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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok Boys here's one for ya. During the latter half of the early season I would bugle and get chuckling or grunting response. I was very close to the the bulls but could not make up my mind what type of response to give back.
I tryed all of the usual cow calls, aggressive bugles, spike squeels, etc etc...
Nothing worked they would shut up and leave.
Any ideas?
I will be hunting the same areas this year.

Terry
 

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Sounds like you tossed to much at him and he knew something was not right
I would have stuck with the cow calls and went to "cow in heat calls" longer more drawn out and pleading
Look up the name "elknut1"
They sell a DVD that teaches you about the diff calls and what they mean and when to use them
Good info :wink:

Elk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Elkcaller, I agree wholeheartedly, I said something wrong or failed to say the right thing. This happned four different time with four different bulls. I treated each one differently and ended up with the same out come.
Anyone else want to offer up some suggestions?

Terry
 

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Terry
I wanna add that if all they were doing was "chuckling" they were not to hot into the rut yet and just telling the "cows" (the cow calls you were making) Im over here girls! and when you let out a full bugle you then became a aggressor and they wanted nothing to do with getting there butt whooped
I carry a decoy with me and use it whenever I can
It really helps seal the deal :D
Never get more aggressive then the bull :D

Elk
 

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Assuming that you were initially close to them, and had not called them from afar then they got close, I personally would reply with merely chuckles/grunts. I would actually immmeditately attempt to move away from the bull 100 yards or so then call again while facing away. A bull that is close is going to be curious of another elk in the area (you being the other elk in the area). Occasionaly they run right in but more likely they will sit put or move away. In addition some cow calling while moving doesnt hurt either and possibly helps. From the second location I would give a lowish (volume) chuckle or a weak bugle perhaps with similiar sounding chuckles followed by a few cow calls. During your quick 100 yard run/jog/walk dont be afriad to make some noise such as the occasional tree limb snap, rotton log crunch or even small rock roll down the hill. This is where I would stop listen and assess the situation.

The discription I gave above is an attempt to convince the bull that another bull has some cows and is trying to push/herd them away. In addition, by moving away you should send a signal to the other bull that you are bull with a group of cows but are unsure of yourself that you may lose the cows.

At this point go over quickly what the bull is responding to. Did he like the cows? Or do he seem more interested in the bugle and want a fight? Perhaps he had cows and moved away from you too! In either case he should respond back at some point. If he likes the

My Rule of thumbsI follow:

- Dont bugle to often. Honestly try and wait a minimum of 3 minutes between bugles. If the bull is bugling very often, once or more a minute he I suspect 2 senerio's may be in the works. The first senerio is he has cows trying to leave him and he is attempting to establish his dominance among them because they are trying to leave for you. The second is either he hot for a fight or coming to take your cows and is coming in. When a bull bugles at least or more than once a minute I often will call more about 1 time for his 2 times but I mix it up. Call over his bugle too. Easy to do when they call that much. Another reason for not calling too much is to minimize the chance for a bad bugle to come out. It may also give the impression that you (the other elk) aren't really liking the idea of confrontation of a possibly bigger bull.

- Dont cow call to much. I have heard hunter honestly cow call for 2-4 minutes straight. Where I hunt I rarely here more than a couple of actual elk cow calls in the entire season. You need to just enough to get bull thinking there are cow present and that they have interest in him. Also, you need to make the bull look for you not give a simple trail to follow to the hunter where he will undoubting spot you or when you can see him know something is up the second they shut up.

Please understand all the advice I have mentioned is simply that; advice. I find the weirdest, craziest and unorthodox techniques work the best for me. I also hunt solo so it's a real pain trying to sound in 2 different places. The region I hutn in is also extremely high pressure. I will run into almost as many hunters as bugling elk during the season so they can be very call shy. Most people bugle very aggressively enven if they dont think they are. It can take a bull an hour to slowly make his way to your location and I have killed 2 that didnt say a word once they were inside the last 100-200 yards and showed up 5 to 10 minutes later. Overall the soundest advive is this: You can't get to much advice on this subject. Most people will say I am nuts with the my techinques but oh well.

