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Cow Call, Bugle, or Both to Find Elk?

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Cow Call, Bugle, or Both to Find Elk?

Postby mongopino915 » 07 17, 2012 •  [Post 1]

Not sure what others are doing to locate elk during the early hours in the morning and late afternoon.
For me, it seems that the bugle gets the response 9/10 times over cow calling.

Here are a couple of elk sound(s) or sequences that seemed to work for me:
- A single one, two, or three note locating bugle, depending on my mood.
- An older mature bull locating bugle with a younger bull responding, and the two engaging in a conversation. I do carry and use two different grunt tubes.
- A couple of soft cow mews, wait 1 minute, repeat a couple of soft cow mews immediately followed by gentle 1-2 note locating bugle.

Maybe I do not get a lot of bulls to respond to my cow calls since I do not use cow call that much.

What sound(s) do you prefer to use to locate elk?
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Re: Cow Call, Bugle, or Both to Find Elk?

Postby mattstanton » 07 17, 2012 •  [Post 2]

I do a progression. I always start with cow calls in case I am right on top of a bull. Don't want to hang him up right off the bat. If I get no response I will then go to excited cow calls with an open reed call like the temptress. If I still get no response, then I go to the location bugle.
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Re: Cow Call, Bugle, or Both to Find Elk?

Postby CrazyElkHunter » 07 17, 2012 •  [Post 3]

Depends on hunter pressure and how much rut activity. Usually I try to locate elk with just a single small bull bugle with no grunts every 100 yds or so as I am walking. So many hunters in the woods makes it tough, so I will resort to more cow and calf calling when I know hunters are in the area. Back in the 80's,when we were on horse back covering a lot of real estate in Oregon doing just that call, and it produced a lot answers. I called in Jim Horns very 1st bull this way in 1985.
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Re: Cow Call, Bugle, or Both to Find Elk?

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 07 18, 2012 •  [Post 4]

For me, the terrain I'm in at the time has a significant bearing on what calls I use to locate. In an area where my bugle will carry and I'm merely seeing if anybody's home at a greater distance, I'll always use a locater bugle (ridgetop, head end of draw/basin, semi open larger sidehill, etc.). In terrain where it's tighter quarters and I may be close to elk, I do as others have mentioned.. go with soft cow calls first, wait a few minutes, then go with excited cow calls, then with a locater bugle last.
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