9 replies [Last post]
Location: Colorado Springs
Joined: 02/23/2009
Posts: 188
Elk Call Question

So my hunt this year was successfull.  But, while hunting, myself along with many other hunters observed elk going away from all calls this year.  I was using Primo Houchie Mama and diaphram calls.  Others were using bugles along with cow calls.  I thought this was strange as the rut had just begun.  Did anyone else experience this?  Why would this happen??  I was hunting near Pagosa Springs, Colorado at 8700 ft., 1st season with a full moon.  I'm curious so I can hopefully improve on next season.  Thanks.

Joined: 03/13/2010
Posts: 329
Maybe there were so many

Maybe there were so many huntners calling that the elk caught on to it?

mmc1014's picture
Joined: 11/18/2010
Posts: 22
Dont use a Hoochie Mama.  I

Dont use a Hoochie Mama.  I am pretty sure it actually speaks elk language for "run the heck out of here as fast as you can"!!!!  If you think about it--how many guys do you know that have a Hoochie Mama.  I would bet its a bunch.  Then add that to the fact that if you know that many with one, how many others with one are there on the mountain squeaking at the elk.  Elk are not really that stupid and when they come into a Hoochie Mama for the first time and then get shot at they know to never come into that noise again.  Not to mention they hear the exact same toned "cow elk" calling all over the mountain.  I think the key is to get a call that not many other people have.  I have a woods wise call--I dont remember the name--but it works well--a little harder to get used to than a Hoochie Mama but they come running!!!!  Well-maybe walking slowly!! 

Joined: 03/13/2010
Posts: 329
"mmc" may be on to something

"mmc" may be on to something because I also have a hoochie momma.  I guess they did some good advertisement if everyone has one.  I choose to be stealth and quiet unless nothing is happening and I am not seeing anything.  I may have to burn the hoochie momma.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
I love ot!!!  yeah, maybe the

I love ot!!!  yeah, maybe the Hoochie mama was made by an animal rights person, and it's secretly telling them to run the other way.

Guess I better invert in another call then  That's the only call I bought for my elk hunt a few years ago, and I want to at least have a chance at a bull when I go next fall.  Any recommendations?

Actually, that brings up a great question.  During second season, I know you're not going to go full throttle with bugles, cow calls, etc., but I am wondering, do you still want something?  Maybe a cow call just to settle them down or something?  Maybe not to attract anything specifically though.


Retired2hunt's picture
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO & Fort Myers, FL
Joined: 07/28/2011
Posts: 1624
  I called in 2 4X4's and one


I called in 2 4X4's and one 5X5 during 1st rifle using my Hoochie Mamma... so I think the call does work.  I had cows returning meows using this same call as well.  But I also think the poster is correct that all of the calling going on does stress the elk and they move away.  As far as a shot from the rifle being associated with the call... I don't know as I called in the 5X5 in the same exact spot I shot my 4X4 two days later.  It may be that the herds in this area have not had a lot of Hoochie Mamma "experiences" so the call still works there?!?!?!

I have had some very experienced hunters tell me to use the Hoochie Mamma and so far I have to say it works well.

There is one thing I do when using the call is vary my cupped hand over the top of the call to make the calls "different" sounding so as to not create the same call over and over.

Just my 2 cents!


hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
I have one of the Hoochie

I have one of the Hoochie mama calls and one other but they work about the same. I really never call unless I know the elk are right there and need to slow them down or distract them. The Hoochie call worked very well when I got my bull this year as it was running away and wheeled right around and headed back. It actually worked too well as if he hadn't turned back I probably would have seen and shot the much bigger one just down the hill from him.lol

My dad has used it with similar results after having been spotted by cows in the past and putting them at ease till he fired. Never chased them away but never really called them in either, basically just gotten them to stop and check things out better.

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
The Hoochie mama's do work

The Hoochie mama's do work from time to time. I always carry 3-4 calls on me. One bein a hoochie, then the other are the the Imakindabuls crazy and a hyper lips and last is a mouth call. I like to mix it up so the elk aren't hearing the same sound over and over and keying in on it. I can also sound like a whole herd of cows with the different calls. I real good friend of mine taught me that trick and he's pretty darn sucessfull when it come to calling in elk. The only problem with the Hoochie alone is everyone and their mon has one and the elk will key on that sound as danger. Try mixing it up next time.

SoCoKHntr's picture
Location: Pueblo Colorado
Joined: 12/18/2006
Posts: 1821

think a hunter has to have the discretion to know when a calls use is going to be to an advantage, useless, or downright negative to ones hunt. If during the pre rut and or rut and before being shot at for one or two rifle seasons they can be used to deadly effect. But, in heavily pressured areas even during the rut they can become warnings of humans to elk instead of deceptive lures to them. If every bow and muzzleloader hunter is banging away on his call from sunup to sundown the elk will get wise quick. I met a father and son bowhunting team heading down the trail I was going up this last bow season and we stopped and chatted for awhile. They had been hunting this area for the last week and disgustedly told me how a group of bowhunters hunting the same area would bugle every two to three minutes nonstop all morning. They said one morning elk were spotted in a meadow and he and his son were planning a move and these yahoos spotted the elk took off after them with the wind blowing from them to the elk and bugling as they went. You know that area was totally ruined and devoid of elk after that.

My point is you have to use calls wisely and at the times they will be to the most positive effect. For instance I wouldn't even carry an elk call if I was hunting 2nd or 3rd rifle for elk. Instead I would be concentrating on my glass to scour ridges and on setting up ambushes on areas I thought elk would be moving at first and last light. I would only use them on elk in first season if I was in an area that wasn't heavily pressured and if rut activity was still going strong.

I think the hoochie mama is a decent call and works at times. The only downside to it is every tom, dick, and harry, has one because they are easy to operate and then guys use them constantly even during rifle seasons and kinda educate the elk.

COMeatHunter's picture
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Joined: 06/01/2011
Posts: 639
The call is only one tool

The call is only one tool to use when hunting elk.  Cow calls work great, but only when used properly.  There are also many kinds of cow and calf calls and knowing which ones will work in which situations makes them much more successful.  Pressured elk also react differently to calls and can be much more difficult to "talk" to than unpressured elk.  

My advice would be to not use a call if you don't know what you're trying to accomplish with it.  If you want to call in elk, you have to think and act like an elk, not a hunter.  Just squeezing a cow call because you see some elk across the clearing probably isn't going to produce the results you're hoping for.

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