Like Paul said, the aggressive approach can work....in the right situtation. Every time it has worked for us, we have been right inside that 100 yard "comfort zone". If we were too far out, bull packs up his cows and moves on.
If it works, it is one of the most exciting hunting experiences you will ever have!
Best of Luck,
Ha Ha, I hear ya Bitterroot! There are a few good holes here & there where we've stumbled on these type of elk, we call them dumb elk! (grin) They are very cooperative! Unfortunately they are far & few in-between!
Steve, stay with what works Sir! But I will say in the defense of calling that it does work, Timing & use of sounds is very crucial as many of these OTC herd bulls have been around the block once or twice! (grin) The classic bugling & cow calling will not get it done, 90% of those will end up in hang-ups or turn bulls into runners if not handled correctly or understood.
95% of the elk we take (over 65 herd bulls) are via calling! They may start out as Spot or Call & Stalk but end up that some sort of aggressive calling is needed to seal the deal. Yes, we hunt all OTC & heavily hunted zones, the success rate for a bull here is under 6% with last year sporting over 6000 hunters in our unit not to mention the wolves! We have pressure but calling is still the #-1 source of our success! This is why I would recommend it to those who wish to go that route. It takes a lot of work to master this art, it's no accident to consistently call in herd bulls or satellites. This doesn't mean you have to be the worlds best caller or have to know how to make tons of sounds, but more importantly you must understand what sounds you are using/saying & what the elk are saying?
This is where hunters go wrong! Most do not know the differences between classic location bugles or a lip bawl bugle or a round up bugle or a calling cows away from another bull bugle or a re-gathering bugle, not to mention selective cow sounds, etc. Recognize these different sounds & it will open up a whole new outlook on how you approach elk hunting! Not saying we shouldn't Spot & Stalk but consider other successful avenues to avoid being one dimensional when the stalk starts to go sour! Be very versatile is key! (grin)
Knowing when & where to call is equally as important! Good Luck elk seasons getting close! (grin)
In all that I have watched on TV, Videos, DVD's or the actual real thing, I have never seen a mature herd bull round his cows up and leave because a real bull was calling close to him. I think alot has to do with how authentic you sound in your calling. If we can tell it is another hunter I am sure they can too. After reading Pauls Playlist book, we tried one of his tactics. A cow had busted us but the rest of the herd had not seen us, we ran at the herd to scatter the cows. While running in we gave a few threatening screams, the herd bull thought we were another bull coming to steal his cows, and was on top of us in no time. Just wish the season had not ended the week before, don't know if I would have been able to get a shot off any how the way I was shaking. Do yourself a favor and get the Elk Nuts Playlist. I guarantee you will call in more bulls and have more fun.
Elknut, on a different forum, I saw a very positive review of the books and dvd's that you have on your site and so I figured that must be you. Thanks for all the info that you and everyone else has shared. I have learned a lot on this thread. And I will be definitely be ordering some items off of your website!..
Originally Posted by ElkNut1
Here in the jungles of North Idaho I gotta use elk calls to get them in close. Closing the gap on the herd bull and cows once they are bedded and then challenging him with an up close and personal bugle works great. Also if you can pressure the bull long enough with bugling and "dogging" behind the herd, often times he may turn and fight. Of course, you must play the game carefully or they will bust you.
I've got a takeoff question from this topic. This fall, I'll be hunting CO for the first time. I'm from MI and my only western exposure is from TV. (Thanks Eastmans TV and .com for your quality productions) I bought a bugle and cow call and I'm kind of scared to find out what a real elk thinks of me. My dog loves it...or hates it. I'm really not sure what all of his howling means. So, I'm actually wondering if I decide to call to a bull, how likely am I to attract additional hunters to "my bull"? Has this ever happened to any of you?
Well, yes and no. When you do call a bull and he answers...it wont take long for you to figure out if he is coming in or not.(bugles get closer to you will noise of him coming or they stay ..or go away).
Elk are big animals so they are not always too quiet when they move through the woods. You will soon either close the distance on him yourself and start to see him, or you wont see him.
I have heard other hunters in camp at night but not ever run into them on the hills.
Rull of thumb, dont go up a trail that already has a truck parked there when you arrive! Good chance the "bull" that calls back to you is going to be the real deal.
I've called in a bunch of hunters, and been called in a few times to boot, even way back in the backcountry.
great thread, very informative as I have never called in an elk it is very intriguing, I can call coyotes in but This year is the first year to have an elk tag with my name on it
ElkNut, the playbook is a must read. I got mine for fathersday and have all but finished it. Now I need the sounds of elk and some more calls Im hooked. Thanks
(guys this is the real deal)