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Raking

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Raking

Postby T/H » 07 27, 2012 •  [Post 1]

is early season prime time for Raking? elk aren't very vocal but surely they are displaying in some form or fashion.
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Re: Raking

Postby eltaco » 07 27, 2012 •  [Post 2]

I think more people need to give first week a chance. I hunt opening week every year and shot 3 bulls in 3 years on that week. Every single one of them responded with aggressive bugles and raking. We typically get a few bulls very fired up opening week, and while they may not all be screaming their faces off, there's some great action to be had that week... I can't hardly wait for it to show up!

In short, we've found excellent success raking opening week :)
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Re: Raking

Postby Swede » 07 27, 2012 •  [Post 3]

I agree with eltaco, but I go about it a little differently. I rake and bugle too, but my bugling is short and often only once. Sometimes I just rake and splash around at a waterhole I am going to be waiting at.
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Re: Raking

Postby eltaco » 07 27, 2012 •  [Post 4]

I don't walk around the woods blindly raking trees... maybe I should... but I don't. Generally speaking, if we get am aggressive response from a bull, I'm screaming back and raking a tree in response. I'm trying to think of a situation where an aggressive bull we've used this tactic on didn't destroy a tree in return ... but I can't think of one instance. I guess I've concluded that it adds a lot of realism to the situation, and the bulls commit to the calls even better with raking and stomping. Below is a picture of me raking a tree last year, 2nd day of season. The bull would close some distance when he heard me raking, at times, and other times he'd start ripping apart a wallow that he was near. Fond memories :)

Image
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Re: Raking

Postby Swede » 07 27, 2012 •  [Post 5]

Eltaco I think the important thing for people reading these posts is to recognize that we are trying to draw elk, appealing to different elk instincts. You are trying to work more on their sex drive or aggression. I am appealling to their curiosity.
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Re: Raking

Postby eltaco » 07 27, 2012 •  [Post 6]

Swede wrote:Eltaco I think the important thing for people reading these posts is to recognize that we are trying to draw elk, appealing to different elk instincts. You are trying to work more on their sex drive or aggression. I am appealling to their curiosity.


Yes sir, that's a great point!

I'll be incorporating your raking (for curiosity) tactics next month, as well. Never once considered doing this at a wallow, but it's pure genius!

My raking has been purely reaction to a bulls display of aggression. And I'd highly recommend it to anyone in an aggressive situation. :) :) :)
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Re: Raking

Postby ElkNut1 » 07 27, 2012 •  [Post 7]

T/H, absolutely! All phases of the rut are great times!

swede, are you saying you've never raked a tree at a wallow?

Check out this tree, a bull uprooted that small pine laying next to this wallow as he lashed the tar out of it! (grin)

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Re: Raking

Postby Swede » 07 27, 2012 •  [Post 8]

Good question Elknut. No I do rake at wallows also. I was referring to general cold calling situations early in the season. However even at a wallow I am not trying to work up a nearby bull. I am trying to get any bull within hearing distance to believe another bull has showed up in the area. I want him or them to come and check out the new kid.
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Re: Raking

Postby ElkNut1 » 07 28, 2012 •  [Post 9]

Swede, gotcha!! (grin) Wallows are a fickle thing, some bulls get extremely defensive when other bulls show on the scene, even if only near their wallows the bull in the area can come charging over in a rage! We've had a few bulls do this exact thing to our bugling near wallows we didn't even know were there! Bulls were bedded nearby & at the sound of another bull going to the wallow or just getting close to it has brought some of the best encounters we've ever experienced! Not all bulls are that defensive but some are!!

When calling is done at a wallow the hunter has to know if the wallow chosen is near the bedding area or feeding area so the wallow you're at is good for calling for morning or evening. Some wallows do not matter as they are in between & can be heard from regardless of time! When calling at a well used wallow in most cases patience is required, since all bulls don't come in screaming & blowing snot everywhere! (grin) At those times when calling/bugling, raking & splashing is done the hunter needs to be quiet after his 5-7 minute ruckus. Any bulls that hear all this can have their curiosity raised & may want to know who this bull is but he will not come over until he is ready or if he feels this bull (you) is gone? What it can do is give bulls a direction once they get up from their beds to head over & investigate who this bull was? He can tell from his scent that is left their by rubbing/raking a tree or brush, many bulls will rake the same spot & leave their scent behind with the gland that is above their eyes. Too, they will urinate in the wallow or right near it, this is all the sign a real bull needs for identification! On a bulls approach he could come right in or bugle at a distance wanting to know if any elk are still there or nearby!
When this happens the hunter will do best to say nothing at all, do not even cow call, no need! This bull wants to come over so do not throw a wrench in things & call possibly getting him suspicious that it may not be safe for approach.

Problem with many hunters at wallows & calling is they call waaay too much, all a hunter wants to do is "plant the seed" that a bull or cow is there, no need to call every few minutes for hours! There are times Estrus or Excited cow sounds at a wallow with no bull sounds can really interest nearby bulls as well, it's OK to get creative at the wallow, but the key is not to over call, go through your scenario & then allow the curiosity get the best of the elk within earshot, allow time for things to develop! (grin)

Here's a bull here that we dogged for a piece & he went straight to a wallow which we did not know was there, I stayed back & bugled & watched the show as the bull threatened me in every form & sound possible at 150yds out, he was raking, stomping, screaming & throwing mud high into the air, he had 3 cows with him. I stayed back & kept him vocal as my son slipped in & shot him at 20yds, he dropped in sight!

