John's Journal...


Duet Calling

Click to enlarge Editor’s Note: I went to Texas to learn the double-calling technique for calling deer, which could involve two or three hunters. From what I saw and learned, I believe double-calling deer is much more effective than if a single person tries to call deer alone. With this tactic, I believe two or three hunters can see and take twice as many bucks in a day of hunting as one hunter can. In the early days of professional football, one athlete might play both offense and defense and be required to play several different positions on both the offensive and defensive teams. However, as the game developed, teams soon learned that having specialized players at each position on both offense and defense helped them perform more effectively, score more touchdowns on offense and stop more touchdowns being scored on defense than if one man tried to play two or three positions. From what I saw of double-calling, this philosophy also could be incorporated successfully into deer hunting.

"I believe two hunters can call and take bucks more effectively than one hunter can," wildlife biologist Steve Warner said. "As you saw thClick to enlargeis morning, the buck came in upwind of us. But when he had come a certain distance, he began to circle downwind, possibly in hopes of picking up our scent before he came in to investigate. Many times deer will come in from behind you when you call. Even if you hunt a thick bedding area and expect the buck to come straight out to you, you don't know for sure that buck is in that bedding region. Nor do you know he will come straight in when he hears the horns and the grunting. I'm convinced a better tactic is for the person with the grunt tube to sit facing one direction and call and the person with the rattling antlers to face the other direction and call."

The first apparent problem with this technique is that the person with the grunt call faces the opposite direction from the person using the rattling antlers. Then the sound of the rattling antlers will appear to come from one direction, while the sound of the grunt call will come from another direction. However, the person using the grunt call either can cup his hand over the barrel of the call so that the sound from tClick to enlargehe grunt call is thrown to the area where the rattling is coming from, or he can call to the side, which may give the impression of another buck standing off to the side of the battle and grunting while he watches the fight taking place.

One of the most effective ways to double-call bucks is when the hunter who is working the antlers stops his rattling sequence. The other hunter starts using the grunt call and points the call in the same direction that the rattling antlers have been heard. Then he begins to move the call as he grunts around the tree. This tactic will simulate a buck's walking away from a fight as bucks often do after they clash antlers. The buck may walk away 5 to 10 yards, turn around and come back to the first buck to continue to duel. The main advantage of having the two hunters facing opposite directions is that both hunters now have eyes at the back of their heads to look for deer that may approach from beClick to enlargehind.

"One of the forms of rattling that has proved to be the most effective for me has been limb breaking," Warner mentioned. "I take one of the antlers, rake it down the side of the limb like a buck that is battling a bush and grunt at the same time. I've learned that sometimes I can call in bucks more effectively than when I clash the antlers together. Many times in the prerut, the rut and the postrut, bucks will come in to investigate the sounds of another buck's raking his antlers against a bush or tree. Bucks have a natural curiosity that often requires them to visually identify other deer they hear in their area, probably because of their herd instinct.”




Check back each day this week for more about DOUBLE CALL TO BAG BIG BUCKS...

Day 1 - Introduction to Double-Calling
Day 2 - Duet Calling
Day 3 - Trio Trophy-Buck Calling – The Shooter & The Rattler
Day 4 - Trio-Trophy Buck Calling - The Grunter
Day 5 - Solo Double-Calling


Entry 270, Day 2