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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering what 1 or 2 go to calls would be for people here, for rifle season since that is all I own so might as well start the conversation off that way.

I'm asking because I'm a fairly novice hunter, I've never done anything but walk around hoping to see a deer so I've never even used a call and don't know anything about them. But I was also surprised to see that there doesn't seem to be anything on this site about what deer calls are good or bad.

So feel free to enlighten me! And this could just be a general discussion page as well.

Thanks
 

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i wouldn't go out in rifle season without a grunt tube and a pair of antlers. don't over call but you can rattle just about as much as you want. Don't just smash them together but interlock them and grind them together then separate and crash together again, then grind repeat this for a minuet or so then pause and sit very quiet for 5 to 10 minuets then try a soft grunt or two pause for 5 to 10 again then repeat the rattle. Once a buck comes over for a look don't make a sound. He already knows were the sound came from so don't let him pinpoint your exact position if he is making his way to you. If he looses interest and walks away grunt at him to remind him where hes going
 

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I have an arsenal of deer calls, Rattle bags, can calls, grunt tubes, rattling antlers, wheeze calls etc... They all have their time and place and one can be just as effective as another depending on the attitude of the deer your hunting... When calling you have to play the wind to your advantage, 99.99999999999999% of the time the deer are going to circle down wind and try to get the scent of the other "deer" they heard... This is where your scent elimination, knowledge of the terrain you are hunting etc. come into play... When I call I try to have a barrier behind (down wind) me, something to try and force the deer to stay upwind... This can be any natural or unnatural barrier, one of my best calling spots has me backed right up along a HWY... Decoys are also another good way to keep deer upwind of your location and are the best way to seal the deal when calling... What calls you use depends on the stage of the rut you are hunting, our rifle season usually coincides with the late pre-rut to peak rut stage of breeding... This is when bucks are on their feet looking for receptive does and defending their territories... I use doe calls a lot during the pre rut (late October-early November), mostly the "can" style calls because they don't freeze up... I do this because when you use a doe call your not going to scare away deer that aren't bucks, and because if a doe that is being harassed but a buck that is not in estrous may come to your calls in attempt to get rid of the buck... Once i know breeding is starting to heat up I rattle lots, like Brett said, you can't really rattle too much... I prefer to make as much noise as possible, I smash trees, tear at the ground, stomp my feet, and bang and grind the antlers together as loudly as possible (Should have added that i start soft and work my way up to extremely loud)... I want the BOSS to get mad that something big is fighting on his turf!!! while I'm rattling I will mix in doe bleats, grunts and snort wheezes... As the rut starts to slow down I back off on the rattling and go back to the estrous bleats hoping to get the attention of bucks back on the cruise and possibly call in a doe with a friend... Long winded!!! Hope this helps a little...
 

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Good tips from both Brettwilby and Patty. Can't add too much to that. As far as brands of grunt call's, I prefer the deeper, gutural calls. HS and MAD both nice calls. I do have a favorite from Quakerboy, but don't see them around anymore. Wouldn't sell this grunt tube for $100. Sounds good and doesnt freeze up. I also prefer BIG antlers for rattling. 150" class. Small antlers, rattle bags, etc have their place and do work, but i belong to the go big or go home club. Might scare a few smaller bucks away but have also seen spikers come in to the big horns.
 

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I agree with the antler size although good mass/good sound is more important than overall "size". I find rattling to be more effective during the pre-rut stage. The technique you describe Patty is bang-on. I think a lot of the spikers and basket bucks that come in to the rattle are coming in to watch the fight. That kind of sparring goes on all the time when bucks are still in bachelor groups. That's why I think it is much more effective pre-rut.
 

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I should add that calling deer is not like calling ducks and geese... They aren't going to respond every time, and your percentage of unsuccessful setups is going to be a lot higher than your successful ones... The guys on TV make it look easy, like every time they tickle the horns or blow a call the deer come on the run...In reality that very rarely happens... I'm by no means trying to steer you away from calling, just kinda letting you know what your up against, and not to get discouraged if seem like you aren't having any luck... Deer, and most importantly Mature deer are difficult to call and are extremely smart creatures, it takes practice and most importantly patience to be able to fool their senses... Believe me I educated LOTS of deer the first few times I tried calling and rattling!!!

As far as go to calls, I like the HS true talker as a grunt, as well as the M.A.D. Buck Growl... For bleats I like the "big can" or can style calls... For rattling horns I like the real thing, but have a couple homemade rattle bags that work good too, Another easy to carry rattling "device" is the Pak-Rack, it looks stupid but sound incredible...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the info guys, it's definitely good to know.

What's this about it won't work every time though? I thought all these deer calls advertise that they'll "attract big bucks every time"! :lol:
 
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