Elk Calling Basics

NKQualtieri

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Jun 4, 2015
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Bozeman, MT
Wondering where you guys got started with basic elk calling. Best diaphragms, calls, tips/tricks, etc.

I'd like to buy something soon and I'm starting from scratch so anything helps :)
 

npaden

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http://www.elknut.com/

I bought one of his packages with the playbook, don't remember which, but it had the playbook, an audio CD and a video.

http://stores.elknut.com/packages/

Not super high quality production video footage, just a guy with a camera demonstrating various calls, etc. but very informative. He goes pretty in depth over what sounds he uses in different situations and why. It helped me with the learning curve when I started elk hunting. (Not that I know much more now).

It was worth it to me.
 

npaden

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I actually have the video and playbook and don't really use them anymore. If you are interested I could probably scrounge them up and send them your way gratis. Just send me a message with your address, etc. and I'll see if I can find them.
 

NKQualtieri

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I actually have the video and playbook and don't really use them anymore. If you are interested I could probably scrounge them up and send them your way gratis. Just send me a message with your address, etc. and I'll see if I can find them.

What! That would be awesome, thanks npaden--will shoot you a message in a bit.
 

MNElkNut

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Jan 27, 2012
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Minnesota
I would second the elknut playbook and CDs. The biggest thing that has helped me was how Paul (the Elknut) said you need to paint a picture in that bull's mind. What story are you telling the bull? Just blowing on an elk call is like you saying to your friend, "Bill....Bill.....Bill.....Bill.....etc". What is Bill going to do? At first look your way, maybe start coming your way....then he is gonna think you are weird and go the other way.

Second thing is know how to make adequate calls. You dont have to be a world champion, but you do have to have a basic amount of competency.

Third is the confidence to use them. The amount of noise you make in a quiet woods doesnt seem right at first. But it works.

Fourth, listen to everything the Elknut says. One of the things that got my attention is after you have listened to what he says, apply that knowledge to other elk TV shows and CDs. Pretty soon you will hear some knucklehead make the wrong sound at the wrong time. It is then that you know you are learning something!

Lastly, learning about elk vocalizations and applying them is really fun! Especially to your friends and family who are not elk hunters but are forced to listen to you practice. Trust me on this, no matter what they say, they really like to hear locator bugles first thing in the morning.
 

Jrz210

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Jul 18, 2013
Messages
39
Location
Backus, MN
I prefer a diaphragm call keeps my hands free, I use Primos calls. YouTube has a lot of good calling videos, I personally like Steve Chappell.

For a bugle I use the diaphragm with a piece of flexible plastic tubing, works great and I can direct the call behind me if I am solo to not give my position away!!
 

ORElkie

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Jun 30, 2015
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Oregon
I just moved to elk country two years ago, so I have only been chasing them for that long. Dreaming of them for much longer though... Anyway, take my advice for what it is worth, that of a new elk hunter.

Diaphragm calls are really where it is at. They are cheap, small, hand-free and the variation of sounds is second to none. I have the other calls, and have never gotten so much as a response from them. (perhaps I suck at them, honestly) But using diaphragm calls I have called one very nice bull into bow range (Frankly, I'm not really ready to talk about that one yet....) and two different cows to within sword range. Seriously, I had to stop the first one with a whoa so i didn't get trampled (bull only tag both times...). There are a bunch of different makers and you should be able to find one that fits your pallet. They are weird at first, and it took me a couple days of trying before I could make a noise that didn't sound like someone trying to kill something with an elk call, but they are pretty awesome.
 

WapitiBob

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Google Joel turner sharpsticks podcast. then Google gritty bowmen cory Jacobsen podcast. That's all you need to know.
 

belly-deep

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Oct 31, 2009
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I actually have the video and playbook and don't really use them anymore. If you are interested I could probably scrounge them up and send them your way gratis. Just send me a message with your address, etc. and I'll see if I can find them.

I wish I had a pair of boobs.
 

npaden

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Feb 3, 2011
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I wish I had a pair of boobs.

I'm not sure that's it. I've been helpful to other forum members that have been courteous and polite and seemed genuine. I think I would have made the same offer to a younger male hunter who was just starting out and being polite and courteous. There just aren't very many of those around! (Polite and courteous young males) :D

I actually found my DVDs last night, still looking for the playbook. I know I've just watched the DVDs one time about 6 or 7 years ago, I read the playbook a couple times, but the fact that I can't seem to find it very easily seems to indicate that I'm not going to really miss it.
 

Eyeguy

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Aug 1, 2014
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Lincoln
I wish I had a pair of boobs.

Hmmm. I wasn't aware they were visible in the profile pic....and I'm doubting any special PM pictures were exchanged. Seems more like an experienced elk hunter who probably had some help along the way being willing to help another hunter who asked for a little guidance.
 

Z Barebow

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Oct 24, 2011
Messages
493
I have two copies of the playbook and I am happy to loan out one of them.

Why two copies? After reading it, I felt it was important enough to have a backup.

I actually pack one on my hunts to read midday to break me out of any rut I might be in. (It is the dog eared copy)
 

MTbowhunter84

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Feb 17, 2012
Messages
511
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Helena, MT
I learned from YouTube to start with. If you look for videos by Rockie Jacobsen. I use RMHC and they are the easiest I have found to use out there.
 

RobG

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Dec 10, 2010
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Bozeman, MT
Yeah, women generate a little more attention but I know some don't always appreciate certain types of it and leave sites like this or even change careers. We should also not get too far from reality. When I was looking for a gun for my kid I had about as many replies as she did, yet nobody questioned the reasons like they did with her (more than once, and not always in a positive tone). I actually had two people from this site that I only met in passing loan me their guns to try. Sometimes people are just nice.
 

TRS_Montana

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Nov 19, 2014
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693
Location
Helena
One thing I would suggest NOT getting is a hoochie momma. I think it is tempting because of how easy they are to operate, but if you listen to a herd, there is a LOT of variety in their communication which can't be replicated with it. It also prevents you from actually learning how to call. Time spent learning reeds and diaphragms is not wasted. I have found that the plated diaphragm calls (such as Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls' plated diaphragms) seem to last longer than most. As for reed calls, I like Carlton Calls' Mini Bull Getter. Super cheap and really authentic sounding.

My biggest advice to new callers is (if you have access) to go somewhere in September that you know a lot of unpressured elk hang around (for me it was the Elkhorns), and just let 'er rip.
 
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