John's Journal...

Hunting the Rut When Sly Bucks Lose Their Cool

Rattling-In Bucks During the Rut and the Sportsman’s Condo

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: During the rut when the bucks are chasing the does to breed and perpetuate the species, the hunter who knows what the animals do and how their mating affects their lifestyle can take deer more consistently during the rut than at any other time of the year.

In recent Click to enlargeyears hunters all across the United States have turned to rattling to take bucks during the rut. To rattle, a hunter holds two antlers and clashes them together to imitate the sound of two bucks fighting. Oftentimes, when this sound is heard throughout the woods, other bucks in the area will come to the fight to see what’s happening. And, that’s when the hunter can bag his deer. One of the misconceptions about rattling is that it will always work at any time and in any place. Although a buck may come to the sound of clashing horns, there are several ingredients that tend to make rattling better at some times than it is at others.
* If there is a high-buck population and a relatively-low doe population, the bucks seem to be more willing to come to rattling.
* During the rut, rattling seems to be far-more productive than when deer aren’t in the rut.
* If you’re rattling close to scrapes during the rut, you may find this action the most-productive method of rattling.

Click to enlargeI tried rattling all year long,” Dr. Bob Sheppard, a noted deer hunter, says. “But not until the rut began did my rattling really pay off. During the rut, I rattled in places where I hadn’t seen a buck all year, and the deer came in to where I was. I rattle by clashing the antlers together, twisting them together like two buck trying to get free from one another and then sliding them apart. I also hit the antlers against bushes and dig them into the ground.  I have seen deer fight in the woods before, and I want the sounds that I make to be as similar as possible to the sounds I’ve heard the bucks make when they are fighClick to enlargeting. One of the tricks that I have learned is that just as soon as you get through rattling, you need to have your gun in your hand. Oftentimes the deer will come in on the run.  I usually carry my rattling antlers on a thong around my neck.  Then when I finish rattling, I can just drop the antlers, pick up my gun and be ready to shoot. Also I advise wearing hunter orange any time that you rattle, because clashing horns will not only lure-in deer but also other hunters. If a sportsman sees a flash of antlers while you’re rattling and doesn’t spot that hunter orange, you may have a problem. However, I believe that rattling is one of the most-effective ways of luring big bucks in during the rut.”

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Tomorrow: Hunting the Various Types Scrapes at the End of the Season and Using Summit Stands

Check back each day this week for more about "Hunting the Rut When Sly Bucks Lose Their Cool"

Day 1: What Triggers the Rut, and How Konus Can Help Your Deer Hunting
Day 2: Rattling-In Bucks During the Rut and the Sportsman’s Condo
Day 3: Hunting the Various Types Scrapes at the End of the Season and Using Summit Stands
Day 4: Farmland Deer During the Rut and Reading the Signs and Wildlife Energy Drink
Day 5: Stalking the Does and CVA’s Apex Rifle


Entry 544, Day 2