Elk call

Discussion in 'How To Hunt Big Game' started by bigjay53, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. bigjay53

    bigjay53 Member

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    I drew a cow elk tag this year 1st gun season in Colorado. Can anyone tell me what to use to call cow elks?Thanks Jay
     
  2. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    After quite a few years of elk hunting, my experience is that cows will not come in to a call, and will actually push them out of the area. Maybe there are other people who have had luck calling them in, but I have not. I just keep quite and put myself in a spot where I knows cows are going to cross and focus on staying downwind. A call can be useful to just get a cow to stop and look at you, but once that brief pause is over, they're going to move in a different direction.

    I also drew a 1st season rifle cow tag. At least where I hunt, the elk are still going to be in the rut. So I will call only to locate the herd. Once I get close (with a cow tag) I just keep quite.

    Time after time, whether with a bugle or a cow call, I've called in bulls, and watched the cows with their ears back in caution with no interest in getting closer to the call. Again, this is just my experience.
     

  3. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Jay, pretty much what Timber338 said, but I once turned some cows toward me after they were spooked by a pickup using two very short chirps. The ran straight at me but I always sit still and wait them otherwise. Good luck and welcome to the forum.
     
  4. bigjay53

    bigjay53 Member

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    Thanks for your helpJay
     
  5. dmj

    dmj Well-Known Member

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    A good number of years ago (20 plus) we had some luck calling cows in. Or at least cows came in while we were calling. Usually we were either working on a bull or trying to locate and have had cows come in. Now it seems like we have trouble calling in anything. Will hear a bull bugling and when we try and work him he just moves off. Believe the elk are getting call shy. My son believes we have killed off the more aggressive bulls that will respond to calls and the elk that are left are the less aggressive that tend to move off. As stated above a call might stand a pretty good chance of stopping the elk for a brief period of time. Make sure you're ready to take the shot, because they probably aren't going to stay around very long. Good luck and have fun.
     
  6. wyowinchester

    wyowinchester Well-Known Member

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    Go and listen to them talk for a while. In your arsenal of calls make sure you have a calf. I have seen bulls come to that call also.
     
  7. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    The only time I've "called in" a cow was when a lost calf was coincidentally about 20 yards behind me, and the mamma cow was up on a ridge looking for the calf. The calf called a couple of times and mamma answered, then both stopped. I was hoping the calf would keep calling, but did not. After about 15 minutes I called a few times trying to sound like the calf and the cow came running down the hill looking for it. I had a bull tag, and luckily a rutting bull chased after the cow and both ended up right in front of me, and the 338 went to work.
     
  8. Rocking R Ranch

    Rocking R Ranch Well-Known Member

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    I have a different take. Last year I played with a cow for about 20 minutes during archery season. I could have reached out and touched her a couple of times. I still can't understand how she didn't wind me since she circled multiple times. Cows can definitely be called in during the right conditions.
    Anyways, I like a combination of diaphragm and external calls. If you listen to a herd, they all make different sounds so I think its important to be proficient at different calls. In fact, one of my guides sat with me last weekend and listened to a herd on my ranch. We discussed all of the different sounds they made and the importance of being able to make those different sounds.
    Make sure you are comfortable with a diaphragm because you may need to have the call in your mouth to stop the cow, and be able to immediately shoot. The external calls are more cumbersome and tend to get in the way when you need to take a shot.
    Different calls work for different people. Buy a few and decide what you like the best. It also depends on the shape and depth of your palate, etc. Again, try a few and decide.
    Good luck.
     
  9. idaho elk hunter

    idaho elk hunter Well-Known Member

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    I usually use a belted magnum to call them to my freezer. it does sometimes take some practice.
     
  10. Marble

    Marble Well-Known Member

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    If you want a really simple call to use, get a hoochie mama (I might have spelled it incorrectly). They cost around $25 and work rather well. I use them to locate herds and then sneak up close enough to the herd to shoot. I do not actually call in cows with them, although cows and bulls have both come in. In the rut, bulls loose their minds.

    I have hunted CO only in the second season and 3-4 times the rut has still been going really good. Bulls would come running in and cows were mostly indifferent. It seems the call really works well for cows that are alone or in distress.
     
  11. Barrelnut

    Barrelnut Well-Known Member

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    I agree. This is the best non diaphragm call I have ever seen and used. Have only used them during bow season though. You can put it in your front pocket and secure to your belt with the string. Using the call while in your pocket gives this wonderful muffled cow/calf sound. I have seen it turn a lead cow before and bring the herd of 6 or so cows right past my brother.

    I have a few of them and pass them out to new guys when they hunt with us. Almost anyone can get the hang of it in a few minutes.
     
  12. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    I also agree that the hoochie mama is a great call. And also good to hear that some of you guys have had luck calling in cows.

    Last year I got into a herd of elk in the dark timber, and there was a cow that sounded EXACTLY like a hunter using a hoochie mama. It was so similar that I thought we were waking into another group of hunters. Nope. it was a herd of about 40 elk.

    I usually use a mouth reed and carry the hoochie mama in my pocket so I can do either call I want. But for guys that are new to calling or don't use mouth reeds, it's tough to beat the hoochie mama.
     
  13. Marble

    Marble Well-Known Member

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    I've called in my share of hunters with the hoochie mama too.

    When it comes to calling in a bull during the rut, I use a diaphragm call. I can manipulate the call much more than with just a hoochie mama push button. Some people have a really hard time using a diaphragm call. They are really easy for me to use.
     
  14. bigjay53

    bigjay53 Member

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    Thanks again for all your replys Jay