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Insanelupus, lets talk elk.


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gselkhunter

The studies coming out right now indicate that CWD isn't only in the brain and spinal cord anymore. The protein based disease is now being found in the meat of the animal. This shows a mutation of the disease and raises serious questions about eating the meat of diseased animals. It is very hard in the early stages of the disease to tell if the animal is infected. If you are hunting an area that the disease has been found, I would have the animal checked. However the disease seems to be more wide spread in deer than elk at this point. The divisions of wildlife in CO,WY, along with universities are working hand in hand trying to get a handle on the cause and spread of CWD. The word out of CDOW is if the animal tests positive, don't eat it. CDOW will issue another tag to hunt if an animal tests positive.

Gselkhunter

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I love this thread.

My reaction to your question - I would have bullied up the hill quickly trying to get into the elk before the thermals changed.  I would have went silent, only cow calling if I needed to locate the bulls.  What would the outcome have been?

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gselkhunter

Brymoore, I would expect young bulls to zero in on that lone cow. But not a bad plan, used it myself when I used to worry about being sneaky. I gotten to be a bull in the china shop.

Bobman, you send in the head and the test takes 48hrs.

Gselkhunter

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insanelupus
Seeing as I haven't even gotten an elk yet, I still would have been happy with that 5 point.  Then figured I knew where 2 more might be the following year!!  More than likely they wouldn't range out too far but if they did, the lead cow would probably be back in that region the next year, and she'd pull the bulls in with her and the herd.  Maybe, thoughts?
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gselkhunter

I have a little hole on Jones Hill, near Buffalo Peaks and I killed 3 cow in 3 years less than 100yds from each other. So Insanelupus, good call.

Gselkhunter

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gselkhunter

Before I carry on, I have to get on my soap box here. There have been very many groups that have aided in bring elk numbers up, thanks to all of them. But in the process elk hunting has been turned into an ego stroking cash crop business where only the biggest antlers are what hunting elk is about. Some of the outfitters have even gone so far as to go to court to get their pockets filled by changing states rights to manage their elk herds. Makes me want to vomit. Elk hunting to me is sacred; it isn’t about killing the biggest bull. Even though I would love to kill a huge racked animal and I have blown my chances on too many times. I truly just love being among them in an environment that is so pristine that city life doesn’t exist for me for a while and I have no wish to go back to it.

And I don’t want to condemn anybody hunting big bulls, but in Colorado we have a serious issue that can change elk and elk hunting forever. The state has seen $$$$$$ and has caused a huge problem bull to cow ratio. In normal breeding 3 cows are born to 1 bull, nature’s way. Well because of $$$$$$ our bull to cow ratios have fallen to as low as 4 bulls to 100 cows in some places. Optimum is 33 bulls to 100 cows for hunting, even though nature’s way is 25 to 100. The problem is bulls don’t mature and breeding capability is not optimum and can cause the herds serious damage in the long run. I am not going to tell you I have the answer to fixing the problem, other than taking a lot of cows out of the mix. Which I do by passing on younger bulls and killing a cow, I would rather eat a cow anyway. The bulls guys want kill are between 6-10 years of age to have huge racks. By the way AZ, NV, NM, UT, WY and MT limited bull tags to add in this matter. But in CO with over 600,000 elk now we run the risk of a major die off because we are pushing the limits of carrying capacity [how many animals that can live in an area and not over burden the ground]. And in my opinion the CDOW is way to concerned  about the almighty buck and not its elk herds. And I believe Mother Nature is going to teach us a huge lesson soon. I would rather we take care of it first. And I am here to tell you most of the big bulls that I should have killed weren’t saved because they were so smart, but because his girl friends were. OK I have preached I am better now. So when you see the shirt: Got Elk? Yes, she is in my freezer.

Gselkhunter

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I agree the same things has happend in the SE and probably most of the US with white tails, buck doe ratios are screwed up.

Commercialize hunting and your ruin it period,

I'm curious is there any discussion behind closed doors in sporting good manufacturers about this issue, surely they see the problem. Eevery ad every video I have ever seen is about killing big bulls, bucks whatever. does and cows are represented as second class consolation prize.

Also have you ever had a elk turn up CWD positive and how rampant is the disease in your opinion.

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insanelupus

In Montana all resident tags (to my knowledge) are across the counter, non resident are limited draw.  Some areas at different times of the season the tag is good for a bull, spike, or cow.  Most of the state has a brow tine restriction and special drawings for cow tags.

