Contributors to this thread:
Elk hunter calling etiquette?
On another thread there is talk of calling in other hunters. I’m curious what the proper etiquette is when a hunter is called in? Do you call it off as soon as you realize it’s a hunter? Do you give them the turkey cluck or just let them go on believing they heard the baddest bull on the mountain? Is there any form of etiquette surrounding this issue?
Depends on how they approach. If it's from directly upwind with all the stealth of a D8 Caterpillar I might have a little fun! Otherwise, I usually make my presence known and say hello to a fellow hunter.
Just give a whistle and wave. Sometimes they approach and we chat, other times they wave and go the other way. Can't say what to do if you get called in...never happened ;^)
I’ll just say that I have a never ending sense of humor.
I have called guys in that were from our camp repeatedly
I usually do the turkey Yelp thing.
Do not know about etiquette but if it happens to be a M/L just stay safe. They make me nervous as they come in.
I went to a Wayne Carlson seminar years ago at a RMEF convention and he talked about calling in other hunters back in the day when he was one of the first to use turkey diaphragm calls rather than the PVC flutes. I'm pretty sure he was responsible for popularizing the technique. Anyway, if you had the pleasure of hearing him speak this was one of the funniest stories I've ever heard, even when compared to seeing professional comedians live.
I got fooled and called in once… Figured it out when I saw the other hunter’s bow lying on the ground in a very prominent location. Never did figure out where he was, but he was probably hiding from me because I was carrying a muzzleloader that year. So I waved at nobody in particular and went the other way.
Another year, I heard some dumb kid practicing his wimpy bugle over and over and over, and I finally decided that I would ease down to where he was and ask him to knock it the hell off before he chased all the Elk out of the drainage.
Turned out that “stupid kid” was a spike, and I bumped the whole herd up over the ridge.
I've called in other hunters twice, the first guy was breaking brush and tooting a Hoochie Mama every 5 steps up the mountain, I tucked into a bush and let him walk right on by, then blew a bugle when he got about 50 yards past me. Two years ago I called in a guy, his wife, and his brother-in-law while I was working a bull, they were experienced hunters and still came right in. We had a great chat and they invited me to come have dinner and stay at their cabin that night instead of camping in my truck. I thought maybe there was an outside chance I going to be murdered, but ended up getting hot food, a couple beers, and a nice couch to sleep on...
This season I was hunting in a hunter rich environment. It seams as though we called in someone nearly every morning. The ones that called back were slightly obvious hunters. If they were a ways away then I’d give them the turkey cluck, they’d respond.
One evening I was setting on a meadow after I had bedded the heard on the mountain that morning. This was like Sept 5 and elk were not talking, none. Well a hunter with terrible chuckles lit up on top of the ridge. He was headed to bust the heard so I immediately gave him the turkey cluck. Kinda saying hey Felecia get out of here. Well he proceeded to bugle his brains out. I had all I could take and gave him a couple of my nastiest bugles then ran 100 yards up the opposing mountain behind me. I gave him one more bugle then went silent. He brought his BRO hat, exo pack, and Phelps bugle down the mountain and in the sunshine the last 100 yards. ;) I sat quietly as he walked across the meadow and right by me at about 8’. Once ten yards behind me he began panting into his tube, popping it and using every sound from the playbook in succession. He then moved on chasing that nasty bull and he never bugled again. I assumed he must have seen me before tucking tail and walking away. That was until dark when I heard him back on the same ridge doing a poor imitation of a hoot owl then some more terrible chuckling. ;) I rather enjoyed the fun for the evening but wondered if my etiquette was poor?
I called in a guy the other day in Wyoming. I usually like to talk with people and this spot was really hard to get to and he said he would just leave but we figured out he was going farther in then us so we went separate ways.sometimes I feel it’s not terrible having someone out there that might spook animals my way.
I didn't read your question but am assuming this is what you're asking. I find mixed etiquette in elk calling is invaluable. Sometimes I'm calling like 'Hey Mr. elk, come here please, pretty please.' While other times I'm like 'Hey you piece of sh*t I'm going to kick your ass.'
Many years ago, I was on my way out of a wilderness area after a multi day bivouac hunt, when I heard a call I was pretty sure was a hunter. Knowing it was unlikely there was a bull in the area, I called back. Presently, I saw a bow hunter sneaking from tree to tree above me. I couldn't resist, and hoped he had a sense of humor. I hid behind a boulder and threw a few calls down the hill. As he passed me, I said "good morning". I quickly apologized for calling him in. He responded; "Are you kidding? That's the most fun I've had all season". So I guess you never know.
Bill why try and answer a question you when you did not even read the question? LOL
Geeez, I’ve always thought it odd why guys even care to answer a thread without reading the other responses .....but to be honest It has never crossed my mind that someone would answer a thread without reading the original post.
I usually bark at them and go quiet
When I have hunters headed my way, I just play the Star Spangled Banner or Creedence Clearwater or something else through the bugle, something everyone will recognize.
I've started wearing an orange camo hat when archery hunting; it has not adversely effected the elk. I've called in a few guys, I'll wave them off with the hat. Although, I have been fooled a couple of times, thinking that "NO WAY" that was an elk, when it really was!
Guys, it was a joke about calling etiquette directed at elk not hunters..tongue in cheek. I recommend more caffeine ;^) After 20+ years (1996 I think??) on the bowsite snark and sidebars should go without saying
Pretty funny that guys were criticizing you for not reading the OP when they CLEARLY didn’t read your response all the way through... Either that, or they’ve had their sense of humor surgically removed…
I think maybe I should work on perfecting a Tarzan Call bugle for just these situations!
