Best Elk Calls of 2020 – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

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Heading out to hunt? There are a number of items that can prove to be of great help on your hunting trip, and one of those is an elk call.

It is a small and simple device, but one that can make a great difference.

In order to ensure that you get the best out of these pieces of hunting aids, this article will provide you with all the help you need.

Our Top Picks for Elk Calls

  • Efficient elk call
  • Features resonator end
  • Extra reed compartment
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  • Best for the money
  • More mellow tones
  • Accurate pitch
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  • Bugle call for all animals
  • Best elk bugle call
  • High-quality materials
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Comparison of the Best Elk Calls

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Runner-up product with features that come very close to the best.
  • Features a resonator end that closely mimics an elk's voice chamber.
  • Also comes with a terminator elk call with a cap and an extra reed compartment.
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  • Best for the money, with great value for what you pay.
  • Also comes with a tone converter that allows more mellow tones.
  • Designed with an open single reed that allows a better, more accurate pitch.
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  • This bugle call works ideally for every type of calling.
  • Best elk bugle call out of all the bugle calls that you'll find.
  • This unit is designed out of high-quality materials to ensure that it lasts through thick and thin.
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  • Best elk diaphragm call that serves as the perfect set for your hunting trip.
  • A pack of 4 to provide a good range of sounds for calling different animals.
  • The unit is designed from high-quality materials to ensure the best of performance.
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  • This unit also allows users to create a herd talk.
  • Comes in a pack of two, with one to be used in each hand.
  • Best Bull Elk Call for luring out the animals wherever you go.
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  • Best Elk Cow Call
  • Can easily mimic the nasal sounds and mew chirps of Elks
  • Easy to use and ideal for beginners
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  • Best Rocky Mountain Elk Call
  • Can accurately mimic the call of a challenger bull Elk
  • Also capable of mimicking the general sounds of calves and cows
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  • Best Primos Elk Call
  • Made from longer enduring silicone
  • Pre-tuned from the box for convenient, immediate use
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  • Best Phelps Elk Call
  • Designed for maximum volume production an accurate mimicking
  • Comes in colorful choices with printed Phelps logos
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What is an Elk Call and How Does it Work?

To pick the best elk call for yourself, you first need a basic knowledge of what these units really are, and how they work. If you are new to the concept of these calls, then here is a brief summary.

Elks are very vocal animals that have naturally far-reaching vocals. This is a basic concept that is picked up by these devices. Elk calls are instruments that produce vocals that are similar to those of an elk and lure in prey while hunting.

How exactly does an elk call lure in prey for hunting? It is very simple. They tend to call out and then listen. In response, another one, or even other animals, may call out or follow the elk call. When one blows an elk call, elks and other animals such as cows would think of it as a call from an elk, and likely follow the voice. That is how you can have your prey walk right to you instead of finding it.

How to Choose an Elk Call

Now that you know what an elk call is and how it can make your hunting trip a lot easier, it is time to understand how to choose the right one. This is done through a number of considerations. Keeping a keen eye on all the right aspects will ensure that you pick the right product for yourself.

Ease and Convenience

User's ease of use and convenience are the most important aspects to consider when buying elk calls, or any other product for that matter. Mastering the right use of these units can be a tough job. These instruments are designed to make hunting easier. It is, therefore, important that the unit that you choose provides the right sort of convenience or ease. Otherwise, it kills the purpose of using an instrument that is supposed to make your job easier.

Adjustability

Elk calls do not produce just one sort of vocal. Different ranges send out different signals for the animals. Therefore, good adjustability is important in order to produce the right sound to attract your prey.

Accuracy

This is yet another aspect that cannot be overlooked at any cost. Animals are very sensitive when it comes to sounds, and can tell apart what is real and what's far from it. So in order to ensure that your chosen unit does what it is designed to, it is important that the sounds that it produces are accurate.