I have commented on it before, but this area has not been nearly as good of habitat as other parts of the state in the past.  Logging has helped it quite a bit and there are old timers here that will tell you in the 30's and 40's elk weren't something you came across every day. Believe it or not, on occasion, we've even had a documented case or two of woodland carribou in this corner of the state.  Our "herds" during season, are very small and even small bulls are herd bulls.  You don't see too many large herds until winter.  At which time you can see up to around 400 elk, of those about 35-50 will be bulls (not counting spikes).  But come next hunting season, you won't see them again until a week or two after it closes.  

I was in a conversation with another hunting friend of mine in his shop when a customer commented it was nice to see all the elk in the valley, even though the hunters had shot "a bunch of them".  He and I both laughed and I told her that historically, Montana hunters have a success rate across the state of about 16-18%.  She said that made her feel better, as she didn't want them killed off.  My friend laughed and said he didn't feel there was much danger in that, he has lived in Montana 20 years and only killed 4 bulls, and one of those was in the Bob Marshall during the early season.

Management practices are tending to be driven by outfitter and sportsman dollars, which is sad to think about.  Mix in politics and it becomes more problematic.  I may not agree with everything the MT FWP does, but I do believe they know better than anyone else how to manage the resources.  Now if folks would just butt out and allow them to do just that, it may work out okay.

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gselkhunter

Bobman from what I can see as long as they are making money they really don't care. The reason I am not with HS any more is because I drew my sheep tag and didn't do seminars in August of 2000. They saw it as them loosing money. Dave and I got into it and I left the company. Amazing that after 12 years working for them and never finishing worse than third in all the state calling competitions[elk and turkey] only once not finishing in the top ten at the national level[elk] I wasn't veiwed as an asset any more. I was at that time running CO,NM,WY,UT,NV,AZ as their elk calling specialist. Of course now the have Wayne Carlton and his crew. I still use HS products, they are my main call for turkey and elk. I just think it was a crappie way to treat me.

As far as CWD, I have never had an animal test positive. But CWD is spreading both the WY division and CDOW say. How bad is it really, I don't really know. I have never seen any numbers of how many animals have been infected or what the age spread is or what kind of shape the animal was in when it got the disease.

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insanelupus

Gregg,

I have not been a fan of HS for a few years.  When I was living in Missouri and turkey hunting hard, I used a lot of mouth calls.  I always preferred the Primos line of mouth calls, though, now days I have found for elk calls I like the Knight & Hale line.

I do wonder (and I may be jumping the gun on a subject you plan to address later, if so I apologize) I wonder if the art of elk calling has really been blown out of proportion in the sporting world.  Specifically, for many that hunt rifle seasons especially, how much is elk calling effetive in a typical hunt?  Archery hunters obviously find it useful.  If anything, from my admittedly very, very limited experience, the calls one should master are those of the cow and learning all of her vocalizations.  These seem to me to be more useful in the majority of situations than the bugle most folks are so fond of.  I do love hearing a bugle, man made or elk made, and I am impressed with those that can do so expertly.  I cannot, I sound more like a young spike that got his testicals caught in a vise with his head in a 5 gallon bucket!

I have borrowed and bought several elk calling CD's.  Wayne Carlton was one of them, though it was mostly run of the mill.  So far the one I've enjoyed the most and found to be most useful was a two disc series by Jim Horn.

However, one thing I have found that most callers seldom get into is bull vocalizations aside from bugling. I know that bulls will "mew" for lack of a better description, because of hunting buddies (mostly archers) that have visibly seen this.  But I find very little to no instruction on this.  I don't necessarily want to replicate these sounds (though I may try) but I mostly want to understand the difference between the bull and cow vocalizations, what they mean, and what the specific differences (in general obviously) there are.  

As to calling, I'm not that good, though I occasionally can fool a few cows into talking to me, and bulls in the rut on occasion from a distance.  I tend during our 3rd week October through November season to leave the calls alone.  I did do some still hunting through some "crunchy" snow using a cow call and got within shooting distance of a raghorn and cow, but the situation was wrong for a shot, unfortuneatly.  However, they knew right where I was the whole time.  I can't say it helped, but it probably didn't hurt.  Other times, I've been able to sneak in on herds in silence with about the same, if not more effectiveness.

Can you recommend a calling series for elk where a). the folkls know what they are doing, and b) they convey the meanings of the calls and proper usage of these calls during the season?

