Contributors to this thread:
When Elk Sounds are being referred to with a name association, take note why this is! It's much easier to share what sound represents what & tag it with a name so all understand. To say change a sounds emotion to different levels can be confusing to most especially newer elk hunters when sharing info via the Internet.
For instance, a Bulls message is being sent by the emotion of his bugle. Is he talking in a social environment, is he getting frustrated, is he getting upset, is he pissed off & on full tilt! His bugle will be less aggressive in passive situations & getting more intense as an encounter progresses. In another instance, If you cow call & a bull bugles he's calling you to him, if you do not go & you continue to cow call from your setup because you want him to come he starts to raise his voice/bugle out of frustration & even to a level of being upset because you are not doing what he is asking after several bugles on his part. This can take place between hunter & bull in a variety of situations! The key to communicating with Elk is to recognize their emotional change as the situation unfolds & respond back with what he expects to hear!
The same goes for Cows, they too have social mews & chirps to keep track of one another. These mews or chirps will change in volume & concern when not responded to by others, their emotion can be noticed from social to separated to regathering the group back together if scattered or wandering to far off from the group.
All these Tones come into play when working a bull or cow through their way of communicating through emotion & intensity. This is why these Tips being shared have such a high success rate in calling elk in close!
Please feel free to add any comments or ask any questions!
Love reading these, even as an "experienced" elk hunter, take that as you will. haha Reading your tips help brush up on knowledge or even things I was unaware of. Thanks Paul! Austin M.
Austin, you're more than welcome sir! I refreshed my memory as well on a few things! Thank you for checking them out. Have a great elk season!
I love reading your advise and experience of Elk. I will probably never be able to afford such a adventure and at 68 years young w/ bad ankle probably won't happen. But everyone who posts about their hunts I get excited and use valuable information to use in hunting our Sika deer, after all they are a Japanese elk. Thank you Harold
Paul, in this example you gave, what would be the best response from the hunter? Do you think a small bugle imitating a young bull would piss him off enough for him to come in to drive the youngster away, or should the hunter try a different tactic?
No elk trip for me this year, but I'm trying to glean as much info as I can before all the veterans head to the mountains!
Hey Harold, I hear ya man, getting older is tough for sure, I'm only a couple years behind you & things do break down & take so much longer to heal, what's with that! Ha Ha! I sure hope you have a few left in you, keep up the fight & don't throw that towel in quite yet! Good luck sir!
David, all depends on the encounter? My example was to show the difference in emotion/intensity from one bugle to another. Each can represent a different attitude or message from the bull. --- Let's say you were walking through the woods cow calling & a bull responded to you, you can bet he's calling you to him & giving you his direction to come. Maybe he's 300 yards or closer, what should I do?
I'd stay put & use a regathering mew which asks him to come over to me. If he responds I take note if he's cut the distance, if so I can call him right to me! -- If not I will move up a 100 yards & call with the re-gathering mew 4-5 times & see where he is at now. If not coming I know I need to go to him & hopefully with a few more mews he continues to call. (he generally does) On a bull that's giving round up type bugles to call this cow to him it's not needed to challenge him, in fact you will run most off. Give him what he wants. Once around a 100 yards or closer demand him to come your way with the Contact buzz, he knows what it means. You may need to give 3-4 series of them with 3-6 per series. Make him come to you every chance you get! Stay patient & have the confidence he will walk to your bowrange with a good tight setup!
p.s. if you challenge every bull that bugles you, you will lose 90% of those encounters, not good odds! -- If you were thinking of a different situation using cow calls let me know! Thanks!
I wasn't necessarily thinking of challenging him, as I know that often causes him to gather up his cows to keep them away from the other "bull". Thanks for the explanation, I'll remember that and hopefully can successfully apply it next year. Unfortunately, my elk hunting this year will consist of reading bowsite updates each day :-/
Good luck this season!
You bet! When a bull has a hot cow or more then heck ya a Challenge when in close is dynamite! The problem occurs is when guys find a bull with cows & none are showing signs of estrus then your odds go way down to put him on full tilt with a Challenge Bugle or to try & call him to you with cow calls from a setup position, in many cases that bull does not cooperate on either! The best play for him would be to Slow Play him for highest odd for success! Good Luck!
Thanks Paul, I am appreciate your tip and your comments. You had been spending time to help new learners as me and others. One more week I have a chance to use your tip and advise.
Love reading these tips.....relative youngster here when it comes to elk (turned 50 last year)...but only go archery every time. Been 4 times, brought home a beauty 5x5 once. Not going this year but also enjoy learning from those with far more experience. First 2 years out experienced exactly what you mentioned... bugle challenge to a bull that just drove him away each time.... last year got really close but then was winded, but used the technique you described about cow calling and giving a gathering call then moving in closer and doing the same and then moving in with him a hundred yards and trying to get him to come to you... Lots of patience and he came close and then the wind shifted unfortunately.....but was definitely working. Anyway, love to hear all the tips and keep them in my back pocket for the next time I get a chance to come out. Brad
You bet guys, thank you for checking the Tips out!
Stringdoc, good stuff sir! You were that close!!! Next time for sure!
My guides and I have been using Paul’s tips these last 2 weeks and it is some really great stuff! I’ve been hunting and guiding elk hunters for 35 years and killed lots of bulls and I thought I knew elk. I didn’t, at least not nearly to the extent of Paul. Using his app on my phone, in the field and then applying it to figure out what the elk is saying and what I should be doing seems strange, but it actually slows me down and makes me less stupidly aggressive. I’ve also been aggressive at the right time, walking right into a bull with repetitive cow calls while he just stood there! And he could see me moving in part of the time?! Not big enough to kill but still, amazing stuff. And then I called the same bull in half an hour later after passing him up. These are hard hunted, on edge bulls not on some private ranch. I don’t care if you’ve killed a hundred elk, study his stuff and it will make you a killer elk hunter!
Mike, that's awesome, congrats on fine tuning your already well honed elk skills!
Thank you sir!