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About Smoke signals. (Grand Ronde, Or.) 19??-current | View Entire Issue (March 15, 2017)
S moke S ignals
MARCH 15, 2017
Matt Lux wins state elk calling competition
Tribal member headed
to world championships
on March 18
By Bethany Bea
Smoke Signals Intern
Grand Ronde Tribal member
Matt Lux is the best elk caller in
Oregon for the third time.
On Saturday, March 18, he’ll see
if he’s the best in the world.
Lux won the Oregon State Elk
Calling Championship on Feb. 25
and is headed to Salt Lake City,
Utah, to participate in the Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation World
Elk Calling Championships.
Lux, 34, has been elk calling
since he was 6 years old when his
father brought home elk calls and
left them on a windowsill while he
went to take a nap.
“Don’t touch those,” his father
“Well, soon as that door shut I
pushed a chair over and grabbed
the elk calls,” said Lux. He got one
to make a noise and went right in to
tell his father, who briefly scolded
him for not following instructions.
“But then he started working
with me on it,” Lux said.
He went to the World Champion-
ships in Seattle that same year. It
was 1989 and the youth division still
encompassed youths up to 17 years of
age, he said. Now, there is a peewee
division for children 10 and younger.
“So for the first few years I called
with a lot of kids that were twice my
age,” he said.
Lux used his newfound skills to
call in an elk for his father while
hunting that year, but he said it
was awhile before he bagged an elk
of his own.
“I had a very rough learning curve
He said a cracked reed
or an error is the differ-
ence between placing in
the finals and coming in
dead last at competitions.
In addition to practice
and dedication, some
competitors have the nat-
ural advantage of a large
chest, which allows for
Lux said when he com-
petes, he tries to make up
his points in other ways
to compensate for com-
petitors who are bigger.
“In order to make up
that difference, I have to
make sure my routine is
Photo by Michelle Alaimo
extremely clean and as life-
Matt Lux recently won the Oregon State Elk Calling Championships and will be
like as I can get,” he said.
competing in the 2017 World Elk Calling Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, on
When he’s not working
Saturday, March 18.
or competing, Lux spends
time in the woods with his
their own pilots.”
when I was younger, because I’m
Depending on whether the hunter
“We have designated his own
stubborn and I have to learn things
buys or draws a tag and where they
grunt tube,” Lux said. “He does not
my way,” he said. “My dad died when
want to hunt, the fee for a guided
like it if dad grabs his grunt tube.”
I was 11, so a lot of the hunting stuff
hunt can range anywhere from
His son won’t go with him to the
I kind of had to do on my own.”
$4,600 to $10,000. This buys five or
World Championships, he said. It’s
Eventually, he got a job at Sports-
six days, Lux said, but he’s usually
going to be too much time in the
man’s Warehouse and a co-worker
done in three.
car. Thirteen hours to Salt Lake
taught him the rights and wrongs
While his elk calling skills cer-
City on Friday if weather doesn’t
of hunting. Now, hunting is his
tainly help with his work, he said
slow him down, then competition on
way of life.
Saturday followed by the long ride
Lux lives on a farm outside of
tion-quality caller while hunting.
home on Sunday. The competition
Sheridan, but spends most of the
“There’s a huge difference be-
consists of morning preliminaries
year as a hunting guide for Mangas
tween competition calling and
followed by finals at noon, if every-
Outfitters in the high desert of New
calling out in the woods,” Lux said.
thing stays on schedule, he said.
The elk won’t notice if you make
He’ll be joined at the competition
“I’ve seen all walks of life come
Higher Education Manager Bry-
out and elk hunt,” he said. “There’s
an Langley and four of his children,
guys that have to save five, six
There are different types of calls
all of whom are competing.
years to be able to afford to come
for different sounds, from small
“I’ll just have to keep my fingers
out and hunt. And then I have cli-
discs, called diaphragms, no big-
crossed that I make the finals, be-
ents who come out every year. We
ger than a 50-cent piece, to “grunt
cause there’s going to be some re-
have guys that come out, and they
tubes” the shape of a small plastic
ally stiff competition,” Lux said.
own their own planes and they have
The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and the
American Museum of Natural History are now
Accepting youth applications to participate in our
Annual Tamanowas Ceremony and Museum Internship Program.
Please join us for our
Please bring your
Creating a Lifebook
Wednesday, March 8: 5:15pm - 8:15pm
The Application Process is open to High School Females that meet the
Friday, April 7: 11:00am - 3:00pm
Enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
Current Sophomore, Junior, Senior in High School
G.P.A. of 2.5 or above
Meal & Childcare Provided
(must REGISTER for childcare)
CTGR Community Center Building
9615 Grand Ronde Road, Grand Ronde, OR
Feel free to attend one, or both!
Application Deadline is March 24th, 5pm
Application is available online at grandronde.org
Please contact Travis Stewart for further information at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is a Lifebook? A Lifebook is a connection to a child’s past, a record
of the child’s personal history and a valuable tool for helping a child
understand the difficult transitions in their life.
To register or for more information please
call Amanda Mercier at 503-879-2039