Mule deer make a very long (sometimes over a minute) higher pitch tending grunt compared to whitetail deer and are not nearly as responsive to calling.
As far as whitetails and grunting, bucks grunt a lot during the rut while they are in search of does and after they have found one I heat. So, yes I have called in bucks using a grunt tube, but it seams to work best for me during the pre rut or late November after the peak rut is over and things are winding down. Like most calling timing is everything. We as bowhunters try to be very stealthy so it kind of goes against my grain to call and in some cases let animals know of my “hiding place.” So right up front I use all calling sparingly.
One of the most overlooked techniques is the wheeze-call. A warning call made by bucks who are tending a hot doe and what to proclaim there dominance. Well, this call will usually cause young bucks to back off or at least approach very cautiously, but it could trigger a very aggressive reaction in mature bucks who just can’t believe another buck is bigger than him. They may come right in toward you very recklessly and off a shot.
Rattling works best for me during the late season after the main rut. Again I’m looking to take a mature deer, but if any buck will do, then rattling is a longer range technique that will get a response from many younger bucks during the rut who just can’t seem to locate a lone hot doe. During the peak rut there are many does coming in heat and mature bucks will usually pick one up during their night-time prowl and will be less apt to investigate the rattling during the day. Why fight when you already have what you need. However, during the late season (in my area late December and Jan) solitary does come in heat and the young first-year fawns. This creates much more competition and rattling works better for me. I tie 4 sheds together and one haul line to my tree stand, thereby the rattling sound comes from the ground and also sounds more real as sticks and leaves are rustled. This method also leaves your bow hand free to hang to your bow with nocked arrow at ready.
Doe and fawn bleats work best for me during Sept. or very late season again as bucks come to investigate. Late-season bleats brings in bucks looking for hot doe fawns.
Calling is kind of a timing thing. Its hard to learn unless you do more of it, but do to much and you risk educating your local deer heard. Whether cautious from predators (man) or trying to get down wind to find the doe that the other bucks are fighting over, mature bucks usually circle me before coming in. I just try to coax them in quickly before they cut my downwind. Just remember grunting, or any calling, puts deer on alert for predators or other deer, just hope they don’t find you in your tree or ground blind instead. Ha! Have fun with it. Mike