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In a lifetime of hunting elk, mainly with a bow, here are some easy things to remember that I've found to be true no matter what state I'm hunting them in. If it has water, every drainage will hold a herd of elk. It's hard to hunt them early in the morning when the wind is coming down the mountain. When you locate and close on one, the wind will switch and start rising. I use the early morning to get above where I think the elk will bed. Elk don't like slopes steeper than 45 degrees, unless they're forced to cross one as an escape route. Find a drainage on a mountain with a stream, and they'll be 2/3 of the way up the mountain, on the North or NE face of the drainage, within 200 yards of that stream and on a bench. When using a topo these places stick out like a sore thumb. You will find many more places like these that aren't on the topo's when you're actually hiking the country. You don't have to be careful noise wise when you're closing on an elk; elk are noise critters when they're walking through the timber. If you can EVER get a copy of Cal Coziah's book, do so. He was THE ultimate bow hunter. No one else has even come close.

If you absolutely HAVE to move up on an elk to get a shot, he has you pegged and there's no cover, walk directly at him. Keep your legs tight together, show no body motion, move slow and keep the wind in your face. They only seem to be able to detect movement is they see air spaces disapear between your legs, or you show upper body movement. They never seem to realize you're getting closer as long as they can't detect movement. A last ditch attempt.

Stalk more, call less. Get them fired up, and silently start closing on them (Unless the bull is REALLY hot and is coming in full tilt).

Get a LOOOOOOOng way off the roads. Go for a drop camp if you can. Once you get a mile from the nearest road, the bulls are less wary and answer and call in better. The more isolated the better.

Once you hit the gates, a mountain bike can get you a long way in, in a short but sweaty time. Sometimes. There are quite a few areas in Idaho that are gated to ATV'S and Cars, but open to bicycle. Damn things are always uphill though.

When hunting with a bow, any elk, cow or bull is a trophy on public land. When just a beginner, forget the trophy stuff; unless you're with a guide or on a private ranch it probably ain't gonna' happen.

Throw away all of the hunting books and read "Elk of North America". Ther is also a fabulous video "Elusive In The Wild" put out by the state of Colorado that may be the best I've ever seen; it is strictly a biological perspective as it applies to hunting the elk.

Where they are in bow season ain't where they'll usually be in gun season. During bow season, too many guys start too high. The bulls will be in the Aspen with the cows. By riffle season, the bulls will be back into bachelor groups. Now I'll let GS take over again; he's the man.

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gselkhunter

Let me go back, Elknut.com, Paul Medel runs it all down better than anybody I ever heard, I won't tell you Paul is the best caller. I can do things with a reed in my mouth Paul can't. But if you want elk language talk to Paul. I have part of his set and will get the rest of them.

The problem I have had in the past is trying to explain how to do a call with out sound for people.

Example: 5 tone bugle, to me that means two tones out of the voice/throat and 5 tones on the reed. Most people teach 3 tones on the reed and 2 voice/throat. So people write back how do you do voice/throat and if you could hear it you would understand right now. I am told no one can do 5 notes on a reed, I can, but I am not everybody.

I used to make tapes for people, but I have a crap system for doing it. They just don't come out that good.

That is what makes Paul's DVDs so good, he explains well and you can hear him. He isn't some guy trying to sell you the call from his company that is better than everybody elses. Because that is crap and they knew it when they said it. He is teaching you elk language and how and when to use it. All I am going to say is go to his web site and see for yourself, drop my name if you wish and ask Paul what he thinks of me, he has heard me call. Paul is the real deal as a elk calling teacher. If your standing in front of me, I can teach you how to make any call, but Paul audio and DVDs can go any where with you.

Insanelupus, I still use H.S. Elk 3.5 buggling reed, nobody else that I know of has these reeds, I take that back Paul has one. You can't get these reeds, they don't make them anymore. I snatched all they had left when they discontinued the line when HS pruchased Carlton.For a cow call reed I use a High Plains Call by John Sarkisian. I use his double and triple and buy his youths model for my son. John was my mentor and a 8 time world champ. If you took away my HS reeds I would have gone to a Haydel triple, but Eli quite making them too. So I better die before I run out.

I will go into depth on how I attack calling in an animal.

Gselkhunter

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gselkhunter

Gonehuntin,

Glad you jumped in, I think it is good to have other info thrown in here. One thing I see is elk on 60 degree slopes all the time. The resason they use the benches on these steep slopes is as an overlook and the thermals produce better upslope wind to deter insects. And when I see them up above timberline like this they are mostly bulls laying in the willows near snow fields or small water sources.

Gselkhunter

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