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So I went up on the Wasatch extended unit this past weekend. There were three other trucks in the parking area when I got there and I thought that's not bad. When I got up the trail a ways, I looked down and saw a parade of flashlights coming up behind me.:sad: I was on the ridge at about 5:30 and never heard any bugles or anything. Later, I ran into some other hunters that told me the elk up there don't bugle because of the pressure. Then I ran into some other guys that said they bugle from 3-6 am.

Has anyone heard any bugles? Is it pointless to try bugling or cow calling up there? I practiced a lot with mouth reed calls and have gotten pretty good, but now I'm reluctant to use them. I would love to call in something rather than sit somewhere for hours.
 

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What makes anyone think elk on the front are so smart they will go against nature and their urge to rut? If you don't hear bulges there either not rutting or there are no elk in the area. I hear bulges every year on the front. I heard bulges on saturday.

Getting them to come to the call may be pointless though because everyone is using calls.
 

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I've experienced both scenarios on the front. I've seen elk rutting hard but not bugling for whatever reason, maybe pressure. However, I have also seen and heard good bugling during the rut as well. If you can't hear them AND can't see them, go elsewhere like SW says.

As for calling, a lot of the guys that I know that have had success on the front have identified points to sit and wait and don't call much. I'm sure the elk hear a lot of hoochie mamas and mouth calls over the course of the season. Good luck!
 

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Ha elk don't bugle some guys are hilarious. Some elk get to much pressure and master the art of distinguishing the difference between an actual elk bugle and Larry that wants to try his primos all in one and hoochie mamma cow call. But all elk attempt to rut. Maybe the elk have the hunters patterned better than the hunters have them patterned. And they bugle at midnight
 

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I personally have seen bulls bugle on the front but not a bunch. I get the best response from them with light cow calls. I have not had much success bugling back. I have sneaked upon more hunters than elk who were calling.
 

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i had a herd come charging in on me today with the bull bugling about 30 yards away. he was chasing off a nice 5x5 with his harem in tow. i couldn't see how big the other bull was but his antlers dominated the skyline. long story short, i took the cow.
 

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Get a cow decoy, soak yourself in cow estrus urine, and shoot the bull coming in before he violates you.

Calls work up there, but those with success calling really know what they are doing and how to mix it up and think outside the box. I do not fall in that catagory.
 
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Some of the best responses this year. I have been laughing reading these all afternoon. My wife asked me what a hoochie mama call was so I youtubed the elk calling championships and showed her. No I peak out around the corner to hour room to cow call at her. She thinks we are all big dorks!
 

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Just because the elk dont bugle back dont mean they are not responding. I have had many silent bulls come in and circle around me to get down wind. Try cow calls and try to sound like a small bull but very little of each. keep moving down wind or they will circle you and catch your scent. that works for me sometimes.
 

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i had a herd come charging in on me today with the bull bugling about 30 yards away. he was chasing off a nice 5x5 with his harem in tow. i couldn't see how big the other bull was but his antlers dominated the skyline. long story short, i took the cow.
Sounds intense ADP, were you hunting the front?
 

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Sounds intense ADP, were you hunting the front?
yes, i was. it was a crazy experience. i've never been so close to a screaming bull. i only heard them coming moments before he sounded off.

