Let’s talk calls and rattles.

  • gimruis
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 12424

    I would call my party more a meat hunting party than a Horn hunting party. There has been years our area was bucks only, Years where it was a draw for a doe tag, and years it was hunters choice. My though on harvest was always shooting a Buck just removes 1 deer from the area the following year. Shooting a Doe was equal to removing 2 or 3 deer the following year ( Doe + 1 or 2 fawns ) To many people these days all hung up BIG buck hunting and getting upset with others shooting smaller bucks. To each their own. As long as its legal, I fault no one from shooting any deer they want.

    I always forget that there is a fair amount of zones that only allow buck harvest. That’s a valid point.

    Posts: 1499

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Hoyt4 wrote:</div>
    Most the bucks I have harvested have come off grunt or can call. They work great in the right situation and location. Called in multiple bucks at one time before and had a battle right in front of me.

    Can call is always good never had that scare a deer or anything ,does will even come check out all year long. Ive finally heard the buck roar and watched a 10 pointer do it a few times. Like stated earlier some years the deer are very vocal and some you might not hear a grunt.Few years ago watch a buck do the snort wheeze But I’ve never really had a negative result calling. Sure deer might not appear or just come in but nothing like running from the call.

    Can call as in a doe bleat, like the green cans from primos ?

    I use that kind of doe bleat. That and my grunt call I’ve called in bucks with. Never had any good experience with rattling.

    cold spring mn
    Posts: 9000

    Can call as in a doe bleat, like the green cans from primos ?
    [/quote] I use that green can call and have had good success with it.

    Does it work every day. Nope! But I don’t deer hunt without it. And not afraid to admit I’m in the hunting for meat group. I like my venison, or any wild game for that matter. If it has horns all the better. Shoot. A fawn .. nope🙄

    Galesville, Wisconsin
    Posts: 1473

    I would say 75% of my calling (grunts/bleats) is when I have either seen a deer or hear what I suspect is one and call (sparingly) to try and convince them to get closer. October it’s mostly buck grunts, short ‘contact’ grunts. Come November if needed I’ll mix in some more aggressive growls, tending grunts and doe beats.

    Rattling is where I do ‘blind’ calling (no known deer in immediate area), most of my bow stands if I can see them they are closer than I like to rattle. Often before I rattle I will do a calling sequence (higher and lower pitched buck grunts or a buck grunts amd doe bleats) then wait 15 minutes or so just in case there was deer closer than I expected (and they react to the call). I usually keep rattling sequences fairly short and follow up with some growls/grunts, then immediately get ready with bow. I’ve had some charge in hard, some take their time (and a lot of zero responses).

    It’s all a lot of guesswork, trial and error, and just time in stand listening to the deer doing their thing naturally. Never going to work everytime and over the last 20 years I have noticed how each buck can have its own personality and figuring out those personalities (if you can) will greatly help narrow down what will and won’t work on particular deer. Another thing (I think) even bigger than how you are calling is the setup itself. If it’s open to the point a deer can stand out at a distance and see there is no deer, the odds of that deer committing are slim. My best ‘calling’ stands are in some pretty thick stuff (bow season), limits your opportunities to get a shot off but it’s what you really need to get that buck to hunt for the deer he heard (you) and commit to getting in close. With the benefit of hunting Coulee country I’ve been able to use the topography itself to try and make these ‘heavy cover’ setups a little more predictable on how they will respond but I’ve had a fair share of deer respond that I can’t to anything other than watch, quite often because it’s to the wrong side and I can’t get turned without getting busted. Probably the most frustrating part of bow hunting for me as I am an ambidextrous rifleman and they wouldn’t get away with it then.

    Posts: 503

    If your area has a low buck to doe ratio rattling and grunting may not work great. Why fight when there’s plenty of does around. In this scenario an estrus bleat can work.

