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Discussion Starter #1
lets here your thoughts on being aggresive with bulls. i have heard alot of guys that wont even think of using a bugle other than to locate. and then there are guys that use different bull sounds as there go to type calls. and i know that every bull requires different sounds (whether cow or bull depending on the situation) or none at all. so with this in mind, what is your determining factor to get aggresive with bull sounds instead of cow sounds.

my first year i was passive, using cow mews (along with everyone else in the elkwoods). last season i got aggresive with cow sounds using alot of whiny and excited type calls. i feel a natural progression going on here and gaining confidense to keep evolving. so lets hear your take on what situations require aggresive actions whether by aggresive bull sounds, raking or stomping or all of the above combined. my goal is to learn from you all and help others like myself learn from you all so we can recognize when we should get aggresive and what aggresive sounds we should be using in a given situation because no 2 encounters are identicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
years of elk hunting will teach you that not us my 2 cents
awe come on man. dig down inside. share the wealth (of knowledge). i have already learned a huge amount in recent months from those on here that are willing. i know that actually getting out there and getting the experience is the best way. heck, in that case why bother posting on A/T trying to get good info? but.....i guess you could call it "experience by proxxy". in other words if i am out in the elkwoods and have an encounter that lets say you describe, maybe in an instant it clicks in my mind that "this is a similair experience to shooter 21 and this is what he did and got that bull on the ground". or this is what he did and the situation fell apart so i better do something else. see where i'm going with this? and its not just for me, but others that maybe haven't been succesful but still are determined to learn, and still others that maybe are going for the first time and maybe have an encounter similiar to what someone else describes. i believe that in addition to ones own experience, success or a certain degree of it can be had by those that are willing to learn and have an open mind. i think success breeds success. jm2cents for what its worth.
 

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I'll put in my 2 cents, sorry 21. As with past threads i've stated that i mostly use the bugle, just has worked for me. last year i finally learned how to use a diaphram and chuckle. This made a world of difference. I had one encounter where i walked in on a bull and his heard, they kinda spotted me but didn't spook. So i let out a bugle, my bow hunting teacher's uncle taught me this one, he came back right away. Now i got aggressive. He tought a bull was right there and wasn't gona give them up to me. I got in on his cow and he was going to fight if needed. I ended up getting to antcy and blew it but the calling work. my brain just got in the way in the end. If they are aggressive be aggressive, if they hang up try it, won't know unless you give it a chance.
 

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I got between 2 bulls last year and started calling like the horniest sl*t cow on the mountain. The more they bugled and closed their distance, the more I cow called. I let them set the tone of the encounter.
 

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I t all depends on the bull you have to feel them out. Some come in ready to bust your ass, some want to see what your made of from distance.I have found while guiding that copying a bulls bugle weather one that was killed or a smaller bull works well, or copying the bulls bugle that your bugling to really seemed to piss some of them off.
 

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I had a 4 point Roosevelt that loved the bugle. Two years ago, in Oregon, I watched a 6x6 herd bull take his harem out the far side of the meadow, but I kept hearing another bull that was closer to me and just going nuts!

My sister and I got set up and I started cow calling, thinking he would just charge over to die, seeing as how he had obviously just been kicked out of the group by that herd bull. He answered and came into the open where I could see him. When I would cow call, he would answer, but he wasn't coming any closer. I soon tired of that game, so I bugled, trying to sound like him. That did it! He came right now. At the last minute, he looped downwind and he spotted my movement as I tried to change to a better position for a shot. He spooked and ran, but slowed after 200 yards. I followed and was able to bring him back toward me several times with a bugle.

Long story short, when I finally did get the shot, I was in a tangled mass of vines and crap and something got hooked up in my bottom cam! Might've been my tongue from all the running and chasing! Arrow made it about halfway to him! Beautiful! Not!

Anyway, thinking back on it, that really should have been the LAST bull to come to another bull with cows. You just have to read 'em. Find out what they like and think like an elk.
 

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Pretty agressive.

For years, I would find a big herd bull that had cows, and try to sneak through his cows, and get close enough for a shot. This can work, but takes a great deal of time effort, and belly crawling. It gets you busted allot too. The next step in my evolution of being aggressive, was to get amongst his cows, or in between he and his cows, and then bugle aggressively. This usually brings him right at you. But, again, takes allot of time and sneaking, and many times is foiled by the cows. One year, there was a big bull that I got on several times. I kept getting busted by his cows, and it always seemed he would be able to keep himself on the other side of his cows from me. I got close to him several times, but couldn't make him mad enough to come after me. He would act like he was going to fight, but then would quickly move off with his cows. He would not leave the cows to come to my cow calling either. Finally one evening, I was dogging the herd, and had him talking to me, but they were really moving allot, and I could barely stay with them. I was behind the whole bunch, as they moved across a ridge. I had a good breeze in my face, but it was getting dark, and there wasn't much time. The bull was leading the group, and they crossed an open area. He dropped over the edge of the ridge, and went out of site. I got a crazy notion, and ran out into the opening, and chased his cows all over the place. I stopped by a tree, and bugled. His cows had scattered, and he couldn't see what was happening. He couldn't take it, and came after me, and right up to within fifteen yards. I was hidden by the tree, and he came right by, broadside. He stopped to look for the bull he had heard right there. I finally got an arrow into him after chasing him for a week. That was one of the most agressive tactics I have used.
 

