Ep 21 – Corey Jacobsen on Elk101 and Becoming a More Consistently Successful Elk Hunter



Summary

Living Country in the City talks with Corey Jacobsen, nine-time elk calling world champion and the brains behind Elk101’s University of Elk Hunting Online Course to talk about new things happening with Elk101, MTN OPS Montana elk hunt giveaway, his exclusive new diaphragm elk call release as well as how to become a more consistently successful elk hunter through physical conditioning, dealing with failures, deciding how to measure success and, of course, calling elk.

Get $10 off access to the Elk101 University of Elk Hunting Online Course by using promo code “LivingCountry”. Sign up before July 12, 2017 and get 75 additional entries into the MTN OPS Vault Montana Elk Hunt giveaway.

Help support Living Country in the City by visiting livingcountryinthecity.com/amazon to do your Amazon shopping or by visiting livingcountryinthecity.com/blackovis when purchasing hunting gear.

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Transcription

Corey

What it really boils down to is success rates are at 10%. For archery, I’ll kind of – But when you look at that, that means 80 to 90% of the elk hunters who buy an elk tag or a license every year don’t fill that elk tag.

Being brilliant like I am, I thought well, it’s on elk hunting and education, so I’ll call it Elk101.

You know, I get e-mails and hate mails from the other crowds that say why are you sharing this with people? It’s gonna ruin elk hunting, everybody’s gonna be successful.

Right now, they’re absolutely consistent and probably the best diaphragm call I’ve ever used.

Because nobody goes out and elk hunts without making mistakes. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years. And it amazes me every season how many mistakes I still make.

Just there is no thrill that I found in hunting like calling in an elk.

This is Corey Jacobsen and you’re listening to Living Country in the City episode 21.

 

Living Country in the City

Y’all ready for your dose of flyover state spirit, straight from the concrete jungle, well put down your latte and pull on your boots. It’s time for Living Country in the City.

Hey y’all, thank you for joining me of episode 21 of Living Country in the City. Living Country in the City is brought to you by Bowhunter Brotherhood. There’s a connection between all men and women who are passionate about the outdoors and that connection is what Bowhunter Brotherhood represents. Check out the latest blog entries and videos on the Bowhunter Brotherhood website as well as get 10% off all purchases in the Bowhunter Brotherhood store by visiting our partners page at livingcountryinthecity.com/partners.

Okay, y’all, I’m super excited about today’s podcast because I get to sit and learn from the man himself, Corey Jacobsen. Now, if you haven’t heard of Corey, then you must be new to elk hunting and you must be very new to my podcast. Because this is the nine-time elk calling champion, the guy behind the University of Elk Hunting online course and really, the foremost experts when it comes to elk hunting. He’s got some really exciting stuff going on right now and you’ll wanna hear what he’s got to say, so let’s get to it.

Corey, thank you so much for hopping on the line with me today.

Corey

Absolutely. I appreciate you having me on.

Living Country in the City

So, you know. I find this a little bit hard to believe, but you know, a lot of my audience are new hunters, though there may be some people out there who don’t know who Corey Jacobsen is. So why don’t you just maybe give me a quick background on generally your history with hunting and kind of what you do now.

Corey

Yeah. I grew up hunting in Idaho and my dad was an outfitter so it’s been a way of life and a part of our family and who we are for my entire life. And so. I’m just a regular guy who really loves elk hunting and calling elk. It’s been a passion since a young age. And I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to turn that passion into a livelihood and it’s led to creating a website called Elk101.com. And that’s kind of my platform that I’m able to share my passion for elk hunting with others on a bigger scale. In an nutshell, I’m just a regular guy who likes elk hunting.

Living Country in the City

Well, anybody that’s listened to the podcast knows that I am a huge fan of Elk101. I’m a subscriber myself and I regularly promote it on our episodes. And if y’all aren’t subscribed to Elk101, you need to get on that as soon as possible. If you’re looking to really up your game with elk hunting and become more consistently successful with it, you’ve got to check it out. There’s no better resource out there. And Corey, I guess we’ve got some new features coming for this year, right?

Corey

We do, yeah. So, on Elk101.com, we have the University of Elk Hunting, and that’s an online course that basically just covers every aspect of elk hunting. It starts at the very beginning for those who’ve never even thought of elk hunting before. It’ll step through what’s involved in getting licenses and tags and where you can find places to go. The basics of regulations of each state, which states have draw hunts versus over the counter tags. All of that. Then it goes into a lot more detail for scouting, learning to call elk, what to do after you get an elk. So, it’s a comprehensive, all-inclusive online course for elk hunting. As you know, Sam, it’s 120,000 words right now. Split into 43 or 44 chapters. I think there’s 70 or even more video components. Just hundreds of images and diagrams. The whole concept for that course is just to increase knowledge and confidence in other elk hunters. To give them a higher likelihood, increase their chances for success.

