I hunt in Idaho and live next to my hunting areas, so, I've learned them very well. I've noticed less and less bugling over the years but stay out all night in some spots and regardless of whether there is a moon or not, they bugle all night long. Early season is typically uneventful due to heat and lack of activity on the elks part. What I have noticed is that hunters are bugling more and more. This year I spent 2 days the previous week in the location of my opening morning hunt. Elk everywhere but no bugling. So opening day comes. I listen to a person come up the bottom and bugle every 5-10 minutes. What a goon. Not one elk answers back all morning. Something similar happened to me last year. I don't understand where hunters are learning to hunt elk you need to call constantly. I've learned that early season and in areas with OTCs being quiet is typically more effective. That morning I had a spike and cows under 20 yds alnd the fool in the bottom bugling.
Interesting many folks blame the lack of bugling on wolves but I hunt in areas with and without and I'd venture to say the human component is a major reason why the elk don't talk much or do it at night.
Same experience here. If I bugle a few times a multi day trip that is a lot. I do cow call some as I move along.
I saw it on tv. They bugle every 1-2 minutes then a trophy bull comes in and they get it! Isnt that how all elk hunts work? Lol.
I do locate bugle once in a while to see if a bull is close by. I cow call as I move through the woods. Especially if I crash through sticks so as to calm anything that was spooked by my thrashing about.
In the past, bulls that responded to my bugles also ran away. Maybe I need to tone my challenges down a tad! Lol.
Interesting post. I don't own a bugle call amd only cow call sparingly. I do know what I saw and experienced in the Teton Wilderness right next to YNP in 2012. I was on a guided hunt in the Thorofare and my guide did not bugle call during the whole trip, even tho the rut was supposedly on. He did cow call quite a bit. The elk we saw (not many!), the bulls would only grunt. Guide said wolves was the cause. Even the grunting brought a pack of wolves to investigate and scatter the small group like a covey of flushed quail!
Originally Posted by cnalder
Actually saw more grizzlies and wolves than elk!!
I think it is situational. I hunt right next to the thorofare and I should have packed earplugs last year. I had never heard so many bugles from 4am to 10:30 am in all my life. There were plenty of predators around, but the elk were popping off left and right.
with all the "elk educational" books, webinars and videos really pushing aggressive tactics now, the masses have bought into aggressive calling (bugling) the problem is that most don't know the who, what, when, where and why you bugle. once they figure that out they will become better elk killers. this past Saturday I went down to central NM to call for a friend. when we stopped and got out of the utv we noticed a parade of atv's making their way up the forest road. there were 8 of them and every one of them would stop about every 200 yards and bugle from their atv's. this was before the sun came up. needless to say we found another area and went and my buddy killed an elk that afternoon. what has been working well for me these last couple years is cow calling my way in. if the bull keeps coming I don't bugle. if he is not coming then I get in close, 75 yards or less and challenge the bulls elkhood. this makes for some very exciting and fast action.