View Full Version : Newbie needs help with learning to bugle for bow season

02-21-2012, 08:10 PM
This may seem like a simple question but I have bow hunted a lot but never for Elk. I believe one of they components to a successful hunt is being able to bugle and cow call. Have been looking and there are ALOT of options out there. What would be a good one to start with? I have used mouth turkey calls a lot so I am comfortable with the mouth call but there are a lot of options and then there are the tubes. Any good instructional videos?

What should I start with? I know there are a lot of opinions about this so lets hear them.

Appreciate the help. Happy Hunting

02-21-2012, 08:19 PM
I like all of the Primos calls. Hoochie mama is a great hand call. As far as the mouth calls they all work well but I think you should try different ones to see which one you like the best. I believe they all come with instructional videos.

02-21-2012, 08:31 PM
The hoochie mama is a great call, but it gets extremely over used.. especially here in Wyoming. I am pro-staff for MossBack Game Calls and definitely love their calls. I loved their calls even before I was on their pro-staff I owned their bugle and cow call. They are truly different from every other call company out there. I can go on forever about them and the calls. The bugle that I used is Da Holla Back Bugle. It is extremely easy to use and is amazing sounding. I can bugle and chuckle without a diaphragm call in. The cow call that I use is The Widowmaker. It is very versatile and can produce chirps, mews and estrus calls. You can make the call very soft or extremely loud. It really is awesome. But I do agree with Ikeepitcold, you need to find one that is right for you. If you want any additional info, just let me know :)

02-21-2012, 11:01 PM
Check out Elk Nut he has some great instructional videos, audios a field guide and calls and hes a great guy to boot

02-21-2012, 11:20 PM
Also elk101.com has some good info.

Hey Jen, being prostaff, aren't you supposed to say all other calls sound like a broken record from the 1930's, if you don't use mossback calls you are wasting your time? Haha. Just kidding with ya.

02-22-2012, 07:07 AM
Here's what I think, making elk sounds is the easy part. learning what sound to make and when to make it is the key. There are many easy to use calls on the market that work well. I use Deep Timber Sounds calls now. The cow call is very versitile and easy to use. The bugle takes some practice, but its the most realistic and versitile I have ever used. When looking for instrutional videos look for ones that tell you what each elk sound means, and learn about the phases of the elk rut. Then its just a matter of how many differant calls you want to carry around. I like versitility so I can make alot of differant sounds with one cow call and one bugle.

02-22-2012, 12:15 PM
One of the best ways to bow hunt elk is not only being a good caller but when I bow hunt I like to have a friend with me to do the calling and I set up about 75 to 100 yards from him and wait for the bull to come in. Alot of times when your calling by yourself a bull will stop and look for the elk making the call but will be out of shootimg distance. I have had that happen a few times when hunting by myself. I use a bugle to locate a bull then maybe a few cow calls to bring him in. Sometimes they are in the rut and run in and sometimes they bugle and leave. These are a few bulls I called up last year. One thing is for sure when a bull is in the peak of the rut there's no telling what he will do! I have had them just about run me over and I have had days where I couldn't pay one to come in. Good luck.


02-22-2012, 12:18 PM
Nice pic's and great advice.....

02-27-2012, 10:40 PM
Thanks a lot for all the advice. This forum is a great place to get information from a different people with different experiences.

02-28-2012, 07:56 AM
crumy, I use mouth calls the most but also use many different calls that i carry on a lanyard around my neck. I sometimes have a hard time walking and trying to get alot of air in my lungs why I am trying to keep the call in my mouth. If I take them out while i am walking the call drys out and it takes a while to get some moisture in it so it squeels corectly. This is when the blow calls ( hanging around my neck) comes in handy. I dont like the hoochie mama because it is too large and takes a hand to use it, when you have a range finder in one hand a bow in the other, makes it kind of tough. The hoochie mama sounds good if you press it the same way each time. If you push it to fast, it sometimes sounds like an alarm bark ( not good ). Good luck

03-01-2012, 12:28 PM
knowing not only how to use cow sounds and bull sounds but knowing when to use them is what matters imho. i'm still trying to learn all the different elk talk and when to make certain sounds myself. sometimes i confuse myself :) timing is everything as i'm finding out. make the wrong sound at the wrong time and the gig is up and you just ran him off. i think #1 is learning how to use a mouth reed just because of the versatility a diaphragm brings to the table. i have ElkNut's dvd's and PlayBook that go in depth and i have killed several cows and a spike using his techniques. now granted i was trying to kill big bulls at the time but i am an equal opportunity bowkiller and when i have had golden opportunities to kill cows i've taken them. not bad for 4 years of hunting elk with a bow so far.

03-11-2012, 01:27 AM
I don't buy into the "this brand or that brand is the best" theory. If you can use a diaphragm turkey call then it should be a cinch to call elk with it. All you really need is a echo tube to go with it (that can be as simple as a foot long piece of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe). You can pick up an instructional tape at any sporting goods store that will show you the sounds you need to copy in order to call in bulls. Bugle sounds do work but not always. Bulls aren't always looking for a fight so I only use a bugle as a locator. If I can get an answer, I try to close the distance and switch to soft cow calls & chirps (bulls ARE looking for cows). Keep it simple. Over calling will lose a bull more often than not.

03-13-2012, 06:48 AM
One brand over the other, I don't think so either. Wayne Carlton likens it to fishing, "you don't just keep throwing the same lure, you try different ones until you find the one they like." Elk are very similar in that you have to try various cow calls and bugle sounds to get them to trigger. I carry about 8 different cow calls, three differnt diaphraghms, and the E.L.K Power Bugle so I can try different sounds to get a response.

Elknut was mentioned and his book and videos are very good. I have multiple other books and tend to like Mike Lapinski's books and techniques, and you can't leave out Dwight Shuh's books. Read them all so you have their tools and experience in your toolbox.