Friday, August 24, 2012

Arizona Elk Hunting-How to Call Elk

I received an email from a savvy elk hunter who has hunted many states for elk and has had some good success calling in and harvesting bulls.  He went on to say that he helped a friend last year on a Arizona archery elk hunt but had very little success actually calling bulls into bow range.  He asked me my opinion on what he was doing or not doing wrong.  This question opens a can of worms but here is my answer.

I would like to say first and foremost that I have been routinely schooled by many Arizona bulls both young and old.  I have made more mistakes while calling and hunting elk than you could imagine.  Most of my success calling and hunting elk has come from years of trial and error.  I believe this September will be my 18th year in a row taking the entire month of September off of work to film, observe, chase, and interact with elk.  I have learned a ton from just being around elk and watching them in their natural environment.  I have seen young bulls do some very smart things and I have seen some old bulls do some very dumb things.  It seems just when I think I have them figured out they throw a curve ball my way.  That is the fun part though sometimes also extremely frustrating.  God created elk with an amazing sense of awareness that makes them one of the worlds most intriguing big game animals.  My answer to the question might take multiple posts but here is the short answer.  My answer may change depending on the the exact timing and stage of the rut and the attitude and posture of some particular elk.

Always remember, one day an elk might come running into your call and the next day have nothing to do with you.  There can be a number of reasons for both scenarios.  Spending lots of time with elk will help you in determining what to do and what not to do.

Here are my suggestions if you want a cow elk to come to you.
1)  Try to read the mood of the elk prior to making any type of noise.  If the subject elk seems mellow then you need to be mellow.  If they are acting aggressive or agitated then you can call with the same mood and tone.
2)  High pitched calf calls can be deadly when trying to call cow elk.
3) Get in a position that makes it easy for the elk to come to you.  Don't attempt to call a cow where you know she won't or doesn't want to come to.(I highly recommend checking out Roe Hunting Resources Tutorials on calling elk, pay special attention to Chris's "See you first" and "the Doorway" concepts.  Chris has done an exceptional job of explaining the two concepts in a way that makes complete sense.  In my opinion, he couldn't be any more right on with his analysis)
4.  In my opinion, most people call too loud and one dimensional.  Try to get some realism into your tonal quality and sound.
5.  Call with confidence.  If you are timid and lack confidence the elk can detect that in your call.

I will cover my suggestions on "How to Call in a Arizona bull" in another post. 

See the Elk Calling tips video below.  Go get em'!

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