When to use Elk Calls
Overview of different times of the season when to use Elk calls
People ask us a lot when to use Elk calls. We break down why calls can be used all season long. As this article is more geared towards the timing of things we don’t go crazy into different Elk vocalizations. It’s just more justification on using your calls and when to use elk calls.
When to use elk calls in the early in the Archery Season
Here in our area of Colorado our experience is that opening day tends to be a vocal affair on most occasions for us. The bigger more mature “ herd bull ” Elk are staying to their solitary ways for the most part. The younger Satellite bulls are excited to say the least as the Elk Rut is eminent. If they have not yet interacted with a hunter they seem to be happy to bugle. This time of year the cows seem more than happy to be mewing to each other.
This presents a perfect chance to use a call to take advantage of an eager young bull or take an opening weekend archery cow.
Last season we took a cow that ran straight into us to a few soft sweet chirps on the Elk Reel! She was walking head onto us and spooked. The authentic sound of the Reel stopped her and turned her around instantly. We have found the opening weekend the best chance to hear unpressured animals. They can and should be vocalizing on hard hunted public land.
When to use Elk calls as the bigger bull Elk start rounding up Cow Elk
The first few days of season have come and gone but the herd bull Elk are most likely still biding their time to start getting some ladies rounded up. By the first part of september they will begin looking for a harem in earnest. This is an excellent time to use still be use a happy herd calling scenario. A happy herd is a great to lure in that big boy for a look.
Excited calves playing and calling and moms vocalizing to their babies and to each other. Young bulls bugling and chuckling back and forth mixed with kicking rocks breaking sticks and raking trees. You may call in plenty of cow elk this time of year. Hopefully they will be towing a mate into your setup with them. Early september is prime Elk Calling time.
Using Elk Calls during the Rut
Big herd bull Elk are actively mating and defending their harems by the middle of september. They will lose their minds when they are mating in our opinion and sound off like a love sick young man on a party binge. They seem to lose their fear of vocalizing this time of year. When they are actually being allowed to breed. The Rut is a prime time to use your Elk Reel on them.
Use the call to get them to talk from long distance. A locator bugle with an Elk Reel and loud estrous whines and estrous or demanding cow talk can get a distant bull to answer. We recommend shutting up and closing the distance before to as close as 50 yards if possible before bugling again. A low volume bull talking to cows bugle at close range can bring excellent results. A likely challenger to the herd bull Elk may want to sneak in. They join the party and feel out the situation. Rather than storm into a butt whipping by a more dominant animal.
The Elk reel makes excellent low volume cow chirps which can be used to make a big bull Elk think his cow are on the other side of the aggressor. Or they are just plain leaving with him. Any tactics you choose may work this time of year as it is an amazing time to call Elk.
Using Elk calls the last part of September
One of the best times of the year to use elk calls is when they have all been mating and breeding by now. They may be pressured heavily by this time of year and they may not answer at full volume. They are still just animals however and accurate sounding Elk Vocalizations will still work. Our Elk Reel is impossible to distinguish in the woods. Its sounds just like the real thing to our ears. Any pressured animals will think it’s the real thing.
They may come in quietly but a confident caller that understand elk talk can and will pull in animals during the tail end of September.
The cows will be the hardest ones to fool this time of year. Cow Elk tend to be the oldest and most experienced animals. These older Elk having survived a dozen or more hunting seasons. Accuracy in tone and being able to call quietlyis crucial. This accuracy can make the end of September amazing. Its truly a perfect time to call Elk using an Elk Reel.
The post rut in early October to late November
Big bull Elk will tend to break off into solo or small groups and they can be hard to find in the post rut. Cows may be very pressured and hiding out in the dark timber during daylight hours. Using your Elk calls late in the season can make or break your hunt. Elk make noise when they walk and creeping through the timber calling softly with light mews and a firearm is one of our favorite techniques.
An elk will tolerate a person walking in the timber making some noise with their footsteps until they see you. However if you do this while mewing and chirping softly they may hang out longer. Long enough to get a really good look. This can allow a hunter a chance to recognize the target, get it in his or her sights and get off a well placed shot before the Elk decides to bolt. Making the post rut a crucial time of year when to use Elk calls.
Using Elk Calls in the late season
Late season can be hard hunting bull elk in deep snow or in super steep areas. A hunter in pursuit of either Bull Elk or Cow Elk should always have an Elk Reel in their hip pocket. Elk are naturally curious. The high pitched nasally super accurate sounds can draw them in this time of year. Our calls stop elk on a dime like they have brakes and you control the brake pedal. Running elk or elk about to be buggered. Running can be stopped with a loud chirp or mew.
An Elk reel can save your hunt this time of year and it has been proven to call in Cow elk in all hunting seasons. December or January is prime cow hunting time and even in the snow our calls don’t stick and don’t fail. Late season Cow elk and Bull Elk even respond to blind calling. Late season is just another prime time when to use elk calls.
All Season long
We honestly think their is hardly a bad time of year to use an highly accurate elk Vocalization. Deciding when to actually blow on your call comes from trial and Error. We think if you can locate the elk. Then close the distance to as close as possible for primitive weapons. Or to get them stationary for more long distance affairs. When is the best time of the year to use elk calls? We feel that any time of year is a good time to us Elk calls.
To see a good example of a bull calling cows bugle check out this video:
Check out our selection of calls for any season: