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The Best Elk Bugles for this Fall’s Hunting Season

  • July 20, 2016 /

Bull Elk BuglingElk hunting is a very exciting sport that many people enjoy. Elk hunting requires skill and the art of making critical shots. Hunting is a skill learned over the years and requires practice. A critical tool used in elk hunting is a bugle that can call the elk, so they can come and investigate calls that the bugle makes. Once the elk comes within range you can take that critical shot and enjoy the reward of your hard effort. Today, we will explore more about elk hunting and what to look for in an ideal bugle.

How to Get an Elk to Come Closer?

The common practice of attracting an elk and make it come closer is by using artificial elk bugles. Since every elk communicates with one another to send a certain message, imitating the sound can help you in your goal to make them respond.

If you happen to be in the field near a herd, you may notice that one elk herd moves in a direction of another upon hearing a bugle. However, not all bugles are responded to. By understanding the reason for each bugle call and the situation in which it occurs will surely give you an advantage to get them to come closer to you.

As a hunter, you may wish you were on the position where an elk is heading because of a call. Because of this, imitating the same sound using an artificial elk bugle becomes the means to attract them.

Keep in mind that elk are elusive and at the same time aggressive. They are elusive because they will run away when they become suspicious of anything around them. Ironically, they are aggressive when such suspicion sometimes angered them for the reason that they are challenged, so they may attack anything that becomes a threat.

The goal in elk hunting is not to chase an elk or to be chased by it. Your goal as a hunter is to attract it and make a shot when it’s within an acceptable range. To do so, imitating a sound that makes any of them respond is the key. Therefore, using an artificial elk bugle will help you get an elk come closer.

Understanding the Nature of Elk Bugles

An elk bugle is not just a simple sound that can be imitated. A single type of sound may mean one thing in one situation and may mean another different thing in another situation. In other words, similar bugles can have different meanings depending on the situation.

The period between August and September is usually the Elks’ mating period. During such period, bugles are commonly heard all day. Consequently, they respond quickly to every bugle. After the mating period, they are quiet most of the time. Any noise may be strange for elks, so they tend to be cautious and become elusive. This is not an ideal season for hunting elk. Because of this, the same sound that attracts them in the mating period is what may scare them after such a period.

On the other hand, this does not mean that you can simply use an artificial elk bugle in the hunting period. There are still different sound and different situations you should understand.

First, a bugle in one type of terrain could mean a call or just a simple communication that can be ignored. A bull that bugles outside the herd may post a challenge against an alpha male within the herd, and may attract it for a fight while a bugle from another male within the same herd is something that has no significance for other bulls.

Secondly, not all bugles are the same. A bull’s bugle is different from that of a cow. The sound of a cow may attract a bull. However, the sound from an old cow will simply get ignored by most bulls.

On top of that, most cows are not attracted by a bull’s bugle. They only go to the direction of a bugle when the sound seems to be coming from a lost member of the herd. Perhaps, the reason is to save the lost one, or they simply respond out of curiosity.

Lastly, most elk that bugle, especially in the season around August and September simply want to say, “I am present.” It means the bugle is just a sign that an elk declares his affiliation with the herd.

What to Avoid During Elk Hunting

Like bull fighting, the thrill in elk hunting is not on how you hit the target. It is at very the moment when the bull is approaching. It means the bull has to approach to finish the game. However, the danger lies in simple mistakes that novice hunters may commit. The mistakes may happen when the timing is not perfect.

Elk bulls are not just robots that are programmed to have a definite response to a particular bugle. They have an instinct to become aggressive when they find threat or when they get irritated. It means that a bull would approach after hearing a bugle not just because he is sure to have found another bull to challenge. Most of the time, he is curious whether this threat is something that he can stop or ignore.

When a bull finds out that the bugle that challenges him is coming from an unexpected weaker creature such as human that he can push away, he will become more aggressive. Therefore, the possibility that an elk bull will attack the hunter is always there. This is the primary thing that an elk hunter must avoid because it may not only fail him in the competition but may also endanger his life. This danger takes place when the artificial elk bugle produces a wrong sound. The bull may confuse the sound with another weaker creature than with another bull that is challenging him.

To avoid such danger, it is highly important that the artificial you are using is designed to produce an accurate sound that serves its purpose. It should be an exact bugle that the bull may expect. Therefore, choosing your artificial elk bugle is critical.

What to Look for in an Elk Bugle

Your success in elk hunting really depends on you elk bugles. Not all elk bugle products are the same. They are manufactured according to purposes. Moreover, specific products that are made for a certain use may vary in quality and accuracy of producing the sound.

