Effective game calling isn’t just a matter of recreating the sounds. Good callers—whether they’re calling turkeys, ducks, predators, or bull elk—are masters at creating a complete illusion. The first, and most difficult, step in creating that illusion is getting into an area where there are critters to call. Game animals are all a little different past that point, and perfection comes with experience.
Most western elk guides will tell you that the average Easterner trained in the turkey woods could help his chances by being a bit more aggressive on elk. Sure, there is a time to sit still, but the truth is, elk are big animals that make a lot of noise, and most of them don’t stand in once place and call for long.
This video, filmed in Southern Colorado, is a great display of good elk callers at work. With a hot bull bugling, the guides back off a good 50 yards from the hunter, and then work as a team to steer him right into a prime shooting lane. They move around far more than I would be comfortable doing—but then, I haven’t had their years of experience calling elk, either. It’s an aggressive but smart tactic, demonstrated perfectly by a team that knows exactly what they’re doing. I enjoy watching that. And I’m really itching for September, too.