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    • David Petersen
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      Post count: 2749

      In another thread, Bushmaster recently posted about grunting in a buck. Of course I’ve heard about this technique for years but have not had much chance to hunt whitetails since I was a kid in OK, so am decades behind on such as grunting and rattling. Recently I’ve started visiting AZ in winter to hunt Coues whitetails in rut, tried grunting with no results. Just yesterday returned from a WV whitetail hunt, good rutting, but no results from grunting. Before I head back down to AZ in a couple of weeks I’d sure appreciate hearing advice, experiences, and recommended grunt tube models from those of you with experience and success in this realm. I’ll be hunting almost exclusively from the ground. I may be “the elk guy,” but I’m just an eager learner on whitetails. And frankly, it’s fun at my age to be a beginner at anything! 😆 Thanks, Dave p

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Dave,

      I’m by no means an “expert” but I have killed 2 bucks by a combination of rattling and grunting. This is not a 100% guaranteed method as is nothing when it comes to whitetails but I enjoy using rattling and grunting as a means of increasing my odds. I beleive it is most effective during rutting activity. I like to find a vantage point near known travel lanes where I can watch more than one area. I get to my blind and let things settle down some and then begin rattling by tickling the tines together like two bucks testing each other. I’ll do this a few times over the 15 minutes then I’ll wait about 5 minutes and then I’ll smack the main beams and give them a thrashing for a minute or two then pull them apart trying to get as much contact with the tines as I can as they separate. I will rest about 15 minutes while watching and give a few grunts before repeating the routine with about 15-20 minutes of quiet between rounds. When I spot a buck coming in I will lightly tickle the antlers to get his reaction then put them down. I’ll use the grunt to pull him on in. You have be the judge on how far away the deer is and when to lighten up on the rattling or grunting. You can usually tell if you have him interested or if he has you pinpointed which may not be good. Bottom line is it is fun to watch their reaction if you see the deer first.
      Have fun with it Dave, it sure can’t hurt.

      Duncan

    • David Petersen
      Member
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      Post count: 2749

      Thanks, Duncan. Sounds like a good primer for me there. I’ve rattled and grunted, but never with an established pattern. I’m sure that a realistic pattern is as important to calling deer as it is to elk. I’m always disgruntled when guys come into the elk woods with a bugle stuck into their mouths and seem to think the more and louder they blow it, the better, when in fact they are shutting up and scaring off the real bulls. I don’t want to make the same mistakes with deer. I’ll practice, and I’ll not overwork it in the field. Thanks, dave

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Dave,
      Early on I read up on it as much as I could but my real education came when I was witness to a 7 pointer trying to take on an older 9 pointer. There were 3 smaller bucks on the perimeter cautiously watching. The 9 pt took up his position in a small meadow and tried to spook them all away by posturing. Only the 7 pt had the nerve to challenge. He sidled up to the 9 pt and they touched antlers (the tickle) after eyeing one another a few minutes the 9 pt let the 7 pt make his move. They locked up and the 7 pt thrashed all about barely moving the 9 pt who had a firm hold on his position. Then when the 7 pt had given it his best the 9 pt simply pinned the 7 pts head to the ground where he thashed all about until they broke free. The 7 pt trotted off looking beat but in a few moments he was right back for more. Reminded me of 2 billy goats facing off. The whole thing was repeated over and again and it went on for a couple of hours until the 7 pt finally gave up.
      I don’t think there is a wrong or right way I just use a sequence so I’m not over doing it. I just think it sounds more natural. Sometimes I also strike the ground and nearby brush to add a little more realism. Also be sure to keep a close eye on down wind. Usually the first place they appear.
      Duncan

    • cody
      Post count: 87

      I’ve rattled for years but I’ve never tried it with a certain sequence. I’ve never been fortunate enough to witness two bucks fighting. I’ve only seen it on tv and who knows if what they show is actually whats really happening or what has lead up to the fight. I usually wait about 30 minutes between rounds. Depending on the time of year is how hard or soft I hit the horns together. But I never had a lot of luck with it though so maybe Duncans way is better, it makes sence anyway. I have had a lot of luck with a call called The Can. There is a couple of different makers out there but mine is made by Primos. They make three or four different sizes. I use the medium size and have had quite a few bucks come straight to it. It was the reason I my first shot off at at buck this year. It was walking away from me at about thirty-five yards and I put the call behind my back and flipped it a couple of times and it turned straight around and came straight toward my tree. Unfortunatly the call worked better than my shooting….missed. hahaha

    • jfelkins
      Post count: 41

      We had a younger looking buck shy away from rattling. He kinda acted like he had gotten his butt kicked and didn’t want any more of that. I learned to rattle and call bucks just like you do ducks, only at their sides or tails. If they are coming at you shut up.

