John's Journal...

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

Rattling Methods for Eastern Solitary Hunters

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 other 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.Click to enlarge

Since we know that most of the bucks in the East that will come to rattling antlers come in downwind of the hunter who’s doing the rattling, we need to understand how we can set-up to rattle without a buddy. Predator hunters have used this technique for many years because bobcats, coyotes and foxes generally circle downwind before they come in to what they believe is prey in distress. If you can use the terrain to block a deer’s downwind approach to your stand, you have a really-good chance of taking him. But how do you block a deer from coming-in downwind?Click to enlarge

* Have a creek or a river at your back, thick cover in front of you and the wind in your face. If a buck’s bedded-down in that thick cover, to come and investigate the buck fight he’s hearing, he must come from your right or left and walk down the edge of the creek or the river bank. More than likely a buck won’t cross water to come and watch two other bucks fighting.Click to enlarge
* Have a highway or a road at your back, thick cover in front of you and the wind in your face. You need some type of natural terrain break a deer won’t want to cross at your back, so a buck more than likely won’t circle downwind to come into rattling antlers.

Mistakes to Avoid:

“I tried rattling,” a buddy of mine told me, “and it almost worked. I had my tree stand about 12-feet off the ground. I had a mountain to my back. I started rattling, and a buck came running to me. But then when he was about 60-yards away, he slammed-on the brakes, threw-up his ears, blew, turned and ran like I’d jabbed him with a hot poker.” If you study air currents, you can understand why this hunter spooked the deer he’d hoped to rattle-in. If the wind’s coming from in front of you, it’s picking-up your human odor and taking it to the mountain. When the wind carrying your scent hits the mountain, often that wind will turn around and go right back the way it’s come. Also, if the wind swirls off the mountain, it can take your human odor back to the deer’s nose. So, always remember, when rattling by yourself, use some type of terrain break to keep the deer from coming-in downwind of you. Make sure you don’t set-up in front of a solid terrain break, like a mountain, that can cause you to spook more deer than you rattle-in.

Tomorrow: Techniques to Make Rattling More Effective 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 4