Stopping a bull during archery season/rut has not been a problem but the cows seem to be a lot more cautious or less curious. I hunt with a longbow so I'm under 30 yards. I can't seem to stalk any closer than 40-50 in the country I hunt (open and rocky, sage, cedars) so I get close and set up for an ambush. Last week it was to intercept them going to a spring late in the afternoon.
The lead cow in this group was doing the step-pause, step-pause as she checked down into a shallow draw where the water was. I was tucked into a nest of cedars and a pine tree while she was in the open sage. I made no attempt to stop her but shoot on the "pause". My 24 yard shot looked perfect as then everything seem to go into ultra-slow motion as my arrow headed to the boiler room she stepped and impact was not "a little back" (which seems to be a common bowhunting term) but more "way back". She bolted out of sight and I was sick. But somehow that last step was away and so my shot was apparently more quartering away than I perceived it. It entered back and went thru intestine but penetrated liver, diaphragm and lung then stopped behind opposite shoulder. She piled up in 70 yards. Lucky lucky lucky.
My setup was perfect but in the future, how should I get her to stop? Will a whistle work? I just about tried it but chickened out. I'm great on the diaphragm while practicing in the truck but at the moment of truth with a dry mouth and things happening fast it always sounds terrible.
Sorry, can't help on how to stop em!
I shot at a doe mulie that was doing that - she was actually stalking up on my brother, trying to figure out what she was seeing - and I damn near hit her square in the hind hoof when she unexpectedly picked it up to take another step. Luckily, I think she froze at the thump of the string and stopped the motion of that hoof just past mid-stride, because I was going to drill it for CERTAIN. UNfortunately, at the time I thought I'd just made a horrible shot and missed by a mile, and that destroyed my confidence for the whole damn season..... But where your focus is, there goes your shot.
I'd rather swing on a deer/Elk that's trotting at a steady clip - or any consistent pace, really, short of full-tilt-boogie.... Not that I would try it with a compound, but that's a moot point because I'm never going after Elk with a compound again, so help me!
Not a huge fan of making any sound that might put them on edge, though.
And FWIW, perhaps - like me on that doe - you didn't actually make a "poor" shot. Just thinking... If you ended up taking a quarter-away angle and your arrow stopped behind the off shoulder, I'm not 100% that you could have done much better with your placement. JMO, it's possible that you recalibrated your shot in the final instant... Maybe you ended up with an angle that you would not have chosen on a stationary animal, but I'm convinced that if a flinch can cause a miss, then we are capable of adjusting our point of aim during the release - else, how do we hit a bouncing bunny rabbit or tennis ball?
Mews are a calming call. An elk isn't "put on guard" when it hears one.
This tactic wasn't spawned by TV. I've been using it for 4 decades.
Some years back, I had the bull of my dreams (370ish) walking from my right to left with strong gusty wind blowing the same direction. I let out a diaphragm cow call, and all he did was slightly turn his head and turn hard quartering away continuing his pace. I ended up putting my arrow in his shoulder with about 2" of penetration. Same morning a friend of mine had a similar experience and used the tried and true deer "mehhh" and killed his 350" bull stone dead. I think that is a good choice as it sounds like a deer fawn, and isn't alarming but is enough for them to stop and try and figure out what just made that sound. I have been told by some legit elk killers that they use a loud bark and it stops them on a dime. I think when you need to get one stopped in a hurry in loud windy conditions that is a good option as well. I will probably give it a try this season if the need arises.
When a Nervous Grunt sound is used it does not cause alarm or warning, it asks for an identification! We've taken countless elk with this sound from 10 yards to 60 yards. I cannot think of a single situation where it has back fired! It flat anchors elk to the spot!
I had not really thought about a bark. I'm usually on the receiving end of the bark during a stalk but when I think about it every elk usually stops dead still when it occurs. At least for a few seconds.
I have no intention of shooting a walking animal but I guess that's personal choice based on your weapon and how you practice.
Gits em every time.
I need to work on another technique.