What they said.
Leave the bugle at home, but the cow call can come in handy. You can use the cow call if you see a spooked herd, if you throw a couple "chirps" many times they will turn towards you (if you aren't the reason they spooked), but even then, it may stop them long enough to look them over. A couple soft chirps mews if that's a word, will calm them down, even a bull. If you understand elk vocals and herd dynamics, a cow call can be a game changer and make the difference. You can bet that once you use it, you have given away your position.
Have a bull moving by in a hurry, often a cow call will turn him, or slow him down, if you have time to pull the call out.
Cow call is also effective if you are walking through thick cover and it is hard to not make noise. If the noise is just you breaking branches and sticks, not your nylon, or un-natural sounds, a few soft calls as you go along, can make elk think you are another elk moving through. Elk are noisy when moving through the woods.
Elk are very vocal, even bulls, but bugling is almost always during rut as the guy's said, even though I have heard it other times of the year, but that is rare. The main thing about a cow call is knowing what they sound like and using the right sound for the circumstances you are in, make a hard, fast "chirp" and you just sounded like a lead cow saying "danger haul azz"
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