Cow calls vs bugle!?😎

Jens22

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Dec 12, 2021
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59
When to bugle and when to cow call!?😎 I continue to hear you must know when you use which call to be successful at calling in bulls. Or "know your bull". But time after time i see videos of guys who dont have a single clue whether to bugle or cow call and some have success, some never see a single elk. I'd like to hear your experiences and how it helped or hurt your hunt. What are you looking for when making the decision on which call to send out there. Yes I know you can try both and see what responds. Just curious to see which is more popular
 

406RoadToad

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Feb 3, 2022
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I’ve called elk doing both and scared elk doing both. Phase of rut plays into it a lot for me and I’ll often hit them with bugles and cow calls if I’m on them and haven’t found what is triggering yet. It’s normally pretty clear which one they are responding to and once I find that I stick with it until I’ve called them in or scared them off.
 
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Jens22

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Dec 12, 2021
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59
I’ve called elk doing both and scared elk doing both. Phase of rut plays into it a lot for me and I’ll often hit them with bugles and cow calls if I’m on them and haven’t found what is triggering yet. It’s normally pretty clear which one they are responding to and once I find that I stick with it until I’ve called them in or scared them off.
Right on, appreciate the input thats great advice🤙
 

Fullfan

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Jul 31, 2016
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No doubt every situation requires something different. Bugled back and forth with this guy for 20 min. Two cow calls and he came on the run.
 

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Scoot

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Nov 13, 2012
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Yep, no simple answer. Also, lots of different cow and bull sounds which further complicate it. Use a locator instead of an aggressive bugle at the wrong time and watch the bull fade away (ask me how I know!)
 

roosiebull

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There is no correct way to answer that. Every situation is unique as well as each geographical area. You won’t know until you try it.
i totally agree.... that being said, i rarely cow call in effort to get a bull coming my way... i have, but usually don't. i like some soft cow calls occasionally to calm down nervous elk, and i cow call once in awhile moving in on a bull that will answer cow calls to keep tabs on him.... i don't cow call a lot period, but it's a good tool at times.... it's more of a niche thing for me.... if i had to pick one, i would leave the cow calls alone
 
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Jens22

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Dec 12, 2021
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i totally agree.... that being said, i rarely cow call in effort to get a bull coming my way... i have, but usually don't. i like some soft cow calls occasionally to calm down nervous elk, and i cow call once in awhile moving in on a bull that will answer cow calls to keep tabs on him.... i don't cow call a lot period, but it's a good tool at times.... it's more of a niche thing for me.... if i had to pick one, i would leave the cow calls alone
Right on ty!
 
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Jens22

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Dec 12, 2021
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I’ve called elk doing both and scared elk doing both. Phase of rut plays into it a lot for me and I’ll often hit them with bugles and cow calls if I’m on them and haven’t found what is triggering yet. It’s normally pretty clear which one they are responding to and once I find that I stick with it until I’ve called them in or scared them off.
Thanks for sharing!🤙
 

Laramie

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Apr 17, 2020
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Elk are like any other animal, they change moods. Sometimes they want to fight. Sometimes they want to breed. Sometimes they are nervous. Sometimes they are indifferent... etc. Get the Elknut App.
 

Michael Rankin

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Jan 10, 2016
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I use bugles to locate bulls. When I locate one, i typically start out with a few cow calls when i move in very close to where I think the bull is. Like many said above each situation can be different. Some bulls roar like a t rex to the first couple cow calls, and come charging in. Some scream their head off wanting you(the cows) to come to them. Some could care less about the cow calls, and only respond to the bugle. Its easier to add other stuff to the cow calls and add some bugles in if the cow calls didn't work after you try just a few quet cow calls first.

I had one bull that would only answer a series of cow calls, then a bugle followed by some light chuckles. You had to do that series of calls 3 or 4 times then he would chuckle and bugle very quietly. I tried all kinds of other stuff to get him more aggressive and nothing worked at all. I just went back to what worked, and kept on him.He was moving so it made it hard to get in really close. After about an hour of following him across a basin we finally got what sounded like 80 yards away from him in the in the timber. It took another 10 minutes doing the sequence of calls and my buddy shot him at 35 yards.

I have called in bulls with just a few cow calls, bugling as loud and aggressive as possible, just raking a tree with no calls at all, cow calling kicking rocks raking a tree and an occasional quiet bugle, making cow and calf sounds with a loud aggressive bugle, cow calling kicking rocks raking a tree and bugling as loud as i can cutting the bull off when he bugles, and probably just about every other combination of sounds possible.

It does seem to really piss off a fair number of bulls if you copy what they are doing, but cut them off when they call. For example if your calling and the bull seems to only chuckle, switch to just chuckling. When he chuckles chuckle over the top of him loud. While you are doing your calling you should be able to hear if the bull is getting more wound up.

It really helps to hunt areas where you get more encounters if your new to calling, so you can learn to read their emotions, and figure what will make them come in.
 

trophyhill

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Feb 27, 2012
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Tijeras NM
There is no one size fits all IME. I let the elk tell me what they may want on a given day. Versatility has treated me well.....
 
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