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Offline shapeshifter

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Re: Elk Calling & Stategies
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2006, 10:44:00 PM »
rthompson - you are so right! lets face it, most of the videos made these days are buy guys who make calls. if the guys on the videos said not to call much or not during certain times of the year their call sales would go down.
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