Understanding the nature and behavior of elks will help you choose which kind of elk bugles you should buy. Nevertheless, there are elk bugles that are designed to produce a particular sound and purpose. Here are the things you should look for in an elk bugle:

1. To Challenge

This is actually your ultimate purpose why you are using an artificial elk bugle. You can hardly get any elk to come closer to you unless the elk is a bull that is protecting his herd from an outsider bull. Your target is this kind of bull that is responding to another bull’s bugle. Your product should sound as though it is coming from such a bull that challenges an alpha male in the herd. A bull’s elk bugle product is perfect for this situation.

2. To Seduce

Once again, your target is a bull, so you can also use the sound of a cow to attract him, especially during mating season. Furthermore, using a cow’s bugle may reduce the bull’s aggressiveness to attack. Instead, he may stop to also attract the cow that he thought producing the bugle. The strategy behind this is for you to prepare a shot after getting closer. You can first use a bull’s elk bugle and a cow’s bugle afterward. Sometimes, a cow’s bugle alone is enough during the mating period.

3. To Rescue

This is rare. Bulls rarely respond to rescue. It is the cow that is very curious when a bugle seems like from the one that is asking for help. Even so, bulls may also approach along with cows or other bulls. However, this could be more dangerous as not only one bull may respond but two or more because elks are also social animals.

4. To Calm

As an elk hunter, this type of elk bugle product is very important. When a bull becomes more aggressive than expected, you can produce a bugle sound to calm him. It means that the sound may give a message to the bull that he should not worry because the sound speaks as if another elk is saying he is one with him. This is used for safety purpose.

Top Elk Bugles to Buy

Elk bugles are available in the market. There is an abundance of them online. Here are the top elk bugles you can buy for your elk hunting adventures. They are all available at Amazon.com and other leading online shops.

Carlton’s Calls Mac Daddy Elk Grunt Bugle Tube & Cow Call

This product is produced by Hunter Specialties. It has a mouthpiece and removable grunt tube. Its mouthpiece has Infinity Latex that can easily make a call. This elk bugle can be used by both beginners and professional hunters. You won’t have to worry about how to use it because it includes an instructional video in DVD.

Product Details

  • Instructional DVD Included
  • Baffle For Close In Calling
  • Infinity Latex
  • Realistic Sounds
  • Grunt Tube Premier Elk Bugle
  • Item Weight: 7.2 ounces

Primos Hunting Bullet Bugle Elk Call

Primos Hunting Bullet Bugle Elk Call is produced by Primos Hunting. This product is designed to carry easily in the field because it is light and compact. In addition, you can flexibly manipulate the sound.

Product Details

  • Soft, Flexible Chamber allows Quiet and easy packing
  • Patented mouthpiece with Support Shelf and Primos Blue Reed
  • Compact design allows for easy carry and variable sounds
  • Includes an adjustable webbing carry strap
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 7.4 x 1.9 inches; 3.2 ounces

4-Pk. Elk Herd Calls

is a product of Bugling Bull. It is a palate plate diaphragm that bugles and calls big bulls. The palate is placed into your mouth in your upper teeth to give you more control on the latex. Using your tongue pressure, you can change the notes. This gives you full control of the sound, and is perfect if you are very much aware of every elk sound.

Product Details

  • Herd Master – Small to medium bull, cow and calf sounds.
  • Mini Master – Small to medium cow, calf, and bull sounds.
  • Raging Bull – all cow, calf and bull sounds.
  • The Remedy – cow or calf calls, spike, satellite and large bull sounds.
  • Produces all the sounds needed to entice the big bull
  • Item Weight: 4.8 ounces

Bully Bull Extreme Elk Call

Bully Bull Extreme Elk Call is manufactured by Rocky Mountain Radar. It is designed to produce different bugle sounds.

Product Details

  • Designed for use with diaphragm calls
  • Larger diameter mouth-opening
  • Creates consistent airflow
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces

Who’s YRR Daddy Signature Series Elk Call

This is another product of Bugling Bull. This elk bugle produces cow and calf bugles to attract bulls. This is a perfect choice to use along with other elk bugles such as the bull elk bugle.

Product Details

  • Cow Sound
  • Standard Mews and Chirps of Cows and Calves
  • Dual Tone Open Reed Call
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces


The above products are just a few of the many elk bugles you can buy. But they are one of the most useful products to use because they will help you complete all the purposes you will need to achieve during your elk hunting. It is best to read the manufacturer’s instructions for better understanding of features and functions. Nevertheless, it is your knowledge about the nature and behavior of elk that matters even in choosing which elk bugles to use.

Videos of Elk Bugling

In case you need a dose of inspiration, here are a couple awesome videos of bull elk doing what they do best!