I use a grunt tube,bleat can,and a fawn bleat.Fawn bleat works great early season on does.Only use lightly like a lost fawn.Grunt use during prerut and rut,I use it in a combo with the can.I bleat then wait 1min and grunt and bleat together.This has worked very well this year,I have called in several bucks and does this way.I do not rattle,I have never had any luck with it on our lease,but the can and grunt are a blast from Oct to end of Nov.
It totally depends on the time of the year. I have had deer as close as 20-30 yds that would not acknowledge a grunt call at all. Then again I have hit it at just the right time and had them come in pretty quickly.
I was bowhunting opening day of gun season this year and had 2 different bucks come into bow range to a doe in estrous "can" call within 10 minutes of each other. I shot the second one.
My thinking on it is you're just sittin' there for hours on end anyway, what is it going to hurt to try a call once or twice an hour?
I have had goodluck on chaffee but not near as much on national forrest.I have used a grunt call and primos can together during the pre rut and rut with good luck. As for rattling I have rattled in a few bucks on chaffee but never close enough for a shot,they seem to stay about 45 yards out.
One time I seen a nice 10 point 400 yards across a field,I hit the horns and did some loud mouth grunts he ran all the way in but the last 45 yard.I was hunting in a field and when he didn't see a deer he just walked off the way he came.
Here is a picture of him.He started out on the far ridge.
It all just depends on what time of the year there are days it has worked and there are days it has spooked the deer due to serious hunting pressure. I have called them in before and is a lot more fun than actually harvesting a deer at times.:biggrin:
IMO, calling success depends on buck/doe ratio more than anything else. There are other factors to consider (having deer within hearing distance, time of year, weather, blind luck, etc), but I think you need a reasonably balanced herd to expect much success.
Up until about 3 years ago, I never put much stock in calling (and I was hunting areas with out of whack buck/doe ratios). Since then I've moved to an area that seems to have a more balanced herd I've had a lot of success. This is on public land, so I think calling can work anywhere as long as the conditions are right. It's been really interesting to see how deer respond to the different calls. I've rattled in probably 8 bucks or so over the past 3 years and had does come in to bleat calls (which makes sense), but I've had does come to grunt calls and rattling and a buck come to a bleat call (which I didn't expect).
I hunted an Ed Gordon permit hunt last year (an area that seems to have an unbalanced herd) and saw a couple bucks go running like they stole something when I rattled. IMO, if you have a lot more does than bucks then there's no need for a buck to fight for and get beat up over a receptive doe because there's probably another one the next ridge over, so rattling probably won't be effective. I would think bleat calls might be more effective than rattling in unbalanced areas, but I really don't know. I've had success with rattling from early bow season to the mid-December muzzleloader hunt, but the prime time is in the pre-rut. All my success with grunts and bleating have come in early bow season. The order of success is (1) rattling (2) bleating (3) grunting.
Even though I've had quite a bit of success calling, it doesn't work most of the time (but it's sure sweet when it does). This is just one man's opinion and experience, so take it for what it's worth.
I use them all without much success. I've called one in, that I know of, by rattling and grunting. I used the can quite a bit this year when watching deer and couldn't even get the deer to take notice. I ran some out of the foot plot on Saturday by using a fawn bleat!