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Are you looking for the best hunting bugles? With different brands and models of hunting bugles on the market today, it can be a challenge sometimes to find the right one. Elk calls are very useful in locating bulls. In this article, we review some of the best bugles on the market to help you find the right one for your hunting needs.

1. Primos Hunting 946 Elk Call, Bullet Bugle

The Primos hunting elk call features a soft and flexible chamber that makes it quiet and easy to carry. You can reproduce accurate bugles and cow calls with variable tones. Its mouthpiece with support shelf features a Blue reed. This Primos bugle is one of the best hunting bugles on the market. We discussed the best elk hunting tips in this article that you can read from this link.

What We Like:

  • Soft Flexible Chamber
  • Compact Design
  • Patented Mouthpiece With Support Shelf

2. Primos 00912 Bull Horn Elk Call

As one of the best hunting bugles, the Primos 00912 Bull Horn Elk Call features an expandable hose that measures 7 to 24 inches. With its patented support shelf mouthpiece, you can create bugles and cow calls easily and accurately with little air pressure. It also features a blue “snap-on” reed that provides the tension and tones needed.

What We Like:

  • Expandable Hose (7-24)
  • Patented Support Shelf Mouthpiece
  • Snap-On Reed

3. Hunters Specialties Carlton’s Calls Bugle Elk Call

The Hunters Specialties Carlton’s Bugle Elk Call is small and compact. It also features great volume.

What We Like:

  • Small & Compact
  • Tremendous Volume

4. Rocky Mountain Wapiti Whacker Bugle

The Rocky Mountain Wapiti whacker bugle reproduces location and display calls. It gives out a high-pitch-screaming challenge. It is made of aluminum and the dimensions of the inner hole size create deeper, raspier base sounding chuckles, growls, and grunts.

What We Like:

  • High Pitch Screaming Challenge
  • Location & Display Calls

5. Phelps Game Calls un-Rival-ed Bugle Tube

The Phelps bugle tube features great depth and volume as well as realistic tones from its ultra-compact tube. It is ideal for running ridges, hunting the brush, or when you want to save weight and space.

What We Like:

  • Great Volume
  • Ideal For Running Ridges & Hunting The Brush
  • Ultra-Compact Tube
  • Great Depth

6. Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls 141 Rogue Bugle Tube

The Rocky Mountain 141 creates more volume, stabilizes higher notes, makes raspier low growls, and allows for easier octave changes.

What We Like:

  • Makes Raspier Low Growl
  • Allows For Easier Octave Changes
  • Stabilizes Higher Notes
  • More Volume

7. Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls 146

The Rocky Mountain hunting call 146 utilizes the VETT (volume-enhanced tone technology) calling system to create the backpressure needed to easily change notes. You can also create deeper, raspier, base-sounding chuckles, growls, and grunts. Additionally, with its large chamber, the accuracy and realism of the elk calling are greatly enhanced.

What We Like:

  • Utilizes V.E.T.T. Calling System
  • Rubber Boot Eliminates Plastic Vibration Sounds
  • Creates Deeper, Raspier, Base Sounding Chuckles, Growls & Grunts

8. Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls 137-S

The Rocky Mountain hunting calls 137-S to create all sounds, even the high pitch screaming challenge, location, and display calls of a bull elk.

What We Like:

  • Creates 11 Sounds

9. Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls Elk Calling Starter Kit-One Size

The Rocky Mountain elk calling starter kit reproduces frustrated bull calls, cow mews, and chirps. Its mouth opening is 1 1/2 inches with a length of 21 3/8 inches.

What We Like:

  • Golden Tone Plate Frame Advanced Design
  • Single Lite Reed FIRESTORM Latex

10. Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls 137

The Rocky Mountain hunting calls 137 uses the VETT (volume enhanced tone technology) calling system that is found in the mouth opening. It creates the backpressure required to easily change the notes. With its inner hole size dimensions, this hunting call creates deeper, raspier base-sounding chuckles, growls, and grunts. Additionally, plastic vibration sounds are eliminated with its rubber-coated end.

What We Like:

  • Utilizes VETT Calling System
  • Rubber-Coated End Eliminates Plastic Vibration Sounds
  • Creates Deeper, Raspier Base Sounding Chuckles, Growls & Grunts

Types Of Elk Vocalizations

1. Chirps

A chirp is a vocalization made by elks when they are in the company of each other. It is just elks communicating with each other. Chirps are also used by cow elks and bulls. Chirps are used by hunters to give the impression of a large group of cow elk interacting. Chirps are effective in attracting mature bull elks.

2. Mews

Mews are highly variable elk calls and vocalizations. They can convey threats, submission, sparring between bulls, communication between a cow to calf, communicating from cow to bull, or locating other elks.

3. Barks

Barks are used by elks as an alert call to inform others that there is danger around. You want to avoid barks as a hunter. They are very pointed and abrupt.

4. Bugle

The bugle is the most popular elk call. Bull elks bugle to locate other elks as well as show their dominance. A bull also bugles to call cows into him. As a hunter, you want to master how to bugle as it can be used to call in a bull to your location.

5. Chuckle

A chuckle is a series of grunts that comes after a bugle. You can use a combination of the bugle and the chuckle to draw out bulls.

6. Glunk

A glunk is a muffled bass sound made by bulls. The glunk attracts cows but poses a problem for other bulls nearby. With a series of bulges and glunks, you have a good chance of calling in an elk during the rut.

7. Estrus Scream

The estrus scream is a loud and high-pitched call. It is exclusive to cows. Cow elks use the estrus scream to signal their readiness to mate with other elks during the rut. Since this call will rouse up bull elks to the possibility of mating, it is a good call to master. The estrus scream can also be used to locate herds that are in the area or stop a bull elk long enough to take a shot at it.

