Many people enjoy hunting in the mountain regions of Southern Utah, especially at this time of year. However, even if you don’t consider yourself a huntsman, there is still an amazing way to experience nature up close. We are referring to bugling – elk calling. And, while it may sound a little strange to those who haven’t tried it before, it is one of the most peaceful hobbies in the world.
Elk call to each other by a series of loud vocalizations that can be heard for miles. Especially during mating seasons, their calls attract each other, and will often draw them together. They louder the call, the more likely they will be to check out the source. And this is where you (as the new discoverer of the sport) come in.
Artificial bugling tubes are sold at various sportsman supply stores. And with a little luck, and some persistence, you can summon an elk to you. You then have the chance for a personal encounter. We, at the Lodge at Red River Ranch, have a couple of suggestions if you are interested in pursuing the hobby of elk calling.
Elk call to each other most often in the mornings and evenings. These are the best times to try artificial bugling. Remember that elk calling takes time. As one of the top experts said, “Elk are social animals. They’re constantly calling, talking and jabbering to each other. You’ve got to convince those elk that you are another group of elk… You have to call a lot and often because elk call a lot and often.”
Be sure to get out of your vehicle, and move into the forest on foot. Elk have excellent abilities to smell and will avoid most foreign objects. And because of their highly developed senses, you will need to stay downwind of you’re new friends.
Keep a safe distance from the elk you attract. A decent pair of binoculars and a good telephoto lens should be sufficient. Be respectful of these animals, because, while usually docile, they can occasionally be unpredictable.
While bugling, always, always wear orange. Don’t take any chances.
If you are an artist of any medium, or simply a nature enthusiast, elk calling can be a great way to spend an early, crisp morning.