John's Journal...

Calling In Bucks

Overlooked Keys to Rattling Success

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: One time when I hunted in Mexico, because of the grunt call, I held a buck within shooting range for over an hour. I also bought myself time to see a bigger deer. When no other trophy showed up, I used the grunt call to position the buck to allow me to take an effective shot. On that day, in that place, the grunt call made the difference in whether or not I bagged a buck. And, often calling deer will make that difference in your hunt, as we’ll learn this week.

When we use the term rattling, many of us draw mental pictures of a hunter’s clashing antlers together or slightly touching the tips together to sound like deer lightly sparring. However, one often-overlooked tactic can bring in a buck regardless of the time of year – the raking technique. Sometimes bucks rake their antlers against trees and bushes while marking their territory or doinClick to enlargeg battle with some form of resistance that can’t fight back. Many times you can lure in a buck by raking antlers, either synthetic or natural, over tree limbs and bushes or up and down the sides of tree trunks. A very productive rattling sequence includes:
* light grunting,
* raking trees and bushes next with antlers,
* pounding the ground with the butt of the antlers then like a deer stomping,
* striking the antlers together lightly followed by a hard clashing of the antlers,
* touching the antlers next lightly to give almost a tinkling sound and
* pounding the ground finally with the butt of the antlers and giving a few light grunts.Click to enlarge
Often novice rattlers make the mistake of not having their guns nearby or ready to shoot. If I rattle from the ground, I want my rifle sitting in front of me or laying across my lap. Then as soon as I finish my rattling sequence, I can put my hands on the gun and shoulder it if I see a buck. If I rattle from a tree stand, I want to make sure I have a place to put my rattling device. Or, if I use antlers, I’ll hang a string around my neck attached to the antlers to allow me to drop them and get to my gun quickly. You may find the amount of time required for you to store the rattling devices and to mount the rifle, bow or shotgun will mean the difference in whether you take the deer or don’t have the opportunity to shoot.Click to enlarge

Never consider deer calls a cure-all. To successfully hunt deer, with or without calls, you must set up in a place where the deer wants to come. If you can use your grunt calls, bleat calls and/or rattling antlers to pull the deer out to where you can see it and close enough to get a shot, then you’ll understand the importance of deer calls. However, if…
* you don’t hunt an area that holds deer,
* the deer can’t hear your calls or
* that region homes non-social deer, you’ll never spot a buck. I’ve used deer calls successfully for many years. I won’t go into the woods without them.

Check back each day this week for more about "Calling In Bucks"

Day 1: When a Grunt Call Worked
Day 2: Why Grunt
Day 3: Why Cackle to Bucks and What About the Bleat Call
Day 4: Rattling Antlers, Bags and Boxes
Day 5: Overlooked Keys to Rattling Success



Entry 387, Day 1