Types Of Elk Calls

1. Bugle

The bugle is designed to mimic the sound of a bugling bull elk. It usually features a variation of a diaphragm call with a tube attached. The tube often has a baffle that gives you the option to create different tones to give different impressions. The bugle is one of the most used elk calls by elk hunters.

2. Reed

Reeds create the sound of an elk call. Some allow you to reproduce different tones by altering the pressure on the reed by tightening the lips and changing how hard the user is blowing. Reed calls are easy to use and don’t require a lot of practice. Reed calls need to be held in your hand. This may not be an issue for you but becomes challenging if you need both hands on your gun to shoot.

Additionally, some reed calls’ designs can cause it to be “fouled” by the user’s saliva and stop working after extended use. However, this is not a permanent issue as the problem is resolved and the reed will work when it dries. But this poses a problem when you are calling and it stops working.

3. Bite Call

A bite call reproduces the nasal sound that can’t be created by an open reed call or a diaphragm. This sound might just be the one to call a bull closer to you.

Another consideration that you may want to bring on your elk hunting trip, is a bite call. A bite call like the FoxPro® Change-up allows you to get the nasally sound that you will not achieve with a diaphragm or open reed call. The nasally sound of the Change-up might be the final trigger a bull needs to come the extra 50 yards.

4. Diaphragm

A diaphragm call is a thin horseshoe-shaped device with one or more latex strips across the center. You can mimic all of the elk sounds you want to make if you have the necessary skills. With the call inside your mouth, your hands are free to operate a weapon.

5. Electronic

You can convert your smartphone into an electronic elk call with the use of apps. It just requires installing the app and activating a call. However, the sound may not be the best quality or realistic sound to achieve your desired results. Additionally, electronic elk calls are not legal in most states.

Elk Calling Tips

1. Two Are Better Than One

When there are two people, you have a lot of advantages. One can be the caller, reproduce the elk tune and lure the elk before the shooter, and the other, the shooter. Elks have a great sense of hearing and can pinpoint the location of the sound. Therefore the farther back you are, the better as it pulls the elk closer as it looks for the elk and comes to pass the shooter. Be farther back at least 75 yards.

2. Use Different Calls

Take a number of different calls with you. You really don’t know which sound the elk will be interested in. It’s not just a bugle, a diaphragm, and a reed. But also bring several varieties with different sounds. Aggressive cow sounds full-grown cow sounds, calf sounds, distressed sounds.

3. Make Cow Sounds

Sometimes you need to make cow sounds because if you can get the cow to come in, the bull will come after the cow.

4. Use A Bugle

If you are alone and want to call and shut up so they look in different directions, you can use a bugle that makes it sound like you have changed your location. You can sound like you are really close or walking away really far and that will get the bull coming in your direction.

5. Don’t Be Fast To Call

Don’t be too fast to start calling. It is good to get up close and observe what the bulls are doing before you start making calls. Get a good idea of what is happening with them to know which call to make. You have to blow the right call at the right time in the right scenario to get the elk to react.

6. Bugle & Chuckle​

One of the tried and tested elk calling tips is the “bugle & chuckle”. It works most of the time to call in a bull elk into your area. It can scare away smaller bulls but call in the big and dominant bull elks.

7. Cow Call To Calm A Spooked Herd​

If you spook a herd of elk, use a few short mews to calm the spooked herd down while you get within range.

8. Bugle Louder Than The Herd Bull​

To rile up a bull, bugle louder than the herd bull. This will most likely bring a bull within range to search for the rival who is bugling louder than him. The herd bull wants to show who is the boss.

Hunting Bugle Accessories

1.  Hunting Bugle Mouthpiece

This is the mouthpiece for the bugle.

2.  Game Calls Metal Bugle Tube Holder

This is a metal holder to hold the bugle.

How do I choose a bugle tube?
A bugle tube will produce a deep guttural sound the larger and longer the tube is. In some elk bugle tubes the mouthpiece is narrower, making it more difficult to do a “lip bawl.”
Is it better to cow call or bugle?
It is best to just make different cow sounds. This will call in bulls.
What calls to use for elk?
A bugle call is arguably the most popular call. However, cow calls are also very good at calling in bull elk.
What time of day do elk bugle the most?
Elk are most active at dusk and dawn but will bugle throughout the night.
Do cow elk respond to calls?
Cow elk do respond to calls. Cow elk will communicate with each other year-round, so cow calling, especially if you have a cow tag, is a good strategy.
Can a cow elk bugle?
Cow elk grunts and bark. They also bugle, in the stress of giving birth and when gathering the herd to move. Another female vocalization is the estrus call of a cow in heat.
What do elk bugles mean?
Elk bugle during the rut when they search for a mating partner. The bugle also serves as a warning to other bulls in the area as a sign of dominance.
Where do elk beds go daily?
Day beds are not where elk lounge at night. During the day, hunt in jungles of lodgepole pine or second-growth Douglas fir. In warm weather, look for elk to bed high on north slopes where timber is thick but breezes keep flies at bay. Elk like to forage in the open, mostly early and late in the day.

Best Hunting Bugles

The Bottom Line

The best hunting bugles will call in bull elks when you hunt. They help you call wild game when hunting. In this guide, we reviewed some of the best hunting bugles on the market to help you make an informed decision on your next bugle.

We recommend the Rocky Mountain Wapiti Whacker Bugle as our top choice for a hunting bugle. We also reviewed the best predator calls, the best goose calls, and the best turkey calls.