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Elk Calls Throughout the Season

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FeatureWayneCarlton_448[1]Wayne Carlton, shown directly above, is one of America’s greatest callers, a man who popularized the elk diaphragm for elk nearly 20 years ago. Even great callers can call too much, and Carlton is quick to suggest moderation in most calling situations. He varies his calling depending upon the season and hunting pressure in the area.

Late August/Early September: Calling is used primarily to locate, with occasional bull grunts and squeals. Calf mews may bring in an old cow with a bull tagging along.

631778[1]Mid-September: Hunting pressure may be more important than elk activity. In low or moderate pressure areas, smaller satellite bulls may respond to cow calls, yet herd bulls rarely leave their harem. Becoming aggressive with a herd bull usually forces the monarch to force his cows away. Wimpy squealing bugles are excellent for prompting a response from big bulls. Note the location and sneak in as close as you can.

Late September/Early October: This period often coincides with rifle hunting in many states, and most hunters abandon calling. Carlton believes otherwise. He once wagered a group of five elk hunters that calling would work and three of the five bagged a bull coming to Carlton’s calls.

Learn more about Wayne Carlton’s calls and see his videos are available at www.hunterspec.com.

Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.