    • shawhill
      Post count: 63

      I’ll second what Cody said about the “can”. I have had great luck attracting both Bucks and calming does with it. It also gets a fun reaction out of squirrels sometimes. I usually call with it 1-3 times taking breaks for “breath” and sometimes I’ll remove my finger from it halfway through sequence to get a variation so it doesn’t sound so…canned. I was having a really slow day last season and got really agressive with the Can just to see what would happen. The buck in my avatar photo came in foaming at the mouth and gave me the dream set up. I swear by the thing. Grunting on the other hand, hasn’t yeilded anything for me yet. It seems to scare away all but the biggest deer in my neck of the woods. I almost wonder if its too “mature”(intimidating?) sounding. And rattling only seems to bring in woodpeckers for me. But I think thats more of a user error than anything.

    • bruc
      Member
      Post count: 476

      Wondering what sound that the can is actually imitating?

      Is it a doe in heat?

      Bruce

    • Jason Wesbrock
      Member
      Post count: 762

      BRUC wrote: Wondering what sound that the can is actually imitating?

      Is it a doe in heat?

      Bruce

      That is correct.

    • cody
      Post count: 87

      The says on the call that its and estrus bleat but I was watching two does at pretty close range earlier this year and I heard one of them calling to the other and is sounded just like the “can” but a little shorter and this was back in TN bow season so it was before the rut. All I know is that it works pretty dang good

    • David Petersen
      Member
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      Post count: 2749

      I have seen the cans advertised online. Is there any consensus among those of you who have used them which model is best? Thanks, dave

    • shawhill
      Post count: 63

      I just used the Primos “long” bleat can to bring in a four point this morning. He came in grunting and making lots of noise. It’s the same as the medium can but a little longer. I think it gives you a little more flexibility in the lenght of your call. I used the regular (medum?) size last year till it died. The diaphrams last about 2-3 years which isn’t bad since you only pay $10 bucks or so. They say the large Can will reach out at greater distances or cut through the wind but it has a deeper sound and I worry that it would intimidate some deer. Hope that helps.

    • Stephen Graf
      Moderator
      Post count: 2361

      I have used the can, antlers, and all the stuff. What I have found is that in my neck of the woods, it brings in the little fellas. But the south is a tough place for a deer to make a living in peace. I think that by the time a deer gets to be 3 years old, he is way too wise for this stuff.

      Specifically to the can – I have heard does vocalize many times in the woods. I have never heard one whine. It is always a short sound. When I use the can, I cut the time down to less than a second.

      My highest use for grunts and bleats is to stop a buck for the shot. I have found that I can do a better job imitating the doe sounds I have heard in the woods with my own voice.

      But, as I said before, I think the effectiveness of calls really depends on where you hunt and how the deer population is managed, and the buck/doe ratio.

    • cody
      Post count: 87

      I’m with Shawhill, I just use the Primos brand. Not saying that the others arent good I just haven’t tried them. I used to have the biggest one that Shawhill was talking about but I got rid of it. Didn’t like the sound of it at all. I just seen the long one the other day. It sounded pretty good too (sounded good in my opinion anyway). I live and hunt in middle tennessee and I’d say it does depend on where in the country you are hunting but I have heard does make this sound before. Who knows…it all comes down to luck anyway. haha..Happy hunting

    • ksbowman
      Post count: 15

      I’ve used the can a few times, but have only seen alittle reaction to it. Now rattling and grunting if used at the correct time of the rut has been good. Don’t rattle after you spot them, though or they will lock in on your exact location. They almost always will try and circle to get down wind. I have had a few come striaght in like they were on a string. Usually I only rattle one or two sequences in a sit.

