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What did I do wrong?

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What did I do wrong?

Postby mjblowers » 09 16, 2013 •  [Post 1]

I had about 5 of them bugling this weekend, all within about a half mile. After coming to this site, I decided my biggest problem was not being aggressive enough. So, at 5:30 AM, I heard what I thought to be basic "location" responses. So I said "I'm going straight at them."

Yeah, well, about 200 yards into it and not hearing any bugles, I realized there is no way I'll be able to pinpoint where are. So I toss out another, and hear them again. NORMALLY I would have been calling more, but I did let that second one out, and he responded and I "fast walked" towards where I thought he was. I may have heard some cow calls, not really sure, but I saw a small 100 x 100 yard opening and go to it as quietly as I could and sat at the edged called (completely new area to me).

After about 10 minutes of medium cow calling, a bull elk "ghosted" broadside in between some trees about 80 yards in front of me and was gone. I figured he was quartering around, although the wind was almost none existent. I continued with the cow calling. (Should I have done a nervous grunt here even though he wasn't making noise? I'm also not even convinced this was the same bull that was bugling).

Anyways - I never saw him again. About an hour later I heard another bugle, did the same thing, long story short, I got within about 100 yards of one that did what I would have considered a "location" bugle without me doing anything, at which time I tried cutting him off with a scream. Last time I heard him was a bugle about 3 minutes later farther up the mountain and gone...

Obviously my details may need to be expanded upon, but what would you have done with what I was doing? I was basically going perpendicular with the ridges as I gave chase to both and I had good wind, when there was any...
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Re: What did I do wrong?

Postby cnelk » 09 16, 2013 •  [Post 2]

Without the details you mentioned, I would have put the small opening about 60yds in front of me, making any elk pass between the opening and the shooter.
As attractive openings are, I think they give a false sense of satisfaction [lack of better term] especially when hunting by yourself.

All of our calling success comes with the shooter in tight quarters

Just my thoughts
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Re: What did I do wrong?

Postby mjblowers » 09 16, 2013 •  [Post 3]

So you are saying put the opening, or any "meadow" for that matter, sit outside of it 60ish yards or so?
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Re: What did I do wrong?

Postby cnelk » 09 16, 2013 •  [Post 4]

Yes.
Elk can see into the opening and notice that there isnt any elk there from a distance greater than you and I can see.

It took me a long time to shy from openings and learn to hunt cover
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Re: What did I do wrong?

Postby easeup » 09 17, 2013 •  [Post 5]

same here. stay in the timber.
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Re: What did I do wrong?

Postby Vanish » 09 17, 2013 •  [Post 6]

I agree with the above, completely! You want the elk to search for you, and if he thinks you're in the meadow, he doesn't have to look very hard.
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Re: What did I do wrong?

Postby Trumkin the Dwarf » 09 17, 2013 •  [Post 7]

The bull we called in this weekend came looking for us in tight cover. Our calling was in the thick stuff, then once he was coming we moved up to the opening and shut up. I try to avoid calling across openings. Elk have good eyesight, and its easier to pull them into thick stuff than across open meadows.

p.s. He gave me a broadside shot at 27 yards.
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