Contributors to this thread:
As I prepare for NM's archery season, who's hearing bugle's and from what parts of the west? The weather for pretty much the 1st archery season show's potential for thunderstorms everyday. In my experience bulls can get very quiet in the rain. Water should be in most dirt tanks for the 1st season - moon phase looks ideal.
Not a thing in along front range area I hunted. Was out 4 nights, night bugled once, nada.
how dry was it there jordan?
A few bugles well before daylight opening weekend, and one answered my locator around 7:30, and promptly circled in downwind and blew out.
Forgot to mention this was North Central Colorado along the Continental divide.
I have been hearing bulls bugle every night for two weeks now in southern NM some nights more than others . Been seeing cows and calf’s together but not seeing big bulls with them yet seems they are still higher on the ridge tops from their bugles. You’re right about the rain although we have had a dry week it has been raining some almost every day the last two weeks rain in the forecast starting this weekend.
Micheal.......I would use the term "popcorn fart" to describe the moisture levels in the area in which I was hunting. We got a few light sprinkles. It was the driest I've seen it in this area.....really bad. And they had some good rain storms pass over within the last couple weeks but other than trail washouts you could not tell it.
Heard bugles in SW MT. Opener on Sat!
I was up hiking @ Snowbasin Ski resort yesterday AM and heard a bull bugling a couple times before sunrise. (Utah)
Fixin' to head to Wyoming...…..for bow elk.
Good luck, Robb
Heard first bugles today south of grand junction Colorado
Hot and dry where i was but they were going nuts. I left a bull yesterday and I'm regretting it now.
I’ve heard more bugles in August this year than I ever have. By a long shot
Not sure about the rut but definitely an early fall. The last two weeks I’ve been in Utah, Colorado and Arizona and all three states are showing fall signs.
What a difference a day makes....This Bull was with about 15cows and bugling every 5 mins.
Heard alot of elk talk at the rocking R. Bugles every day.
Had 3 or 4 bulls bugling within 1/4 mile of us last night in 29. Unfortunately we’re hunting deer tags and not elk.
Devoid of any bugling but found recent sign. Confusing year.
Their going goos front range Colorado
Who’s hunting in NM around 13,15,17,16E? The elk talking, bulls cutting up the cows?
I just got back from 15 in NM - dismal isn't strong enough word. Water everywhere (rained almost every day) and NO bugles at all. Bulls were still solos, cows in small groups. Just terrible is how a long time outfitter described it. He said full rut might not happen til October!
Just got back from 10 days in the Gila. Heard some bugling the first couple days, but some loud jerks from Oklahoma riding around on their mules blowing bugles off all the ridges shut everything up for pretty much the last week. Saw some bulls with cows and a couple larger bulls completely alone.
Spent 4 HARD days in Colorado. 1 bugle. I’m talking an hour before sunrise to an hour plus after sunset. Worst I’ve seen that area in the 4 years I’ve been hunting it. Brutal.
Ive got about 10 hard days invested so far in Colorado and not a single bugle heard. Headed back in tomorrow after a 3 day break. Hopefully its gotten better! Best of luck to all.
Pretty quite. Hearing a few, not fired up...just talking to their cows. SW MT.
Some of the best bugling I’ve experienced for years in the Breaks south of the river. Got in close 2 mornings in a row by following the noise. Saw elk up at 4:00 in afternoon 85 degrees grazing. Lot of satellites. Weather was warm 80-90 daytime highs. Had a cold front come through, cooled off, wind switched, and everything went stone cold. This was a week ago.
I've been in NW Colorado for 4 days now and elk have been going nuts.Sunday,Monday and Tuesday were unbelievable.Tuesday morning was slow but the afternoon more than made up for it.Today was a take care of meat day but they were still bugling this morning. Got post story later.Going to try and fill a mule deer tag the next few days. It is hot but elk are moving good in early afternoon.Moon phase seems perfect this week for hunting.
