It’s not a surprise that my elk “call” inventory is a little unconventional. I’ve got a Hoochie Mama but have never carried it…too heavy. I’ve got the Primos high-domed diaphragm calls, but I can’t always make the perfect cow talk. I don’t use a high-volume open reed, but I don’t really need to. Pete has one and with partnered archery elk hunting, it becomes more a mid-range locator than a final 80 yards finisher. My elk bugle is just a 13″ section of tubing from the local hardware store. And my go-to elk calls – bottom row of diaphragm calls pictured below are actually turkey calls! HS Strut’s ‘Lil Strut’, ‘Double D’, and ‘Raspy Old Hen’.
Here’s some excerpts from HS Strut’s website.
Lil’ Strut – the Li’l Strut will produce consistent turkey vocalizations day after day. This is a hybrid cutter which delivers the realistic rasp you need without sacrificing the aggressive yelps and cuts. My paraphrased version – this incredible elk call can go from soft “mewing” cow talk to a high-pitched spike elk bugle just by manipulating the placement of your tongue on the call’s durable reed.
Double D – This line of calls produce all the authentic tones of a turkey, from the yelps of an old boss hen to raspy, seductive cackles. These calls utilize H.S. Strut’s new Infinity Latex for reeds that require less air pressure to run, giving hunters more realistic sounds. Both the tape and latex are moisture resistant for longer life. Top quality latex and tape along with H.S. Strut’s high manufacturing standards for consistent thickness and reed stretch ensure you get the best diaphragm calls ever produced. The Double D utilizes 2 thin reeds. My paraphrased version – Why hunters use heavier, bulkier, more cookie-cutter sounding calls like the Hoochie Mama and others is more than we’ll ever know. Get a call that is lightweight enough to be mistaken for a Wheat Thin, yet versatile enough to make mid-volume cow elk noises, transform a length of washing machine hose into a dominant bull’s bugle, yet always remain on your pallet to stop that DIY bull for the perfect shot at a moment’s notice. As an added bonus, it’s durable enough to survive 17 straight days of alternating slobber and damp pants pockets.
It’s what works for me. Hopefully, we can once again show that it works for the elk too!