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Which elk call is best?

Professional hunters have a substantial amount of gear that they use on a field trip. If you’re a novice hunter, you don’t need every piece that professional hunters do, but one device is almost non-negotiable: an elk call. Without it, you will find it incredibly difficult to locate elk or to bring them in closer. 

If you are not sure how to go about it, the Rocky Mountain Elk101 Signature Series Complete Calling kit is a great place to start. Not only does it have a call for elk bulls, but also a device that can be used for cows.

What to know before you buy an elk call

Before setting out, know how to use it

At a glance, it might seem easy to do, but you should always test out your call before you go on a hunting trip. There can be nothing worse than spotting an elk and trying a call, only to have the bull look over at you in confusion. It will be best for your field trip to practice at home so that you can master it without scaring them off.

Consider which elk you want to attract

Elk calls are available to attract bulls and cows, with some that can do both. Decide which elk you want to attract, and get a call that will suit the circumstance. The changes in the season might also dictate which calling system will get the better response. 

Don’t rely on just the elk call

Sure, the call is designed to locate elk and bring them in closer, but you can’t rely on just the device to have a successful hunt. Consider adding a few extra devices or accessories to up your chances of bagging the big one, like a hunting blind or camouflage suit.

What to look for in a quality elk call

Accurate and realistic sounds

The most important factor when it comes to using a calling device is that it must produce accurate sounds that the elk will find convincing. Sometimes, it is better to use multiple callers to create the illusion of more than one elk. A good quality call will replicate a variety of snorts, bugles or wheezing.

Easy to carry and store

When speed is of the essence with a potential target getting closer, you must be able to put down the call quickly. A good quality call isn’t necessarily small, but it will have a lanyard or some carrying mechanism. With a lanyard, it is easy to just let go of the call to line up your shot. 

Made from robust materials with a solid construction

There have been far too many hunters go use a call a few times, only for it to stop working or get damaged. The cheapest option can often let you down, which is why you should get a good quality call even if you are a beginner. These devices are made from robust rubber and hard plastic and are able to withstand harsh hunting environments.

How much you can expect to spend on an elk call

The average price of an elk call will depend on the capabilities and the materials it is made of. Simple devices can retail for under $10-$15, while more complex systems can retail for $20-$40.

Elk call FAQ

What’s the difference between an elk call and a bugle?

A. It is often a misunderstood concept, but a bugle is a type of elk call, where the term “call” is a catch-all word that can encompass all the sounds that an elk makes. 

Can you replace some of the call’s elements?

A. That will depend on the call itself. Some have reed mouthpieces that can be replaced in the field to produce different sounds. Others, like those that use a rubber mouthpiece, can’t be exchanged for something else.

What are the best elk calls to buy?

Top elk call

Rocky Mountain Elk101 Signature Series Complete Calling kit

Rocky Mountain Elk101 Signature Series Complete Calling kit

What you need to know: A firm favorite with seasoned hunters, this call looks more like a baseball bat than something to attract elk with.

What you’ll love: While the calling system is made up of different devices, the main feature is the Bully Bull Extreme grunt tube. The gadget was designed by two World Champion elk callers and uses a mouth call diaphragm. Resembling a baseball bat, the shape has been designed to create even airflow pressure that makes hitting the different octaves easier. Included in the calling system are the Temptress (used for cow elk), and the All-Star green reed mouth call.

What you should consider: While it is billed as “easy to use,” some customers have indicated that you need to practice before going on a hunt.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top elk call for money

Primos Imaka Da Bullcrazy (Orange)

Primos Imaka Da Bullcrazy (Orange)

What you need to know: This call is smaller than others, but it promises to bring in even the most stubborn of elk.

What you’ll love: This specialized elk call is designed to bring the animals closer or to locate them some distance away. The soft rubber body can be manipulated to produce different elk calls, and can even be changed to sound like multiple elk at once. The mouthpiece is made from sturdy plastic and engineered to attract curious bulls. 

What you should consider: The mouthpiece can’t be replaced, so you’ll need to take care when using it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Primos Hunting Terminator Elk System

Primos Hunting Terminator Elk System

What you need to know: This call might look like a diving snorkel but it has been designed to withstand some of the toughest hunting conditions.

What you’ll love: Manufactured from robust materials, it combines several parts to create the calling system. The resonator end is used to accurately replicate the nasal elk tones like snorting. The patented support shelf mouthpiece is employed to mimic bull bugles and cow calls with as little air pressure as possible. This feature makes it easy to blow, as you don’t need a large lung capacity for it to work. At the top, it comes with a snap-on blue reed and a protective cap. 

What you should consider: It is a bit more expensive than other elk calls, which might make it a difficult purchase for beginner hunters.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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