Didn't get to my area in southern Wyo until the 5th. I was told the elk were basically hiding underground and not one bugle was heard. Next morning I went into an old favorite spot and heard four different bulls, including the one I shot. Next morning, I heard 2 more bulls as I finished packing out the meat. Until I left today, all I still heard was how the elk were still hiding underground and still silent.
I just got back from12 days of hunting western WY. Bugling was very sporadic. It was way to hot for this time of year and during my hunt no rain. Definitely a strange year.
Nothing tonight while deer hunting in my elk spot. Saw 2 small bulls after shooting hours in a meadow. Pumpkin heads missed the opportunity.
I had elk bugling in SW Montana opening weekend (Sept 1st), but just in the mornings. Here in NW Montana I've had no luck getting elk to bugle the last few days, and I know that the bulls are around listening, but no responses.
16e bugling from daylight to 8am and 5:30-dark. Small bulls with cows, big ones too (we just haven’t found em yet) ha.
Where I am hunting in northern Idaho it has been terrible so far, at least for me. I have yet to hear a bugle, see a bull or even see any rut activity (very few rubs, wallows not being used). I saw a group of 10-12 cows on Monday that did not have a bull with them. Probably the most discouraging start to a season I've ever had.
BigDan called me from Arizona and said they lit up the last two days while he was scouting in 6b. I’m at the airport now, hunt starts tomorrow. Can’t wait!
I was in Central Colorado and killed a small bull Sept 6th. Elk bugling all morning long until about 11 a.m. That was the only day I heard them bugle. Been into elk everyday since, helping a friend and no bugles what so ever. Lots of cows with smaller bulls. No big ones with the cows yet..
Everything in our part of N. Central CO seems to be about 2 weeks late. Yesterday morning it was 54 degrees when we got up to hunt, hit 80 by noon. Only occasional (rare) bugling and the we arent seeing any rutting activity. Still some huge herds of cows with only one or two small bulls along. Strange year for sure.
The bulls we're getting on our waterhole cameras are in the middle of the night, mostly alone or with another small bull.
Things seem late in northwest Colorado also. I have heard plenty of bugles, but they are pretty sporadic and some of the bigger bulls are still apart from the cows. I have seen, and heard, some bigger bulls that have joined the cows, but I haven't seen any that are really fired up and working the cows. Had a nice bull getting vocal two night ago, but when I challenged him he slowly moved away. Luckily a very small bull stuck around and I was able to put a successful stalk on him. My smallest bull ever, but I made a good shot and he'll eat good. Figured I better take him as I only had a couple of days left to hunt. Good luck to all the rest of the way and hopefully things will pick up before the season ends.
Reading a thread like this is proof it all depends on where you are hunting. And even then, things can be different only a few miles away.
I just returned from my hunt in NW CO. We heard one bull close to camp the 2nd morning that my buddy failed to let me know about. I had earplugs in. He just moved up the ridge faster than we could give chase.
It wasnt until the last 2 days when i went hunting solo that i got on to a couple bulls that would bugle sporadicly early in the morning. It was very exciting for me as a guy from back east to have action i did, however i just couldnt get the bulls to close the distance. It was very thick too and i never did see them.
My 2 buddies basically gave up the last couple days because of the hot temps and high winds. They arent very dedicated. They are good guys but i need to find someone more in tune with my drive. They sortof treat these hunts as a vacation and i dont see it that way. I go to the beach as my vacation. There is one guy that is more in tune but he too has talked about it being a vacation... Oh well.
Been good all year. Coming to bugles good.
