Because we LOVE calling elk here at Backwoods Pursuit, we couldn’t do an elk call series without including an elk bugle tube review. After all, what’s more fun than a having a hormone-raged bull charging in on you? If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will.
The purpose of this elk bugle tube review is to demonstrate to you the differences in some of the most popular bugle tubes on the market today. You’ll be able to see and hear what differences certain features of a bugle tube make, such as the length and diameter of the tube. (see the demonstration video). If you prefer to make one for yourself, hopefully this will help you know what dimensions will best fit the sound you are wanting.
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Elk Bugle Tube Review: Sizes
As you can imagine, the length and diameter of the bugle tube make a difference in the sound it produces. Of the models tested, the larger the diameter, the deeper the tone it produced. The longer the tube, the more hollow the sound. The shorter the tube, the more I found I could hear the “human” sound, if you will. The longer and larger the tube, the more of that deep, guttural sound it produced.
In some elk bugle tubes (not any of the ones we tested here), the mouthpiece is narrower, making it more difficult to do a “lip bawl.” I’ve personally found that I prefer the wider mouth piece of the ones shown above. They are just more comfortable for me, but that certainly isn’t the case for everyone.
Elk Bugle Tube Review: Tube Diameters
After putting each of these bugle tubes side by side for this elk bugle tube review, I found the diameter to be the biggest factor in determining the tone. Simply put, the larger the diameter, the deeper the tone. The longer the tube gets the more it seems to produce that more realistic sounding tone. The trade off? Of course the larger the elk bugle tube, the heavier it typically is and the more difficult it is to pack around.
Phelps Unleashed Elk Bugle Tube Review
The Phelps Game Call Unleashed bugle tube is the largest and heaviest of the ones we tested. It gives you an amazing deep tone that echos through the elk woods. You will not be disappointed with the sound this thing creates! The mouth piece is extremely comfortable and makes producing the lip bawl very easy.
The Phelps Unleashed comes with a lightweight elastic cord, making it easy to sling over your shoulder. The Phelps Unleashed is very big though. As such, it’s a bit more difficult to pack around and takes up more space in your pack. While most of us would agree it’s a price worth paying for a great sounding bugle tube, there are times when weight and space might push us to consider a smaller, lighter option.
- Best deep tones
- Fullest sound
- Not the loudest
- Best for deep chuckle
- Very comfortable mouth piece
- 10.3 ounces
Phelps Unrivaled Elk Bugle Tube Review
Small and lightweight you said? That’s exactly why the Phelps Unrivaled was designed. It’s about half the weight of the Unleashed and nearly half its size. Coming in at a ridiculous 5.6oz, you’d expect this to really fall behind in the sound it produces. While you certainly do lose the deep rich tone the Unleashed bugle tube gives you, the difference isn’t nearly as drastic as I expected it to be(see the video for the side be side of the Phelps Unleashed vs. the Phelps Unrivaled). Great volume, moderately deep tones and a nice compact size make this a fantastic option for ultralight backcountry hunting.
- Half the weight of the others (total weight)
- Surprisingly good sound for such a small tube
- Crazy light and packable
- Comfortable mouth piece
- 5.1 ounces
Rocky Mountain Bully Bull Extreme Elk Bugle Tube Review
The Rocky Mountain Bully Bull Extreme elk bugle tube is one that has been a staple in the elk hunting community for many years. This, in my opinion, gives you the most volume of the group, barley edging out the Phelps Unleashed. To my ear, the Bully Bull Extreme gives you a little more of that cutting tone that really reaches out and sends your bugle a long way. The Phelps Unleashed gives a bit more of a mellow, deeper tone, and thus doesn’t seem to carry quite as much.
This Bully Bull Extreme elk bugle tube review proved to me that there is a reason so many turn to this bugle tube. It just sounds awesome! A comfortable wide mouth piece makes producing a lip bawl easy as well as any other elk sound you can muster with your diaphragm call. The Rocky Mountain Bully Bull Extreme comes with a sling made of para cord making it easy to throw over you shoulder when not in use.
- Loudest elk bugle tube reviewed
- Great all around tone
- Very comfortable mouth piece
- 9.2 ounces
Rocky Mountain Rogue Bugle Elk Bugle Tube Review
The Rocky Mountain Hunting Call “Rogue” is a new bugle tube for 2019. Very similar in design to “The Threat,” this elk bugle tube incorporates Rockie Jacobsen’s V.E.T.T system assembled with a fitted spring inside the bugle tube. This specially made tapered mouth piece has a little bit different shape to it than the Rocky Mountain Bully Bully Extreme, but it’s also very comfortable.
I found the Rocky Mountain Rogue to be that perfect in between size, making it easier to pack than the Phelps Unleashed or the Rocky Mountain Bully Bull Extreme, but not too small to where you sacrifice a lot of tonal quality. In the video below you’ll be able to hear a slight difference between the Rogue and the Bully Bull Extreme, but this Rogue by Rocky Mountain is a great sounding bugle tube that comes in a smaller, lighter package.
- Lightweight 7.7 ounces
- Moderate deep tones
- More compact/easier to pack around
Rocky Mountain Select-a-Bull Elk Bugle Tube Review
The Rocky Mountain Select a Bull calling system is a great option for those folks who simply can’t get use to a mouth diaphragm. This user friendly elk calling system is easy to use, produces pretty good sounds, and really gives you a great option if diaphragms just aren’t for you. It’s true (at least for me) I can’t get nearly the tonal quality, deep chuckles, or flexibility to make lip bawls, grunts and growls like I can do with a diaphragm, but for what this call is, it does a really good job.
- Best non-diaphragm elk bugle I’ve tried
- Somewhat restricted in ability to produce all elk sounds
- 9.6 ounces
If you missed our Diaphragm Elk Calls Series, go check it out! We look at diaphragm elk calls from Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls, Phelps Game Calls, and Native By Carlton (click these links for the separate review on each).
Check out our external reed elk call review here if you missed it!
Elk Bugle Tube Review Video
Want to know what each of these calls sound like side by side? Hear them and decide for yourself what you like best! If you use them correctly, at the end of the day, any of these will effectively call in elk, but the differences between them is why we put together this elk bugle tube review.
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