Pros and Cons of Elk Calls

Using an elk call comes with its own sets of advantages and disadvantages, just like any other product. It is these pros and cons that help you decide if you really need one for yourself. Here are a few of the pros and cons of using these devices.

Pros

  • Elk calls are considerably cheap products. They usually are within a very affordable price range, making them a cheap aid to your hunting trips
  • If used correctly, these are of great help while hunting. They can greatly enhance your hunting experience once you've figured out how to work these devices
  • Even if you are not out for hunting, these can play a great role in and help out with herding. It is a device so simple that it can be used in more than just one way.
  • These devices are very easily available and in a number of different types so you can easily pick one for yourself.

Cons

  • Figuring out the right way to use these is no easy task. It can take very long for someone to truly master the right use of this device to produce the appropriate sounds

Quick Take | Best Elk Calls

Review of the Best Elk Calls

It's now time to get down to the real deal. Picking a good unit from a sea of products can be a painstaking task. But we've cut down that workload for you and brought together a list of all the best elk calls you could buy for yourself. All you need to do is go through them and pick the right one for yourself.

Primos Hunting 00904 Terminator Elk System Elk Call, Blue Snap-On Reed, Camo Cover, Sling Lanyard, One Size (PS904)

PROS

  • Not designed from latex and, therefore, lasts longer than standard calls
  • Also includes the unique Terminator Elk Sound, which is quite accurate, unlike other units
  • Patented Support Shelf Mouthpiece allows you to reproduce a number of calls with great ease
  • Design resembles the natural anatomy of an elk's voice chamber, giving great accuracy to the sounds
  • The sound produced is quite close to the real thing

CONS

  • Its shape makes it a little uncomfortable to carry around
  • The big size of the call requires extra space while taking out on a trip
  • Excessive use may cause the reed to stretch out, reducing the accuracy

What Recent Buyers Report

Primos is a trusted brand that has been for long putting out great hunting accessories. All those that have recently bought this item agree that it meets the high standards that Primos has set for all of its products, providing with a great elk call that not only functions well but easily too.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The call of a terminator elk is not a very common sound provided by different elk calls. Even when it is, it isn't very accurate. But this particular unit provides the sound of a terminator elk that is as close to the real sound as it can get, and that is what really stands out about this unit, placing it high on the list.

Who Will Use This Most 

It is designed with great care and quality serving to be the perfect unit for those who look for accuracy in their calls. The resonator end of this unit that mimics the real sound of an elk is a great feature designed for all those who take their elk calling very seriously.

Bottom Line

This product may rank second on this list, but in reality, its features are second to none. It is a unit that provides great quality with a brand that is known and trusted for its products. If you're looking for a great elk call with an accurate sound, then this is the right pick for you.

Primos Hyper Lip Single with Tone Converter Call

PROS

  • Easy to use and produces good sounds with very little effort
  • Compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry around
  • Adjustability allows softer tones as well for all of the call-shy bulls
  • Design allows higher pitches that lure in cows and calves
  • Designed to last through all sorts of rough conditions, providing the best durability

CONS

  • Adjustments are a bit hard to make and understand
  • Change in the tones and pitch may confuse elks and cows and scare them away
  • Producing the right calls isn't very easy, and needs a little know-how of the device

What Recent Buyers Report

This is another product by Primos that users have found to be useful on their hunting trips. All those that have reviewed this product have found nothing but good words to say about it, and how well it works for the given price range.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Out of all the features that this unit has to offer, what we think really stands out is the ideal size and shape of this unit. The shape of this not only helps with the accuracy of the sounds but also makes it extremely easy to carry. This is a great plus because no one wants to carry extra weight while out hunting.

Who Will Use This Most

This is a great unit that provides with the best of features in a very affordable price range. It is ideal for all beginners who want to invest in an elk call that wouldn't be too expensive for them. This is the perfect unit for the purpose since it is not only light on the wallet but also provides all of the best features.