    • Treetopflier
      Post count: 146

      KS — I like your conservative attitude in calling! Whether deer, elk, or turkey, the call makers put out these videos making it look like we just go out there and plop down in one of that manufacturer’s blinds and start calling and the game comes on the run. My own experience –just as with music and serious human conversation — says that what we don’t say is easily as important as what we do say. This is a cool thread and maybe sometime before next spring and fall we can do like wise for turkey and elk. Calls are great but ain’t a panaseeuh. ttf

    • jfelkins
      Post count: 41

      Dave,

      How’s the grunting going?

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Just back from the (first of two) AZ hunt, and I did try some grunting, etc. It’s pre-rut now for those Sonoran whitetails with full rut not until mid-Jan. I grunted in one buck right to my stand, and he was an entirely different animal than the relaxed Coues I saw otherwise. Never saw anything like it and that was the end of my brief grunting career, at least pre-rut. Rattling produced nothing, though I watch a couple of bucks sparring so the timing was good. The “can” doe in heat call works pretty well — for calling in curious does. A rifle hunter friend said he uses the grunter to get deer to stand from their day beds when he’s glassing for something to stalk. On windy days they stay bedded all day, so that’s a good trick that could work for bowhunters too. I’m anxious to see if and how any of this changes during the rut-prime hunt next month. Thanks for all the good input, dave

    • mittenmmittenm
      Member
      Post count: 54

      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

    • Ireland
      Post count: 108

      mittenm wrote: 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

      Outstanding overview Mike!!!! One thing that I add to the above calling is the use of a decoy. I have been using one since 1991 with great success…

      Ireland

    • Treetopflier
      Post count: 146

      Mittenm — thank you for sharing your obvious expertise with use here! ttf

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      mittenm,

      I really like your idea of tying some sheds together and working them remotely. I also use my calling sparingly. Thanks for sharing that tip.

      Duncan

    • mittenmmittenm
      Member
      Post count: 54

      Thanks guys. Calling, lures, decoys….. I try to stress there is no magic bullet to getting a deer. Somne things work great at times while others don’t. I know Dave Petersen is wanting to hunt whitetails very badly. They are so diverse and accessible, while afording great opportunity from the ground. Following his writing, I would guess he would preffer to hunt them from the ground, so even more caution should be used while calling deer in eye-to-eye. But, his rewards will be exceptianal should he take a deer in this manner after calling it in! Mike

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Thanks for the ongoing great advice, Mike and other brothers. I’m leaving at 5:30 tomorrow (low forecast at -20 here in CO) for another 12-hour one-day drive to the Mexican border and another 10 days or so of hunt desert whitetails, and for the first time ever, javalina. I’ll be thinking of and experimenting with all your advice. But frankly the biggest problem I see is that Coues hunting has caught on and suddenly formerly remote places are swarming with “bow” hunters. And worst of all AZ allows baiting, so alfalfa bales are popping up in several of my formerly favorite places. That means that evenw hen the “owner” of the bait isn’t there, I can’t hunt there or else I’m hunting over bait. Of course, a bale of hay can disappear really fast, under mysterious conditions, and it can be almost as much fun as hunting. Then, when I return, it’s time to stand up and be heard beside the AZ game wardens who want to get rid of baiting there. About time! “We need more hunters”? Ho-no-no! We need more REAL hunters. See you in 10 days or so. dave p

    • William WarrenWilliam Warren
      Member
      Post count: 1384

      Good luck and good hunting and take care down there on the border. Can’t wait to hear about your adventure.

    • Pabuckhunter
      Post count: 5

      I have killed many deer over the years with grunt tubes and the only advise i can offer is to learn from trying to call deer in.It will fail more than it works but when it works you will be amazed.Learn from you mistakes and from your success and learn to read the deers body language.When they hear your calling they may not look in you direction but they will always flick their tail( as to say i hear you ).They often walk away like they are not interested only to slip in from another direction when you think they have moved on.When a deer responds to your calling they know right where the calling is coming from.When i used to hunt from treestands the deer would come in to my calling and stop right under my stand and look for the deer they heard calling.It does work and in time you will learn when to call and when not to call.You can do it and good luck!

    • Chad Sivertsen
      Post count: 84

      I’ve had good succes with doe bleats during the rut.
      The first time I tried it was walking back to my cabin on a forest road in the dark. It was rut and I heard a deer walking nearby so figured I’d see if I could get a response from this new deer call. No intent to shoot in the dark, just testing the call. The buck came charging in darn close, grunting and thrashing some brush. I decided to use it just in the daytime after that.

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