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Old 10-01-2018, 01:38 PM
Wiz Wiz is offline
 
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Default What would you do? (or what did i do wrong?)

Little lookback on our elk hunt this past sat and lookin for some advice.

My hunting partner and I headed into our foothills zone at about 5am. nice clear night with a fresh layer of snow. We got deep into the bush where there is an open clearing. Sure enough on the walk in, we herd bugles. Not long bugles, but short calls and kind of quiet. We creeped along to close the distance and saw a herd of about 25 animals in the clearing, with a good size bull. We stopped about 200yards out to assess the situation. Wind was in our face and consistent as it was still dark. As it started to get light, we creeped in to about 100 yards. My partner set up for a shot, while i creeped back and started cow calling (hoochy mama) while holding up the Montana elk decoy (hoping to draw an animal in to my buddy with his Bow). All eyes in the herd were fixed on me, and the cows were calling back to me and doing that bark thing/call. The lead cow was really on me and was doing the "barking". There was a big bull in the herd, but he didn't seem to care about me (he was back in the herd and not out in front). I was doing this calling thing for a bit, but the herd, nor the bull would come a little closer. they ended up about 70yard from my partner, but still too far for a shot. they clearly saw my decoy and seemed interested.

I tried to get around them a bit with the hope of maybe pushing them into my friend, but the wind started doing some weird things when the sun rose. the herd finally had enough and took off quick out onto land we didn't have permission on. I think the wind may have busted me, but not sure.

Question is... why didn't the bull come closer or seem to care? Would a bugle (rather than a cow call) have made any difference? What would you have done in a similar situation?

thanks guys.
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2018, 01:50 PM
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Jamie Black R/T Jamie Black R/T is offline
 
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Hes not likely to risk losing a whole herd of cows to go try to breed one.

The lead cow barking at you didnt help. She was saying "show yourself". When that doesnt happen, they have their answer as to what you are.

Under 100 yards from the herd a bugle would have been the play. Present yourself as a bull that has infiltrated the herd and ready to take the cows as your own.

All fun and games. You will get em just keep on it.
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:53 PM
dave99 dave99 is offline
 
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Iím not an elk pro, and have only killed one with my bow. Here is my take:

A big herd of elk is always tough because lots of eyes and ears. A high cow to bull ratio makes things even tougher.

A cow call to a solitary bull is perfect, but the bull in your case would risk losing 25 cows just to try to add one to his harem. The risk/benefit is just not worth it to him.

From this perspective, bugling like a mature or submature bull and challenging him may get a quick and aggressive response from him.

Unfortunately he may also round up his harem and push them away from you.

As for setting up a decoy, again, if he were alone I would say give it a shot, but with 25 cows to look it over and stiffen up in response to seeing an odd new cow, I think it is more likely to fail than work.

Good luck!


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  #4  
Old 10-01-2018, 02:28 PM
matt1984 matt1984 is offline
 
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Hoochies will work, but in my opinion that is your worst option as a cow call. If you canít use a diaphragm call, even the bite-style calls add realism compared to the hoochie mama.
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:48 PM
bucksman bucksman is offline
 
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I am no pro at all but your buddy should have bugled making it seem like he was in the herd and was stealing a cow(you) The bull hearing cow calls while he has 25 cows with him probably isn't anything new to him so I would assume he wouldn't be that concerned when you called. good luck
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:54 PM
Bigwoodsman Bigwoodsman is offline
 
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I's of split with your partner, but had one guy stay back and do the cow mews, while the other guy went slow towards the herd. When the guy doing the stalk on the herd bull was 50 yards ahead, then the caller can follow slowly as well, but maintain a distance from the stalker.

BW
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Old 10-01-2018, 04:50 PM
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Lefty-Canuck Lefty-Canuck is offline
 
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If you get barked at...bark back, then they think ďoh itís an elkĒ at that point you are on the verge of a bust out anyway.

