View Full Version : Bugling bulls....in June

06-26-2011, 11:23 PM
As I write this, I am listening to bulls screaming back and forth outside my door. I spent the last hour of daylight following a herd of about 60-80 cows, calves, and 5 or so bulls. I have never heard so much vocal activity. There was not a second that went by where the cows were not vividly vocal. Then of course i had to tote along my bugle and diaphragms and low and behold I got into a screaming match with all the bulls. Constantly back and forth. I have never seen this much activity this time of year, I am looking forward to getting ahead of the herd a little earlier tomorrow night and trying to get a better look at the bulls and hopefully much closer as I catch them heading to water and feed. Any of you out there seeing anything like this happening? I will try to get pictures and maybe a video tomorrow night, but I am absolutely amazed the amount of vocal activity. I have heard them in the evening and every morning as I walk to breakfast. It feels like fall already, now i have something to keep me entertained every night until fall comes knocking.

06-27-2011, 07:16 AM
Yep, happens every year! Elk are vocal pretty much year around, get those nursery groups together & they can really make some noise, cool ain't it! Watch carefully & you'll see the cows are bugling a ton too!


06-27-2011, 09:54 PM
Does the cow bugle really sound like a true bugle ?? Never heard them bugle. Would be cool to hear. Herd talk is always the best !!

06-27-2011, 09:59 PM
thats awesome, I didn't know that, course I don't live in elk country

Bitterroot Bulls
06-27-2011, 10:02 PM
I was working on a trail near West Yellowstone in the late 90's in June and had a similar experience. Velvet bulls running around screaming their heads off.

06-28-2011, 05:43 AM
Oh the great sounds of the rocky mountain elk!

06-28-2011, 06:50 AM
Yes, a cow bugle is a real sounding bugle & can fool you. They do not have the mature sound of a big ole 6 point but more like a raggie to spike bugle. Cows can make every sound a bull does & vice-versa. Cows will bugle for many reasons but mainly for herd control.


06-28-2011, 07:07 AM
A couple of years ago, I was scouting in June for my elk hunt and heard a bull bugling his head off. I headed in that direction and low and behold it was a cow that was bugling. I had never heard of cows bugling until then, and when I read Elk Nuts Playlist book about it, I thought, good I'm not crazy.

06-28-2011, 09:35 AM
You know..I have been around elk since I was a kid. I have heard all sorts of sounds they make....and sometimes I still learn things. I have never heard of or seen a cow elk bugle. Makes cense that they would or could though. I have spent a lot of time "talking" if you will at nursery herds and wintering groups for fun. Its always a kick to hear them "talk" back. They are so curious sometimes about it too.
Sometimes I like hiding off to the side of the cows that have been calving and "cry" at them...they come running over to find the lost little one. I have been barked at, snorted at, short screamed at, and charged. (once by a mad moose mom too YIKES! ).

I love to try new things when practicing calling to see how they respond to sounds. I feel jealous now...I now have a goal to see if I can find me a bugling cow!! :)

Paul...any tips on how to instigate one to do so?

06-28-2011, 10:09 AM
I found this vid a while back. Does sound like she's trying to bugle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrW-OAn8VA4

06-29-2011, 07:28 AM
I have seen that video before, pretty cool. I think that is an estrus buzz, could be wrong. That bull was after her pretty hard. Thanks for sharing the vid.

06-29-2011, 08:14 AM
Yes, That video Clip was the Estrus Buzz, it was not an attempt at bugling at all. The sound is used when they are in search of the group, in this case the young cow heard an elk or group the hunter was imitating & this cow could not locate these elk & so was asking for their where abouts. It is not a breeding sound. This sound can be heard anytime of the year!

Wolf, no I don't have a magic method to force a cow into bugling! (grin) Like yourself I too enjoy hearing all the different sounds elk make & putting an identity to them, this helps a ton in hunting situations!

I will say cows will be bugle for the same reasons a bull would bugle to keep in contact with his present herd or harem. This bugling used by cows as bulls is recognized by the group members & instills this in them as they congregate with other herds or are getting too far away & cannot not be seen by the dominant cow. It can give direction & too will show the others of the group where the others are. Several cows can bugle at the same time yet be different enough that their sound is unique that it is known in an instant by those cows of each separate group. As pre-rut & peak-rut come into play this role is now taken over by the present herd bull. Hence, you will rarely see a cow bugle during these phases, it's generally done by the cows outside of rutting times!


06-29-2011, 11:21 AM
Wish I was there. Still have snow around 5500ft here. Can't get into any of my high country homes.

06-29-2011, 01:00 PM
Well they have kept at it every night, about keeping me from sleeping last night. Got within 50 yards of them during light, and it was indefinitely the bulls making the bugles. Cows were talking constantly, but the bugles were coming from the bulls. I have been around elk talk plenty, just never seen bulls act this fired up in june

06-29-2011, 09:52 PM
I've seen them get prett active early in the year before. Only difference is they aren't screaming mad as I like to call it..lol.. I've only ever seen cows bugle twice. Had I not seen it ith my eyes, I wouldn't have believed it. Funny how many people look at me and say ur crazy when I tell em a cow will bugle. Great thread.

06-30-2011, 10:49 PM
Today I was going up Southfork rd into Yellowpine to do some work. Stopped to pay the columbian rent and had an elk bark at me!! lol.
Caught me off guard really. So I took some time to find it. Was a cow elk, and so I tried a variety of calls at her. She called, whined, and barked a few different sounding calls back at me, and eventually walked off over the ridge.

Was fun just playing the talking game.

07-04-2011, 09:10 PM
Thats wild about the cow elk bugling, never occurred to me