i was lucky in many ways that day. as an opportunist, i cut a track and was putting a stalk on several bucks that i was behind. when i was within a hundred yards of them i had to move away to get some cover. that took me into a familiar stand of trees where i held up to keep from pushing the deer. i waited and listened to the squirrels tell me where the deer were headed. after 10-15 minutes, i was deciding to pursue or try to cut them off in a likely spot. that's when i briefly heard hooves. two seconds later i was able to verify that it was not santa but an early christmas present had arrived. peaking over my right shoulder i could see a cow, yearling and a 5x5 all between 30-40 yards. the cow was fixed on me but both bulls and yearling never saw me. the other cows were not far behind the larger bull and working my way. so my mind was doing the math quickly and i decided to stay still and take the cleanest shot opportunity when i could. the problem was that i was being stared down and not in a position to draw due to both a tree limb and being a right handed shooter with a target back to the right. during the two minutes that she watched me, the smaller 5x5 had walked out to 60 yards and was steeply quartering to. the larger bull was holding tight and from what little i could see he was facing 5x5. the cows behind him sounded like they were still coming my way. so, the math pointed to the cow at 30 yards slightly quartered to being the best option as the rest of the herd approached. luckily i had already nocked an arrow for the bucks but had not attached my release. I waited until she put her head down to feed and looked away before making my move. In one smooth and quiet motion I caught the D loop, rotated to my left and drew back. as soon as my anchor point was settled i was on target and released. she was looking at me as the arrow was on its way. impact was loud and visual. she spun toward me and back to where she came from and i could see i had at least passed the off side ribs.

immediate reflection on the incident left me with a very surreal feeling. i made a call to the wife and then one to a friend. i knew the arrow did it's job and i would eventually need some help. the car was less than two miles away but it was steep and slick with the recent snow. luckily my friend was able to leave work and would be up there in about three hours.

a decision was made to look for the arrow and verify how well she was hit. no arrow sighted but a large amount of blood was visible on the snow from both sides where she stood and then direction she left to. after waiting twenty minutes i thought i'd slowly follow the blood trail looking for the arrow. i did not want to approach the animal for at least another 10-20 minutes, so i proceeded slowly and quietly, as if i was stalking. 50 yards from the hit i found the arrow nock up, tip buried. it had worked its way out on a small aspen. what was interesting was it appeared the mechanical broadhead did not open. one of the T3's blades was broken but the other two were neatly in their places. little time was wasted wondering about the operation of the broadhead because the efficacy was obvious from the blood trail i continued to follow. still on the same game trail, after 100 yards she began to walk. that point seemed like a good time to stop and recheck my timing. i was at about 30 minutes post shot and all the empirical evidence pointed to a dead cow within that amount of time. still, i didn't want to chance pushing her, so i proceeded slow and cautiously. within minutes an elk jumped up about 80 yards from me and headed away. my first thought was oh no. then, i remembered the yearling/calf. earlier when i did the math, i had considered taking this animal instead of the cow but the shot opportunity was not as good as the cow. the thread from this forum about wet cows had passed through my mind. when i read it, i thought given the chance i'd pass on the wet cow in favor of another or possibly the calf. i hindsight, that thread made me feel comfortable about my decision to take the cow. it's amazing how much goes through a mind in so little time. but, i digress, so back to the story.

i pressed on slowly and went another 50 yards before seeing a tree with a lot of blood on the uphill side bark. immediately on the other side was a slide mark with a cow piled up twenty yards down hill. in all, she made it about 250 yards from the sight of the shot. then the work began.

sorry for the long hijack.
 

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Ha elk don't bugle some guys are hilarious. Some elk get to much pressure and master the art of distinguishing the difference between an actual elk bugle and Larry that wants to try his primos all in one and hoochie mamma cow call. But all elk attempt to rut. Maybe the elk have the hunters patterned better than the hunters have them patterned. And they bugle at midnight
I have experienced this very thing - the elk carry on all night long and know each others sound. When you come in at early dawn, they know something is up, something "not normal" and they'll shut up and move off. The elk are still there, and they know the difference in their conditions and environment way better than any of us do.

Most often, people call way too much...
 

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i had a herd come charging in on me today with the bull bugling about 30 yards away. he was chasing off a nice 5x5 with his harem in tow. i couldn't see how big the other bull was but his antlers dominated the skyline. long story short, i took the cow.
Nice story - no hijack. This just shows you were in the right place at the right time, and the right conditions. When there are hot cows, a bull gets pretty stupid and active.

When you're that close to a worked up bull, sometimes you don't know whether to throw your bow at them and run or shoot them (if you can)!
 
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