Just yesterday also in a hunter rich environment I was in close to a herd and working the bull. The thermals had started to rise and I had to continually move to my right to keep the bull from winding me. A couple guys who obviously thought I was a bull too started chasing after me bugling and cow calling. I really didn't want to deal with the hunters because I was busy keeping tabs on cows and trying to get in position on the bull but the hunters apparently weren't concerned about their scent, the rising thermals and their terrible calling so I turned toward them and gave a few turkey clucks. They instantly bugled and cow called back. I moved on hoping they'd figure it out but they kept after me so I turned and have them more turkey clucks and some aggressive cutting. Again they bugled and cow called back. About that time the bull went over the top of a ridge and went silent. I'm not sure if it was someone's scent, the other hunter's terrible calls or the giant turkey chasing him but either way the game was over. The other hunters didn't realize it though and kept coming and calling. At that point I'd had enough and I pointed my Phelps tube toward them used it as a megaphone and said "dude, I'm a hunter" through it. I still don't think they got it because I heard more calls as I departed the area.
That’s funny mike. Sounds similar to my guy. I will say there were more meriams in the area than I’ve seen anywhere, but a cluck through a bugle tube should be obvious.
My last day of elk hunting this year I heard the worst/fakest cow calls I’ve ever heard. Sounded so Rookie, man made I just laughed. A few seconds later 5 cows/calves poped over the hill with a nice bull in tow. I laughed again and vowed to Never dismiss fake calls.
Charlie I give any bugle/ mew a chance. Terrible chuckles and different calls used in a short period are dead giveaways. I haven’t heard a ton of elk but I haven’t heard a real bull go from locate bugling to chuckling to panting and glunking along with lost call calls inside of 30 seconds. Not saying it can’t happen but that and terrible chuckles that sound like a chihuahua barking are dead giveaways.
zirkel, back in 2008, i was doing some sneakin around, cow calling occasionally. i popped out of some brush to find a guy holding his bow with an arrow on it pointed right at me. i stopped and chatted with him. as i walked away i started shaking cause i realized that this guy was probably at full draw on me. since then, as soon as i know its another person, i either yell "hunter" until they see me or make some other obnoxious noise until they respond.
We were calling in other hunters last week, and we realized it before they did. We started whistling and letting them know as soon as we knew. I was worried someone was at full draw waiting for a glimpse and may let it fly.
Well I called a couple guys in again this morning. I gave them the hen yelps again but they kept coming up the ridge with the wind at their backs. They bugled about 75 yards below me so I turned to them and gave them the biggest nastiest bugle and grunts that I could muster. They bugled back and I guess the frustration of running from hunters for the last 2 weeks got to me and I went crashing down the hill towards them and spoiled their excitement. I might have sounded a little ornery and used poor etiquette when I told the guy the turkey clucks were to let them know I'm a hunter but you still keep coming and I was tired of being followed around and not even being able to bugle without a hunter coming after me. The guy said "this is only the second time I've seen you". In the end I wished him luck and we went our separate ways. Until the next time I bugle that is...
Amazing how many times I see guys working elk with the wind at their back. If I hear a bugle and can’t trust the wind, I make a mental note and come back when the wind is right.
Oh, I don't know. So many times I've been hunting and calling into the wind, only to have a bull sneak in behind me. -:(
If a bull bugles twice in a matter of 30 seconds or so, and the bugle sounds EXACTLY the same...I'm about 90 percent sure it's a hunter. Happened more than a few times this Season.
let them know, I've been called in myself a time or two, and I've called in people who came in silent. There's some pretty good callers out there, and it's sometimes hard to tell until you get close enough. Shout out to Abe and Son bugle system, I've called in a lot of folks with that, unknowingly of course. I wouldn't keep calling them in if I knew they were there.
Years ago you could always tell a hunter with a bugle, but those days are over. In the last 10 years the quality and skill of hunters bugling is often just impossible to tell from the real thing unless you go look, or they are traveling up hill at elk speed. Now if they start chuckling at the end you can almost always tell. The gifted hunter who calls softly every 10 to 15 Min. almost impossible .
If I hear a bugle then a cow call a minute later it's a hunter.
Also if you bugle and hear a cow call it's most likely a hunter.
On my last day hunt this year, I heard 2 bull bulges, one loud bulge and close others one soft and small bulge up hill. I though the louder bulges continuously is a hunter ( I saw a truck on trail head). I went to small bulge up hill. At the end I found out it was 2 bulls and I bumped him at 40 yards.
In OTC units, if you hear a cow call period... it's most likely a hunter.
Depends on the situation, nice dude hunting smart, sure I’ll usually whistle and BS a bit. But if they’re hunting stupid, different story. We were camped on 4 bulls bugling in their beds this year but couldn’t move in because of shifting winds in mid day thermals. We heard terrible cow calls and a bull barking shortly after and silence coming right from below the herd and satellites. Blew them all out. I bugled a challenge bugle and they came flying up the mountain. I waited for them to get relatively close and went quiet and snuck around them to chase the one bull still bugling. I could hear them frantically cow calling as we moved towards the herd. We didn’t kill him but had a good encounter. I could’ve done the “nice” thing and whistled, but I was annoyed with how stupid they hunted and needed to move them to get to the actual elk, so the petty version of me did what I needed to.