John's Journal...

You Need Two to Rattle White-Tailed Bucks in the East

The Southeast Isn’t Texas

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Just like humans are attracted to the sounds and the sights of a car accident, a fight or a fire, many times Click to enlargeother bucks will come to the sound of antlers clashing, not only to view a fight, but in hopes of possibly picking up the estrous doe over which the two bucks are fighting. But in the eastern United States, hunters use tactics somewhat different than those of western hunters to rattle effectively.

The Southeast isn’t Texas. This fact is one most people forget when they start rattling from their trees stands, and the bucks don’t appear. More than likely if you’ve done everything right to make rattling effective, the bucks probably have come to the sound of rattling, but you just haven’t seen them. In many sections of Texas, deer can see for long distances. Or, the deer know they can go to cindaros (open areas that look like firebreaks) and see a deer fight, if they hear one. Too, remember that the deer in Texas understand the land where they live, the other deer in their herd and the location of the feeders. The deer know everything about their environment, and when they Click to enlargehear rattling antlers, they often will come in from great distances and give you an open shot. However, most of the time the bucks that come to rattling antlers in Texas are generally younger bucks. Click to enlarge

The eastern United States doesn’t have cindaros or much open cover. Our eastern 3-year-old-and-older bucks have learned that to survive, they have to stay in heavy cover. Eastern deer also have learned that their noses will indicate danger more than their eyes or ears will. Therefore, 90% of the time when a buck comes in to rattling antlers in the East, he’ll come in downwind of the sound he hears and check-out what he believes to be a buck fight with his nose, rather than trying to see the bucks fighting. In most thick-cover places, if a buck comes-in downwind of the hunter, he’ll see, smell or hear the hunter before the hunter sees him. So, you may conclude that rattling bucks in the East won’t work. However, you can rattle-up bucks in the East, if you accept these observations and know how to counter what an older-age-class buck will do if he comes into rattling antlers.

Tomorrow: A Rattling Tactic That Works in the East

Check back each day this week for more about "You Need Two to Rattle White-Tailed Bucks in the East"

Day 1: Rattling-In Bucks During the Rut
Day 2: The Southeast Isn’t Texas
Day 3: A Rattling Tactic That Works in the East
Day 4: Rattling Methods for Eastern Solitary Hunters
Day 5: Techniques to Make Rattling More Effective in the East


Entry 541, Day 2