Living Country in the City

And one thing I wanna say about the course that I really appreciate as a brand new hunter is while the course does get into some really technical stuff, you don’t have to have a deep technical knowledge of really anything to understand. You take such a complex subject and such a subject that requires so many different little bits of knowledge and you distil it down to you know, the different modules and a really understandable way. And, you know, hunting we tend to make the bar to entry so high. Not just with the gear and that stuff, but just with all the knowledge and stuff we need to know that you’ve really opened it up to new hunters in a way that I don’t think anyone else ever really has.

Corey

And honestly that was my goal, because it’s challenging but what it really boils down to is success rates are at 10%. For archery, I’ll kind of, rifle might be 12 or 15%. But when you look at that, that means 80 to 90% of the elk hunters who buy an elk tag or a license every year don’t fill that elk tag. And those are daunting numbers. I look at anything I do and if I’ve only got a 10% chance of success, I’m going to give a fighting effort, but in the back of my mind it’s like I’ve gotta have to overcome some really big odds here to be successful. And for a lot of people, that’s a complete turn-off, and they look at those odds and they’re like why would I want to go elk hunting, I have no chance of being successful. And then when you consider there are people who get an elk every year, and the average is at 10%, that means that somebody new coming in, who doesn’t know what they’re doing or where to go. Realistically, their odds are probably at 0, maybe a fraction or a decimal. My whole goal with it was just to hopefully encourage people that hey, it’s totally possible for you to go out and be successful. But then B, give them the tools that will build their confidence so that they know that they can be successful when they go out. They’re prepared for it.

Living Country in the City

You know, I’ll tell you. We were talking before we really started the podcast and I was just commenting. This is all I think about anymore. I wake up in the morning and I’m thinking about either training for my hunt or doing some prep work or whatever it is. During the day, I’m constantly having to close Google Earth because I keep finding myself drifting over to it and checking out glassing points. It’s – The last thing I think about when I’m going to bed at night and the – I think about - obviously it’s on my mind. Am I going to be successful in this hunt? And you know, I know to some extent the odds are against me but with this course I feel so much more encouraged. I don’t – I feel so much more confident, I should say, to go out and do this even knowing the odds, knowing that 10% number. I feel like I actually have a chance. I don’t feel completely clueless. Like I’m walking out into the woods without an idea of what to do. It’s just super exciting for me. I never thought I could do in a million years.

Now with the University of Elk Hunting online course, there’s actually right now an extra bonus for signing up or renewing your membership. That’s correct, right?

Corey

That is, yeah. We’ve got a really cool promotion going on right now. We’ve teamed up with our good friends over at MTN OPS and we’re doing a major elk hunt promotion right now. It runs right now through July 12th and anyone who signs up for the online course, well let me back up. The promotion is – We’re giving away a Montana elk hunt. It’s an archery elk hunt, September 18th through the 23rd of this year. And the winner will get to go elk hunting all expenses paid. So, travel, license tags. Everything’s taken care of for the five-day or six-day hunt in Montana and I’ll actually be going on that hunt and calling the elk for the winner. So, really exciting. I’m really excited to go and be able to be a part of it. MTN OPS has been very gracious and generous to be part of it. And we have all of the sponsors on Elk101.com have contributed huge – Well, I can’t give away all of the details, but it’s a $12,000 prize package that will be given away on July 12th or through July 12th, shortly after July 12th. And the way you’re entered is, everyone who goes to mountainops.com and purchases any product that, whether it’s their apparel or any of the products, anything. For every $5 you spend, you get one entry to the promotion. So you go there and spend $100, you get 20 entries in that promotion. And the really cool part is if you sign up for the University of Elk Hunting online course between now and July 12th, you’ll get 75 chances in that promotion. So, it’s a really good incentive there, if somebody’s on the fence. A pretty good nudge to push ‘em off the fence.

Living Country in the City

Well, I definitely went and renewed my membership and. We did some damage to your servers there the other day. I know you were kind of scrambling to take care of that.

Corey

I can’t figure this whole technology out. When we launched the course last year, yeah we went through and… is our server robust? We’re expecting a decent amount of traffic here. We’ve done a good job of - in our pre-launch of getting ready and man, we crashed it the first day. We couldn’t keep up. I’ve been upgrading the server twice that first day a year ago. And I’ve upgraded it again since. We have a virtual private server, we’ve quadrupled the RAM on the server, everything. And sure enough, last week when we launched the renewals, we crashed it again. So, another upgrade to the server and we’re up and running. We had a really big e-mail promotion go out today and it slowed the site down but we didn’t crash it. So, I think we’re safe at this point, I hope. Fingers crossed.