Bottom Line

You don't always need to pay more to get a good quality product, and this is the perfect example of that. It will provide you with not only accuracy and ease of producing sounds, but also easy carrying, all the while fitting perfectly in your budget.

Best Elk Bugle Call:
Primos Imaka Da Bullcrazy Call

Primos 00935 IMAKA DA BULLCRAZY Elk Call, Close Range, Orange

PROS

  • Fit for normal calling as well as close in calling
  • Small and compact size makes it ideal for carrying
  • The call will work easily for all, whether professionals or beginners
  • Adjustability allows it to produce sounds of multiple cows and elk
  • Proves its worth by lasting longer than expected

CONS

  • Not ideally designed to be used for long-range calls
  • While it is easy to use, it does take awhile To figure out how it works
  • Does not perform well in sub-freezing conditions, and the Reed Freezes To the Lip

What Recent Buyers Report

A good bugle call is considerably hard to find, but according to recent buyers, this unit was absolutely perfect. Buyers say that it turned out to be exactly what they had been looking for, providing the right sorts of sounds and accuracy that they expected from the unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This unit is really one of its kind, providing a number of features, but what really makes it stand out for us is the high durability that it offers. Being designed out of the best quality materials, it will be sure to last well through all kinds of rough conditions.

Who Will Use This Most

All those who have been looking for a good bugle call will find this to be the perfect unit for them. There may be a number of such units on the market, but no other bugle call works as well as this particular unit does in terms of accuracy as well as adjustability.

Bottom Line


Once you've seen this product, there is no need to look any further for a better bugle call, because you are not likely to find one. This unit will prove to be everything you need in one. Needless to say, it will be an investment that you will not regret.

Hunters Specialties Carlton's Calls Alumni Pack Aluminum Frame Elk Diaphragm Call (4 Pack)

PROS

  • Aluminum frames make them easily tuneable
  • The sound accuracy of all these pieces are remarkable
  • Considerably easy to use to produce a number of tones
  • Designed out of good materials and is bound To last longer
  • The four different pieces produce different ranges of sounds useful for luring in different animals

CONS

  • The case size of these units is not big enough to hold them very well
  • Mastering these calls may take awhile
  • Sounds better with a tube that you need to purchase separately

What Recent Buyers Report

Diaphragm calls are usually very hard to use with all the effort that you have to put in to make sounds out of them. But all those that have recently used these only comment on how incredibly easy and convenient they are to use once you figure your way out with them.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Of all the reasons that we would give for one to use this unit, the one that really stands out the most is how easy it is to adjust and tune. This is due to the aluminum frame that makes it highly adjustable to produce a range of sounds, all with great ease.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is ideal for those looking for a good set of diaphragm elk calls. There might be a number of other such products available on the market, but none of them match this unit in its functionality, quality, and design, making it the best option available.

Bottom Line

With investing in this product, being disappointed will be the last of your worries. It will provide ideal functionality, better than what all other diaphragm calls will provide you with. So don't waste time, and get this product right away.

Best Bull Elk Call:
Primos Hoochie Pack Call

Primos Hoochie Pack Call

PROS

  • The price point makes it a great deal for the value it provides
  • Easy to produce the sound without putting in a lot of effort
  • Made to ensure that it survives well, even through rough conditions
  • Design and functionality make it ideal for use for professionals and amateurs alike
  • All the materials are of high quality to last longer

CONS

  • The cow call sound produced by the unit is not very uniform
  • May be good for close calling and while moving, but isn't ideal for longer ranges
  • Almost all the sounds are quite similar and differentiating between them may take some effort

What Recent Buyers Report

This particular product by Primos has a large number of reviews and the majority of them say only good things about it. Users have found it to be absolutely perfect in every way, from its functionality to design, and highly recommend it to others.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Users do seem to love everything about this unit, but what we really love about it is its price point. The value that this item provides for the money that one pays is incredible, which is why it is such a great buy. It gives you high-end features with a not so high-end price tag.

