Elk Warning Bark
or Something Else?
There is one elk sound that confuses many hunters. It sounds very similar, but can mean two completely different things. One bad. One good! Recognizing what you are hearing could make a huge difference in your game plan.
A warning bark is something we hope not to hear as hunters. It means you're busted and they are moving on! However, a similar sound can be used as a command by an elk that means "show yourself".
The warning bark is made in fast repetition, while escaping, to warn other elk of a danger. Other elk might join in making that sound as they move away from the area. Here is a recording I have in my audio files of an elk doing the warning bark. That elk doesn't like what he/she sees and is getting the heck out of Dodge.
The Show Me Grunt
The similar nervous grunt is a "nervous, but curious" command by an elk that wants to see what he or she has heard. If you've gotten its attention with an elk call and they don't see an elk, they might make this sound. They will do it with less of a stressed tone and one at a time. Not several one after the other.
The elk making the "show me" bark-sounding noise will stay around awhile looking for what they want clarifiation of. It's like saying, "I'm interested, but you have to step into the open, so I can be sure!" If you can learn to make that sound, you can command a bull to show himself to you!
You know the drill. You can't get any closer. You feel stuck! So, bring him out into the opening with an action-requiring nervous grunt.
It doesn't have to be done perfectly. It's also a great way to stop a walking elk for a shot. Many of us do that instead of a cow chirp to stop an elk in a shooting window. It WILL stop them on a dime! You'll need to be
at full draw. Try it!
ElkNut explains more about it in the
ElkNut Basic 5 DVD
Take some of the many ElkNut MP3 disks with you on your hunt, so you can listen in camp. The ElkNut's Playbook is a great heavily constructed, spiral bound resource that fits in your cargo pocket or pack. While you're hunting, pull it out to get some ideas of what to do in a specific hunting situtation based on what you are hearing and seeing.
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