I Call

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trophyhill

trophyhill

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Feb 27, 2012
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Tijeras NM
Building points this year and OTC in a busy CO unit. I might just leave the bugle behind and get my cow calls tuned up!
in my opinion, you'd be doing Swede a favor, and doing yourself a disservice. anyone who put's limitations on calling is putting themselves at a disadvantage. unless you just plain cannot call. anything we can do to tip the odds in our favor is worth having with you at all times. heavily pressured OTC units or otherwise ;) knowing when to call and when not to call is the biggest issue i think guys like Swede and a few others are referring to when downplaying calling. and that basically boils down to reading the situation correctly and knowing what the elk is saying or not saying in reading the encounter correctly.
 

Swede

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Warren Oregon
Trophyhill is correct in his reading of my comments. I am not against calling. I say again; it is a tool. The problem is that so many people promote it like is was a badge of honor, and that if you cannot, or do not call much, you are not a good hunter. I think you are a better hunter if you know how and when to call and when to stay quiet.
It is my belief that RMEF and persons selling calling instructions and tools are promoting a false notion that calling is the essence of elk hunting. It is far less essential than my boots, but I don't feel any urge to say Danner boots are the proper way to success.
I am still killing elk on 90+% of my hunts and I hardly credit calling even when I have used one. It might be worth noting, my hunts can go on for the whole 30 day season if I need the time.
It may also be worth noting that I have made some pretty rotten calls and had elk come in. I don not know that good calling is based on making RMEF approved sounds. My advise is that when you make a bad call, go on as if it was an award winner. Get ready for an elk encounter.
 
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trophyhill

trophyhill

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Trophyhill is correct in his reading of my comments. I am not against calling. I say again; it is a tool. The problem is that so many people promote it like is was a badge of honor, and that if you cannot, or do not call much, you are not a good hunter. I think you are a better hunter if you know how and when to call and when to stay quiet.
It is my belief that RMEF and persons selling calling instructions and tools are promoting a false notion that calling is the essence of elk hunting. It is far less essential than my boots, but I don't feel any urge to say Danner boots are the proper way to success.
I am still killing elk on 90+% of my hunts and I hardly credit calling even when I have used one. It might be worth noting, my hunts can go on for the whole 30 day season if I need the time.
It may also be worth noting that I have made some pretty rotten calls and had elk come in. I don not know that good calling is based on making RMEF approved sounds. My advise is that when you make a bad call, go on as if it was an award winner. Get ready for an elk encounter.
i disagree Swede. we aren't calling with gas pipes off the dryer from my south 40. calls are an essential tool. whether 1 can use that call, or use it at the right time is another story. heck, my money says that theirs not one person on this forum, including yours truly, who doesn't make the wrong sound at the wrong time on occasion. some of us more than others. especially me cuz i'm still learning.

i grew up in Ohio. promoting elk calls is no different than Primos, Mossberg or real tree promoting deer calls, rattling antlers and tree stands for whitetail.

the guys who catch on quick, or are just plumb motivated to succeed, no matter whether they call or not, will quickly find their way into the 10% club. it may take others a few years to figure it out, and some will never figure it out. when i misread an encounter and make the wrong sounds at the wrong time, i log it and move on to the next encounter hoping to get it right. while i'm moving on, my head is on a swivel knowing you could have another encounter at any minute. you have to have a short memory in this game. besides, calling is fun! did i mention "I Call"? ;)
 

Swede

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"calls are an essential tool". For what? I get most of my elk with no calls at all. They sure are not essential if you are talking about killing elk, and where they are not used carefully or in the wrong place, they are a liability. I will go farther in saying the average tree stand hunter will outkill even the advanced caller on otc units.
 

Swede

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"You forgot one...you call and they run away." You can find no post where I have said that, but I have listened to a caller bugling for over an hour as he moved along a rimrock. As he called I watched two different herds leave the area on the run, and he had no idea there was an elk anywhere around. I am glad you mentioned it. Thanks.
 
