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This video was posted by elknut on the Bowsite forum, with the title of Estrus Elk Scream or buzz.


As several of us noted, it appears to have nothing to do with "estrus" and either was an attempt to get good hits on a thread, or a complete misunderstanding of elk vocalizations. Elknut is a call manufacturer ???

Here was my response to the video.

As I listened to this call again, and watched what the animal was doing, I'm thinking this is an aberrant version (meaning not all elk sound exactly like this) of the "social contact call" (or mew), in which the animal is looking for a herd it got separated from. Or just looking to join another herd.

For a moment - let's consider the dynamics of an elk cow/calf herd.

In some cases - a cow/calf herd is made up of cows and their calves, and may have grown up yearlings (from one of the older cows in the herd) from the year before, and their calves - and possibly two or more generations.

Or, the herd could be made up mostly of totally unrelated cows and their calves, with possibly yearlings of the cows from the year before.

In either case, the animals - at some point in their lives - were probably part of a herd - and that is what many of them are comfortable with.

So - when a recalcitrant (independent) cow, and especially a wandering yearling, gets separted from its mother or the herd - they may want to join up with the herd (again), or join another herd, because there is safety in numbers. To locate the herd, and get their mother to signal where she is at, or where some other elk in a herd is at - the wayward (lost) elk performs a loud "social contact call" which we may be hearing here.

The elk hopes to hear another elk, and then the other elk will respond, and they can get together.

Now, for the calling part...

You can use this call to bring in a bull, because any bull that wants to breed, especially bulls without a cow or a harem, MAY (notice I said may) respond to this call - hoping to find a cow (in estrus or not), to follow around, or to get to join the harem, and eventually breed with.

Which is why you can use most cow/calf calls to attract bulls.

This does not appear to have anything to do with "estrus".

If any of you have questions on the elk pages you get, notify me at [email protected], post your question here - and I'll get here fast as I can.

As I told the whitetail guys, I'm laid up this year due to chronic pain, and can't hunt. But, I may (may) be able to help you guys hunt, or understand elk, better.

I enjoy sharing what I have learned.

God bless and good hunting,

T.R.
 
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