John's Journal...

Make It Happen In a Tree Stand with Will Primos, Eddie Salter, Wayne Carlton and David Hale

David Hale and Wayne Carlton Go Get Them with a Grunt Call

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Until about 20-years ago, you had almost no control over the deer you hunted. You only could take a stand in an area where your research and scouting had led you to believe a deer might show up and pray the deer would appear. Sitting in a tree stand all day and waiting for a deer to appear was about as exciting as watching maple syrup pour out of a bucket in zero-degree weather. However, today, with the new and exciting deer calls on the market, you have the ability to make a deer come to where you are, cause the deer to hunt you and make bucks show-up that ordinarily may not have walked into your sights.Click to enlarge

Each year we learn more about the language of the white-tailed deer as we experiment with new tactics of calling. The latest research on deer calling tends to indicate that one of the most-basic rules of using the grunt call has been overlooked by most of us. David Hale, co-creator of Knight and Hale Game Calls in Cadiz, Kentucky, and Wayne Carlton, Hunter’s Specialties Pro from Montrose, Colorado, both agree that if a deer can't hear your call, he won't come to it. Each of these men solves this problem with a different method of calling and hunting.

"I don't believe a deer can tell by the volume of the call that another deer can’t make a grunt call that loud," Hale observes. "By calling louder, you can increase the distance at which deer can hear and respond to your call." Based on this philosophy, Knight and Hale Game Calls have produced some louder grunt calls than many calls on the deer-hunting market today. To increase the distance Click to enlargeat which deer can hear calling even more, Hale uses the principles of thermodynamics and wind currents to break with tradition and extend his calling effectiveness. "Heat rises in cold weather," Hale explains. "On cold days, the human body is warmer than the air around it outdoors. Since human odor is carried by Click to enlargeheat molecules, then on very cold days, that odor must rise rather than fall. During the morning, an air current known as a thermal comes from the ground and moves upward. In the morning when the air current is moving up, and the hunter's body is warm, the natural flow of his human odor will be up rather than down. To increase the odds of a thermal carrying my odor above the deer, I climb 20- to 30-feet up in a tree to hunt. Then I have three factors working in my favor to keep my human odor out of the deer's nostrils. Since my odor is above the deer, I now can break one of the basic rules of successful deer hunting. I can hunt with the wind at my back in this situation, because of the thermals moving from the ground upward, the heat generated by my body, and the great height I am in the tree. I also can use the wind to carry my deer grunt two or three times further than normally it will be effective for calling deer. With this strategy, I greatly increase the distances at which I can call deer."

Wayne Carlton has found that the more he calls, the more opportunities he has to lure in deer to his stand site. The traditional tactic employed to call deer in with a grunt call is to call three or four times, wait 15 minutes and then call once more. However, Carlton has realized that during the 15 minutes he's not calling, a deer may pass through his effective calling range that he will miss when the deer never hears Carlton grunt. "That's why I call about once every 2 or 3 minutes," Carlton explains. "Instead of making three, long grunts, I'll give 20- to 30-short, choppy grunts and make my calling sequence last from 30 seconds to a full minute. I believe the short-note grunts fired in rapid succession tend to excite deer more than the longer, slower grunts do. Because I'm calling more and more excitedly, any buck that walks through the productive range of my calling can and will hear me grunting and will be far more likely to come in than if he walks through that same area and doesn't hear the call. Bucks can't come to calling they don't hear. I don't want to miss an opportunity to take a buck with my bow because I haven’t called when the deer could hear me."

Tomorrow: Wildlife Biologist Steve Warner Knows Where and when to Rattle Bucks

Check back each day this week for more about "Make It Happen In a Tree Stand with Will Primos, Eddie Salter, Wayne Carlton and David Hale"

Day 1: Will Primos - New and Exciting Deer Calls
Day 2: Eddie Salter Hunts Aggressively Using a Bleat Call for Success
Day 3: Wayne Carlton Makes it Happen in a Tree Stand by Throwing His Call
Day 4: David Hale and Wayne Carlton Go Get Them with a Grunt Call
Day 5: Wildlife Biologist Steve Warner Knows Where and When to Rattle Bucks


Entry 536, Day 4