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Elk calling pre rut

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Elk calling pre rut

Postby Slim jim » 05 27, 2013 •  [Post 1]

I was fortunate enough to draw an archery NV elk tag and the season is August 25-September 16. I have been practicing a lot of elk calling for the rut because I had plans on hunting ID this September but now the calling is going to be much different. I just got a new job so my hunting is going to be 4 weekends in a row to get it done. How should I call from the first weekend up to the last weekend?
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Re: Elk calling pre rut

Postby Fullabull » 05 27, 2013 •  [Post 2]

If you got a Nevada tag I would hire a guide if I were you!!! In that country you are probably looking at spot and stock for the most part and will only need calls when your in close to stop them for a shot or get their attention and make the curious.

Good luck with that one, you will need to bring back a good story and lots of pics :)
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Elk calling pre rut

Postby Slim jim » 05 27, 2013 •  [Post 3]

I live here in NV and I'm a DIY guy. I've been poring over maps and I'll be doing about a weeks worth of scouting at the end of July. I'll also be talking to biologists and friends of friends who've hunted the unit before. locating them doesn't have me to concerned but I'm just not to sure about calling pre rut. I'm thinking maybe location bugles at night if they'll even respond then cow and calf chirps during the day and get set up for a bull to come in silent. I'll be looking for wallows to set up on for evenings as well.
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Re: Elk calling pre rut

Postby Trophyhill » 05 27, 2013 •  [Post 4]

Seems to me that blind calling and silent elk go hand in hand no matter what state you hunt.
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Re: Elk calling pre rut

Postby ElkNut1 » 05 28, 2013 •  [Post 5]

Jim, is this a good unit with good bulls? Are you looking to just fill the tag with a 5 or 6 point? Is there timber to hunt in the unit or mostly juniper & sage brush? Will you be a solo hunter? Thanks.

Between the 10th & 16th good rutting action will be taking place, before that it can be sporadic vocalization. Water/wallows are good bets as well as glassing, glassing, & more glassing then getting position for an ambush on elk you've glassed or called to, remember when using locater bugles you are just trying to locate elk not call them to you, if response is received form a plan from there!

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Elk calling pre rut

Postby Slim jim » 05 28, 2013 •  [Post 6]

Paul
The unit I'm hunting is a great unit with big bulls (221-222). I plan on trying to hold out for a 330+ bull but if it comes down to the last day of the hunt I'll take a decent 5x. The foliage is mostly juniper and sage with a little bit of aspen. I have a buddy that says he wants to come along and help but I'm not counting on that. Reality is he will probably come and help 2 out of the 4 weekends I'll be hunting.
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Re: Elk calling pre rut

Postby cnelk » 05 28, 2013 •  [Post 7]

Slim Jim

If you havent ever hunted a 'Quality' unit before, you are in for a treat.
Its compared to a fly in fishing trip to a remote lake in Canada.
You will have the time of your life.

Elk are not pressured, they do what ever they want.
They dont run over the ridge to not be seen again.
Bulls will bugle ALOT. Cows are everywhere
You will experience the rut in true form.
The timing you are wanting to go could be the best time to be there!

Do not over think your abilities, make a plan and go with it.
What has worked in previous elk hunts will definitely work in your unit.

You will know when you want to shoot, as the stars will align.
And dont be bothered if its not the biggest one, as there is always a bigger one...

Its your hunt, hunt how you want to.
The elk you decide to take is YOUR elk, not anyone else's.

Just go do it... :)
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Re: Elk calling pre rut

Postby eltaco » 05 28, 2013 •  [Post 8]

To answer your question, I personally do a lot of calling "pre rut". Granted, CO is 2 weeks later than the start of your season, but I hear elk vocalizing those two weeks as well. The majority of the time, bulls come in on our calls silently during the first week of season, only maybe 1/3 of them give me the courtesy of responding. Even during opening week, we get into a few bulls every year that get pretty riled up.

I'm hunting heavy timber so our terrain is certainly different, but I wouldn't be scared to put some calls out, even if you aren't hearing any!
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Re: Elk calling pre rut

Postby welka » 06 01, 2013 •  [Post 9]

Proper blind calling set ups (see the playbook) can be killers in early Sept. Bull have broken away and are starting to search for harems. If you get lucky and find a pocket with a cow going into estrous, it can be wild with multiple bulls coming to your calls. Don't get too crazy and over call during your cold/blind calling set-up. Good luck.
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Re: Elk calling pre rut

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 01, 2013 •  [Post 10]

Jim, with your limited time & only weekends to hunt you will have to get serious & aggressive! You want big bulls then hunt just big bulls. This means weeding out the low odds methods that are not likely to produce one, take lady luck out of the equation & replace with honed skills directed totally at taking a respectable representation of the unit. Focus on tons of glassing where you can cover miles from good vantage points, the deeper you penetrate within reason from nearest hunting pressure the better. Also Bugle with both Location Bugles & Big Bull screams from these areas you are glassing from if needed, you can locate bulls by sound many times that you cannot readily see in the thicker stuff. -- Focus on night calling too, between 11pm & 3am can be dynamite in finding where the big boys are, you will be able to tell this by their mature bugling & Grunting they will sound much bigger than the juveniles. You can also call 1-1/2 hour or so before daylight for locating purposes as well to accomplish this. Your time is short you can sleep later after you kill your bull. When calling at these night times use big bull bugles & lip bawls, no messing around here, you're trying to make a statement letting the big guys know there's some serious competition in the area for the cows, this style can enrage them.

Once a bull is located that you are considering by glassing or calling then focus 100% on him, get to him, do not try to call him to you from great distances or call your way to him as you head his way. Do everything you can to get to him silently so he has no idea you are in the area, pattern his movements so you have a good idea where he's heading, try to get in his way or stalk in for the shot.

Calling/Bugling may come into play to seal the deal, if so get close be extremely aggressive & sound like a big bull, do not mess around with raghorn sounds. Threat Level III could be the key if he's cowed up, all depends on phase of rut!!!!! If he's alone & you are close but not close enough & you need him to come your way you will have to Advertise yourself with strong aggressive bugling, stomping, raking & general aggressive thrashing around, peak his curiosity!!! The Nervous Grunt may be needed here to stop him for the shot, be prepared to use it with either your voice or a mouth reed.

Don't waste your precious time with water/wallow sitting, 2 days here and there will net little & you need to get lucky in that short of time, blind calling can net elk appearances but not what you're looking for so stay with the higher odds approach of the glassing & bugling! You will find elk doing this it's up to you to kill the one you want one he's found! (grin) Hunt hard, hunt smart & don't leave anything on the table, give it your all like you mean it!

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Elk calling pre rut

Postby Slim jim » 06 01, 2013 •  [Post 11]

Thanks Paul, that's the advise I was looking for. I've been poring over maps and spoke with the biologist for the area. He gave me some great starting points for scouting and said I should come out of there with a BIG bull. Very low quota on tags means very little pressure. I think there is only 8-10 tags for that unit archery

Now back to practicing my calls!
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