Living Country in the City

Well, you know, I’ll tell ya. I’ve been working in digital marketing and making websites and doing all of this for probably 15 years now and the fact that you’re getting enough traffic to crash a twice-upgraded site in under a year is insane. I mean, that alone speaks to how much people love the site and the efficacy of the content and everything there that you’ve got that many people going to renew and subscribe. I think that really says a lot.

Corey

It’s been amazing. It opened my eyes several years ago. I can remember when we launched the website, Elk101 was just nothing. It was a way… I was doing a seminar at Cabelas and they asked me to do a two-night class and I said I’d be happy to but you know, I need to get paid if I’m gonna invest that much of my time to come down there and they said no problem, you can charge whatever you want, but you can’t take money in the store, so the recommendation was just start a simple one-page website with a PayPal Pay Here button on it and send people there and make them register for the class. Being brilliant like I am, I thought well, it’s on elk hunting and education, so I’ll call it Elk101. Simple little name and put the PayPal Pay Here button on it and people signed up for the class and pretty soon they’re leaving comments. So, we put a couple pictures up and the video of a hunt. And I can remember when the website when we hit 1000 views on the website. I thought wow, that’s really crazy. There’s a lot of elk hunters out there. And last year I think we were approaching 8 million views on the website. So yeah, it’s just really, it’s been amazing to kind of stand back and look at the growth and to see how many passionate elk hunters there are and how many people are interested in learning how to elk hunt.

Living Country in the City

Like I said earlier, this was something I never thought I could do. I thought this was for people that have been hunting for 30, 40, 50 years already and the fact – I still have trouble believing, until I’m actually getting out of the car and hiking off into the woods, I’m still not sure I fully believe that I’m going out to do this. But it’s an amazing thing. It’s something that I feel like we can easily lose if we don’t have people like you, willing to really teach others. And it’s something that’s not gonna grow if we only count on people to pass it to their children. Because you know, my folks were never opposed to hunting, they always were interested and thought it was a great thing, but neither of them hunted and I would not have been exposed to this if it weren’t for people like you and other hunters willing to put stuff like this together and share their knowledge and share their experiences. Big thank you, huge thank you.

Corey

Oh, absolutely. It’s – like I said, it’s a blessing to be able to take something that I’m passionate about, have a love for, and be able to couple that with sharing it with others. I think in the hunting industry, there’s really two groups. There’s these guys that are super secretive, they don’t wanna share anything because it’s gonna compromise their success. If others are successful, you know, they feel it’s gonna take away from their success. But there are a whole lot of hunters who love to help other hunters, especially someone new getting into it, who’s passionate about it, has the energy, but doesn’t really know where to start. There’s really a lot of hunters out there that are willing to help out. I’ve – I think part of my progression has been – I’ve went through that, being secretive. I don’t wanna share what’s going on because then somebody else will be able to do it. At this point in my life, I get a thrill out of seeing other people succeed. Maybe it’s because I have children and passing it on to them and being able to share what I’ve learned and the experiences I’ve had with them and the feeling of seeing them grasp that and have that passion and be successful with it. It’s contagious and I wanna share it with everybody I can. You know, I get e-mails and hate mails from the other crowds that say why are you sharing this with people? It’s gonna ruin elk hunting, everybody’s gonna be successful. Success rates are gonna go from 10% to 100% and at the end of the day, I don’t feel that’s gonna happen. Because elk hunting is tough. And you still – Yes, the information’s there, the content’s there. It’ll increase your knowledge, it’ll increase your confidence. But at the end of the day, it’s still hard and you’ve got to go out and put in the work to do it. It’ll definitely give you an advantage, you know, somebody give you some of their experience. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you and you’ve got to put in the work. As you know. You’re in the middle of that right now and preparing for it. It’s – It’ll definitely occupy a lot of your time and a lot of your thoughts as you’re preparing for it. And don’t think that once you go and are successful that it does away. Because I’m the same way. I was watching an elk film this morning and it was on Google Earth and looking at pictures of elk that people have e-mailed me. It’s something that I’m thinking about every day as well.

Living Country in the City

Now, even more than just all these extra entries to this amazing MTN OPS giveaway, all of the great content you have going on, there’s yet another benefit for those signing up for the University of Elk Hunting online course. That is you’re giving access, early access to the new diaphragm call that you’ve been working on.