    If there’s a bunch of bucks around is when rattling and grunting works. Make lots of racket, kick and scrape the ground – deer can be noisy critters so make it realistic. Watched my hunting partner rattle in a 170 class buck that came in pissed and looking for a fight last November in Kansas. We rattle in all kinds of bucks there but the ratio’s are different. Have had less consistent luck doing so in ND but again it can and does work and is incredibly fun when they respond to it.

    Posts: 503

    Also, I believe calling works better while hunting on the move. Rattle and grunt a little, scrape at the ground, sit for 30 minutes then move slowly to another likely ambush spot and repeat. Sitting in a tree stand and rattling from one location with zero ground noise (like stomping, leaves rustling, twigs breaking) is not at all realistic. It’s quite loud when two bucks are really fighting

    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 12424

    Sitting in a tree stand and rattling from one location with zero ground noise (like stomping, leaves rustling, twigs breaking) is not at all realistic.

    Makes sense. Probably why it has rarely worked for me over the years. I’m 25 feet up in a tree lol

    Posts: 602

    I haven’t had much luck rattling or grunting but I have had luck with the can call (estrus bleat). The fist was after rifle season and I was now hunting a field edge. The buck came in on a string but stopped out of range and I believe it was because there wasn’t a doe in the field that he could see and ran off. The other time was when I was bow hunting camp ripely. The came out of nowhere it seemed and within range but once again couldn’t see a doe and didn’t stay long enough for a shot. Like mentioned earlier if they can’t see other deer it kind of makes them on edge and you need to be ready.

    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 10370

    Very similar experience as others regarding both rattling and grunt calls. No success whatsoever with either as far as calling deer in.

    I’ve grunted on numerous occasions at bucks that I had sighted and they either showed no interest or headed the other way. The best I’ve been able to do is use a grunt call to stop a buck for a shot. The problem is that they almost always looked my way, so to me this is a last-ditch effort to get a shot before the buck gets into thick cover or out of sight. If it works, great, but the buck now knows where the sound came from and is now on edge. I’ve only ever done this from a blind, IMO doing it from a tree would just make it too easy for the buck to hone in on you even during bow season in camo.

    SW Metro
    Posts: 9031

    Couple guys make a great similar point, any calling from a stand is a little more risky. Not only is the sound “off” since there’s no rustling or ground sound, but you are a lot more identifiable in a tree than the ground. And whether on the ground or stand, if they are remotely close they will know almost exactly where you are located, so get ready to drop em when you get the chance!

    Upper Midwest
    Posts: 6202

    Rattling has brought in quite a few small bucks for me (while in a stand). I attribute this to them being slightly dumb and curious. Early in the season rattling is likely pointless. I will rattle later during the prime of the rut. I have taken a 164″ 10 pointer and a 153″ 8 that came in to investigate while another small buck was within eyesight (during the rut). Rattling now when it’s 50+ degrees is not going to produce those results. I also equate “rattling” to maybe doing it once every 40 minutes or a handful of times per sit. Less is more.

    As far as grunting goes, I use it to slow down deer that are moving/spooked or to get them to reposition possibly from behind a tree. Even if a deer doesn’t like the grunt call or feels it is unnatural, 90% of time they will stop what they’re doing and look before bailing. That’s when you make it count.

    Michael Best
    Posts: 692

    Calling bucks in has a lot of variables.
    Are other deer around. Can the deer see the area the sound is coming from. What is the deers personality like etc.

    I have been hunting Ne for the last 4 days. 3 out of the 4 days I have seen a 3.5 year old 8 pointer. On 2 separate hunts I called to him and he wouldn’t respond. This morning from 600 yards away he finally responded to rattling. He closed the distance to 100 yards very quickly. Then a doe comes by and he lost interest that fast. He went off chasing her.
    Good morning to call. Ended up calling in 5 bucks today. All 2.5 or 1.5 year olds except the 3.5 that got sidetracked at the last minute.
    The last few years I have gotten the best responses from a snort wheeze on mature deer over anything else.

    Cloquet, MN
    Posts: 873

    Just called in a pretty decent 10 pointer on Halloween morning. No shot, but he came in on a string.

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