John's Journal...

Year-Round Deer Calling Secrets of the Masters

The Most Critical Deer Call with Gary Sefton

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. Gary Sefton of Franklin, TennesseeClick to enlarge, has hunted deer with a bow for more than three decades and has appeared on numerous TV shows and in videos. An outdoor troubadour, he's produced two CDs, capturing the sights and sounds of the outdoors in both song and music. Sefton knows how to call deer.

"I believe the most-critical call a hunter can use to call deer is the doe grunt," Sefton emphasizes. "The doe grunt is the first verbal communication that a fawn hears when it's born, before it starts nursing, while it's nursing and after it quits nursing. The doe grunt says, 'Everything is ok.' If you can preface any call you make with a doe grunt, you'll relax the deer you're trying to call by letting them know that everything is fine. Then you can use additional calls to tell the buck anything you want to tell him. Anytime I'm using any type of deer call, whether it's a grunt, a bleat or a rattle, I always start off with a high-pitched doe grunt. I believe this call makes the calls that come after it more effective. If you use an aggressive call as the first call you make, many times a buck will start to run. Then even AT&T can't call him.

"Remember, when you're calling deer, the biggest secret is not to spook the buck before you try and call him. Instead, get his attention, calm him down, let him know everything is ok in his environment, and then use other calls to talk to him. AnoClick to enlargether advantage to using the doe grunt is when you make a mistake like banging your tree stand against the tree, dropping an arrow or missing a shot, you can use that doe grunt to settle the woods back down and help you cover up your mistake.

"A sound I use is the urgent sound a doe makes when she's going out of estrus and hasnClick to enlarge't been bred. When her estrous cycle wanes, she becomes much-more desperate to attract a buck to breed her. Make three bleats and then a gurgled bawl-type bleat - both much louder and more-desperate sounding than either the bleat or thegrunt. This call is effective during the rut and especially during the post-rut. You want to make the buck think that one last doe hasn't been bred and is trying to locate a buck. However, I have called bucks in during October before the pre-rut starts, using this sound. Another time this call is especially good is when you're hunting in a region with many other hunters who are grunting or bleating. This particular type of call produces a sound that maybe a deer in that region hasn't heard yet. In hunting situations, different calls often are the best calls to use in high-hunting-pressure situations."

Where We Go From Here
Each year, master deer hunters learn more about the sounds deer make, new deer-calling tactics that enable them to successfully bag deer and unique information that makes them better hunters. To learn to more effectively call deer, use a wide range of deer call more often. Then watch how the deer react to your calling.

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 5