Corey

Yeah. So, I started last November, I think, working on a new diaphragm call. Full disclosure, my dad is Rocky Jacobsen, he owns Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls and several years ago I went to him and said, hey I wanna tweak a couple of these diaphragms. Just make ‘em a little better for me, for my own personal use. Through that process, we came up with what we call the All-Star Diaphragm. It’s become the number two-selling diaphragm in the last three or four years. There is still a little bit more that – And it’s probably my engineering background. I’ve got a degree in mechanical engineering that I think drives me to simplify processes as well as to improve processes. So, we’ve always struggled with the consistency of the latex used in the diaphragm calls. You’ll get one that’s really good and then the next one isn’t and I just thought, let’s go down that path of – Let’s basically bring in all the latex we can and test them all and find one that might be a little better. And so, through that process, we have found a new latex and we’re developing a new diaphragm call on that latex and I was actually up at the shop yesterday and spent the whole day up there before driving back home and we just basically went through and dialled that call back in as tightly as we could. And I’ve got a baggie full of ten of them here and I’ve gone through four of them and right now they’re absolutely consistent and probably the best diaphragm call I’ve ever used. We’re – That’s a long way to give an introduction to it, but I don’t want to just blow ‘em out to all the retailers and get them out to the big retailers right away and then find out you know down the road that well, latex could’ve been a little better. So, we’re only going to be releasing this diaphragm call to members of the University of Elk Hunting beginning later this month. And then through their testing and feedback, make sure everything’s good and if it is, or if it isn’t, we’ll make it better and make sure it is. With a plan to launch it to the public in January of 2018.

Living Country in the City

I’ll admit I’m super excited to get my hands on one of these, because I’ve probably purchased – I think I might be missing one maybe two. But I’ve probably purchased every diaphragm call that your dad makes. And I keep finding myself to the All-Star as far as like an all-around diaphragm that I can use for everything. Definitely there’s diaphragms that are specialized, but out in the field, even I know that you don’t wanna have to be constantly switching things out and you want something you can rely on in any situation, in an emergency. And I keep finding myself jumping back to that All-Star, so if you’re saying this is an improvement, head-over-heels improvement on the All-Star, I’m super excited to see what it can do.

Corey

I wouldn’t say it’s a head-over-heels improvement on the All-Star, the All-Star’s a great – That’s why it’s called the All-Star, you know, just does it all. It cow calls, it bugles, it can scream a bugle, it can do a soft cow call. We’ve taken – it’s just a whole new latex we’ve never used before. It’s a black latex, it’s got a different - different physical characteristics, the way it stretches, everything is different about it. But, it’s very similar in that it can do all the cow calls, all the bugles. It’s a little bit lighter, so it’s gonna be easier for people to use, especially if they’ve never used one before. You’ll be able to put it in your mouth and instantly make noise with it. And then, from that, it’s probably gonna be a bit easier to control. So, I wouldn’t say it’s a beginner type call. It’s the one both Dirk and I both used at the World Elk Calling Championship in March of this year. It’s got incredibly realistic and great sounds, but coupled with it also being easy to use, it really makes it a good option.

Living Country in the City

Well, folks, if honestly the content itself wasn’t enough to get you to sign up for the University of Elk Hunting online course, which honestly it should be, it’s got incredible content. You have so many more reasons to do so now. You need to get on this. Get these extra entries into the MTN OPS hunt. I mean, a $12,000 hunt, a ton of gear. You will have, what is it? Nine-time world champion elk caller calling elk for you. And you get access to the coolest, fancy new diaphragm call coming out that has probably been – You know, I’ve been creeping on all your other podcasts with a couple of different guys and I think everyone’s been calling it the most tested diaphragm call in the world.

Corey

Definitely the most engineered, I think. We’ve spent – We’re on seven or eight months now, working on this. We went through and basically procured every different latex we could get our hands on. Different thicknesses and stretch. Put them on different frames and just kind of built a matrix of these calls and narrowed it down to the one I felt was the best.

Living Country in the City

Well, guys, you gotta get on this. Once again, I can’t recommend it enough. I’m probably beating a dead horse at this point, but get on over to Elk101.com. Do I still have a promo code going for that? I’m not sure if I do anymore.

Corey

If we don’t, let’s make one. What do you want it to be?

Living Country in the City

Well, I think up on the site, we’ve got it listed as Living Country.

Corey

So, if you quote Living Country, it’ll save you 10 bucks and it’ll also get you 75 entries in the elk hunt promotion. Hold on, we’ve got a ton of other features. We’ve got the mobile app coming out later this month. You’ll be able to download the entire online course onto phones, iPads, whaetever you’ve got, any kind of mobile device. And that will allow you to take all the content into the field without Internet or cellphone connection and be able to pull up vidos on how to process an elk in the field, to -. Just everything. It’s gonna be accessible at fingertips, anywhere, any time.

