I have a guided elk hunt next September, and I want to be able to do some cow calling just in case.
Couple of years ago I went to another Elk hunt, and I bought the DVD series from Elknut, wich I still have and I am studying them all over again, so after spending a couples of month practicing with several diaphragms calls, I almost got kicked out of my house, my sons knew exactly the differences between a cow mew and a lost cow call, etc. But when the moment of truth arrived in the mountain, and I wanted to do some soft cow call to attract the bugling bull that the guide had called in, but was away from me, I got some sort of buck fever or better said call panic and the sounds that came of my diaphragm call sounded more like and extraterrestrial alien than nothing else.
So this time I want to have some type of call like the “hootchie Mama”, but that does not such a bad reputation…
Which one would you recommend?
Good luck GR Heads Up Decoy
Chris Roe's Link
The Hoochie is GREAT, BUT, like you've probably heard, there are a pile of folks out in the hills running around pushing the thing every two seconds. Elk definitely figure it out. The Hoochie Mama is a GREAT call, but when used for purpose. If you want consistent, clear chirps, mews, and lost mews, the Hoochie is EASY. BUT, if you want more diverse sounds, OR, you have a bunch of hunters in your area using them like crazy, they might be a little less effective than what you want.
A bite and blow style call is the next easiest, but again, you are going to be limited on what sounds you can make with them. Also, because your breathe goes through a "tunnel" and across the reed, in cold weather you can get condensation built up on the reed and they can stop working. You have two options. Either keep the call close to your body so it stays as warm as possible to KEEP it from gumming up as quickly (but it will still eventually lock up) OR carry two and switch off. Either way, though, you'll have to keep "shaking" them to flick the moisture out to keep them working.
For both the reasons in the examples above (and many others), I like an open-reed style call. They'll do all the sounds a cow can make (except maybe a bark), they are fairly easy to learn and blow, and when condensation starts to build up, you can wipe the reed off and continue rockin' and rollin'.
I like the Primos Hyper Lip Single and Double, and Bugling Bull makes a couple of great ones as well. ...I actually need to pick up the Steve Chappell signature call here in the near future so I can finish out our in-depth videos on HOW to use a number of the "better" elk calls out there.
Hope this helps. Good luck in your choice!
Chris Roe - Roe Hunting Resources
Aside from that, the Mossback Widowmaker is one of the best cow calls I've ever heard. Easy to use too.
You Don't want that call getting whacked by the bowstring- it will wreck the shot and the string will burn the heck out of your neck.
But if I had to choose, I'd definitely say to spend some time with a diaphragm. Way more versatile and hands free.