Contributors to this thread:
WHAT COW CALL IS BEST ?
I have a few elk hunts under my belt, but consider myself a beginner. I have used a Hoochie Mama a little, I'm searching for a call that I can blow. Looked thru Ebay and Cabela's, there are so many? TV shows don't talk about what they're using. What do you guys recommend? Jim
Whichever one BigDan recommends! lol
I haven't tried very many but find the Primos Hyper Lip to be very easy to operate and has a wide range of tone control. Downside is that the reed pulls out of the amplifier tube too easily and I've lost two that way
What I recommend is learn to use a diaphragm. Beyond that, any call along the lines of a Primos Hyperlip will work. Just be aware any handheld call has its limitations, whereas a diaphragm doesn't.
Diaphragm, it may take a handful before you find what fits your mouth but its worth it. The primos thunderdome diaphragms were the first to fit my pallet, especially the dark blue triple reed. I usually pick up a pack from walmart after they mark them down, but being in OH they probably aren't on the shelf there. Then pound youtube and you'll have it figured out by the time you need it.
Another diaphragm I found that is pretty easy to blow is the elk101 all-star.
For good old cow sounds, the Rocky Mountain Calls Mellow Yellow is superb.
I'll second both the Mellow Yellow Mama and the Elk 101.com All-Star.
Both are extreme easy to use and sound great. I used the Mellow Yellow for a couple years, but now use the All-Star for everything.
Wyo, what do you think about the change of the all star? They replaced the black dome w/ a split blue dome. I don't know if I like the blue one all that much.. any opinion?
Learn to use a mouth call, many to choose from. As far as the hand held squeeze call, I like the Wayne Carlton one better than the hoochie mama.
i have only been elk hunting since 2006 but i have had real good results from primos products, cow girl, i maka da bull crazy regular and long range and yes i have called in several with the hated hoochie mama.
ohio, I honestly don't know. I went to order some from Corey's website and saw they weren't listed, so I figured something must be up. Luckily my local archery dealer had 5 on his rack so I snatched them up. As long as they last, it should be a long time before I have to worry about any more! Ha!
If I had to pick one, I'm with wyo, I'd choose the All Star. Great universal reed.
I thought Wayne Carlton was the best.
He sure makes a heck of a show on the old Moonbeams dvd with Jeff Murray
Elk101's Temptress is a nice external reed call if diaphragms give you problems. My favorites a Trinity Game Calls wood external reed calls. They give a good range of nasally cow call options.
ElkNut1 's Link
I called in my first bull with a turkey call 30 years ago but have transitioned to the Mellow Yellow Mama.
For external calls there are many good ones, pick one & master it, that will be the best one for you! I like the Temptress when I have a hankering to use an external reed one in addition to my mouth reed, this works great for sounding like a few elk all at one time by one hunter! My mouth reed choice at present specifically for sounds is the Mellow Yellow!
We have both in stock here. Click on the "supporting link" above to see them!
I like Berrys Sleazy Cow Call.
I recently picked up an E-Z Estrus call. Very similar build to the Temptress. I personally like the narrow reeds on them. It seems the less surface area on the reed the better in my limited experience. I still like Carlton's Fightin Cow too. I'm still working on my diaphragm consistency and recently picked up a Phelps AMP series diaphragm, like it so far.
Thanks guys, I'm not afraid of diaphragms (I'm an old turkey hunter). Looks like elknut will get another customer. Should find out soon if I drew Colorado.
Second the Sleazy cow call. I have probably 15 different calls and on any given day they will all call in an elk, if you know what you are doing.
I have used diaphragm and can make it sound like a turkey, or a goose, or duck and several other critters, usually at the point where there is bull in the neighborhood. I don't use them any more.
Many are good. Carry a few as each day is different to what the elk will respond to
Temptress sounds the most realistic of any I've heard. Also doubles as a predator call if you manipulate it enough.
Mellow Yellow for a diaphragm call.
oh.... cow CALL..... nevermind....
Have to consult with Bigdan..... but I think for distance it's hard to beat a Hoochie...... they just have a better weight to em......
I actually prefer an external reed call though I can make any sound possible with a diaphragm. When it comes to putting emotion in a cow call the external reeds are in a league of their own. That said, I'm not telling which are my favorites but they haven't been mentioned :)
I thought Bigdan was not a Big fan of cow calls.
I also use external reeds calls. Lots of volume when needed.
But I dont mind saying which ones :)
Sceery, Carlton Fightin Cow, Imaka DaBull Crazy are the ones mostly used
I like external reeds myself for cow calls...for volume and character they are hard to beat. I've actually called (vocal) bulls in from as far as a quarter mile away with them.
I've had good luck with Knight and Hale external reeds, but I think most of them are similar in construction.
Best of Luck, Jeff
This one is pretty easy to use. I drilled a small hole in it and used some heavy fishing line for a lanyard.
Learn to use diaphragms. I would recommend the Mellow Yellow by Bugling Bull. It is a single reed and pretty user friendly. The Mistress and All Start are also good ones.
I can't believe nobody has mentioned the best cow call of all time...THE HOOCHIE MAMA! Get a couple and squeak away!
