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elk call variability

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elk call variability

Postby ctdad » 07 16, 2012 •  [Post 1]

I forwarded my "post up elk calls" directly to my hunting partner today. His comment was that they were all the same length. His point was that I'm focused too much on the academic elk call and not varying my calls enough to sound like a unique bull elk. I appreciate that comment and I know this has come up other places before.

Do you think a text book, boring, but well made elk call is too obvious to most elk?

I've been practicing variety as well, but today I just happened to make three bugles that were all the same length. Guess I need more variety in my practice!
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Re: elk call variability

Postby Swede » 07 16, 2012 •  [Post 2]

A well made call is great and it doesn't need to be varied in length from one to the next. The important thing is to have the best call to offer for the situation. I have sounded like a puking buzzard with my call and had elk come in to it.
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Re: elk call variability

Postby ElkNut1 » 07 16, 2012 •  [Post 3]

Elk sounds can vary in length & intensity! This applies to both bulls & cows alike! They have a language as we do just not nearly as complex! A bugle is not just a bugle! Bulls bugle for Location, Advertising, intimidation or challenge, calling cows to themselves, calling cows back that have been separated from predators, etc. All these bugle tones will vary, the elk know what each ones mean. It's up to us as hunters to understand which ones mean which, what's not important is to know how to make them all! So, if your bugles all sound the sae then your are repeating that communication over & over, in many cases this is not good! Understand what each sound means & this will dictate which is needed for your reason for calling!

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Re: elk call variability

Postby ctdad » 07 16, 2012 •  [Post 4]

My calls didn't all sound the same. One was a location bugle, one was bugle with chuckles and one a bugle with grunts. They were all the same length, more or less. A little bit rhythmic I guess. I put all of these calls on the "post up your elk calls" threads here as well.

I've just noticed some of the more seasoned callers on here are mixing up their sounds quite a bit when calling. Since I've been learning more recently, my sounds have been a little more simple. I just wondered if that was a big deal?
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Re: elk call variability

Postby ElkNut1 » 07 16, 2012 •  [Post 5]

I just listened to two of your calling scenarios. They sounded just fine! I know you were just exhibiting sounds for review so I won't get technical. When using grunts 2-3 is best, 4 or more is rare!

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Re: elk call variability

Postby erictski » 07 16, 2012 •  [Post 6]

ElkNut1 wrote:I just listened to two of your calling scenarios. They sounded just fine! I know you were just exhibiting sounds for review so I won't get technical. When using grunts 2-3 is best, 4 or more is rare!

ElkNut1


Paul, are you saying to end a bugle with grunts with only 2 or 3 grunts, or are you refering to times when you just grunt?
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Re: elk call variability

Postby ElkNut1 » 07 17, 2012 •  [Post 7]

What I was referring to was the natural tendency that you will hear real bulls using grunts before or after his scream! Hunters get very caught up in issuing 5-7 grunts after every bugle, many treat chuckling the same way. In most calling situations you do not need to use grunts at all, just read the situation with you & the bull! A good coarse short scream can say the same thing without the use of grunts! Bulls generally will use 2-3 grunts after a screaming bugle or 1 first then the bugle & 2-3 after it. So we hunters need to practice the same way so we don't get caught up in being unnatural in our delivery! Grunts aren't mandatory to use but are nice to know how to do! (grin)

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Re: elk call variability

Postby eltaco » 07 17, 2012 •  [Post 8]

Once again, I completely agree with Paul. Bugles will vary in length and intensity, so as long as you find yourself somewhere in the middle your call will be well received. Generally speaking my challenge bugles or screams are shorter, while forcing more air... I believe a bull is trying to sound as dominant as possible in this scenario, and he's going to exhale faster in doing so.

Grunting, I certainly do too many grunts by Paul's standards, and I'm sure he's right. In the field, its hit or miss on whether I throw them in at all. I play on what the bull is saying back to me. A lot of times when I am being challenged, the bull is not grunting, either. If I have a bull coming in on a string without having to grunt, its one less thing that can expose me as a human trying to sound like a bull. Although I think my calling is pretty decent, it's still tough to match the intensity of a live bull... and that's never more apparent than in a challenge with grunts situation!
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Re: elk call variability

Postby Swede » 07 17, 2012 •  [Post 9]

I somewhat believe were are comparing apples and oranges here. Ctdad said his pardner criticized his text book quality calls because they did not vary in length. I know I am paraphrasing here, but the claim was that the text book call meant he did not sound "unique". I disagree. We are all unique. Varing the length, and having different sounds are important in elk encounters where you are working an animal. Who cares though if in a cold calling routine, you use the same sound from call to call as you move to different locations. If you location bugle is the same as the last, does it matter? Does it really matter if my cow mews all sound alike if I am just using them to cover my movement through the forest?
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Re: elk call variability

Postby >>>---WW----> » 07 17, 2012 •  [Post 10]

Variability Hmmmm! Well ya, if you are trying to say different things to an elk like a challange, location, chuckle, grunt, or what ever else you are trying to say. But sometimes non-varibility can work also.