LC
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:12 PM
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Coho911 Coho911 is offline
 
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LOL that bull was busy enough. no time for another cow.
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2018, 08:58 AM
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The moose The moose is offline
 
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Sometime being silent is the best bet, If you could not get closer and they were not looking to be headed your way I would have tried a bugle. Honestly, I believe the Hoochie mama is recognized as danger for them at this point.

Once that cow Barked it was all but over. Very rare do you come back from that.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:00 PM
Wiz Wiz is offline
 
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Awesome feedback guys. I think the hoochie mama is probably part of the issue. Iíll use my other reed style call next time. Maybe next time Iíll try either to get closer into a natural cutoff position, or pull out the bugle.

Heading out again Friday. Hopefully the rut is still on.

Amazing fun either way. God I love bow hunting.
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  #11  
Old 10-02-2018, 10:18 PM
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wildwoods wildwoods is offline
 
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Hoochie Mama. The most over used call in the history of hunting. I've had it work in its infancy but have been greeted by an entire herd spooking immediately upon deploying it the next year. I myself can tell when one is being pressed from a hidden hunter. Never mind a shrewd elk. I feel for you. Just a learning experience that I also learned the hard way. And yet they always seem to be sold out at Cableas. Hmmm
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:56 AM
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Black Feather Black Feather is offline
 
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Cow call if you're trying to bring in satellite bulls.. the big boys don't care about one more lone cow when they have that many around, especially if you're being barked at. I would have been standing in some thick trees breaking branches, pulling out grass and bugling like a mad man. That get's the big ones mad enough to come investigate!!! I also like to start an aggressive bugle as soon as he is on the tail end of his.. in other words, I like to cut off the end of his bugle and get the "last word in", so to speak. Seems to work well for us.
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  #13  
Old 10-03-2018, 01:07 PM
CrisPbacon CrisPbacon is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiz View Post
Little lookback on our elk hunt this past sat and lookin for some advice.

My hunting partner and I headed into our foothills zone at about 5am. nice clear night with a fresh layer of snow. We got deep into the bush where there is an open clearing. Sure enough on the walk in, we herd bugles. Not long bugles, but short calls and kind of quiet. We creeped along to close the distance and saw a herd of about 25 animals in the clearing, with a good size bull. We stopped about 200yards out to assess the situation. Wind was in our face and consistent as it was still dark. As it started to get light, we creeped in to about 100 yards. My partner set up for a shot, while i creeped back and started cow calling (hoochy mama) while holding up the Montana elk decoy (hoping to draw an animal in to my buddy with his Bow). All eyes in the herd were fixed on me, and the cows were calling back to me and doing that bark thing/call. The lead cow was really on me and was doing the "barking". There was a big bull in the herd, but he didn't seem to care about me (he was back in the herd and not out in front). I was doing this calling thing for a bit, but the herd, nor the bull would come a little closer. they ended up about 70yard from my partner, but still too far for a shot. they clearly saw my decoy and seemed interested.

I tried to get around them a bit with the hope of maybe pushing them into my friend, but the wind started doing some weird things when the sun rose. the herd finally had enough and took off quick out onto land we didn't have permission on. I think the wind may have busted me, but not sure.

Question is... why didn't the bull come closer or seem to care? Would a bugle (rather than a cow call) have made any difference? What would you have done in a similar situation?

thanks guys.

The lead cow barking is not really a good thing. From my experience once the lead cow barks you're busted and the herd is gone. You can potentially by yourself some time and respond to her with a bark yourself, sometimes they will stay put.
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  #14  
Old 10-03-2018, 06:24 PM
Soab Soab is offline
 
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I try to keep the wind in my face and shadow the herd. At some point a cow will come close and bring and hopefully herd bull will follow. I find as soon as I call they know where I am and they're looking for me.
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2018, 04:01 PM
newdrenalin newdrenalin is offline
 
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Google " bull calling cows bugle " It would have sealed the deal for you.
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