Who Will Use This Most

If you're someone that has been on the lookout for a bull elk call for a while now and have been quite disappointed by the other substandard products on the market, then you too will find this product to be the perfect choice for you. It will provide all the right features and quality that you have been looking for.

Bottom Line

This item is on par with all the other items in terms of functionality as well as design. The high quality of this unit is not one that will disappoint and is definitely worth investing in.

PROS

  • Call horn offers flexibility 
  • Promises a better sound quality
  • Features an easy-to-use mouth reed
  • Allows you to easily obtain a nasally sound
  • Lets you have better control over the high screaming pitches

CONS

  • You need to practice a lot to create perfect call sound

What Recent Buyers Report

People with zero experience can also easily use this diaphragm to produce their elk calls. It is easy to understand and use. Also, you can use it to produce a wide range of elk calls. This allows you to make the call with a more realistic tone. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is a versatile call for both cow and bull interaction. This diaphragm is designed in such a manner that it allows you to put it forward in your mouth, and place it right behind your upper teeth. The design of this diaphragm prevents you from choking while also giving you full control of the latex.

Bottom Line

This product is considered to be one of the easiest mouth reeds. It features a palate plate that allows you to hit the right note as it controls the notes for you anyways. With the palate plate, the latex lasts longer and is more comfortable to blow on, making the tone a lot more realistic. 

Best Rocky Mountain Elk Call:
Rocky Mountain Raging Bull

PROS

  • Features a forward palate plate 
  • Diaphragm allows you to produce versatile elk calls
  • Offers an adjustable pitch for a vast variety of call ranges
  • Quintessential diaphragm that makes it a great option for beginners

CONS

  • Features single lite latex, which is comparatively softer than other options

What Recent Buyers Report

According to users, it is a great option for all those who wish to practice different call sounds before they head out into the fields. It is very easy to use, and you easily get the hang of it. And it allows you to hit the high notes a lot easier. You can use it to make a vast variety of sounds. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This elk call features a forward palate plate diaphragm. This allows you to use it to make a variety of elk calls. You can use it to make a bull, a cow, and even a calf mew. It allows you to adjust the pitch easily. It is a great option for all those people who are new to elk calling. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this elk call is a quintessential diaphragm that is great for all those inexperienced hunters who wish to start learning how to use a diaphragm for elk calling. The adjustable pitch allows you to set it to the maximum capacity. This way, you can achieve a vast call range that can only be magnified if you were to use a bugle tube. 

Best Primos Elk Call:
Primos Hunting 906 Elk Call

PROS

  • Known to be quite long-lasting 
  • Snap-on reeds come pre-tuned
  • Reed elk calls are very easy to use
  • Offer the perfect amount of tension 
  • Made using silicone which prevents them from rotting

CONS

  • You can use them with Primos calls only 

What Recent Buyers Report

You can easily pop in these reeds when in the fields. They happen to be adequate replacements. You can produce the perfect sound to grab the attention of the elk. These blue reeds are all of the standard size and fit elk bugles perfectly. You can use these reeds with any Primos call that you prefer. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

These reeds elk calls are made using silicone, which sets them apart from the usual latex reeds. Latex reeds tend to rot easily; however, with these silicone reeds, you can rest assured. One reed is bound to last you an entire hunting season. These snap-on units are extremely easy and hassle-free to use. 

Bottom Line

These snap-on reeds are easy to use; they are durable and are quite long-lasting as well. Also, they come pre-tuned, which means that you don’t have to go through the whole frustrating process of stretching the reeds in order to tune them. Instead, they don’t really require any adjustments for you to make. 