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trophyhill

trophyhill

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"You forgot one...you call and they run away." You can find no post where I have said that, but I have listened to a caller bugling for over an hour as he moved along a rimrock. As he called I watched two different herds leave the area on the run, and he had no idea there was an elk anywhere around. I am glad you mentioned it. Thanks.
thats part of hunting elk. sometimes you call and they run. until a guy has enough experience, that could happen alot. that experience is invaluable to making a better hunter. you start learning how to read those encounters and what to do, what not to do, when to call, when not to call.

but when it all plays out just right, this is what happens. and i hope my buddy Gregg doesn't mind me plagurizing here but.......sometimes when you call, he comes, and you kill him! and the more you learn, the more frequent it happens. there is no disputing the value of calling. some call more than others. some do it in areas where we hunt and may run some elk out. it is public land and nothing we can do about that but we have to have a short memory and move on to the next elk encounter when that happens.

heck, a couple years ago i mentioned on another forum about how i hunted a heavily hunted OTC unit weekend warrior style because of the project schedule did not allow me to take time off. when i say heavily hunted, i mean heavily hunted. i hunted a total of 7 days. all on weekends. i called in 16 bulls. out of those 16 bulls, 14 were called into the same aspen patch that was surrounded by dark timber. out of those 14 bulls, i called in 6 bulls using the nervous grunt just to see what would happen when i had a grunting match with a smaller bull at 20 yards and got to see how he reacted. that really was quite phenominal and i learned that that one sound, is as deadly of a sound as any in the elk world. when i say they came in, they came in fast and hot and i ended up with a 6 foot shot on a nice 5 point CO heavily pressured unit bull. and that's the kind of versatility that guys like Paul and others can put in your arsenal as a well rounded hunter. i'm not saying by any means that different methods of hunting and killing elk don't work. i can do those different styles of hunting too. the difference being that's just another tool too. but adding calling in to your toolbox takes it to a whole nuther level :)
 

Blinddog

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I always know when my calling is spot on, its when I'm done with a session and I see orange sneaking my way from another ridgeline. Then reading their lips in my bino's when they figured out they were fooled. Never gets old.:giggle:
 
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trophyhill

trophyhill

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"calls are an essential tool". For what? I get most of my elk with no calls at all. They sure are not essential if you are talking about killing elk, and where they are not used carefully or in the wrong place, they are a liability. I will go farther in saying the average tree stand hunter will outkill even the advanced caller on otc units.
That is very debatable. So you have a honeyhole for your treestand. And that's your style of hunting. That's good on you, but to say your style is the cats meow and calls aren't an essential tool is hawgwash, short sighted and close minded. The numbers don't back those claims up. I guarantee you that if everyone carried treestands into the Elkwoods, I'd have everything further than a quarter mile from the truck all to myself, and there wouldn't be a 10% club. Except for maybe me ;)
 
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5MilesBack

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There are many ways to kill an elk, but being aggressive with big bulls and calling is by far the most fun IMO. One on one.......here I am........what are you going to do about it? Without that, I probably wouldn't hunt very often. But some guys prefer mule deer hunting and even hunting elk like that......and that's OK. Some prefer tree stands, and that's OK too and an extremely effective method for killing elk. I couldn't do that, but hey......more power to them.
 

Indian Summer

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Feb 17, 2013
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And there is: Over calling. Calling from the wrong place. Talking to elk when a hunter doesn’t really even know what he’s saying. Calling to pressured call shy elk. Calling in other hunters. Prank calls close calls telemarketing calls.... not all calling is a good thing!

I’m a carpenter and a backyard mechanic and I can say with certainty that handing someone a tool that they don’t know how to use usually isn’t a good thing. But hey...nothing is better than having the right tool for the job and being proficient with it. That I can agree with.
 