Best of luck to ya. I'll post more if I think of something.
 

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Dont respond... Get closer. The best way to get a bull to come to you is to go to him. If the bull is only grunting he's probley not coming, he wants you to come to him. What a bull is doing when he is grunting or making any noice at all is giving his location away. Take advantage of that and get closer. If you cant move closer copy the bulls calls the best you can. The worst thing you can do is get to vocal with a bull. Good luck this year
 

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There's several things to consider here!! First, it's important to understand the difference between a chuckle & a grunt!! Chuckles are used by bulls to call in other or stray cows. They're also used to keep track of the cows within their herd. Grunts are not used for cows, they're & can be challenging or intimidating, which are reserved for bulls, especially bulls threatning anothers bulls right to either keep or have the right to breed his own cows.

When that's understood & you're familiar with both sounds and can tell the difference, the choice of needed sound for the particular encounter becomes much easier & most of all makes sense to the real bull, thus avoiding raising a red flag in his eyes!

In your case, if you made contact with a bugle and a bull responded with chuckles only, he then reacted to your bugle by trying to gather or round up his cows so he knew were they all were, because of an intruder in the area. If you would have cow called and he chuckled then he simply would be calling you to him not using grunts where intimidation would be involved.

Too, this bull when he chuckled he was talking to his cows because of you!! But he wasn't responding to you, but because of you, a possible threat!

If when you bugled he grunted only, which I may add is very rare, a grunt or series of grunts is normally followed by a screaming bugle. Then he would be telling you, you're not welcome move on or else!!

In most cases when a bull quits calling back, he's on his way in. Most hunters just don't stay put long enough to allow him to show up!! Instead they leave within 10min. thinking he's left!! This is espescially true when working a bull with cow calls.

This can also happen with bugling if you don't overdue the calling!!

So what should you do???? If a bull chuckles you, move in as close as you dare or whatever the terrain allows & give him what he wants, another cow, no need to overdue it, let him know you're there and available, when calling there's a good chance he won't say anything as to not give away his position, to the bull that he just heard further back, he'll just show-up & swipe this cow, so be patient, wait & let it play out!!! Remember, if all goes quiet he's coming, even a couple pleading cow calls could speed him up a little, but don't over-due it!!!

If you bugle & and get an intimidatinmg response, & you're very close like you said, (100yds) then don't bugle anymore, no need to!!! Move in once again as close as possible, (always watch the wind) once there start giving pants, start slow & rapidly increase the pace then flow right into huffing style low keyed but rapid chuckles, this shows you're trying to call a cow or cows to you & you've smelled them or made eye contact, you're showing excitement in your find. This is what a real intruder bull would do, especially a sneaky one!!! The herd bull should come unglued, (very vocal) & be on his way in, he won't let you steal a cow right before his minds eye.

If he screams a challenge & is just out of sight, throw in disteressed cow sounds, they're painfull & panicky sounding & very pitchy, along with low gutteral desperate growls with a lot of thrashing & stomping around, make it real!!!!! This shows the real bull you've got one of his cows but she's resisting his attempts to steal her. I call this "The Threat" You've posed a direct threat to his herd & he won't stand for it!!!! If he continues to scream & not advance, (which is highly unlikely) and there's two of you, leave the shooter there while the caller leaves the scene thrashing & calling all the while backing out as though he's forcing the cow away, the bull should show in seconds!!! I've had these methods work out many times!!!!

By understanding elk talk, you'll have many more close encounters & know how to handle them, raising few "red flags" therefore that translates into full freezers!!--<grin>

If you want to know what some of the sounds, like Pants, huffs & The Threat sound like, then go to our Site and click on Elk Sounds!!

Hope this helps!!!!---------------------ElkNut1
 
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