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Joined: 08/30/2008
Posts: 7
Deer Calls

Hey im new at this callin in bucks. i have my cow bleet, buck grunt, and rattle bag can i get some tips on how to use them and when to use, then a site to listen to what they sound like ?
Thanks atlot whom ever repl's Thumbs up

saskie's picture
Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
Deer Calls

Hi. I'm not an expert at calling by any strech, but here's what I've gathered so far:

Earlier on in the pre-rut, when the bachelor groups of bucks start to break up what you want to do is "try and pick a fight with a buck"...basically use challenge type calls like rage roars, rattling and buck contact grunts to let other bucks know that there's a new buck in the area. The idea is that those already there will come in to challenge him and try to run him off. You have to be a little careful about this as if you're too aggressive lesser bucks may run off themselves rather than try and challenge a dominant buck. That's fine if you're only after the biggest, baddest buck in the bush - but that's pretty tough hunting. He didn't get to the top of the chain by being stupid and running in to every grunt, roar or rattle he's heard. Personally I'd only try being really aggressive if I knew there was a mega buck in the area, and already knew a bit about his patterns, otherwise you might just scare every other buck out of there. Conversely big bucks might not even bother with a runt, and ignore it (kind of like you responding to a mouthy little kid)

As things move toward the actual breeding portion of the rut, and the does start to come in heat (which varies by area but since you're posting in W Canada I assume that's where you're hunting and should be in a week or so) you'll want to switch to trying to imitate a doe. Bucks in the area will start actively looking for does to breed with. Once the peak of the rut starts imitating an estrous bleat (the sound a doe makes when she's in heat and ready to breed) can be deadly. Or a buck tending grunt meaning he's found a hot doe and is trying to sweet talk her to draw in a rival buck.

BTW deer (all deer: moose, elk, white tails, mulies) cross-fix sound with their ears so not only do they know which direction it came from, they also have a fairly good idea how far away the sound was much better than just measuring the strength of the signal.

That's why aiming your call to the ground or behind you is recommended so they can't get quite as good of a fix on your position and generally don't call to an animal you can see unless he's way off.

Above all you have to believe that it'll work (calls, rattles - whatever you use) - that a buck is quietly coming in even though you see and hear nothing. The more often you call the better fix he'll get on your position so don't overdo it trying to "make something happen". When he comes in he'll be looking for whatever is making that noise, and probably already has its source narrowed down to about 20-30 yd area. If you twitch or call again while he's on top and he gets a lock, chances are he'll make you and sneak out of there without you knowing he was ever there. Just a couple bleats, toots or a 30-60sec rattle then sit back, get ready and try and spot him before he spots you.

Don't forget to look behind you every so often too.

Then there's the days when they coming running in like your dog when you get home from work...but days like that anything will work. It's the other 95 days that you need to worry about.

These are manufactured calls - not actual deer so take them for what it's worth. The only vocalizations I've personally heard are the alarm wheeze (what hunter hasn't heard that) and a contact grunt from what I assume was a doe - I never saw it, but whatever it was it sounded more or less like the example they give here:


I did hear a real scrap between two heavy weights once and it sounded nothing like the rattles you hear on TV or calls, but that was a unique circumstance. It went on for about 20 min and sounded like someone was banging two frozen chunks of thick willow together just once or twice every couple minutes or so. I assume they'd butt heads and push back and forth a bit (which I was too far away to hear), separate and then do it all over again. A few minutes after things quieted down a really heavy-bodied, old 140-class buck chased a doe right by my stand and I dropped him. When we skinned him out he was all bruised up from a very recent fight, and that's when the lightbulb went on about the strange "TOCK" noise I'd been hearing.

Good luck.

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