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Hunting Silent Elk!

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Re: Hunting Silent Elk!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 1]

This is a great subject to many of us elk hunters! So many times during the course of our elk hunts we will come upon times where elk are just flat silent, this is especially so during early season elk hunting! Yep, the elk are there but show little interest in being vocal or responding to our calling, this applies to both bulls & cows. But with many hunters only having 5-7 days to their elk hunts they need to create interest or action "Now"! They are looking for "Any Elk" cows or any type of bull would be great for them! What are some of the best ways to attract elk when elk are just not showing signs of rutting?

Treestand/Ground-Blinds--At Active Waterholes--Active Wallows, Heavily used trails, natural Mineral Licks. Look for these types of things as close to feeding areas on morning hunts & these things close to bedding areas on midday/evening hunts, being in the right spot or area for where you are & the time frame you're hunting is crucial! Look for fresh sign, none of these will be worth a hoot if elk are not using them during your hunt! Consider bringing a trail camera or two that can do some scouting for you on trails & waterholes you don't have time to watch right off! I find these areas of interest are best if you can locate them well away from the normal foot or vehicle traffic. Get away from roads or trails just enough to be away from the earshot of hunters calling or driving, this can be a 1/2 mile to a 1 1/2 mile or so away or further. Elk in Sept heat especially like bedding in the coolest areas to be found, in many cases this is on the north faces with heavy cover & water & feed nearby. These north faces can be found on East, West & South facing slopes as well, it's any big or small bench, finger or knobs that face north or somewhat north that will offer the best comfort for hot blooded critters like elk in the hot temps, Aspen groves & old growth timber are a fair bet as well to take notice of no matter the side of the mountain as generally water or marshy areas are nearby. What you're doing as hunters are positioning yourselves in "destination spots" these are areas elk will come to or through on their own without any calling or coaxing! In those calling setups make sure you "setup" in an area where elk must be in "search mode" to find the source of your calling, do not allow them the luxury of hanging up at distances outside your effective range, be sure to have an obstacle between you & them that forces their approach!
ElkNut1
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Re: Hunting Silent Elk!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 2]

Blind or Cold Calling Setups!-- What does this mean? This implies that you are going to use a setup in an area that either elk frequent, or have no intention to go too without a good reason. Remember, elk are being quiet with little to no vocalization so we have to draw on their "curiosity" to get them to come our way, being "herd" animals this is completely possible! How is this done? The best ways are to use sounds that require Aid or Assistance from other elk. Elk will use these sounds year around amongst their own ranks so it's not unusual for them to be brought from great distances to aid you the caller/callers with the right sound sequence! Trolling for them every 1/2 mile--1 mile using these setups will produce results! Patience is key, you must be willing to sit & hold position up to an hour after each calling session!
ElkNut1
ElkNut/Paul
 
Posts: 4632
Joined: 05 11, 2012
Location: Idaho

Re: Hunting Silent Elk!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 3]

Lost Or Re-Gathering Sounds--It's a far reaching sound! This sound asks for attention & wants to know where the group is whether they were separated or just looking for a group, it also is used by the lead cow to maintain contact with a moving group & is used by Bulls to give direction to cows outside the group in heavier cover. Instead of a social 1/4-1/2 second in length mews this sound is aprox 1-1/2 second long & is given from 5-10 times non-stop on mid to high volume, when giving this sequence do sets of 3-4 in 15 second intervals, add a nervous calf chirp with it & it can really sell your genuineness, now sit & wait very still & very patiently & on full alert as elk can come out of nowhere silently or thundering in depending on their excitement level.This is a great sound to use, we have used this sound sequence to draw countless elk our way! This also has worked well in areas we bumped elk out of & they ran off, some elk run without knowing why? We've set up with this calling technique & had elk return thinking some of their counterparts did!
ElkNut1
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Posts: 4632
Joined: 05 11, 2012
Location: Idaho

Re: Hunting Silent Elk!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 03, 2012 •  [Post 4]

Excited Herd Talk--This is the most commonly used Elk Calling sequence known to many hunters! It's popular because it works! The hunter or hunters are merely representing a small band of cows/calf with such calling, the sounds will vary in tone & length of mews, chirps & whines along with foot stomping & rustling the brush & like foliage imitating elk movement & browsing around of multiple elk! You will normally exhibit these sounds for 5-7 minutes, wind it up & wind it down, wait 5- 10 minutes & repeat 3 or so times. After the last sequence wait 30 - 45 minutes before moving on! Bull sounds are optional here but not needed to be effective, if you decide to inject one make it an immature bull in more of a whining bugle than a majestic one, one or two is plenty in the course of this setup! If more than one hunter get 30yds or so apart from one another to promote realism to the calling. If 3 hunters get in a triangle 40yds apart or so in semi thick country but up to 60yds or so in more open terrain, all 3 will use cow sounds mixing up a good range of herd talk varying pitch, tone & volume. When an elk approaches one of you then that guy stops all calling while the other two keep it up in a natural sequence, the other two will realize there's only two of you calling so odds are elk are approaching the non-caller. It just takes a bit of creativity guys to fit in & work as a team!
ElkNut1
ElkNut/Paul
 
Posts: 4632
Joined: 05 11, 2012
Location: Idaho