Possible tactic, or random observation.

psp8ball

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
18
Location
Wi
Last year I had a super exciting hunt one evening with a nice herd bull and his dozen or so cows. (Cliff's notes version) Found said bull, got into bugling contest for about an hour and a half, within 80-150 yards. The elk were in a mostly open meadow, so closing distance was difficult. I was attempting to close the distance, when a cow noticed the funny green blob scooting along the ground. She was not impressed. She bolted, bringing the entire herd with her. My dad came over (as he had been calling as well), we chatted for a bit, then noticed a calf still in the meadow. We cow called and she calf called back and started coming. The closer she got the more rapid her calls became. She got to about 35 yards. She was clearly looking for what she presumed was her mom. (Us) I stopped calling, but she continued. And to my utter amazement, the entire herd came back. Cows first, then the bull. No, i STILL didn't kill him. :(

Side notes:
Time from me getting busted, to the return of the elk to the meadow, was probably a total of 3 minutes.
There was a hot cow in the herd, upon returning to the meadow for the lost calf, I watched him breed a cow at 90 yards.
September 23rd - evening hunt
They returned to the meadow, single file, following a cow who was clearly searching for the calf.

So, is this a possible tactic to get a busted herd to return? Will it only work if there is truly a calf missing? Have any of you had similar encounters or attempted to call a busted herd back using lost calf sounds?

It was just such a profound about face that the herd did, I wanted to explore the possibility of using it in a hunting situation.
 

ElkNut1

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,832
Location
Idaho
The encounter psp8ball was in is in the App! It's under Separated Cow/Calf Mews! Look under 'TIPS" & you will see the title, When Do I Use This Sound. It describes nearly exactly the situation he was in & the outcome!

Personally I feel it's best utilized once elk are in the cover & not standing in an open meadow unless you really know your stuff! Along with that Lost/Separated Mew it would also have been good for the caller to go to Regathering Mews (on the app) as he retreated into the timber as if he/she were leaving, it's a very deadly tactic!

p.s. the Lost Cow/Calf Sounds are on the App as well so you can listen to them & Record your sounds side by side with the real elk!

ElkNut
 
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P Carter

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2016
Messages
195
Location
Idaho
Slightly off topic, but when a herd spooks without smelling you, I’ve found that there are significant chances to get a shot if you stick with it. Regathering sounds would be one, continuing to bugle and act like an aggressive bull that scattered the herd would be another. I’ve never tried acting like a calf but I don’t see what it wouldn’t work.

I’m not the most experienced guy out there, but in the several (maybe 5) scenarios where we spooked a herd without them smelling us, every single time at least one has come back in to check things out. Funny enough, the first few times I gave up and went back to talk to my dad like, “Dang, we got busted!” Each time he desperately waved me away like, “Get your silly butt back out front and nock an arrow this is prime time.” Without that experience I would’ve blown many opportunities.

Edit: I see that one of the most experienced guys out there, has weighed in, thanks ElkNut!
 
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huntin_fool94

Newbie
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
3
Make sure to chamber a round before you decide to start blowing a calf distress. Works on more than elk.
Hey Afhunter1 I'm trying to buy your K2 bag that you have for sale but don't have enough posts to comment in classifieds. please txt me
 
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