Living Country in the City

That’s the one thing I remember – When I first started going through the course, I was sitting there, I’m like, this would make for the perfect like reference mobile app. I just remember sitting there like, gosh, he’s gotta come out with one, he’s gotta come out with one. And so when I saw you announce that you’re gonna be doing that, I was super excited. You mentioned you have Randy Newberg, right, doing a couple of modules for you as well?

Corey

Yeah, so, my background’s in archery hunting and I’ve rifle hunted a little. A lot of people live for that post-rut, late season rifle hunt in high country or wherever they are. And I just, I don’t have a lot of experience. And realizing that, I could have written a couple chapters and provided some advice. But, I want this online course to be the best of the best in every way and so my good friend Randy Newberg is, in my mind, probably the best resource for late season type hunting. That’s his love and his thrill is that post-rut, late season. Incredibly knowledgeable guy on the needs of elk in different times of the year. So, he’s creating an entire module on post-rut and late season elk hunting. And basically he’s gonna go through and talk about what the needs of elk are at different times of the year, how that coincides with the different seasons, and not only what the needs are but how to identify them, what the primary needs are, where you really need to be looking to find elk during all five phases of the rut. So yeah, super excited to be teaming up with him and having him create that module for the course. That’ll be available here later this summer as well.

Living Country in the City

That’s awesome. I’m looking forward to checking that out. I’m definitely heading out for the beginning of the rut, hopefully, get some September archery in. But, definitely as my vacation days start to expand, I’m hoping to get as many hunts in as possible. I’m definitely looking forward to that information as well.

Speaking of elk hunting, one of the big things I wanted to talk to you about was – Last, what was it, two, three weeks ago, like that? Black Ovis was putting on a big launch event for this Sitka sub-alpine gear. Krispi was there, Grady Bowman were there. And you came out and you gave an absolutely fantastic presentation that evening on, really, a super broad subject but just how to be a more consistently successful elk hunter. And I really got a lot out of that presentation. If you want to talk about just a beast of a subject, as broad as it gets, how to be successful. But you really did a great job of hitting some highlights and distilling it down to some things that people could really focus on. Really, without needing to go into the whole presentation, I kind of wanna maybe talk to you about me going in as a new hunter, or people out there that are really starting to get into hunting. What are some really high-level things that they should be focusing on. Maybe a few things, really, I wanna go out and feel a lot more confident in my elk hunting. What advice would you give these people?

Corey

Like you said, it’s such a broad topic. In the online course, it’s broken down into 43 chapters. I can’t tell you how many different topics there are to think about and they contribute, each one of them, to success. But, at the end of the day, you don’t have to be an expert in any of the areas. You look at everything from planning to scouting to gear to physical condition to calling and setting up and the list is – There are a lot of topics and subtopics in there and to try to break it down and – It would be really easy to get overwhelmed. So, there is kind of an overview, if you wanna do a mile high or some key points to really focus on. You really have to consider the audience, you know, if you’re a new elk hunter whose never been elk hunting before, the things to consider and the things to focus on are gonna be different from someone who’s been elk hunting for five years but maybe never killed an elk. Or someone whose been elk hunting for 10 years and killed one or two, but now wants to up their game and be more consistent in their success.

There really are different areas to focus on. But I think if you’re just kind of try to touch on a little bit of everything that every one of us, regardless of experience level needs to focus on and probably put a little more effort into. There are, I would say, three or four things to really consider. The first one is physical conditioning. I am probably the last person who should be talking about physical conditioning. But as it relates to elk hunting, it’s important. It’s vital. Especially for someone who’s never been to the Rocky Mountains elk hunting state. For them to show up here and realize that they’re hunting in 6,000 to 8,000 feet elevation, and the mountains look near vertical. It’s intimidating. And honestly the elk travel those mountains pretty easily. And if we’re unable to travel those mountains with a little bit more ease than we could in January of the year. The elk are gonna have an advantage. To be physically ready, to be able to tackle the areas where elk live and being able to do it for six to eight or ten days in a row without completely breaking your body down and physically running out of steam is really important. And it pays off in dividends when you’re successful and you have to throw 300 lbs of elk meat on your back and make several trips to charter the elk meat out of the backcountry, you don’t want it to be a completely miserable experience. It’ll still be miserable, but you wanna be able to survive it and at least consider going back elk hunting again the next year.

So, physical conditioning, it’s just one of those things that regardless of how long you’ve been elk hunting, how good of shape you’re in, you can always be in better shape. I always say anything that you do right now that will increase your physical preparation or your physical conditioning, that’s gonna make you a better elk hunter in September than you are right now.

