John's Journal...

Avoid the Common Mistakes Bowhunters Make When Hunting Deer

Day 5: Bowhunters May Not Understand When to Rattle for Deer

Editor’s Note: Bowhunting for deer already has begun in some states and starts in numerous states during October. Good bowhunters can be better hunters if they don’t commit sins that decrease their odds for bagging any deer, especially trophy deer. This week, we’ll look at five of the most-common mistakes even good bowhunters – sportsmen who have taken several deer and who have hunted for 4 or 5 years – make.

Click for Larger ViewMost experienced bowhunters know that rattling can be an effective tool to call-in bucks, but many of them believe that the best time to rattle is during the peak of the rut, which occurs at the same time every year in a given area. Why, you even can plan your vacation for next year for the rut, because the rut is controlled by the shortness of the day and the amount of light that enters a deer’s eye. Generally the same amount of light will be present on December 22 every year in a specific region. If that happens to be the day that’s the peak of the rut in your region this year, there’s a very-good chance that that same day next year will be the peak of the rut, too. Although old timers believed a cold snap touched-off the rut, all that usually happens during a cold snap is deer become more active. Deer are just more comfortable in cold weather, since they have hollow hair and are well insulated. The deer may be uncomfortable when the weather’s hot. But the time of the rut doesn’t change in an area.

Click for Larger ViewRemember, the buck is ready to breed as soon as he comes out of the velvet. But he won’t breed until the doe’s ready to be bred. Bucks are in the woods waiting on that first estrous doe to come into heat. Rattling or using a grunt call 2-weeks before the rut begins is the most-effective way to call-in a buck. When that ole boy is in the woods listening and hears horns clashing, he thinks to himself, “Another buck has found a hot doe, and while other bucks are fighting over her, I’ll move-in and breed her.” Or, he hears a grunt call and may think, “Some buck is tending an estrous doe. Maybe there’s two of those does, and I can move-in and breed one before anyone notices.” Just after the rut, the buck is looking for a late bloomer, a doe that will come into rut after the other does have. Therefore, using rattling horns and grunt calls 2-weeks after the rut also can be very productive. During the peak of the rut, many bucks will have does with them. Then they may be less likely to come to rattling horns or grunt calls.

Check back each day this week for more about "Avoid the Common Mistakes Bowhunters Make When Hunting Deer"

Day 1: Don’t Be Too Anxious and Overzealous When Bowhunting Deer
Day 2: Don’t Wait for Perfect Hunting Days or Perfect Hunting Weather When Bowhunting Deer
Day 3: A Bowhunter Always Needs to Be Aware of His Human Odor When Hunting Deer
Day 4:Bowhunters Need to Know Where to Put Deer Lure and How to Use Deer Scents
Day 5:Bowhunters May Not Understand When to Rattle for Deer


Entry 579, Day 5