Great action for us in Montana all weekend . 8 bulls under 40 yards . Got To love September ! Hunt
N central Colorado: Slow weekend. Hot as heck. Had a bull going Sat morning but some muzzleloaders were between us so we backed off. It was a repeat of last Sat morning. This morning we had a decent 6x6 with 32 cows going strong. Got him to about 70 yards in a willow bottom of a big valley. He wasn't happy with us but wouldn't leave his big harem. Had fun trying everything I could to pull him in. Was hoping the satellite that was with him the night before would show up. My son's first experience being near a hot bull, made quite an impression. Pretty quiet overall. Found what is an exceptional bull for this area last weekend and he was content with soft bugles to his girls. Couldn't find him this weekend.
Hunted 10 days with my brother in unit 10, Colorado. Very few bugles as the heat has them shut down for the most part. Bulls are still in bachelor groups and not interested in much at all. Hopefully picks up a bit with this cold front coming through.
terrible in north central WY the past week.
Cows came into estrus last night around my house and the bulls lost their freaking minds.
North central Colorado...been hunting since Saturday midday in and area (same dates as last year) where the bulls couldnt shut up before first light and last light...this haven't heard a single bugle. Very hot and dry...stumbled on a small group this morning around 9 am bedded down. Slow so far
Taken out my bathroom window this morning
Bulls talking great in western Wyoming until 2 days ago when lockjaw set in. Par for the course so they shbe back at in in a day or three
Terrible luck in Montana. Worst year I’ve ever experienced. Switched areas once and now switching again with about 3 days left to hunt. Seen no elk and only heard two faint bugles. Thinking about heading to the gravelly’s...
Heard 5 bulls by Wednesday of last week since the Sunday before. Spooked two due to the swirling wind. None seemed interested in fighting or bugling much. Found a bull a couple miles in, all alone away from the sheep, cowboys and their dogs, and no one else hunting. Played cat and mouse with that thing for three days due to the wind constantly swirling. Sporadic bugling and he definitely preferred cow calls.
I had a death in my wife's family and had to leave early. So I pushed in hard my last evening. Took my chances with the wind. When I made the final push and held up, breaking brush and cow calling in close to him, he certainly perked up. But the wind starting swirling again and I heard him twice more. This was after waiting 4-5 hours from 500 yards away for the evening thermals to set in. He shut up. I never heard him blow out but, I'm sure he did. I stood for 2 hours waiting on him in silence. Nothing. I had to try.
Heat was severe. Swirling wind was indescribable. I've never seen the wind blow that hard but erratically at the same time. For such an extended time. I carried three liters of water every day. Which wasn't enough in the upper 80's to lower 90 days. My pack harness smells of sweat. lol. The heat took its toll. I'm sun burnt, sore, and tired. Got home last night at 9 PM. But, I wish I was still there. :^)
Man, I love this stuff. I just got a text from a guy that was camped three miles from me. He killed a dandy 5 point yesterday. Said things were picking up. It amazes me how quick things can change.
Weak bugling in southern WY last weekend ... nothing aggressive. Bulls seem like they just aren't in it to win it this year -- at least yet. Things can only get better this weekend.
Mossyhorn, don’t waste your time. Been in the gravellys since sept 10. Lots of hunters and no bugling. The weekends have been a circus.
Any suggestions? We decided against the gravellys and are headed north for the deer lodge area. Been covering 10 or more miles a day trying to get an answer to our locate bugles and zero responses. Saw a ton of elk on private bugling their heads off and chasing cows!
Elk are screaming and chasing in central Montana. Very scattered and tough to find though.
Gila report for past week-- bulls screaming a.m. and p.m for at least a couple hours. Mornings have been very bugle filled!
Very strange year for rutting activity from what I saw. WY and OR. Lot's of solo bulls running around with most bugling early and some late. Very little strong herd rutting. It has the feeling of one of those years where they might be going nuts late. Like the first week of Oct. What are people seeing this week?
Saw plenty of bulls in Banff area, the big ones were bugling, and up Gallatin, MT, lots of big bugling bulls with cows and bugling satellite challengers, private ranch, dates 12 - 19 Sept. Wasn't hunting, just watching and calling. Psyching myself out for next fall.