Thanks guys! There's so much to early season elk hunting that I could write a book on that alone! (grin) I'm sure many would agree with that! So much is dependent on the country you ones hunt! Early season is best suited for spot & stalk or blind/cold calling setups! All depends on what type of elk you are looking for? Blind/Cold Calling will not net big bulls in nearly every situation so if after big guys your tactics must change early on!!
Perfect timing my vacation was just approved and I will be headed out August 29th early season and a full moon weekend to boot. Probably setting myself up for tag soup but it will be a fun 5 days trying!
So a question for Paul. Do you have any feelings on when the peak of the rut might be this year. I am trying a Durango hunt on Sept 15-23. Never hunted this late. Always have done opening day. Love your DVD and calling videos, just trying to master that dang reed. I think I will scare them off at this point with my calling.
Thanks! Those Sept dates are fantastic choices! You will be right in the peak rut time frame! Find the elk & you will have great action that can lead to a great time! That time frame calls for aggressive action within the bulls & should carry over like wise to us hunters! Cows will be going in & out of estrus which in turn will create competition amongst the bulls! Lots of Advertising happening at that time as bulls do their best to represent themselves as dominant figures as they try to attract the cows! Good Luck!
Great info, I would like to tell you about an experience I had hunting unit3C in Arizona. one morning heading out to an area we planned to hunt that morning we came around a curve and drove right into the middle of an herd of elk. A huge 380-390 class bull and one of his cows were on one side of the road and the rest of his cows were on the other side. As we drove by the big bull was right outside my window only feet away, I looked into his eyes and if looks could kill I would be dead meat. We drove down the road about a half mile and work our way back to where they were. As we moved into the drainage I could hear some cows talking and then I heard a very unusual bugle that I hadn't heard before. It was a very soft low tone bugle followed by three soft grunts or clucks. I heard this several times as the cows were running back and forth.above us and below us. And then something amazing happened. We started to hear other bulls bugling and moving in on that location. Bulls came from every direction and soon all hell broke loose in this drainage. there were bulls fighting and trashing tree, other herd bulls came in, but not all the way and just bugled like crazy try to call the loose cows to him. It was totally crazy for quite some time. I know that that unusual bulge I heard is what got this all started and brought every lonely bull for miles in to try to get in on the loose or lost cows. when it was all over I looked at my brother and asked," what in the hell just happen". It was awsome to say the least. I have tried to duplicate that bugle many times but it is very hard to do. Have you ever heard this bugle before and if so have you been able to duplicate it.
Without being there & personally hearing the bugle with chuckling I'd say what you heard was this bull calling these cows to him! Who knows, maybe they weren't his cows? He could have horned in as a breeder type bull & was calling these cows from another bull & this would create the rage & chaotic encounter with other bulls showing their excitement, it's very possible there was a hot cow or two within that group of cows! Generally when a bull is demanding or urgent in his calling attempts to call cows or manage the herd he will use a shorter version lip bawl to show his urgency & use this several times in demanding tones! At any rate, great experience!!!