Swede

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I started tree stand hunting on the ranger district where I worked. The unit was available to anyone who could pay for a tag. I hunted for years on the ground with better than average success, but calling was getting less and less effective as the elk were leaving the Forest due to all of the calling that started even before the season opened. Hunters were parking in a huge meadow where elk had been feeding and were trying to call them the day before the season right from camp. .
I don't care how anyone else chooses to hunt, but if what you are doing is not working well try a tree stand.
I am saying calling is not an essential tool. I killed a number of elk without using a call before I ever got into a tree stand.
I am saying a tree stand is effective. I did a survey on Bowsite in 2012 or 2013 to see how effective different styles of elk hunting was. The unscientific results, after many responses was that callers killed an elk on average after 15.5 days. Tree stand hunters got a kill with just 6 days of hunting.
Tree stand hunting is not limiting. You are not married to it. You can get out when you want and go call or call when you want then go sit in a stand. Tree stands are not essential. They to are a tool. You are also not limited to hunting a tree stand near a road. You can carry a tree stand in farther than you can pack an elk out. The stand won't spoil if you leave it two days on the ground either.
 
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trophyhill

trophyhill

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And there is: Over calling. Calling from the wrong place. Talking to elk when a hunter doesn’t really even know what he’s saying. Calling to pressured call shy elk. Calling in other hunters. Prank calls close calls telemarketing calls.... not all calling is a good thing!

I’m a carpenter and a backyard mechanic and I can say with certainty that handing someone a tool that they don’t know how to use usually isn’t a good thing. But hey...nothing is better than having the right tool for the job and being proficient with it. That I can agree with.
Here's what I have found to be true in heavily pressured units where elk get called to quite a bit. Elk are still elk and cannot resist the urge to breed. Bulls cannot resist the urge to bugle and sound off when cows are hot or getting ready to come into estrus. This is scientific fact. There is no disputing that.

To go along with that, let's say all these bad callers are running elk out of Swedes area. (Sorry Swede) it's up to the hunter to go find them as efficiently and effective as possible. How does he do that? Does he sneak around in the shadows hoping to see elk? Does he climb a tree in hopes of an elk walking underneath him? Or does he rely on calling to find them and then put the above methods into play. Or does he simply call them to him? My guess is there is some kind of calling going on at some point to find them by 99% of the hunters out there.

To make another point because we know that elk are elk, and will bugle and carry on, and communicate with each other because of the desire to breed, I have found that even if elk are call shy or run out of the area, as a well rounded hunter, once those same elk that have been pressured the day before, feel safe, guess what? It's game on again because you've found them in their natural habitat doing what they were doing before they were blown out. And that is being elk and doing what elk do. And hopefully that is rutting
 

Indian Summer

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Answer: They go about their business at night. They become nocturnal. Scientific fact. Lol. I don’t need a government study. I’ve done decades of elk hunting for pressured elk.

The other answer (I’m not a sneaker) is glass.
 

cmbbulldog

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"You forgot one...you call and they run away." You can find no post where I have said that, but I have listened to a caller bugling for over an hour as he moved along a rimrock. As he called I watched two different herds leave the area on the run, and he had no idea there was an elk anywhere around. I am glad you mentioned it. Thanks.
my post was intended for OP, not you...
 
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trophyhill

trophyhill

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Answer: They go about their business at night. They become nocturnal. Scientific fact. Lol. I don’t need a government study. I’ve done decades of elk hunting for pressured elk.

The other answer (I’m not a sneaker) is glass.
they rut at night for several reasons no doubt. the heat probably affecting that the most. hunting the Gila in sw NM has shown me that. we are talking limited pressure but elk acting like they would in any OTC unit i've hunted in CO.
 

JPD350

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Feb 25, 2012
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Abq NM
Lol when I read Trophy's opening post I thought he had just written the best Dr. Seuss book ever written!

As soon as the moon comes up in the Gila is the same time the elk start talking, I do agree that it's mostly hot days that effect the night time activity but I don't think it matters a whole lot if its cold or hot as long as it's a clear night with a moon or bright stars, they just like it, I think the balls of smaller bulls grow at night and they start pushing a little harder than during the daytime.
 
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