Maybe another topic is failure, you know? We talked about the success rate being 10% and I know, for me, I don’t like to fail. After you fail a couple times at something and it becomes a lot easier to just throw in the towel and set your mind on something else. And failure’s a part of elk hunting. Every single day, there will be failures. And if you let those get to you mentally, it can really send you back home early. Success rates drop even more if you head home early because mentally you’re not able to get up and go after it again. So, I think just understanding failures and making sure you’re able to identify them. But then more importantly to learn from them. And there will be things that are out of your control. The wind’s gonna switch and go from right in your face to right in the neck and the elk’s gonna smell you and the hunt’s over. And there are things you can do to, maybe not prevent that, but to minimize that. But when it happens, understanding what could have been done differently, what happened right there, why did that hunt fall apart, why did I fail this time, and taking action to try to minimize that next time is gonna be important. Because, honestly, experience is the best teacher. Being able to recognize things when they happen, you can learn that from an online course, or from DVDs or whatever, but actual experience is priceless. Recognizing those failures and correcting them is ultimately, probably what leads more to success than anything. Because nobody goes out and elk hunts without making mistakes. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years. And it amazes me every season how many mistakes I still make. It’s just part of elk hunting. It’s tough, it’s challenging, it’s difficult, and there are gonna be failures every day so -

Living Country in the City

At the beginning of your presentation, I remember you showed a video and it was – what was it, a Wyoming elk hunt?

Corey

Yeah, absolutely. Your listeners can go on to YouTube and just search for Elk101 Wyoming and they’ll be able to pull that video up.

Living Country in the City

And I’ll make sure to link to that on my show notes page which will be livingcountryinthecity.com/21. What I remember – That video was, I don’t wanna say wasn’t a successful elk hunt, but there was definitely some struggles in that, right?

Corey

Definitely. And that’s what we wanted to do with that video was highlight the struggles. And I think that’s what makes elk hunting so rewarding is that it is so challenging. There are struggles, there are challenges, even the easiest elk hunt in the world comes with a whole plethora of challenges. And I really wanted to highlight that in the film, just to – Even with 30 years of elk hunting experience, it’s not easy for us. We go out and we struggle just like everyone else every year. And I think we highlighted that in the film and I pointed out, I remember there were five or six things that we experienced elk hunters, we still did that could have changed the game a lot sooner than it did and made it successful had we not done those things.

Living Country in the City

Well, you know, one of the things I’ve talked about in earlier podcasts is going out and obviously I would love to go take an elk, a bull, anything. But what it comes down to is, if I’m not able to do that, how am I gonna measure success? Am I gonna, you know, call that hunt a failure? No. I’m gonna – If I go out there and I don’t quit, I go out and work my butt off, keep pushing through, whether or not I take an animal, I’m gonna consider it a success for my first time. And because I’ll be able to look back and I’ll be able to learn from whatever mistakes I make and take those and apply ‘em to my hunt next year and as long as I’m able to apply those lessons and I’m out and back and doing it again later in the year or the following year, whenever that may be, whenever I can go out on that next hunt. I’m gonna absolutely consider that hunt as a success. Now, that being said, I really, really hope I fill my freezer this year, but either way.

Corey

Totally. And that’s something I didn’t mention. We talked a lot about success and I definitely don’t want to create the definition of success or make people think that if they come back without filling their tag, they fail. It’s not up to any of us to define success for anyone. For some, it might be just going and hearing an elk bugle for the first time. Yeah, that’s absolutely a success. And some people might say if I go out and don’t shoot a 300-inch, 6 point every year, I fail. But for somebody else, just shooting a first spike would be the highlight of their elk hunting life. In no way am I trying to define success for anyone. I think, at the end of the day though, I talk about failure and success is we’re all heading out with a tag in our pocket. So we have, our hope and our goal is to put that tag on an elk. And so in that overall scheme of success rates and whether you fail to successfully tag an elk or not. That’s ultimately where I wanna get everyone to, to that point where they are confident and have the knowledge to be able to go out and successfully harvest and elk.

Living Country in the City

Well, honestly, I was really distracted with listening to you and kind of forgot that I was running a podcast.

