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Bugleing elk!

 
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  #1  
Old 01-07-2008, 12:35 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Naches, Wa
Posts: 70
Bugleing elk!

The technique that works for us is simply driving F.S. roads or walking, depending on the area. We try to stay on ridge tops and bugle down into drainages. Be careful of the wind and the skyline, because getting careless on either one of issues can ruin a hunt in a matter of seconds.

Once a bull is located then the excitment and addrenaline really kick in. Now it's decision time. Do we bail of the ridge down in the thick, dark H***hole and give it a try or keep looking....well of course we load up and bail off into the dark timber!

From now on, we only bugle about every 15 to 20 minutes if the bull is quiet, just to keep him located. If he is vocal, then we keep quiet. Once we've got the wind right and we are in his "kitchen" we send our hunters on ahead about 75-100 yards and have them set up with our cameraman. The rest of us stay back and try our darndest to sound like a bunch of love sick cows looking for Mr. Big.

You'll be able to tell very quickly if he is interested in love or if he is more interested in fighting. If he's a fighter, then you have to change gears quickly and get on the bugle. But a word of caution, if he thinks you are a bigger, badder bull, then he's on his horse and outta there in a flash, so try to sound like an "horny teenager" and he'll probably tear down half of the forest tring to get over there and run you off! When you get to this point the action is extremely fast and exciting! Last year, I had two hunters last year just sitting in the pine needles shaking as the adrenaline started to slow down after and exciting hunt that ended in a 38 yard broadside miss! It took them an hour to calm down enough to go after another one! Anyway, that's how we are doing and it sure is a lot of fun. See ya on the hill!
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Last edited by norsepeak; 01-07-2008 at 01:17 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2008, 01:43 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 421
Great advice.

After locating a bull we'll set a guy up to wait and the guy bugling will back away further and further from the hunter in the opposite direction of the bull. This gives the bull assurance that he's dominant, and in some cases seems to trigger an almost preditory response. Large bulls like to run the smaller ones "out of town." Keep up the good work.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2008, 12:00 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chelan Co, Washington
Posts: 519
Hunted bull elk in the rut once. Doggone! That is an incredible experience!

My buddy is a skilled & experienced bugler and talked that 6x6 bull right out of the timber and into a fairly open area. We had another 5x5 also answering the call... It was awesome. This was on a horseback/hiking hunt way back in the Wilderness. The 7mm mag spoke once, the big bull went down, and the 5x5 continued to challenge us! Absolutely amazing and way different from any deer hunting I've ever done...

Every hunter ought to do it at least once in their life!

Regards, Guy
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2008, 02:59 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Naches, Wa
Posts: 70
Last year I had a guy out who hadn't taken an elk before let alone with archery equipment. We were on our way back to the truck just before dark after an unsuccessful encounter with a nice 5x. When we were about 100 yards from the truck I said we should slip up over a little hill and see if we could locate a bull for the next morning. We got up on the hill about 200 yards from the truck and ran right into a herd of about 6 cows and one big bull. We'll we decided that we had about 15 min. left to give it a try. My hunter went on ahead to try to sneak in to a shooting position while I move back and began calling. Unfortunalty we couldn't get that bull out of the timber, but while I was back behind the hunter calling a very nice 6x6 snuck up on me and stood watching me rake a tree from about 35 yards away! You just never now whats going to happen during the rut when you are chasing elk. By far my favorite hunting. We eventually had an absolutley amazing adventure and got him a nice 5x5 bull after his third shot! One of the craziest hunts I've been on!
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2008, 07:02 PM
Weda
 
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norsepeak.. I agree and disagree...

yes you can call too much but at times you can call to little...

easiest system to use by far is the Primos.
while I don't advocate road hunting of sorts if it works for ya so be it.

I typically implement what I call trolling. Sort of like you driving up and down roads. However, don't always bugle. Not all bulls will bugle back. many are silent especially the very wise or very young. You need to mix in a cow call, maybe even cow/calf at times.
On horse back it is much easier to mimic the movement of Elk per natural.

once you locate a bull. as you said you need to get down wind and keep moving. I feel however, you need to make him move as well. If he hears you coming in and recognizes that you are moving in on his cows he'll gather them a scoot. At some point you need to make sure he's up for the challenge even if he moves parallel to crosses you. He doesn't have to move closer but he does have to move. If he is in a sit a wait mode he's just looking for the right time to leave.

Move often than not you can get any bull to move to you. I agree you don't always want to sound like the biggest and baddest but there are time you need to do this too. Typically, I will mimic a satellite bull sound. pretty bold but higher pitched to sound young. This often get the herd bulls attention. However, there could be and often are satellites hanging around the herd bull and a lot of time you'll end up putting the sneak on them and not the original bull you thought. I usually will cow call with the bugling, soft call mostly mewing. You could very well intrigue that herd bull to want another cow or 2 for his own and he's willing to come get her.

There are also numerous tricks to get a bull that hung up on you once you've spotted him. If you can get his attention I have to tricks that without question will get him to move and often move to you.

Peak rut is by far one of the neatest experiences of all.

Ih ave talked to bulls as late as the first 2 weeks of nov.

Last edited by Weda; 01-23-2008 at 07:07 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2008, 10:37 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Naches, Wa
Posts: 70
Weda,
My thread is by no means "all inclusive". There are a myriad of techniques and tricks that work in different areas and at different times of the rut, but this is only a half hour show, we can't cover them all. Where we hunt with clients, we are limited to hunting lower elevations where there are a lot of roads, so driving and calling works for us, because we have to cover a lot of ground because of the hunting pressure. I'm not an advocate of "road hunting" either, but you do the best with what you've got. It makes is easy and fun for the client because we get to hear and go after several bulls per hunt. It seems like more and more the clients are not serious hunters and wouldn't enjoy a "real" hunt in the backcountry anyway. Now when it's time to hunt for myself or for a friend, we hit the high country and use some different techniques. I agree about the cow call, I use that a lot and have had a lot of success using just the cow/calf talk. No matter what technique you use, it sure is a lot of fun being out there with 'em during the rut!
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2008, 11:07 AM
Weda
 
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Wear Carhart Pants and carry a piece of bone... stick you leg out from behind a tree and wiggle the piece of antler...

moments later get ready.... it own't be long.
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