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Re: Raking

Postby otcWill » 07 28, 2012 •  [Post 10]

I think that raking is severely underrated! We have called in bulls in the early season while still in their bachelor groups with some subtle raking on many occassions. Even herd bulls! Also, its pretty tough to mess up raking! Try it.
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Re: Raking

Postby Swede » 07 28, 2012 •  [Post 11]

This morning as I was thinking about how and why I use the calling strategy I do, I thought it could be informative to give a brief explanation. I hunt a hravily roaded area. There is only one small narrow strip of land where I can be just slightly more than a mile from an open road. That strip of land has a well maintained F.S. trail going through it. Where I hunt I have much compatition and many people are calling. It begins before the season opens and lasst through the season. Within less than a week of the archery opener, hundresds of (over 700 have been spotted in one field) elk go to a nearby ranch for refuge. On several occasions I have seen approximately 150 in a herd migrating off public land where they had previously been . I have seen elk fleeing a caller that was making excellent sounds; so for me the answer is to be very sparing with my calls and very patient. The bottom line is that under most circumstances less aggressive calling usually works better. Of coarse there are exceptions even there.

Now the remainder of this is may be just my opinion, but I think I hunt a better class of elk than most of you. Mine are a lot more educated. The experienced cows and bulls could have a PHD in phoney elk calls. They know a Hoochie Moma from a mile away and almost all of the bite and blow bugles. They are trained from the time they are calves to flee the "Sleezy Cow", and any other commercial large production call that Mal Wart or your neighborhood hardward carries. LOL
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Re: Raking

Postby Swede » 07 28, 2012 •  [Post 12]

Paul, you gave an excellent explanation of wallow raking. I wish I had been that detailed. Done right wallow raking can and does work. Again the key is as much about being patient as it is about your raking routine.
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Re: Raking

Postby bullrub » 07 28, 2012 •  [Post 13]

That is some great info. guys,thanks. I have never done much raking in the past, only on a bull that was aready worked up. I will try more of it this year for sure. Like you said Swede, the elk in the area i hunt are also very call shy because of so many guys that have watch the outdoor channel and think they have to go out and start blowing there brains out on there calls, thinking the elk are going to come running right to them like on tv. I use my bugle most of the time to just locate other hunters, so i no where not go. So the raking sounds like a great thing to try. Thanks
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Re: Raking

Postby T/H » 07 28, 2012 •  [Post 14]

otcWill wrote:I think that raking is severely underrated! We have called in bulls in the early season while still in their bachelor groups with some subtle raking on many occassions. Even herd bulls! Also, its pretty tough to mess up raking! Try it.


That's kind of what I was wondering when I posted this thread. Everybody calls and the elk woods can get saturated with over calling. What can I do that not many others are doing to tilt the odds in my favor? Although you aren't vocalizing when raking it is still a form of communication is it not? And from what you guys are saying can be used in different situations depending on the mood of the elk?
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Re: Raking

Postby eltaco » 07 28, 2012 •  [Post 15]

I totally understand your stance Swede! Our situations are 100% different. I hunt opening week because where I go, I MIGHT run into one other camp of hunters, and our camping area lends us 360 degrees of freedom to hunt from. I can get about 6-miles in most directions without crossing a road, and even if there's 4 camps full of guys up there, I haven't found an over-abundance of hunters if I get more than 1-mile away from camp. Generally speaking, I decide how far I'm going in every day based on the amount of hunters I see at camp. I've only hunted my area 3 seasons, but only bumped into other hunters 3 times in those years, generally ~20days in the field each season. Pressure is fairly low and I use elk calls a lot in that region.

That said, the same area during muzzleloader season is completely packed with people. So much so that I can't get away from running into hunters. I've heard a TON of lousy calls during that one week, and it undoubtedly changes the way the elk react to calls for the following week. I've learned to just stay away from the area that 3rd week of season... ignorance is bliss, I guess.

Raking a tree doesn't project near the distance, and I say if you're worried about other hunters and displaying your location, raking and quieter sounds (chuckles/grunts/panting/etc) could be the ticket!

If I were in an area that was overloaded with people, I'd just be moving to a new area. It would change the way I hunt drastically... and I don't like sharing with others during elk season :)
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Re: Raking

Postby T/H » 07 29, 2012 •  [Post 16]

eltaco wrote:I don't walk around the woods blindly raking trees... :)

Image



so do you have a certain type of tree you have in mind? what characteristics do are you looking for?
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Re: Raking

Postby eltaco » 07 30, 2012 •  [Post 17]

T/H wrote:
eltaco wrote:I don't walk around the woods blindly raking trees... :)

Image



so do you have a certain type of tree you have in mind? what characteristics do are you looking for?


I pick on the little trees, similar to those I've seen raked by real bulls. I'm not sure it makes a difference tho.
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