Best Phelps Elk Call:
Phelps AMP Elk Calling Kit

PROS

  • Thick walls promise extreme volume
  • Features thick walls to enhance the volume 
  • You can produce a variety of sounds with it 
  • Chamber has large corrugations for better resonance 
  • Can be used to attract different ages and sizes of cows and bulls

CONS

  • Can get difficult to use

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers report that this diaphragm is easy to use. It offers a vast range of tones, and you can produce sounds to attract both medium and large bulls. You can easily use it without needing any prior experience, making this unit a great investment. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product comes with four different diaphragm options, and each option offers you different features. You can increase the volume of your calls as they can be used to produce excellent cow and bull sounds. 

Bottom Line

In all, this a great option for all those people who want to try out different diaphragms and want to see which one they prefer. With this option, you can attract different bulls and cows, and even those of big sizes. 

PROS

  • Very easy to use 
  • Comes with a grunt tube 
  • Features a removable baffle 
  • Allows you to produce a realistic sound
  • Also features an infinity latex that allows you to produce a bugle and a nasal cow sound 

CONS

  • Not that durable  
  • You might find the tone to be a bit soft 

What Recent Buyers Report

It is a great option for all those who wish to use a simple, authentic bugle. You can easily produce some great bugle sounds with this. After using it for an extended period, the sound can get raspy because of the moisture, which makes it sound a lot more realistic. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This elk caller features a grunt tube construction, which is made using infinity latex. Also, it features a removable baffle and grunt tube, which allows you to change it easily if it were to get damaged. It allows you to produce the most authentic bugle and cow sounds. 

Bottom Line

Overall, it features a removable baffle along with a lanyard that allows you to secure the product while you are on the field. The infinity latex allows you to produce some authentic bugle and nasal cow sounds. This makes it a great option for all those beginners who wish to use it.  

PROS

  • Ease of use makes it quite ideal for beginners 
  • One of the calls included can also be used as a turkey call
  • All the calls produce a very lifelike sound
  • Quite easy to make sounds compared to other standard units
  • Allows the user to produce a wide range of calls 

CONS

  • Carrying all 4 units may be a hassle
  • Do not provide great adjustability to produce a range of voices
  • Product is designed out of latex and is bound not to last for very long

What Recent Buyers Report

Those who have recently bought and tried this pack of elk calls find it to be highly efficient for its use. They say that it is not only designed well with a great shape to ensure the accuracy of the sounds but is also highly easy to use, giving the user a good command and control over each unit.

Why it Stands Out to Us

What we really love about this unit is the ease with which it can be used. Using elk calls is no simple task, but the simple operation of this unit makes it considerably easier. Even for those who haven't had much experience with these tools didn't find it troublesome to use.

Who Will Use This Most

Given the great range of sounds that it provides paired with its ease of use, this pack is ideal for anyone who is setting out to hunt. But in particular, its easy use makes it the ideal pack for all the beginners out there still learning their way around these units.

Bottom Line

​There is a lot that this item has to offer for its users. With such convenience of use and ideal price range, this item stands to be perfect for one and all. So you can invest in this unit, and not be disappointed at all.

How to Call Elk

  1. When heading into the fields, you must take care of a few things. Firstly you must make sure that you’re always wearing a mask and your gloves. You need your mask and gloves since one’s face, and hands tend to make movements the most. So when you are calling, those movements give it away to the bull you are approaching.

  2. Next, you must also check the direction of the wind, so make sure to carry a wind indicator with you. You need to get as close to your bull as possible before you start calling. 

  3. Now, the cow call is the best option when you’re aiming to kill. With the above-mentioned calls, reeds, and diaphragm, you can easily make the right sounds. When using a cow call, just use the following steps:

  4. You simply have to bite down on the call and then produce some simple cow mews. 

  5. Make sure you don’t overcall; a few calls are enough to attract the bull towards you. 

  6. Also, make sure that you get as close as possible to the prey without getting detected. We have mentioned some of the best elk calling options for you to consider. These options are easy to use, especially when you're out in the fields.