Actually, the OP mentioned he's used the Hoochie Mama. Although it doesn't get much love, it does produce very realistic mews, and it certainly has it's place when used in conjunction with other calls. Besides the drawback of being hand-held, it has one major flaw...every mew sounds EXACTLY the same. As has been mentioned, there is no way to induce emotion into your calling, which is crucial.
six, you certainly brought up a "blast from the past". I have a friend that used that original Cow Talk...until. He also had his on a lanyard, which he thought was a good idea at the time. That all changed when he called in a bull to 15yds and took the "slam dunk" shot. Only one problem. The bowstring caught on the lanyard and damn near decapitated himself. The arrow went about 5' and nosedived into the ground. He didn't see the humor in it, but we certainly did! lol!
I second the Hoochie Mama. Only because it pisses off the masses.
I believe the state of CO now gives a free Hoochie Mama to every first-time OTC elk hunter when they buy a license.
Pretty sure that policy started about five years ago.
I wouldn't go in the woods without a call in my mouth & I can use it plenty effectively as can others BUT nothing comes close to the sound of a blow reed call. Idc who thinks they can it's not even close.
I wouldn't go in the woods without a call in my mouth & I can use it plenty effectively as can others BUT nothing comes close to the sound of a blow reed call. Idc who thinks they can it's not even close. My favorite is a Rocky Jacobsen. It talks elk like nothing else I've seen.
Wayne Carlton fighting cow call
Jaq - lol That is hilarious! Mellow always the standby, old green tormenter (bought a bunch a couple years ago). Going to try a few of Rocky's new ones this fall. Temptress is good external.
I am no expert caller that's for sure. The 2 bulls I have called in both came into a fighting cow call. I do use a temptress now though.
I like the fit of the small primos domes. Like others have said you may need to try several many.
Jim M , there are 13 different calls mentioned in this thread, most these hunters rely heavily on their recommendation that their call works well for them so they are recommending them to you. This shows that elk can be called to with success with about any cow call out there, there is no "best" -- Elk are a social/herd animal much like horses are. Elk know one another in a given area by their sounds, sight or smell. So when we hunters enter the picture representing the species with cow calls or bugles this can raise the curiosity in other elk as to who we are, they do not recognize this new elk sound! This can move them to come check this new cow or bull out.
When choosing your elk call, be it mouth reed or bite & blow cow call do your best to get good with it. Practice soft mews, chirps & whines, move up to mid volume mews & excited type mews & whines, there are situations where all will have their place according to the encounter you are in. Bottom line is you are a new elk in the area & that's the seed you are planting to elk within earshot, all will work, do your part in mastering the ones you decide on & you will do just fine!
Of Elknuts calls, I like the mellow yellow as well. I HAVE to have a diaphragm with the piece that fits up into the roof of your mouth like that one does. Othewise, it "tickles" me too much and I don't do as well.
I carry several like the mellow yellow, a primos hyperlip single, and a push call (hochie mamma or similar) every time I go out. I mostly use the diaphragm, but throw in a few on the hyperlid and occasionally the push call. Sometimes they won't respond to one, and you try the other one and they go nuts! Or maybe it is because they think there is more than one cow there.
Txhuntr58, "Or maybe it is because they think there is more than one cow there"
Who's to say what's the best cow call... In Utah, one big bull we hunted a lot would only answer the Primos I mak da bull Crazy. Another big bull in the Gila would go nuts over the Hoochie Momma. In one area we hunt, the Carlton Fightin Cow Call gets answered every time. Like turkeys, some bulls like a different pitch then other bulls...
Yes sir buglmin & everyday is different.
Early season last year was a little tough early on and the bulls were lock jawed. I couldn't get them to answer much for bugles or cow calling. I pulled out the ol' Sceery cow call and I about sh@t myself if two bulls didn't go crazy over that sound.
The sceery w/ the bite beak?
Yep that's the one with a rubber coating over it. Crazy sounding but have had success with it.
The call with the rubber coated mouth piece is called the 'Ace 1'
Its an 'ok' call, but it tends to gather moisture/spit, and then it sounds like a sick duck. The you have pull off the rubber piece and dry it out somewhat.
The 'Ace 3 - Hyper Cow' is a great call. Can use it to make many different sounds. Loud if needed, soft when needed. Can be hard on lips after a weeks worth of use.
I have used it as a locator many, many times.
I never leave camp with out this one.
The best cow calls are made in Mississippi! Hump at hump at hoochie mama! Are there any elk in Mississippi? Oh well primos rulz!
I like hunters to use the loudest cow call they can get. That way when I use a locator bugle off of a ridge or into a basin, and I get a cow call in reply, it pinpoints where other hunters may be. Pretty much 100% of the time.
I wouldn't doubt bull elk have picked up on this as well.
I have a large selection of diaphragm calls. My old reliable is the Primos Imperial Plate (red). Keep in mind that not every diaphragm call will work for everybody and just because you can use a palate plate type call does not mean that one of the calls with the plastic dome will work for you or vice versa. A lot of guys rave about the Allstar but I have a very difficult time with it or any other plastic domed calls.
For external reed calls I like the Matriarch, Carlton Estrus Whine and Fightin' Cow and the Primos Hyper Lip Single.
Only rookies are gonna reply to a bugle from a ridge top with a loud cow call.
And if I hear a bugle from a ridgetop where I hunt, good chance I was already thee and you're too late :)