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Calling Elk in August
I'm heading out for the first of two scouting trips to my hunting area in Colorado. My scouting tactic has always been, get to my glassing locations by sunrise and use my glass to cover my area for me to find feeding animals. Some of the bowls I want to scout this year have limited meadows to glass and I don't want to hike around in these areas so close to the season opener. Has anyone tried location bugles in early August as a scouting tactic? Do I have anything to lose by firing off calls into bowls at or before sunrise?
Nothing to lose. I've heard elk bugle in July.
They talk some in August. Most of the time it's a light bugle from down in a canyon or similar. Don't think I have ever tried to get one to respond...
I saw a bull, couldn't make out size, with at least 6 cows bugling late august in NM. I happened to find a shed, he would bugle when I raked.
I've called in a bunch of bulls in August.
Been told they will reply back at times, but also been told to not get them accustomed to your/hunter's calls either. Sooo, my question is similar to yours for spots I cannot glass.
I have called in bulls in August. My buddy shot one of them. Came in running to us each time.
It’s all preference. Elk are herd animals and talk amongst the herd year round. A distant cow call or sparingly a location bugle here and there is not going to cause harm. Personally in my area the elk seem to be generally be in the same drainages and bowls from one year to the next so I avoid calling preseason. I do however know of several guys who do travel old logging roads and give out early morning and late evening calls in quest of locating nearby bulls as the season draws near. Good tactic or not, that’s for you to experiment with provided you choose to do so and I don’t think anyone could say you’re wrong either way. Good luck, be safe, and shoot straight.
Years ago I used to walk back into my known honey holes in mid-August at 10pm and have had the entire area explode with bulls bugling everywhere when I let out one call. And have even had a few run right up to me so close I thought they were gonna gore me...
Scared the crap out of me the every time I did that. A few times I sensed that something was paralleling me all the way back to my truck. But I confirmed the elk were back in there, and in far greater numbers than I ever would've guessed otherwise.
I won't do those late night hikes into the timber anymore ever since I had a crack of dawn face-to-face encounter with a cougar. Be careful, we're not alone out there..... ;)
Bulls are very callable in August in CO. I will be calling on opening day.
Are you calling just to find out if there are elk in the area? Or do you need to see the caliber of bulls in there cause your only hunting big bulls? I would say calling to locate is a non issue but once you get a few responses I would stop and know you have place with elk to hunt. Calling them anymore or to the point where they may have an encounter with you would only be educating them in my opinion.
John, it's great you're able to scout a couple times prior to your opener. I'd concentrate on getting a good feel for the lay of the land & the different areas elk will live in, this means where they feed & Especially where they bed since 85% of daylight hours elk are in or near their bedding area. This is the Killing Zone & would grab most of my attention!
I wouldn't even have my Bugle with me this early as I scouted, I'd concentrate on the country that looks like it will hold elk, get a good feel for it & all points of access in your area. I look for where additional hunting pressure is most likely to come from & use it to my advantage of where elk may get pushed from & to where they most likely may go to avoid hunters! Have at least 1/2 dozen areas you can fall back on as a 'just in case'
Once season starts Glass where possible & Bugle into un-glassable areas to locate, (Timber) you will find elk to hunt!