How to Use a Diaphram Elk Call

When using the diaphragm elk calls, you can feel a bit intimidated as they are difficult to use for many people. However, if you follow these, it will be easier. When using these diaphragms, you can maximize the sound you’re creating. 

When using the diaphragm call in your mouth, the placement is important. 

1. A diaphragm is built with an outer tape that allows you to place it in your mouth. It features a metal frame inside the tape, which has latex in it, which allows you to make the sound. 

2. The vibration across the latex produces the sound of the call. 

3. And once you know how to produce the sound, all you need to do is simply learn how to control that sound. 

4. You put it in with the latex side down against your tongue, and the tape side will go in your mouth while the latex will be facing out. 

5. Place it on your tongue, then either seat it up against your teeth or the roof of the mouth. Just make sure you’re comfortable. 

6. Now you just want the airflow to reach the latex. So you will inhale and exhale, making sure the airflow reaches the bottom of the latex. 

7. Exhale a small amount of air and channel it against the latex. Prevent the air from escaping so that you can make a high sound. 

8. If you are still unable to make a sound, place the diaphragm in your mouth and say the word ‘hiss.’ Your tongue will naturally come upwards and will contact the latex perfectly.  

Understand that you don’t need a lot of air pressure; instead, you need to control your tongue pressure the most. Extorting a lot of air pressure will only produce a loud noise for a few seconds; you won’t be able to hold that note. As you will fix your tongue slowly, it will transition to a higher pitch. 

Just make sure that you channel a light volume of air through the latex. Start with low tongue pressure, increase it and, then reduce it. Practice doing that over and over. Take a deep breather and exhale the air. Once you’ve learned how to control the tongue pressure, you can then practice the different elk calls.

If all of this is still confusing, watch the following video for better clarity.

Type of Elk Calls

If you think that all elk calls are the same, then you may need to think again. These instruments are available in three different types, which all work considerably differently in terms of functionality. 

Reeds

Reeds are the types of calls that are usually handheld and have to be blown into. It has a specific shape to it, which produces an elk sound when the air passes through it. Different reeds have different designs which are capable of producing a number of different tones.

Manual

This unit is one that produces elk sounds but without being blown into. Instead, they are squeezed. When squeezed, the air passes through it and makes the sounds. It is one of the easier types to use since squeezing is considerably easier than blowing. These units are also more durable.

Bugle

Bugle, as the name implies, produces a bugling sound, one that is similar to bull elk. The design of this type of call is a mixture of the diaphragm and the tube call. This unique design allows it to produce sounds of reverberation as well as a real, elk-like bugling sound.

Conclusion

With all the factors stated above, it must now be an easy decision for you to choose if you want an elk call for yourself and what type. Choosing the right product may not be such a difficult task. As long as you know all the right aspects of the product to consider, you will never go wrong with your final choice.

People Also Ask

Usually, people often have a lot of questions regarding these elk calls, reeds, and diaphragms. So, here we have addressed some questions that people often ask about. 

How to Place a Diaphragm Elk Call in Your Mouth

You put the part with the outer tape in your mouth. You will place it in your mouth with the latex side down against your tongue, and the tape side will go in the mouth instead. Make sure that the latex part will be facing out. 

Place the diaphragm on your tongue; then, you can either set it up against your teeth or the roof of the mouth. Just see that you are comfortable. Now make sure that the airflow reaches the latex. So while you will inhale and exhale, the airflow will reach the bottom of the latex and will produce the noise. 

Tips on How to Use Triple Reed Elk Call

Hunters using a triple reed elk call can blow the call by simply using less pressure; this will allow them to achieve a great sound. 

  • Understand you will have to apply less pressure on these reeds to prevent it from getting worn out.

  • Also, less pressure helps in prolonging the call.

  • You can use it to produce high pitched elk bugles and some authentic, nasally cow calls, so make sure you practice.

  • All you have to do is simply put in the three thin reeds to try and produce realistic mature cows and bull vocalizations.