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For years, I would find a big herd bull that had cows, and try to sneak through his cows, and get close enough for a shot. This can work, but takes a great deal of time effort, and belly crawling. It gets you busted allot too. The next step in my evolution of being aggressive, was to get amongst his cows, or in between he and his cows, and then bugle aggressively. This usually brings him right at you. But, again, takes allot of time and sneaking, and many times is foiled by the cows. One year, there was a big bull that I got on several times. I kept getting busted by his cows, and it always seemed he would be able to keep himself on the other side of his cows from me. I got close to him several times, but couldn't make him mad enough to come after me. He would act like he was going to fight, but then would quickly move off with his cows. He would not leave the cows to come to my cow calling either. Finally one evening, I was dogging the herd, and had him talking to me, but they were really moving allot, and I could barely stay with them. I was behind the whole bunch, as they moved across a ridge. I had a good breeze in my face, but it was getting dark, and there wasn't much time. The bull was leading the group, and they crossed an open area. He dropped over the edge of the ridge, and went out of site. I got a crazy notion, and ran out into the opening, and chased his cows all over the place. I stopped by a tree, and bugled. His cows had scattered, and he couldn't see what was happening. He couldn't take it, and came after me, and right up to within fifteen yards. I was hidden by the tree, and he came right by, broadside. He stopped to look for the bull he had heard right there. I finally got an arrow into him after chasing him for a week. That was one of the most agressive tactics I have used.
My brother has done that, too. The bull was out of sight, but bugling, so my brother knew where he was and ran in spooking the cows off. Then bugled. Worked like a charm.
 

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Locate and attack. Cut the distance and call, then cut the distance again. When you figure you are withing a 100yds. Scream at that bull. When he calls back cut him off with your own bugle. Match or exceed his anger in bugles. Call loud enough and nasty enough to get his cows to leave him and come to you. When he comes in his eyes will be beat red and slobbering spit everywhere. Be ready to kill him before he runs you over.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
DLane and gselkhunter, that sounds like the ultimate in hunting bulls right there. 2 different situations and 2 aggresive actions. my heart is pounding and my hands are sweating just thinking about that.

gselkhunter, when you think you are within 100 yards, how worried are you that you will be spotted by one of his cows? and if you do get spotted, do you follow up as DLane mentioned? i was in this particular situation last season surrounded by cows and failed to act with aggression as the cows, spikes thundered out of there along with the herd bull ignoring my cow sounds.
 

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Busted again.

One time I was in close to a bull and a bunch of cows, and did some estrus type calls. The bull chuckled at me, and four big cows came walking all abreast right up on top of me. They stopped at about six feet, and I had laid flat on the ground. It didn't take them long to smell me. I wish I had bugled instead, and then tried the cow calling if the bull didn't respond. You live, and learn.
I wish I knew how many times I tried to stop spooked herd bulls and cows with cow calls. I don't think it ever worked. I have had much better success stopping them with bugling, or grunting.
 

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aggression

you know mr. trophy, I wished I had learned to be agressive about25 years ago.....I believe I would have taken a lot more bulls.
just call me a slow learner.....but I am convinced now!
 

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Aggressive action kills elk! Most experienced hunters come to appreciate this over the years! You must however reserve aggressive calling action when using bull sounds towards herd bulls. With herd bulls you are trying to get them to "react" to a possible threat to the herd or himself, it's all in how you handle it & closeness! You may think in your mind you are doing or saying one thing but it's what you say & how the herd bull interprets it that counts!
If you give a short burst of a scream then you're calling his cows to you, you want the cows to take notice of you. If you give more of a high pitch type scream & a bit longer ending with a deep growl at the end, then you have threatened the bull personally to "stay back"----There are occasions I will use both on top of the other.

For instance, I may get in close to the herd & realize that sounds are needed to seal the deal, mere stealthiness isn't getting it done at this time. If I decide to call his cows I may give 1-2 short mews then give this short scream in an effort to call his cows to me. Of course I do not want his cows to come, I want the bull. But this should provoke a challenging scream from the bull, this is when i'll threaten him to stay back then call at his cows a 2nd time instantly. It's very believable for this real herd bull to hear another bull lead out with a cow sound or 2 then scream right over them as he gets demanding. It can really sell the realism here & bring him in on a run!

The opposite side of the coin when dealing with satellites is a more reserved action that plays on their "curiosity" more so than their manhood. We use a more controlled aggressiveness towards them & it works very well. Mainly the use of cow sounds will fit nicely towards them!

