I am writing this from the duck blind so please bare with me! The next few days are going to br awesome for the deer hunter. Deer are moving/rutting hard and will be susceptible to rattling and or calling. The other day, I rattled in the buck below and he came in hard. Not a monster but what a fun morning!
Real antlers work best. I have a set of antlers I have used for over 10 years and they have brought in dozens of rut crazed bucks. Rattling works for me. I really depend on it in early to mid November. Here are some tips that will help you:
1. Real antlers are best but fakes will work too.
2. Always play the wind and be able to watch your down wind side as bucks may sneak in down wind to find you.
3. Start rattling softly as a few tine clicks could bring in that buck standing 50 yards away instead of spooking him.
4. Once ready for the main event, SLAM those antlers together and work them hard….this is not fast empty rattling but rather choppy bursts of energy. Remember, on either end of those horns is a large, mad, thinking, scheming animal trying to push the other deer around!
5. Cut off the brow tines from real antlers or you will wish you had!
6. I always like to work in some aggressive grunts,
7. I have rattled in dominant bucks that came in and thrashed small trees to show me who was boss…I always try to thrash my antlers on small trees, shrubs, etc. to sound like the real deal.
8. Rattle for a minute or so and then rip the antlers apart violently. Look around slowly and then slam them back together and rattle again for 30-60 seconds. Repeat the process but after two or three sets, I make my sets last shorter and shorter…that buck is getting tired.
9. After about 3-4 sets, I put the antlers away and watch for deer, bow in hand. Some will sneak in while most will come in aggressively.
10. Always have a plan for ditching antlers as I have had deer come in quickly and it is hard to draw a bow back with horns in your hands.
11. Antlers should never be carried with you while ascending or descending an elevated stand. Those horns would hurt!
12. At the base of my antlers I drilled a hole and tied them together with lime green string. They stand out well and having them tethered together makes transport and storing them easier in a tree stand.
Use the grunt tube sparingly. It will work but often hunters call too much. Simple short contact grunts can be used when you see a buck and need to get his attention. Longer more aggressive grunts work best for picking a fight. Remember, many bucks have just had their butts kicked and a grunt could send them packing…
There are many grunt tubes on the market and any will work but I have had the most success with HS Strut True Talker. This thing was built with deer anatomy in mind and just sounds like the real thing plus it allows you to vary the pith of the grunt (allowing you to sound like a younger buck) and allows you to make doe bleats.
Grunt tubes and antlers can really be your friend. I would never enter the November woods without them as they have put buck in front of me I am sure I would not have seen otherwise. Play the wind and give these tricks a try. I guarantee you will see more deer!
Get Em’ Out There