Bowhunting Elk With Wayne Carlton

Editor’s Note: Wayne Carlton, a Hunter’s Specialties’ elk pro, helps design elk calls for Hunter’s Specialties, guides hunters to elk and is a TV host and call maker. Now’s the time when many hunters are starting to get in shape and gather their equipment to go elk hunting out West. This week Carlton will discuss what bowhunters for elk need to know when they come to the West.

QUESTION: Wayne, in most states bowhunters get first crack at the elk. What is the biggest mistake bowhunters make when trying to take high-country elk?
CARLTON: When you sight your bow in in Augusta, Georgia, or Detroit, Michigan, you are sighting in at about 300-500 foot elevation. But, when you come out West and hunt at 8,000- 10,000 foot elevation, your arrow will fly two to three inches higher than it will at home. Therefore, regardless of how well you’re shooting before you arrive at elk camp, always sight in your bow when you get there. If you don’t, there’s a good chance you’ll miss your elk or shoot high on him and wound him.

All this information applies if you’re shooting on flat ground. If you have to take a shot at an elk that is downhill from you, and your bow is already shooting two to three inches high, you’re really going to shoot high on this shot. Most bowhunters don’t realize how much elevation affects the flight of an arrow. So, regardless of how well you’re shooting on flat ground, when you reach the high altitudes of the West to hunt elk, you have to resight your bow.

QUESTION: Wayne, tell me why you helped Hunter’s Specialties develop the Estrus Whine Cow Call?
CARLTON: The Estrus Whine Cow Call is an addition to the Fight’n Cow Call. We created tone slots on the side of the bell part of the call to enable the hunter to manipulate the call and create a lot of different types of cow calls, just by his moving his hand over and around these slots.

The Estrus Whine Cow Call allows the hunter to sound like more than one cow calling in an area by enabling him to vary the kinds of calls he gives. Because the reed on the Fight’n Cow Call has a tendency to hang-up when you blow it a lot, we’ve put a textured surface on the sounding board that the reed touches in the Estrus Whine Cow Call to keep it from hanging up. I believe you need both calls – the Fight’n Cow Call and the Estrus Whine Cow Call - when you’re elk hunting. You need that Fight’n Cow Call to get a bull to bugle and that Estrus Whine Cow Call to make him think that there are several cows in the area that he can meet if he just comes on in to the call.