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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you were only limited to one choice during the rut, would you choose a grunt call, a doe bleat call (can or mouth call), or a set of rattling horns (or something to mimic that)? Why? What calling technique will you use during the upcoming rut (if you choose to call at all)? Just curious to hear everybody’s opinions and techniques!
 

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I have never rattled or used a doe can. I have grunted and had bucks show up shortly after that I shot. I had a 5 point walking by about 70 yards away last weekend. I grunted twice and he turned and came straight to me. I could have jumped on him he came so close. A couple of years ago I saw a7 point I was going to pass. I grunted at him and he came right to my stand. 3 feet from the ladder. He went down over the hill. I watched him for about 100 yards. When I lost sight of him I grunted a few times. Pretty soon he came back into view and came right to my ladder stand. 3 feet away and went back to where I originally saw him. It doesn't always work. When the time is right it definitely works. I have done it and had deer run off like the devil was after them too.
 

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I think the pressure on the deer is a big factor. Deer around me are hunted hard. They know what hunters are. A mature buck will come to a grunt call or rattling horns but he isn’t trotting into bow range while disregarding the wind.

On multiple occasions I’ve rattled mature shooter deer to within 75-100 yards to have them hang up and stare motionless in the vicinity of my location. After a while they decided they should have seen what was making the noise and turn to walk away.

I watch these dang shows on tv where they rattle and big old deer comes waltzing up and doesn’t even really start looking around until he’s within spitting range. Whatever. Not in my neck of the woods. Ever.

I’ve had much better luck with grunt tube and rattling horns than any doe bleat / can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have never rattled or used a doe can. I have grunted and had bucks show up shortly after that I shot. I had a 5 point walking by about 70 yards away last weekend. I grunted twice and he turned and came straight to me. I could have jumped on him he came so close. A couple of years ago I saw a7 point I was going to pass. I grunted at him and he came right to my stand. 3 feet from the ladder. He went down over the hill. I watched him for about 100 yards. When I lost sight of him I grunted a few times. Pretty soon he came back into view and came right to my ladder stand. 3 feet away and went back to where I originally saw him. It doesn't always work. When the time is right it definitely works. I have done it and had deer run off like the devil was after them too.
Cool stories! Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think the pressure on the deer is a big factor. Deer around me are hunted hard. They know what hunters are. A mature buck will come to a grunt call or rattling horns but he isn’t trotting into bow range while disregarding the wind.

On multiple occasions I’ve rattled mature shooter deer to within 75-100 yards to have them hang up and stare motionless in the vicinity of my location. After a while they decided they should have seen what was making the noise and turn to walk away.

I watch these dang shows on tv where they rattle and big old deer comes waltzing up and doesn’t even really start looking around until he’s within spitting range. Whatever. Not in my neck of the woods. Ever.

I’ve had much better luck with grunt tube and rattling horns than any doe bleat / can.
I agree! The TV shows make it look easy. Sometimes I think if the TV shows were a little more realistic, more people would stick with hunting. Instead, it “didn’t go like it does on TV,” and most people just give up! It’s sad…😓.
 

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#1 rule of calling is be very still after calling, because if one does respond he'll be on high alert and looking for movement.
Agree but it’s not that simple. He’s looking for movement... the two deer that were fighting or the horny little grunting fella. Neither of which will be near your tree.

Now I take that back. I did use a buck decoy one time in a plot. I didn’t call or anything but when a young buck came into the field he decided he’d bow up on my decoy. He laid them ears back and strutted around the decoy for several minutes before deciding that guy was a stiff. It was comical.
 

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Right now is the time I have rattled up bucks in central AR. The pre-rut I suppose, usually the last week of October around here I think they are very good at locating the origin of sounds, including vertically. I have rattled up bucks while up in a tree when hunting the ridge, I have never got one to come in doing it 25’ up a tree in the bottoms. I really believe it is more effective if done front the ground and a buddy and I used to swap off with one rattling 100 or so yards up wind from the other in a tree stand with fair success. Of course, from the ground scent comes into play more.
I have had bucks respond to a grunt call during the rut, and just as others have said, I play with bucks I do not intend to shoot to see what happens. I have had success calling them in and back after letting them walk off.
I have a bleat can, but cannot confidently say that I have called in any with it.
 

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A few years ago I wasn't seeing many deer on my stands and the guy that owns the place told me to hunt one of his. Several does came in the field and as it was getting dark I wanted to leave but didn't want the does to see me get out of the box. I blew my grunt call a few times thinking it would run them off. They all tuned up and started blowing and stomping and didn't leave. So I started grunting repeatedly , stupid how many times and they were blowing and stomping around. Then I see a face and horns pop up in the corner of the field in the edge of the woods looking right at me about a 100 yds away. I froze. He messed up and bobbed his head. When his head came back up I was behind the scope. All I could see was his head and neck. I put one in the base of his neck. He was an old 10 point. I have no doubt the grunting and blowing brought him in.
 

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As for the TV stuff, you have to remember that most of the time the footage you see is when it finally comes together. We probably never see the days of footage where they rattle and grunt and nothing happens.....
For me a combo of the can and true talker have been my best tools. Many bucks have met their demise between me and my buddy with this combo.
I did have an extinguisher call that I really liked but I somehow lost it on my Texas trip and haven't bought another one.
Just like everything else, calls don't always work.... but it's cool when they do.
 
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