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HOGGETTER's picture
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Do elk bark like a dog?

Do elk bark kind of like a dog? This past archery season i was back packed in the Colorado back country in unit 71 the last ten days of the bow season like i normally do. It rained the first couple of days and the elk were quiet. The third to eighth days it got cold and it was a bugle fest, the bulls were screaming and i called in several small to medium sized bulls but i was holding out for somethink desent. Then on the ninth day it warmed up and the bulls started barking, it was driving me crazy, i would cow call and get no responce, i would bugle to try to locate somethink and i would get a bark for an answer ( not a grunt or a chuckle, it sounded like a bark), It was not just one bull it was several. Has any body ever herd this sound. P.S. I was hunting in heavy forest cover at 9000 feet in a very steep canyon.

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Location: Bend, Oregon
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Do elk bark like a dog?

I wouldn't say like a dog but they do make a really sharp bark sound. It ussually means your busted. Its a warning sound. Hey everybody look out!! Human apporaching!! Usually a single noise.

the only other sound i can think of that you might be hearing is a chuckle. usually at the end of the bugle.

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Do elk bark like a dog?

There's also a "show yourself" bark/chirp. It sounds like the alarm call, but they use it differently. The alarm bark/call/chirp means get the "f" outta here, the "show yourself" means you've been discovered, but the elk doesn't know what you are yet. You can usually keep him around by chirping back at him, but you better show him something, like a decoy or an arrow soon.

HOGGETTER's picture
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Do elk bark like a dog?

This bark noise was only one syllable long and very loud and it only happend after the weather warmed up. I heard it all on the same day from different bulls and also from bulls barking ( or talking ) to each other from one side of the canyon to the other while I was sitting at a wallow in the afternoon. Plus while I was still hunting in the morning and on the last evening.

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Joined: 04/25/2009
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Do elk bark like a dog?

Sounds more like a sasquatch to me. neener!

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Location: Fort Worth, TX
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Do elk bark like a dog?

The only time I have heard them bark is when they have busted me and know something isn't right.

SoCoKHntr's picture
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Do elk bark like a dog?
archeryelk wrote:
Sounds more like a sasquatch to me. neener!

Yup, that was their buddy Squatch warning them elk about you. Big smile

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Location: WA
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Do elk bark like a dog?

Spike bulls bark really loud and it does resemble a dog bark. I took a shot at a spike this season and the arrow missed but the elk ran only to about 90yds and started to bark. I continued to cow estrus call and he kept barking back but was reluctent to come back. He would run down towards me and bark then run back up the hill. He did this about three or four times. It was so loud it was almost ear peircing. I think they do it when they are confused.

Location: Utah
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Do elk bark like a dog?

Little bit different take here.

What is typically referred to as a "bark" doesn't sound exactly like a dog but they call it a bark because it's the same inflection and time length of a dogs bark, just in the voice of an elk.

I've always understood the bark to mean "what are you?" They have seen or heard something but they aren't quite sure what it is. If you don't respond quickly with the appropriate elk sound or have a decoy to fool their eyes they will take your lack of proper response to mean that you are a threat since an elk would know how to reply. I got this information from elk hunting industry experts involved in making and selling a particular brand of elk calls and making hunting videos.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
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Do elk bark like a dog?
HOGGETTER wrote:
This bark noise was only one syllable long and very loud and it only happend after the weather warmed up. I heard it all on the same day from different bulls and also from bulls barking ( or talking ) to each other from one side of the canyon to the other while I was sitting at a wallow in the afternoon. Plus while I was still hunting in the morning and on the last evening.

I klnow what you are talking about and in this case you may have been hearing and an abbreviated chuckle or a grunt. This would be a little different than a bark but sound very similar. A bark has an "urgent" or "nervous" inflection to it. An abbreviated chuckle or grunt is more relaxed in inflection and is more of locator call to used to talk to other elk. At least that's my take on it, it just seems to be a bit different than a bark but very similar though. In the fall the bull will put several of these together to get the famous chuckle at the end of bugle that we all know well and yearn to hear.

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Do elk bark like a dog?

Thats for the info. i was starting to beleive it was sasquash messing with me. Brick Wall,)

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