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Help me take my elk calling up a notch!
I was hoping that I might post this thread up and get some new ideas on how to improve my elk calling. For 9 years now, I've been working pretty consistently on my elk calling. I'd like to think that I'm pretty good but to be honest, I don't think that I've gotten much better over the last year or two. Specifically, I'd like to improve my "big bull" lip bawls and challenges and also be able to make some more realistic sounding grunts. (I feel pretty confident with my locater bugle and all my cow sounds.) Also, I use Rocky Mountain diaphragms and the Bully tube. Most of my practice is done in my truck -- driving to work and back. I've got all of Elk Nut's Cd's, Steve Chappell Cd's, recordings of Corey Jacobsen that I took from the internet -- hours and hours of material but I just feel like I'm stuck and need to try something different if I'm going to improve any. Lately, it seems like I'm just doing the same thing over and over and not making any real progress. Anyone have any good ideas for me? I need something to keep me motivated till next September!
Sounds like you're doing the right things.
The most realistic sounding grunts and chuckles come from your own throat. Try sucking air in, varying tongue pressure and throat muscles. Voice grunts are easier than bugles, and sound way different than diaphragm grunts. Also stops them on a dime for shots.
As to calling anything knowing what to say and when to say it is often more important than making the perfect sound IMHO.
I am not an expert elk caller and have limited experience elk.
Is it possible you are using old reeds? Reeds go bad in a hurry if not taken care of! Since you are a decent caller at present get the Mistress Reed, this is a great All Purpose Reed that will do very good for every sound elk make. It's very good for Lip Bawls, Challenges etc. Knowing you have a fresh reed & not a fatigued one could be much of your issue! Too, tongue placement on the reed is a big part of those coarse type sounds. If using center of tongue as contact point on latex (which is great for cow sounds) you will find you have a difficult time getting the louder growly Lip Bawl & Challenges. Focus on using the tip/front portion of your tongue along with throat/voice inflection!
Those two sounds you are working on are sounds we use every year in our elk hunts & do recommend you master them & their times of use! Good for you wanting to rise to the next level in producing realistic elk sounds. Learning these sounds will help you to become a more confident & successful caller!
Feel free to give me a call sometime Wyatt, I'd be happy to help you out all I can. 208-315-0562
Pigsticker's reply is where my head was at. You can sound like a million bucks, but if you don't apply a logical sound given the situation, you aren't going to be effective. I think some of my aggressive bugles sound pretty crappy, but they definitely convey a seriously PO'd bull and they work when I've got a good bull in front of me and I'm in his comfort zone.
No doubt knowing what & when to use an elk sound is of utmost importance for consistent success over just getting lucky & not knowing why! (grin)
Wyatt, you had me puzzled over your comment about having our instructional info & yet still unable to be satisfied in how to produce effective Lip Bawls & Challenges so I took the liberty of seeing what you may have ordered? I was unable to locate your last order as our store changed over 5 years ago & you show no order after that. This means you do not have anything current in How To, to effectively make those sounds. PM me your address & I'll ship you out at no charge our latest DVD on mastering those two sounds & tons more. It's no problem, I'm happy to help. I assure you after covering the material you will be able to produce Lip Bawls & Challenges & have fun doing them! (grin)
PM ElkNut. Super nice guy He will help. His handbook and DVD'S certainly will.
Elknut is the man, customer service at its finest Paul!!!
From what Elknut posted above, it looks as if elk have changed their sounds within the last 5 years.
Dang! No wonder!! They sure are smart :)
I 2nd the comment about different reeds. I have 20+ reeds of different ages in my stock. I could call with them, but with varying degrees of success. (To my ear). I bought some new reeds and a different mfg. After I had a sour note from one of my old reliables, I threw in a new reed. I over blew it because it was so easy to generate a tone. I used those reeds the rest of the hunt. They made me sound like a master!
Very cool of you Paul. Stand up guy!
Ok take this for what it’s worth. I like to switch up calls when I fell like I hit a plateau. I feel like the familiarity and muscle memory from using the same call causes me to stagnate. Switching calls and forcing myself to use a new call to get back to where/how I want my call to sound sometimes gets me out of the rut.
Thanks guys for the kind words!
High Country & I had a great conversation, he's a very good caller. Like most of us we are always working on our calling to polish things up or working on new sounds to broaden our calling abilities. In his case he does great but wants more volume. One way any of us can do this is to make sure you have a good reed & not fatiguing from age or use. Too, have the correct reed for your size mouth, this will help a lot. If unsure stay with a 1/2" wide framed single reed, do not start with 5/8" reeds or double+ reeds.
For sounds such as Lip Bawl Bugles it requires lots of air pressure & voice inflection at certain points, your louder or more abrasive sounds will come from using the tip portion of your tongue over the center of your tongue. Personally I like the back tip portion of my tongue instead of the front tip, this means i'm making a bicep type muscle with my tongue & using the back of it. It does well for me. Either the front or back can work, it's up to the individual but your Bugles will be louder by doing this.
Jaq's thoughts on grunts is exactly how I do them as well. All takes practice no matter the bugle or reed used!