Corey

One more topic that I think goes into that conversation about the consistent success is calling. And I only throw that out there because that’s my favorite part of elk hunting. Just there is no thrill that I found in hunting like calling in an elk. Just that vocal interaction, being able to communicate with an elk, to be able to talk back to an elk and convince it that you’re another elk, and it comes into the setup, for me that’s the thrill of elk hunting. I’m not a trophy hunter, I don’t measure success by the size of the elk that I kill or I call in. For me, the real success is that interaction, being able to call in a bull regardless of its size. So, that’s probably one of the most intimidating parts of elk hunting, for a new hunter too, is just to have that confidence that – Do I sound like an elk? When an elk bugles, what do I say to it? To be able to communicate with that elk and I don’t wanna mess it up and so. For me, I really simplify that and calling for me isn’t about a language that you’re speaking to the elk, it’s more about the emotion that you’re putting through your call. And through that, the elk are able to distinguish what you’re saying. And we really keep it simple. All I use in my calling sequence is a simple cow call, I’ll use a location bugle just to find the elk, but as far as calling the elk in, once I’ve found them and getting closer, all I use is a simple cow call and then a challenge bugle. All I’m doing with the cow call is conveying that I’m a cow that’s, you know, looking for a bull that’s lonely. And hoping the bull will come in to add that cow to the harem. And if that doesn’t work, then I use the challenge bugle to convey the emotion that I wanna fight and I wanna challenge that other bull to come and fight. So, keeping it simple like that really has allowed us in our hunting group to be more confident in our calling, to not worry about every little sound that we make, every little sound that the elk makes. That simplified sequence of calling is a lot easier to teach it, it’s a lot easier to instil confidence in others and it’s a lot easier to learn. So, for a new caller, keeping it simple like that, and finding a sequence that I still feel is the most effective way to call in an elk and it’s the absolute sequence I use anytime I step into the elk woods. It’s been a big part of success, whether that means killing elk, or just calling elk in. It’s just exciting to see other people convey the story of calling in their first elk. And he came into fifteen yards and was thrashing a tree with his eyes rolled back slobbering and screamed a bugle right at ‘em. They were shaking so bad and filled with adrenalin, they forgot to even draw their bow. That’s a success. So, I think calling is another area where if they focus more of their time and becoming proficient with that simplified method of calling, it will definitely pay off in that success down the road.

Living Country in the City

Well, and I think – One thing that I really appreciated you mentioning during that presentation is that you don’t have to be at a world championship level of calling to be able to call in elk. It’s one thing, yeah, to be able to replicate kind of this perfect elk call. But necessarily elk themselves don’t always call perfectly. Each one sounds a little different.

Corey

And you don’t have to call perfectly to convey emotion. You know, that emotion, it’s the same as a person. You don’t think of a person communicating with someone, if you’re standing across the street from someone and you’re standing a long ways away and you mutter under your breath ‘man, I really don’t like you’. It just doesn’t carry the same. But you do it in somebody’s face and you scream you hate ‘em? They know what you mean and it changes their reaction to the conversation. And elk are a lot the same. If you’re back 400 yards away and you just let out this nonchalant little bugle, yeah, an elk might come walking into it out of curiosity. But you get inside 100 yard of that elk, and you scream, you put emotion in there, you actually put your anger in that call, and you insult that elk and you scream at him and say ‘you get over here right now and let’s fight’, he knows what that means and he’s been issued a challenge. They’re filled with testosterone that time of the year and that trigger trips, they come walking in looking to stomp somebody. And so that – You putting that emotion into it is far more important than being a great caller. And I’ve hunted with people that are not good callers at all but know how to put emotion in and know how to hunt and they are successful every year. And I’ve hunted with people that could win a world championship on any given year that don’t have that emotion and don’t have that understanding of communicating with the elk that very rarely fill an elk tag. And so that’s definitely – I don’t wanna, I don’t want anybody to feel oh, I’m not a good caller, so I’m not gonna call any elk. Anybody can call in elk. With just a little bit of practice and a little bit of understanding how to do it, I guarantee that anybody can call in an elk.

Living Country in the City

Well, I’ve definitely been getting my practice in and I’ve been watching the videos on Elk101 and I’ve been watching a lot of the videos that your dad has put out. I scare the hell out of my neighbors and people on the street. I mean, you know. In some places, I feel like the likelihood of somebody knowing what you’re doing is a lot higher. Los Angeles is not one of those places. You don’t – I’m already walking around in camo. One of these days, I’m gonna put out a video, I’m gonna dress in full camo and I’m gonna have somebody on the LA Metro and I’m gonna sneak on the Metro and just start, with a bugle tube, and just start belting out bull bugle and see how people react.

Corey

That would be awesome.

Living Country in the City

I’d have to run pretty quickly.

Corey

I bet you’ll get some funny looks. Just driving home yesterday from my dad’s shop, I had my new diaphragm and my new bugle tube and I was driving down the highway just bugling. If somebody sees me, I bet 90% of them would know what I’m doing and laugh and say I’ve done that myself. You sit in a rush hour traffic jam with a bugle tube and start blowing it, I bet 90% of the people are gonna look at you and wonder what’s going on.

