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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This year will also be my first archery elk hunt (First elk hunt period). I'm in Cache Valley so I'll probably use my tag in that unit mostly (spikes and cows only). What are the best calls for cows and spikes? At Sportsman's I saw young elk bugles and cow calls. Will spikes and cows come to cow calls or do you need a bugle to call cows?
 

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I'm also interested in the "real" answer, but here's what I've heard... Cows respond to cow calls... especially "lost calf" calls, and just general "cow walking around" calls... definitely avoid the estrus calls, that's something reserved for calling in bulls.
 

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My understanding of bugles is that their purpose is to challenge other bulls, they can attract cows during estrus but will attract bulls as well and cause the bulls to lose some caution too. Cow calls attract everything else including the occasional spike. Cows have sounds for assembly, moving out, lost calfs, being lost themselves, being in heat. You can get a mouth diaphragm call, I got one last season and have been practicing the lost call in my car on the way to work, it's pretty loud and gets you weird looks though. Mouth calls are good because there's no movement involved, you can sit perfectly still and call animals in good and close.
 

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I agree with Jedidiah, especially with the practicing part. It's just like any musical instrument; you've got to practice the inflections, tone, pace, everything. Don't just show up opening morning and start squealing away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With the season a month away, is that a reasonable time to learn a diaphragm, or am I better off with a "just blow" call? This is for archery.
 

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I would forget about the calls and find a water hole that they are coming into and set up a ground blind and ambush one.
 

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I've had limited success at calling elk. I prefer to hunt them spot and stalk or ambush like others have said. I kind of feel like I do more harm than good when I try to call with all the pressure the elk get around here.
 
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