What You'll See:
In this video, you'll share in an experience that ALL elk fanatics dream about, but that can downright frustrate us when we actually find ourselves in the middle of it. You’ll see the absolute bugling chaos and frenzy of activity that corresponds to multiple herd bulls in the same small area trying to keep their cows sorted out from one another, all while trying to fend off satellite bulls! While it's awesome to be in the presence of such an event, trying to call in one of the herd bulls in these situations can be extremely challenging. In this clip, Chris finds himself in that exact scenario and demonstrates using the Targeted and Aggressive Cow Calling Strategies together to try and call in a mature bulls.
Setting the Stage:
For this morning, Chris headed to an area with a stock pond that still had water in it. Because there were elk in the area the night before (that he found just prior to filming the Strategies in Action video "108"), he figured that it would be a good place to start given how warm and dry it had been, and given that the elk were likely going to want to get a good drink at some point before they headed off to bed.
He was right, but rather than just one group of elk in there that morning, there were at least two, if not three different groups - each with their own herd bull - that had all converged on the area during the night. By first light, it was obvious that the herd bulls were trying to keep their cows separated, and based on just how fired up and seriously preoccupied they were, there may even have been at least one cow coming into heat; being late-September, the rut was in full swing. Adding to all the chaos was a PILE of younger satellite bulls that were cruising the edges of, and in between, the different groups, checking out all the action and trying to stay out of harms way.
While the bulls were fired up - again, most likely due to the presence of, and their interest in, the cows - the herd bulls were only actively pursuing, or chasing, the bulls that happened to get too close as they were traveling through the timber. With so many elk cruising the edges of the core cow groups, there was no way Chris could get closer than approximately 100 yards of the larger mature bulls, so Chris decided to go with a Targeted Cow Vocalization Strategy to start.
"Now, there's no doubt that over the course of the videos in this series you'll see that when choosing a Cow Vocalizations Strategy, I overwhelmingly prefer a Targeted Strategy in most cases, as opposed to a Passive or Aggressive Strategy, at least to start. Targeted Strategies just get the job done quicker and more effectively - in my opinion - in so many different scenarios. While I'll absolutely use the Passive and Aggressive Strategies when I need them - and you'll see that in this video - often times when I know where the elk are, and I'm able to work in close, I'll just go straight to a Targeted Strategy."
"Also, you'll notice that in the Elk Hunter's Strategy App for the Targeted Cow Vocalization Strategy, I suggest starting off with a Lost Mew - or a short string of Lost Mews - to make initial vocal contact and then bump up to Assembly Mews if you need to in order to get them coming your way. You'll see in this video that I go straight to Assembly Mews. In this case, not only was I able to work myself in fairly close to the elk before I started calling, but because there were so many other elk vocalizing around me, I didn't need to try and "make" vocal contact with anyone; I just jumped in as though I was just another one of the group and wanted them to come my way. The elk were generally moving from my right to my left, and slightly away from me, so I wanted to try and get some - if not all - of the animals to veer my direction as they were heading out. So that's why I just jumped straight into the Assembly Mews."
Viewing / Listening Tips:
The best audio is heard while wearing headphones or ear-buds so you can hear all the subtle sounds that are going on, in addition to the prominent bugles and other vocalizations. Use CAUTION, however, setting your volume too high as some of Chris' calling can be much louder than the rest of the audio.