Elk’s Symphony: Exploring the Melodies of their Unique Calls

Elk hunting is a thrilling and challenging endeavor that requires skill and strategy. One of the most critical aspects of a successful elk hunt is the ability to communicate effectively with these majestic creatures.

This is where elk calls are the key to unlocking a hunter’s potential for a fruitful hunt. Elk calls are specialized tools designed to mimic various vocalizations made by elk, allowing hunters to attract, communicate with, and ultimately deceive these intelligent animals.

The Importance of Elk Calls in Hunting

Elk calls are not merely accessories or novelties but essential tools that can significantly enhance a hunter’s chances of success in the field. As highly social creatures, elk rely heavily on vocal communication within their herds.

By understanding and imitating their language through well-crafted calls, hunters can establish themselves as part of the herd’s dynamics, making it easier to approach undetected or lure them closer for better shot opportunities. Moreover, elk calls enable hunters to simulate specific behaviors or situations that trigger responses from these majestic beasts.

For example, cow elk calls can replicate the sounds made by female elks during mating season, attracting curious bulls looking for potential mates. Similarly, bugle calls mimic the guttural bugle sounds produced by dominant bull elks during rutting season – an effective way to provoke aggressive responses from other bulls or even draw in cows guarding their calves.

Overview of Different Types of Elk Calls

Elk calls come in various designs and styles tailored to different situations and preferences. Understanding these different types will help hunters select the most suitable call for their needs:

    • Mouth Diaphragm Calls: These intricate devices consist of latex reeds held against the roof of the mouth and controlled by the tongue and airflow. Mouth diaphragm calls are versatile and produce a wide range of elk sounds, including cow calls, calf mews, and bull bugles.

    • External Reed Calls: These calls utilize external reeds constructed from materials like plastic or wood. They offer simplicity in operation and versatility in producing various elk vocalizations, such as cow chirps or bull grunts.

    • Bugle Tube Calls: Designed to imitate the powerful bugling sound of rutting bull elks, bugle tube calls consist of a hollow tube with an attached mouthpiece. By manipulating the air pressure through different techniques, hunters can accurately replicate the resonating tones of a dominant bull elk’s bugle.

Each elk call type has unique advantages and characteristics, catering to different hunting scenarios or personal preferences. Understanding their distinctions will allow hunters to choose a suitable call that aligns with their abilities and hunting strategies.

Mouth Diaphragm Calls: The Art of Mimicking Elk Sounds with Your Mouth

Explanation of how mouth diaphragm calls work

Mouth diaphragm elk calls, also known as diaphragm calls or mouth reeds, are highly effective tools hunters use to replicate the vocalizations of elk. These calls consist of a latex or rubber reed enclosed within a plastic frame typically placed in the hunter’s mouth.

By manipulating air pressure and tongue placement, hunters can create various elk sounds, such as bugles, cow calls, and calf mews. Understanding its basic mechanics is the key to successfully operating a mouth diaphragm call.

When air is forced through the reed by exhaling or inhaling, it causes vibrations that produce sound. By altering the shape of the oral cavity and adjusting tongue placement against the reed, hunters can control pitch, volume, and tone quality to create realistic elk sounds.

Step-by-step guide on using mouth diaphragm calls effectively

1. Selecting a suitable call: Choose a mouth diaphragm call matching your skill level and desired sound repertoire. Consider factors such as reed thickness and tension.

2. Proper placement: Position the mouth call against your palate with the latex facing outwards towards your lips. Ensure it fits comfortably without obstructing breathing.

3. Tongue positioning: Place your tongue against the latex reed while leaving enough space for proper airflow around it. Experiment with different tongue positions to achieve desired sounds.

4. Air control: Practice controlling air pressure using controlled exhalations or inhalations while maintaining consistent airflow throughout the call.

5. Mouth shape manipulation: Experiment with shaping your oral cavity by widening or narrowing your jaw to alter pitch and tone quality.

6. Practicing different elk vocalizations: Start with basic cow calls and calf mews, gradually progressing to bugles. Mimic the sounds you hear in the wild and strive for accuracy.

Review of top-rated mouth diaphragm elk calls in the market

Mile High Note Game Calls Rival Double Reed Elk Diaphragm Elk Call

This call is easy to blow, producing authentic, realistic bugles and sweet-sounding cow and calf sounds. It is made of high-quality materials and is very durable. It is also very affordable, making it a great option for beginners.

External Reed Calls: Versatile Tools for Various Elk Vocalizations

External reed calls are highly versatile tools that allow hunters to produce a wide range of elk vocalizations. These calls consist of an external reed, activated by pushing air, creating realistic elk sounds.

The mechanics behind external reed calls are relatively simple yet effective. By manipulating the pressure and speed of your breath, you can produce different pitches and tones to mimic cow calls or even the distinct bugle of a bull elk.

To effectively use an external reed call, it is crucial to understand the nuances of elk vocalizations. By studying their behavior and listening to recordings of live elk in the wild, hunters can learn to replicate their sounds more accurately.

A step-by-step guide can help hunters master the use of external reed calls:

    1. Before using the call, familiarize yourself with its operation and practice controlling your breath.
    2. Select the appropriate call for the desired vocalization (e.g., cow call or bugle).
    3. Position the call correctly against your mouth with a firm yet comfortable grip.
    4. Vary your breath pressure and speed to produce different pitches and tones.
    5. Practice different sequences and combinations of sounds to create realistic elk conversations.

Review of Top-Rated External Reed Elk Calls

To assist you in making an informed decision when choosing an external reed call, we have reviewed three highly regarded options available on the market:

Primos Hoochie Mama Elk Call

This push-button call is easy to use and produces realistic cow sounds, making it a great choice for attracting bulls. It’s also affordable and compact, making it a convenient option for hunters.

  • Easy-to-use push-button design
  • Produces realistic cow sounds
  • Affordable and compact
  • Effective for attracting bulls

Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls

This diaphragm call is another popular option for its ease of use and versatility. It produces a wide range of elk sounds, including bugles, cow calls, and calf calls, making it suitable for various hunting situations.

  • Easy-to-use diaphragm call
  • Produces a wide range of elk sounds
  • Versatile for various hunting situations
  • Suitable for beginners and experienced hunters

Phelps Game Calls Signature

This diaphragm call is known for its high-quality construction and ability to produce loud, realistic bugles. It’s preferred by experienced elk hunters for its precision and control, allowing them to mimic various elk vocalizations effectively.

  • High-quality construction for durability
  • Produces loud, realistic bugles
  • Preferred by experienced hunters for precision 
  • Effective for mimicking various elk vocals

These three elk calls are consistently among the top-rated and best-selling options in the market. Their popularity stems from their ease of use, versatility, and ability to produce realistic elk sounds, making them effective tools for attracting and calling in elk.


External reed calls are versatile tools that allow hunters to produce a wide range of elk vocalizations. By mastering their mechanics and understanding elk behavior, hunters can communicate effectively with these majestic wild creatures.

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