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Year-Round Deer Calling Secrets of the Masters

Add Realism to Your Calling Sequence with Alex Rutledge

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: If you want to learn any sport or any technique in any sport, you seek out the professionals who make their living in that sport. The men who create outdoor TV shows, videos and game calls must have the ability to produce those calls on cue on film. Why can they call deer, and you can't? What do they do that you don't? Here are their secrets. Alex Rutledge of Birchtree, Missouri, a professional hunter for more than two decades and a member of the Hunter's Specialties' Click to enlargeHunt Team for years, has taken deer in the Hunter's Specialties' videos, as well as turkeys and predators. He also teaches seminars on deer hunting across the country.

"One of the things I'm doing that's a little different from other callers is I'm using sounds other than deer vocalizations to call in bucks," Rutledge reports. "I call this adding realism to the calling sequence. When a buck's chasing a doe, she may be bleating, and he may be grunting. However, you also hear the sounds of leaves crunching as those deer are running. I'll use the Hunter’sSpecialties’ True Talker to make the sound of the doe bleat and the buck grunt, but I'll also use my mouth to make the sound of leaves crunching - cheecheechee - in-between my calls to add realism to my calls and pull bucks in better. Here's the sequence I use when I see a buck I can't get a shot at. I will . . .
* “grunt to him loudly to stop hiClick to enlargem,
* “bleat to him loudly to coax him in and then sound like a deer running through the leaves to make him think he can't see the deer,
* “give grunts and bleats softer and still make the sounds of deer running in the leaves with my mouth as the deer starts coming in to help convince the buck that another buck and a doe are running in the thicket behind my tree stand that he can't see.

“One of the most-difficult bucks to stop and call in is a buck that's trailing a deer because that buck has already found the object of his desire. Getting him to leave herClick to enlarge, even for a minute and come to another doe is extremely difficult. I've often grunted to a buck like this knowing he can hear me, but never being able to stop him. "I've learned a tactic that will sometimes stop that buck and bring him in to where I can take him. I always keep a squirrel call around my neck when I'm hunting deer for ready access. Then I bark like a squirrel, a natural alarm sound that deer frequently hear that doesn't spook them. The call will cause the deer to look in the direction that the squirrel is barking to and attempt to see what has the squirrel upset. After I stop the buck with the squirrel-barking call, I'll start grunting to him to make him think the squirrel is barking at a buck. Now that I have the buck locked-in on my position, I'll begin to bleat, to help the buck put this puzzle together in his head.  He's heard.  . .
* a squirrel bark and give the alarm,
* a buck grunt and
* a doe bleat and now sees a picture of a doe ready to breed earlier than the doe he's chasing. He thinks he can go to where he's heard the sounds, possibly breed this hot doe and then return to chasing the other doe he's originally followed into the area. No deer-calling sequence always works, especially when you're trying to stop a buck when he's chasing a doe. However, this method has paid off in buck dividends for me from time to time, and it will work for you."

Tomorrow: Grunt Calling with Eddie Salter

Check back each day this week for more about "Year-Round Deer Calling Secrets of the Masters"

Day 1: Deer Calling’s Not Magic with David Hale
Day 2: The Truth About Calling with Will Primos
Day 3: Add Realism to Your Calling Sequence with Alex Rutledge
Day 4: Grunt Calling with Eddie Salter
Day 5: The Most Critical Deer Call with Gary Sefton


Entry 483, Day 3