Different situations with every bull. I also will be hunting alone and I usually hunt alone as my hunting buddies mostly hunt weekends only. I am going to be hunting Fri, Sat, and Sun. Will be leaving on Thurs nights for camp.
I have some stratigies if you use them they might work. Try setting up inside trees and if a bull is bugling across a meadow try to work around so there are straight trees between you and him because he might feel uncomfortable coming across it if not seeing anything across there. Also once you feel he is getting close and he doesnt see you throw a stick back behind you and cow call so it sounds like they are farther away from you. And try throwing the calls back behind you. It just depends on what your situation is.
Our hunt opens this Saturday. Can't wait. I will be baiting Saturday for bears and then I will be elk hunting Sun. then the following Fri will be hunting elk all month.LOL
Good luck and be safe.
DieHard, I don't do any calling; however I have had people tell me they like the hand held cow calls (Hoochie Mama, etc) because it leaves them with a hand free and you can use it right before you go to full draw. Just what I have heard...
When the elk are within the "majic" circle. That is 150 yds or less I like to call behind me when I'm alone. In other words you want the call to sound like its further away than it is. There are different ways of doing it. Sqeeze calls you just put behind your back and make sure your body is between the elk and the call. Mouth calls you use off to one side, right or left depending on where you want em to go, with your hand covering the side of the call that is towards the elk. You still get the realness of a "loud" call with the right tones and that but the call simply sounds 50yds or so behind you.
The only draw back is when they get real close its hard to do while they are looking for movement. Its very hard to master calling alone but experience is the key. Let us know how you make out.
I personally would only use a hand call only to bring them in and then be ready to use a mouth call as when they are getting closer the less movement you have is better. be ready for full draw and use your mouth call. Just use it and keep your mouth closed and do it softly as to make it sound farther away.
Understanding wind currents and thermals in hilly, broken terrain can often be incredibly frustrating. I've found that collecting and storing milkweed seed pods during the late summer has made me a better hunter in the bluff country that I hunt. These little feather like seed dispersers will float on the lightest of air currents and will show you what the wind is not only doing right at you're location but more importantly down range. I like to use the off season to float them...