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Nervous Grunts Or Barks!!!

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Re: Nervous Grunts Or Barks!!!

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

The Popping/Nervous grunt or bark as some call it (not to be confused with a warning bark) is used by all elk in varying situations. By experiencing this sound in its many forms by elk under different situations one can come to his or her conclusions that if it's good enough for the elk to use it under particular situations then it will also work for us hunters! This sound is used out of Curiosity or Wanting Identification & at times to Create Excitement. But it's not held to just that! Bulls will use it in front of a screaming bugle or at the end of one instead of a series of grunts. Why? Because not only are they trying to intimidate the other bull but he wants to see this new challenger. At times a bull will give his threatening scream & give a couple coarse barks trying to run the intruder bull off! Elk will also vary volume in its use depending on nervousness or lack of it. Many times you will hear an elk give a soft one then another with a bit more volume. Too, I've seen calves squeal this sound along with small chirps as they were hopping & darting around with a sense of excitement & the more mature cows not even giving them a glance. Seeing things like this firsthand really helps us to know when & where we can best utilize such sounds.

We've taken many bulls with the use of the popping/nervous grunt, timing of sounds is key, too, they must fit the encounter or fit a method of use. Do not confuse this sound with a "bark" a bark is used by elk as a warning to others in the area, it will be given by them several times in just a few seconds or within 60 seconds & they are getting further away, other elk may also chime in with this warning as they exit the area. Nervous/Popping grunts are given in a single note fashion, in most cases they're no closer than 30 sec apart, generally closer to a minute sometimes more.

You may have read the story where I called a nice bull in for my Son. During the exchange from the bull & I just before I got him to commit with the pants & a scream I hit him with 2 nervous grunts then I hesitated for 3 sec & hit him with a challenging scream! This issued a challenge & I also wanted to see him or for him to show himself to me! He was coming in to do just that as he came straight to my waiting Son at 12 yards!
ElkNut1
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Re: Nervous Grunts Or Barks!!!

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

Another example we've used it in was when we startled a bull on our way out of a hunting area. We apparently surprised him but couldn't see one another at 40yds out in thick stuff & he hit us with this nervous grunt once! I immediately mewed, I left my Son right there as the shooter & I retreated with soft cow mews & chirps putting distance between me & the bull as if I (the cow) were leaving, within minutes my Son had the bull on the ground with a double lung shot!
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Re: Nervous Grunts Or Barks!!!

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

On another hunt I used the nervous grunt myself to get it done. This was Harold's 1st ever elk hunt with a bow no less! (grin) We happened to come across a couple bulls out of nowhere 3-miles back in, they spooked at 40yds & ran, I immediately gave off 2-3 nervous grunts to my left then my right, some high in volume & a couple in a lower volume & proceeded with some cow in distress sounds, then I threw out a scream the once quiet woods erupted with screaming from a couple bulls that we had no idea were there, one was a 5-point 200yds out, he came on a dead run 12 yds from us & ole Harold put an arrow through both lungs, we watched him walk off & crash right in front of us! Harold was shaking like a leaf & overwhelmed with excitement in what took place & how fast things developed!! (grin)
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Re: Nervous Grunts Or Barks!!!

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

On this hunt it was my Son & I, we got into a herd & called in a bull, my Son shot right over his back at 25yds, yep, he missed, the herd started scattering & we let them go to settle down for about 15minutes or so. We crested a ridge & spotted 2 bulls side-hilling away from us 200 yds out. It was my turn to shoot so we put a plan together & I went forward trying to coyote in on them, as most plans go, the elk threw a wrench into my plans, I was busted not even a 100yds out, a bull sounded off with the nervous grunt, before I could react another one chimed in to my right, yep I was between them, what should I do? I chimed in with a couple of my own & they just stood there in the chest high brush, I immediately pulled out all stops & really hit them with off the charts cow in distress sounds, they were very pitchy & painful sounding. My Son knew the jig was up even though he was well behind me & couldn't see me, he threw in a great bull scream trying to call his cow back, as I continued with cow bawling. (grin) The woods erupted into bugling that would be hard to explain & here comes a bull right at me, I arrowed him at close range & got to my Son to get up to my position so he too could have an opportunity, within 5 minutes of keeping the commotion going he arrowed a 2nd bull at pointblank range!
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