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Hunting High Pressured Elk!

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Re: Hunting High Pressured Elk!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 05, 2012 •  [Post 1]

Make sure you're not bugling your way to bulls especially smaller herd bulls. Once location is made by location bugles or cow sounds move towards them quietly but quickly. You must get under a 100yds, closer is better, if you can slip in to bowrange without calling, do it, at times this will pay off & they are none the wiser you are even close by! Getting close is not always an option because of open to semi open terrain, when calling is the answer get aggressive with the better bulls & more subtle with the lesser ones, closeness here is key, you must make it convenient for them to come your way, avoid at all costs not to be winded. (check herd bull tactics forum) If they can hear your approach many times a bull will give a short growl, this means he can hear something & wants an identity,visually or vocally, it's not always the Popping /Nervous grunt sound in this situation, if this happens give soft cow calls & go right at him keeping cover between you & him as you do your best to get into bowrange.

Yes, elk get educated but it can be overcome. Overcalling is not the way! Creating excitement when close can pull the smaller bulls your way, you must be totally alert as they can come from any direction silent as a ghost!!
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Re: Hunting High Pressured Elk!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 05, 2012 •  [Post 2]

A challenging or calling a bulls cows away from him is high on our list but not from 200yds + out. Sure you could get lucky & have a bull come storming your way but the odds are not good when the caller is to far from the bull and his cows!
Now, if the caller was 15-20yds behind the shooter who was only 50-85yds from the herd, then man you got something you can now sink your teeth into!! (grin) You now can get the bull to "react" or "commit" to the situation. You are now a true close THREAT to his harem!!! Cow calling can be effective at times, but one must weigh the odds per encounter & use what sounds can up the odds best for individual situations. When in close to a herd & the herd bull is the target, bugles or bugles with excited cow sounds will win over everytime for us. You want to take the undesirables, (cows & spikes) out of the equation, timing bugles will do just that, you will get the bulls attention & his only & that's what you're looking for!!
Problem is, that in most close encounter cases, hunters get intimidated with this type of calling encounter, they fear they will blow every elk out of the country so they stick with safe cow calling, experience with such situations has proven differently for us, it generally results in hang-ups! If cow sounds are necessary & the herd bull bugles & chuckles you to "get over there" then do it!!!! At times you can cow call once in that 50yd-100yd range & when he bugles back for you to get over there then you can scream your own rage with a challenge type bugle for that cow to come back to you, this can incite the real bull to come over to want to hook this cow up & possibly run off the intruder bull!
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Re: Hunting High Pressured Elk!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 05, 2012 •  [Post 3]

Hunting bull elk on public land is no gimme or an easy task to say the least. With more & more hunters out there wanting to hunt these great animals it's no wonder they get educated. It's up to us as hunters to understand what makes elk tick? We need to know when to Stalk/Ambush elk with no calling. We need to know when to call & what sounds are best depending on the encounter at hand! We need to know the best times & what wallows are best to hunt considering time of month & day?
We need to establish a herd bull or satellite by appearance or by sound. You cannot work both with the same techniques & calls with any decent level of success, they must be worked differently. Herd bulls hang-up much more so than Satellites. You shouldn't use intimidating sounds towards satellites under most encounters. You can & should against herd bulls when everything is right & in your favor, peak rutting times are good for this or any aggressive bull towards your calls no matter the time of Sept.! Closeness is key! One must be very selective when calling his way to a bugling bull, you will bump him more times than not if situation is wrong.

Knowing these basic things & other sounds so you can understand what's happening when one is fortunate enough to hear these animals is very important, as you may only have a few close encounters each year. Knowing what to do & handle each one accordingly is crucial to ones consistent success! To take full advantage of every opportunity one has to be knowledgeable & on his A game, if not, the elk will win most every year! By educating ones self & not the elk we can stack the odds in our favor more so than the other way around! It's a continual learning process & a school no one ever graduates from!
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Re: Hunting High Pressured Elk!

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 05, 2012 •  [Post 4]

Hunting high pressure country many times results in hang-ups, not all hang-ups are created equal though. Therefore there is no one answer that can apply to any & all types of hang-ups! These differing hang-ups can require different strategies depending on the type of bull you're dealing with, such as satellite or herd bull? Is the hang-up happening during a setup where you were cow calling & the bull came your way & then stopped at 75 yards? If so, the bull most likely got to a spot where he felt he should see this cow he heard. If this is what happens in your "setup" then you need a better setup with concealment! (most hang-ups are the result of cow calling) It's common for a bull to get to certain spot & try calling this cow (you) to him with a short bugle scream, chuckles or nervous grunt & if she didn't show in a reasonable amount of time which is a few minutes he will generally start moving away & still may respond to ones calling. In cases where there's 2 hunters the caller can retreat 70-100yds away while calling lightly & snapping small branches, this can bring this bull closer & possibly by the shooter to catch up with this cow! Another option that works well when cover is available & the right wind direction is to go right at the elk asking you to show yourself, go at him fairly quickly giving light mews & chirps, he will think this elk is coming over to him as he asked!
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