Example: When I was younger, I used to run hounds. Everyone that has ever done this, knows and can tell the voice of Ole Blue from that of Bawlie, Nig, Speck, or any other dog. Same does for elk. They know the voice of just about every elk in the area. But all of a sudden, they hear this new sound (you) and they may just want to have a look at this new guy in the neighborhood.

So I wouldn't worry about it a whole heck of alot. Besides, unless you are a very good well seasoned caller, you probably can't make the same exact sound two times in a row anyhow. There will most likely be a slight variation almost every time. However, calling is a matter of timing. Many make the mistake of making a bugle too long, or adding too many grunts of chuckles. Timing can also mean knowing just when or what to say in a given situation.
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Re: elk call variability

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 07 17, 2012 •  [Post 11]

>>>---WW----> wrote:Variability Hmmmm! Well ya, if you are trying to say different things to an elk like a challange, location, chuckle, grunt, or what ever else you are trying to say. But sometimes non-varibility can work also.

Example: When I was younger, I used to run hounds. Everyone that has ever done this, knows and can tell the voice of Ole Blue from that of Bawlie, Nig, Speck, or any other dog. Same does for elk. They know the voice of just about every elk in the area. But all of a sudden, they hear this new sound (you) and they may just want to have a look at this new guy in the neighborhood.

So I wouldn't worry about it a whole heck of alot. Besides, unless you are a very good well seasoned caller, you probably can't make the same exact sound two times in a row anyhow. There will most likely be a slight variation almost every time. However, calling is a matter of timing. Many make the mistake of making a bugle too long, or adding too many grunts of chuckles. Timing can also mean knowing just when or what to say in a given situation.



This :D
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Re: elk call variability

Postby CrazyElkHunter » 07 18, 2012 •  [Post 12]

To me, and I know many of you seasoned elk hunters, it's not all about making elk sounds, but learning elk language and communicating with them, that is exactly what Paul has learned and is willing to share. I learn a little more language every year from elk and being able to know what to say to the right elk at the right time. That knowledge is what increases my odds of filling the freezer just about every year. Mouth reeds can be very challenging for some people, but they are so versatile. You can make just about every single sound a elk makes with a mouth reed. Glunking sounds are another dimension. Learning to become a elk with their language instead of just a hunter with a elk call is a feeling that consumes you. My easiest way to do this without saying the wrong thing, is I mimic the elk I am having a conversation with. My friends witnessed this several times when I would have a bull giving me the meanest blood curling screams and I would do the same. After we shot the bulls, they told me they thought I was nuts and thought I was going to run them off. If they are being shy, I do the same and copy there low moans. Bark bugle has been working wonders for me the last 7 or 8 years on elk I have jumped. Less than 5 weeks away til we leave!!! :o
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Re: elk call variability

Postby mongopino915 » 07 18, 2012 •  [Post 13]

CrazyElkHunter, when I read your post it sounds as though I am writing it. My thoughts are exactly the same.

In my mind I am an elk or many elk when calling. I think some folks are consumed by the thought of scaring the real bull away by being aggressive. As hunters, this is natural as we tried so hard to get a response, and when we do, the last thing on our mind is to post a threat and send the elk over the next ridge.

On the way up to pack out a bull, we ran into a responsive 6x6 bull but a little shy at first. As we approach this bull, I tried to mimic his bugle in tone and intensity but he was quick to keep his distance of about 200 -300 yards. After about 10 minutes of bull to bull conversation and unable to break the distance, I got aggressive and gave him my nastiest scream and grunts, at the same time, ran as fast as we could to let him know that I was coming in fast for a confrontation. All of the sudden he stood his ground, and it turned into one of most intense bull to bull, in your face screaming match. We got to 25 yards of the bull in the thick timber, screaming down each others throat. My shooter was 10 feet in front, came to full draw and was waiting for the bull to cross a small shooting lane. As usual, the wind shifted and this beautiful bull lived. My shooter is an experienced elk caller and said that I was crazy, but admitted that this bull really liked my aggressive calling.

Just like human, sometimes the guy that gets bullied will take a stand and fight back. elk are no different.
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