Living Country in the City

Well, I have one of my co-workers – I interviewed him in episode 2. He always talking and he was in rush hour traffic and the lady next to him that had her sunroof open and he had his bugle going, and they were stopped at a light and he just rips a bugle and she let off her brakes, ducked underneath her steering wheel and was looking up like, what’s this bird that’s about to attack me through my sunroof. It’s a lot of fun. It’s such a crazy noise that the elk make, and I’m so stinkin’ excited for the first time I actually get to – I mean, you know I’ve seen videos, I’ve heard recordings, but the day that I get to hear my first legit elk bugle in person and hopefully get to see one screaming in my face, I just – Like, I just get my adrenalin pumping thinking about it.

Corey

It’s an impossible sound to describe. You can listen to it on a DVD or on YouTube, or you know, hear somebody else call. But there’s nothing in the world like an elk bugle. And it’s even more than the sound you feel. I mean, you just feel it thumping when they’re bugling, and you feel the – just the power and the volume behind it, it’s pretty amazing. Hearing one at 300 yards is cool, when you get one 20 or 30 yards and it screams. Man, you’ll never get that out of your system.

Living Country in the City

Well, Corey. If people wanted to find you and Elk101 online, where’s the best places to look y’all up?

Corey

You know, we do not try to hide, so we have a lot of different ways that people can find us, if they just go to Elk101.com, be sure to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Everything that we do is communicated through that, so anybody that’s on our newsletter, they’re gonna know when something’s going on or something new’s coming out. A new video, a new film is being released. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel. We’ve always got tons of contests and giveaways. And I’ve got some great sponsors who are very liberal with their gear provided for us to give to our followers. So, definitely – We do an online monthly Instagram giveaway, a monthly Facebook giveaway. And then twice a month or three times a month, we do big giveaways within the online course. I’ve got a rack full of lots of cool stuff. Yeti coolers and Prime bows and Sitka gear and all sorts of good stuff, so wherever people wanna follow us, anywhere that they follow us, we’ll be sure to share all the information that we can to them, related to elk and elk hunting.

Living Country in the City

Well, before we close, maybe a – one final word of wisdom for somebody either from the city or a new hunter just coming into this, looking at this and that’s super intimidated by all of this. Any final words of wisdom for that new hunter?

Corey

Absolutely, yeah. Anybody can do it. It’s just the matter of making a plan and following that plan and executing it. And when it comes to elk hunting, my philosophy is keep things simple. And so, focus on what is directly in front of you, if it’s planning that first elk hunt or if it’s just planning a camping trip to go out in elk country. It’s absolutely in reach for anyone, so don’t let fears or apprehensions or the feeling of being overwhelmed stop you or hold you back. Because once you do it, you’ll wish you’d have done it 10 years ago.

Living Country in the City

Well, Corey, thank you so much for joining me on the show today. I know you got a ton going on, so I appreciate you carving out a good chunk of time for us to sit and talk.

Corey

Absolutely, it’s a pleasure and I look forward to doing it again sometime.

Living Country in the City

Alright, y’all, that’ll do it for episode 21 of Living Country in the City. There’s a lot going on so make sure you head on over to the show notes page at livingcountryinthecity.com/21. I’ve got links to follow Corey on social as well as the link to that Elk101 Wyoming video. Now, I‘ve got to say after all this, y’all have got to be crazy if you’re still debating whether or not to sign up for the Elk101 University of Elk Hunting online course. But if you need that additional push, remember that you can get $10 off access by using my promo code, Living Country. So head on over before July 12th to sign up and make sure y’all get that 75 bonus entries into the MTN OPS Montana hunt giveaway that’s going on.

Also, if you haven’t tried MTN OPS yet, I can’t recommend them enough. There’s some fantastic supplements that really help me go harder and farther when I’m training for my backcountry hunts. Although last night I had someone refer to me as the Charlie Sheen of MTN OPS and I’m strangely okay with that. But anyway, for every $5 spent on MTN OPS, you get an entry to the Montana elk hunt giveaway as well as through MTN OPS Operation Conquer Hunger. Every purchase also provides a nutritious meal for a child in need.

So, in just a couple weeks, I’m gonna be heading on back out to Salt Lake City for the third time in about four months. I think I really have a problem. But anyway, I’ll be up at Snowbird for the Total Archery Challenge, as well a the Cam Hanes Mountain Ops Trail Run. If y’all are gonna be out there, make sure you drop me a line so I can get a chance to meet y’all in person. But, in the meantime, stay country, y’all.

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