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Location: Aurora, Colorado
Joined: 04/21/2012
Posts: 34
How did you learn how to call successfully?

I've decided to try one final time to learn how to call elk.  I've watched a couple of DVD's but never seen anything that goes step by step on how to form the correct sounds/tones.  Just some old guy taunting me by calling in huge bull after huge bull. 

I was thinking about buying the Primos master kit (Super Pack Bugle, Hoochie Mama, and MTA Elk Instructional DVD) but thought it would be wise to ask here first.   Help!

exbiologist's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
not easy

It takes some coordination, some practice and honest input from others.  I have a good friend and hunting partner that loves to call anything, whether it's waterfowl, turkey or elk.  I know he and another friend would drive around with calling tapes or cds and practice calling in the car.  I'm a pretty good mimic of things I hear and picked it up pretty well, but of course the ultimate test is doing it in the field.

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3895
Calling elk is a art form all

Calling elk is a art form all by itself.  The tapes and DVD's are nice but there is nothing like getting out into the woods and doing it.  You will get the basics with the tapes and DVD's.  When I first started calling about the only bull that I could get to come into me were the rag horn satellite bulls.  But I soon learned different techniques to get the bigger bulls to show up.  Also you have to remember that on the shows that you watch all they are showing are the big bulls that come into their calls and not the little ones. 

One thing that I learned is that if you use a call that imitates a large mature bull your odds will go down in getting another bull to come in to it if he has some cows with him, but I did learn that if you use a squeaky bugle and a cow call together that the larger bull will think that a little guy has a cow that he can steal. 

Just remember that you don't have to sound like the tapes or DVD's, elk are like people all their voices are different.  

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Location: Aurora, Colorado
Joined: 04/21/2012
Posts: 34
That's exactly what I've been

That's exactly what I've been reading.  Almost seems like the cow calls are more important than bugles.  What equipment do you guys like?

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3895
I have found that it doesn't

I have found that it doesn't matter what name brand call you use, just use it.  I have one bugle that I bought from Walmart for a couple of bucks that seams to work best.  Also you can get some good reactions if you pick up a tree branch and start to trash another tree with it.  I got a 5x5 to come into me one year by doing just that with no bugles.  I have also seen a spike bull come running a quarter of a mile when a friend of mine use the Hoochie-mama.  We were sitting on a ledge and if that spike could of figured a way up it he would of been in our laps.  One thing about a cow call is you can over use it.  If you listen to cows in a herd of elk you will hear them barking but do it wrong and you will give the herd the alert call and they will be gone.  So the best thing to do with a cow call is to get out to where a herd of elk is at and just listen to them to learn how they do it. 

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