ElkNut1
 

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trophyhill their is a ton of good knowledge on hear know so ill share somthing ive seen work a few times .so last year i had a bull bugling and was workin his way in bugling heavy he gets to around 50yards i can see movement then out of noware a bull bugles and this bull just leaves ? so we tryed for 20 or so nothing .then the second bull started bugling again then hung up so my dad grabed a nice big branch and started thrashing a tree next thing i know i have a bull 20yards and lookin pissed hes thrashing trees bugling all worked up lookin for a fight . and the funny thing was he could see my dads movement didnt bother him guess he thought it was a five foot mexican elk lol.so some times aggressive bugling and rackin a tree will get a bull worked up most the time its a solo bull . if any one has anything to add to this fill free im all ears
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Aggressive action kills elk! Most experienced hunters come to appreciate this over the years! You must however reserve aggressive calling action when using bull sounds towards herd bulls. With herd bulls you are trying to get them to "react" to a possible threat to the herd or himself, it's all in how you handle it & closeness! You may think in your mind you are doing or saying one thing but it's what you say & how the herd bull interprets it that counts!
If you give a short burst of a scream then you're calling his cows to you, you want the cows to take notice of you. If you give more of a high pitch type scream & a bit longer ending with a deep growl at the end, then you have threatened the bull personally to "stay back"----There are occasions I will use both on top of the other.

For instance, I may get in close to the herd & realize that sounds are needed to seal the deal, mere stealthiness isn't getting it done at this time. If I decide to call his cows I may give 1-2 short mews then give this short scream in an effort to call his cows to me. Of course I do not want his cows to come, I want the bull. But this should provoke a challenging scream from the bull, this is when i'll threaten him to stay back then call at his cows a 2nd time instantly. It's very believable for this real herd bull to hear another bull lead out with a cow sound or 2 then scream right over them as he gets demanding. It can really sell the realism here & bring him in on a run!

The opposite side of the coin when dealing with satellites is a more reserved action that plays on their "curiosity" more so than their manhood. We use a more controlled aggressiveness towards them & it works very well. Mainly the use of cow sounds will fit nicely towards them!

ElkNut1
thanks for the perspective everyone. i'm not saying i won't take a satelite if opportunity arises thats for sure (in fact that cow i killed last season was pretty darn exciting and don't know if i could resist any opportunity) but......i want that herd bull. my whole focus is going after the herd bull. i have been close (well within shooting distance) of 9 herd type bulls in the last 2 seasons.

cow sounds have served me well to get within shooting distance but....thats where my lack of versatility (or experience)has gotten the best of me (amazing how i can recount all 9 bulls and the encounters) and most of those situations resulted in hangups (typical scenario, bull screaming at you from 20-40 yards behind some obstruction and loses interest) except for the one where i was surrounded by cows and spikes and from what i have been learning, several (all) of those situations could have easily gone the other way had i thrown some agression into the mix. and also it just sounds so darn awesome to hunt bulls in a challenging way to get it done. i dont want to forget about what i have done to get close but to just add another facet to my game.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
trophyhill their is a ton of good knowledge on hear know so ill share somthing ive seen work a few times .so last year i had a bull bugling and was workin his way in bugling heavy he gets to around 50yards i can see movement then out of noware a bull bugles and this bull just leaves ? so we tryed for 20 or so nothing .then the second bull started bugling again then hung up so my dad grabed a nice big branch and started thrashing a tree next thing i know i have a bull 20yards and lookin pissed hes thrashing trees bugling all worked up lookin for a fight . and the funny thing was he could see my dads movement didnt bother him guess he thought it was a five foot mexican elk lol.so some times aggressive bugling and rackin a tree will get a bull worked up most the time its a solo bull . if any one has anything to add to this fill free im all ears
what you descirbe here is kinda related to another thread i posted a while back, "you can fool there eyes and ears but not there nose?" thats kinda what i was wondering is if you can fool their eyes/ears with certain sounds/actions and getting a shot before the bull processes fully what he is seeing and or hearing
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I got between 2 bulls last year and started calling like the horniest sl*t cow on the mountain. The more they bugled and closed their distance, the more I cow called. I let them set the tone of the encounter.
i see what you are getting at. did you get a shot at one of the bulls in this encounter? i have had some great encounters using cow sounds too but i want to take it to the next level.
 

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Calling elk is more about using common sense than being a super caller or having a secret weapon. I simply cow call areas and if I get no answers I use a couple bugles. When I get answers I try to coax them in with cow calls. If they hang up I start trying other things including bugling and raking etc. Assuming they are coming in then don't change it up. Larger herd bulls sometimes move away and pushing them is effective. It is my experience that satellite bulls will come to cow calls almost every time unless they have been called in alot already. Herd bulls as most know usually won't come in at all unless pressured over and over. Some bulls won't come in no matter what and I believe it is simply because they have been called in too much already and so its time to find a dumber bull. Alot of my hunting buddies have commented that I have a knack for calling them in but the truth is I just use common sense where some of them are afraid of making a mistake so they are too conservative. I think what makes guys too conservative is hunting areas with too few bulls so most every bull has cows and the percentages of calling them in go down to nil.
 
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