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Close to a Glunker...?

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Close to a Glunker...?

Postby Breeze » 06 25, 2012 •  [Post 1]

In 2009 we found in 'hole' that held some elk, not much more than 1/4 mile by 100 yards wide. Of course it's thick, shaded, damp,etc. I envision it as a bedding area.

In 2010 in that same spot we had multiple bumps with a 'Glunker', 3 different days, evening, each time a silent elk day (no bugles from this guy), and he always seemed to sneak out unseen and seemed oblivious to any cow calling. I think we were probably not close enough (then) to threaten with bugles in fact that's probably when he boogied out the sneaky way (whatever that was because once we had him between us). I assumed it was a bull calling cows. We didn't see an elk, bull or cow..... twice on contour, once above him, keeping the wind as priority.

In 2011 I was sneaking into this spot again (from below, alone), slowly, waiting patiently for the evening draft from above when I got glunked. This time was close, probably inside 50 yards, maybe 40... and there I was with maybe a 10 yard shooting lane in this alder jungle, and didn't trust the wind in the direction I'd have to crawl to find a lane. He'd have my wind for sure if I threatened (bugled) him at that moment.
So I did what Wisconsin guys do. I froze, shut up, and hoped. LOL It didn't work!

Part of me thinks I did the right thing by not giving myself away, especially my scent....but dangitall!!! Whatta you think?
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Re: Close to a Glunker...?

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 26, 2012 •  [Post 2]

Breeze, several things come to mind as you share your thoughts! Please consider these thoughts & then let us know what sound you actually were hearing to the best of your knowledge? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Glugs & a glunks are used by bulls at different times. They sound very similar but are in fact different just as a grunt sounds similar to a chuckle but have 2 different meanings entirely! Grunts are meant for intimidation or warning & chuckles are an invite or gathering together sound used by bulls. Chuckles would be heard most frequently when you're cow calling a bull & he gives you a short scream followed by chuckling. Grunts are not heard at this time as bulls do not challenge or fight cows!

Here's where they differ! Tending/Rutting Glugs are only used by bulls when in close to cows as he courts them, these are cows generally in his harem! As they near breeding you will both see & hear him nestling up to these cows or cow literally making body contact as he smells them & rubs the side of his body against their sides & back. At this time he uses rutting/tending glugs. You will also notice at these times that this group is staying right there in the same spot, the bull is not moving to different locations.

On the other hand Glunking is used for a variety of reasons. Too, note that when glunking is used it's rarely ever used by itself as are glugs. A bull can & normally will glunk, scream, chuckle, pant, rake trees brush & give off cow mewing in any random order. He may use 2 of these together or 3-4 different sounds depending on his urgency & level of excitement! I've watched on many occasions bulls licking the air as they glunked around their nearby harem as well as them coming into our very excited or pleading cow calls, I believe they are actually trying to smell & taste the air as they glunk & come in excitedly with their heads held high on approach to see if they can pick up the desirable estrus taste or scent!

Bulls Glunk for dominance or representing dominance to both impress & collect cows & is usually reserved to the more dominant bulls in the area. Cows choose what bull they want to be with, they are not ball & chained to a specific bull. As bulls glunk they do this in an effort to show superiority, strength & who they are, this will attract cows & make them feel secure as well as help them to recognize who he is. Another bull can come in & literally try to call a bulls cows from him with cow mews, glunks, short screams & raking, this is in an effort to pull the herd bulls cows from him or at least one or two without actually fighting the bull for them! This can attract cows to this new bull & check him out, this is why this new bull would start raking, it's a displaying action to show these cows who he is & what he has to offer, this is their way of picking up dates! (grin) Bulls will also glunk when moving his cows from danger or from one place to another especially in heavy cover, this gives the group direction & they recognize his glunk that this is their bull or leader.

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Re: Close to a Glunker...?

Postby Breeze » 06 26, 2012 •  [Post 3]

Hmm. Now I have to think about it...Glunk or glug...?? The sound was like pouring water from an air-locked jug, and not overly loud. Each time the woods was very quiet at that location and about the middle of September, and there was no bugling/grunts/chuckles, and I didn't hear raking. I was believing the bull was collecting a cow(s) to move out of a bedding area, or thought I was a cow and was trying to round me up without much of a commotion.

I was very close at one time, and that time in particular the glunk/glugs were subtle and quiet. He'd 'gunk, gunk, gunk, gunk' then be very quiet for a minute or so and repeated this a few times while I crawled around looking for a shooting lane. I might have screamed at him if there was a place to shoot or if the wind was 100% in my favor. I was hoping my scurrying around would be enough to bring him over for the 10 yard shot I was going to get. He didn't close the distance and I couldn't (in my mind at the time)

In retrospect maybe I could have backed off, moved away, and made sufficient noise until I got to a better shooting lane, then tried some raking or a quiet cow call. Because I was alone I was constantly thinking about spots where I could call then quickly move a few yards to change my location slightly. Quarters were close enough that he had me pegged for sure.

Is/was this a call-able moment, or was this another one of those you-just-got-juked-by-the-fickle-finger-of-fate moments? One thing for certain, doing "nothing" didn't work.
Thanks!
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Re: Close to a Glunker...?

Postby ElkNut1 » 06 26, 2012 •  [Post 4]

Lee, it's tough at times to say you should have done this or that, heck without being there & seeing & hearing what you experienced I'd only be speculating! (grin) So here goes! It sounds as though you had cow called at some time & this bull responded to you by glunking. He was asking you to come on over, the only thing you can really do in that thick of cover is do what he's asking! Go right at him in hopes of getting the opening you needed as long as the wind was good you had a good chance there! On your way in give a couple soft calls & don't worry about making foot noise, cut that distance & strain your eyes to see him first, be ready to draw instantly as the shot would be very close!! It's obvious you were working with a wise ole boy, sometimes real aggressive quick action can catch them with their pants down! I would not rule out a solid challenging scream there either, all depends on what my gut feeling was? (grin)

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