Bugle tube/cow call of choice?

deerhunt1988

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Oct 15, 2017
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In the market for my first elk calls and am trying to get a general consensus of what folks like the best.

For a bugle tube, it seems the Phelps is one of the most popular choices followed by Rocky Mountain Calls.

For diaphragm cow calls, there seems to be much more variety. I come from a turkey hunting background so the variety is completely understandable, all dependent on fit..

Lastly, external cow calls. I've been able to find the least info on these. If you can run a diaphragm, I assume there is still value in bringing along an external just for a different sound?

Any info would be much appreciated. I've noticed a few companies sell 'starter kits', if there is one in particular you'd recommend, post it up.
 

stump06

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May 26, 2016
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Ive tried a few different ones and I like the rocky mtn and phelps. I read a good bit of the reviews and pick up a couple to try. Same thing with turkey calls, find a few I like that sound good and wear em out.
 

Stevebontrager

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May 8, 2018
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I have all of them and use mostly diaphram but Ive called in a lot of elk with carltons external Reed calls and I still have bulls that will bugle to that and nothing else.I like the sound and the volume.as far as diaphrams I like rocky mountain for me,I've tried all of Phelps but they just don't work as well for me
 

Dalton berg

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Jan 28, 2018
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I like Phelps , but everyone’s mouth is different. So I would say buy a few different ones and try them out


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Ariettabob

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Nov 26, 2018
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Upstate NY
I had great success(calling in, not killing 😂) with a Wayne Carlton bugle tube. I absolutely suck with a mouth diaphram call, so the Carlton call with it’s external diaphram holder was the only way I could use them.
 

mwebs

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Sep 2, 2018
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When I first started I used the dreaded Primos Terminator while learning and cow called with reeds. I ended up taking off the mouth piece of the Terminator and using it as my bugle tube, actually worked ok, called in multiple bulls/ cows and called in a herd bull off his cows after a 20 minute back and forth. Have tried a number of reeds and tubes since then, haven't been able to top the Phelps line-up and won't hunt without it. If you know what your doing hands down the most realistic sounding, and can be blown the loudest.
 

Ross

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As noted Phelps and bugling bull calls are the front runners either of their tubes will do well and as to calls have find ones for you palate and the appropriate tongue pressure calls work but you have to get realistic and use them with confidence. good luck
 

wytx

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Feb 2, 2017
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Power Bugle is easy to learn and for cow calls I use a Sceery Ace-1 , Carlton or Primos cowgirl.
Try to carry at least a couple of different cow calls if not using a diaphragm, you can make different sounding calls as in a herd talking and when they"stick" you'll have one that works.

For a bugle tube, just think how large a windpipe is in a mature bull. A skinny tube will sound whistle like. in most cases. You would want to be able to sound like a young bull as well as a mature one though.

Diaphragm are great sounding when mastered and hands free, probably best route to go if you can learn them.
 

IdahoHntr

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May 3, 2018
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Idaho Falls
I've tried both Phelps and Rocky Mountain game calls and personally prefer the rocky mountain calls. Everybody's mouth is different though, so maybe try a few of each if you can.

The tubes honestly have almost no difference between the two I've tried (Phelps tube or Bully bull Extreme), so go with whichever one you can find cheaper.

If you do go the Rocky Mountain route I suggest the yellow and the brown reeds for starting out. They were the easiest to get the hang of (for me) and then it was easier to branch out to different reeds from there.

External calls are the same way. Try a few and keep whatever works. I've had good luck with primos calls and cheaper calls, so personally I don't see the need to be spending money on the fancy acrylic versions put out by phelps and rocky mountain (and probably others). I'm sure they would be great external reed calls if you are in a spending mood though. I have a $10 primos call that I carry right now that bulls respond to just as good as anything I've ever tried.
 

JD1010

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Mar 18, 2019
Messages
11
I've carried Rocky's for the past few years - had good results.
I used Abe and sons for years with great results. Switched over to Rocky Mt. tube, run Phelps , Rocky Mt., and primos top pin reeds now. Just have to see what works for you and how it sounds.
Have a buddy that has a Glen berry tube and he won’t give it up, he has mastered it. He Sounds very realistic with it
 

TheCougar

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Joined
Jun 6, 2016
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1,237
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Fort Worth, TX
Phelps AMP calls, pink and red. Rocky Mountain Bugle tube (the one with the flared out mouth opening). I have a few external cow calls - I think a hyper lip single, and a couple others I can’t remember the name of.
 
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deerhunt1988

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Oct 15, 2017
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MS
Thanks for all the great input!

Have placed two orders so far... Got the Phelps Kit from BlackOvis that comes with 4 AMP diaphragms and the Unleashed Tube. Also ordered two diaphragms from Wapiti River Calls after recommendation from a friend who uses the same turkey diaphragms I do (Hooks). Will also buy one of ElkNut's chucklers once they are in stock. Surely some of those diaphragms will work for me...I'm decent on them with turkey...

Haven't decided on the external yet, will wait and see how I perform with the diaphragms.
 

dkhunter02

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Jun 20, 2019
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I've tried both Phelps and Rocky Mountain game calls and personally prefer the rocky mountain calls. Everybody's mouth is different though, so maybe try a few of each if you can.

The tubes honestly have almost no difference between the two I've tried (Phelps tube or Bully bull Extreme), so go with whichever one you can find cheaper.

If you do go the Rocky Mountain route I suggest the yellow and the brown reeds for starting out. They were the easiest to get the hang of (for me) and then it was easier to branch out to different reeds from there.

External calls are the same way. Try a few and keep whatever works. I've had good luck with primos calls and cheaper calls, so personally I don't see the need to be spending money on the fancy acrylic versions put out by phelps and rocky mountain (and probably others). I'm sure they would be great external reed calls if you are in a spending mood though. I have a $10 primos call that I carry right now that bulls respond to just as good as anything I've ever tried.
Very helpful. Thank you
 
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