Top 10 Best Deer Calls (Mar. 2020) : Review & Buyer’s Guide
- Erik Himmel
If you want to be successful hunter, you need to equip yourself with the necessary gear; and one of the most critical is the deer call.
The prey attractant industry is highly competitive, and manufacturers always advertise their product’s abilities to bring the deer right to your shooting zone. Still, it’s more than just buying a call. And since you won’t dare to venture into the field without using the right game calls it’s necessary for you to understand how these animals behave; because imitating deer sound can be exciting and straightforward, but you should know that these bucks are clever enough to sense when things can go wrong.
However, these tools are quite effective if you make the right choice and use them well; so, we’ve put together the best deer calls around along with the things to keep in mind before spending your money.
What You Will Get Here
- Best Deer Calls Comparison Chart (Updated 2020)
- Our Top 10 Best Deer Calls List
- Overall Best: Illusion Systems Extinguisher Deer Call
- Best Bleat Call: Primos The Original CAN Deer Call
- Best Deer Rattle Call: Illusion Systems Extinguisher & Black Rack Calling System
- Best Snort Wheeze Call: FlexTone Headhunter Extractor
- Best Deer Grunt Call: Primos Hardwood Grunter Call
- A List of 5 Other Products We Reviewed
- Hunters Specialties True Talker Deer Call
- Other Tested Products
- Deer Calls – A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide
- Deer Calling Tips & Strategies
Best Deer Calls Comparison Chart (Updated 2020)
Illusion Systems Extinguisher Deer CallRead Full Review
Primos The Original CAN Deer CallRead Full Review
Illusion Systems Extinguisher & Black Rack Calling SystemRead Full Review
FlexTone Headhunter ExtractorRead Full Review
Primos Hardwood Grunter CallRead Full Review
Illusion Systems Black Rack – Rattling Deer AntlersRead Full Review
Primos Hunting the Can, Original Can, Trap PS7064Read Full Review
Hunters Specialties True Talker Deer CallRead Full Review
Flextone Buck Collector Plus CallRead Full Review
Nationwide Scents All in One Deer CallRead Full Review
Our Top 10 Best Deer Calls List
The Extinguisher is, no doubt, the game-changer when searching for the best deer call. Its most separating feature is the patented modislide button that allows you to mimic a lot of sound by simply sliding it upwards or downwards.
What’s more, this model features a dual-layered technology that makes it possible for you to make a directional call. It’s impressive how realistic the sound reaches the animals, and that’s the reason the extinguisher device is quite popular among hunters.
Like most items on this list, it’ll take a lot of practices to make the right sound, but each session isn’t a waste because you’ll soon start having the deer around.
Fortunately, it’s made from high-quality materials, making it long-lasting and reliable. It has a freeze-free design, meaning you can use it in frigid temperatures.
Another striking feature with this deer call is the free instructional videos in the package for you to learn the various forms of communications and behavioral characteristics of the animals.
Many reviewers of this product appreciated its versatility, portability, and ease of transitioning through the sound.
So far, the Extinguisher has been an all-time best-seller among deer calls and has received a 99.9 approval rating for deer call in the NAHC field test; and we affirmed this since it was pretty useful for us in drawing out the buck.
Priced in the mid-range category and in comparison with other products we’ve listed, the Extinguisher model is highly reviewed and rated on Amazon, indicating that it met the expectations of the users.
The Extinguisher deer call is the best you can buy at the moment looking at its price and ability to create diverse sound. The sound quality is fantastic and you can use it for all types of deer. So, it’s worth every bit of the money.
The Primos Original Can Deer Call is worth your consideration when looking for ways to get the deer’s attention during their mating phase. It has a reasonable success rate, making it a popular option among pro and amateur buck hunters.
This unit mimics the bleat vocalization to tell bucks when females are on heat; so, it would attract them pretty quickly.
The Primos Can is lightweight and compact, making it easy to handle. This one has rubberized grip at the top and bottom to prevent it from slipping off your hands.
While our first choice would produce varying pitches, this one makes only the bleat sound, which can draw out a whitetail, blacktail, or mule deer to your sight.
The Primos Can consist of perforations at the top and bottom with an internal sounding device that generates noise when you tip it upside down. Since it produces only one sound, it’s quite easy to operate.
Previous users of this model have found it to be highly effective in attracting deer during the rut phase. However, we noticed that it generated unwanted sound while it’s still in the backpack.
A user also reported that the unit malfunctioned when it became wet; for this, we recommend you always keep it dry.
This deer call is cheap but super-efficient at creating a mating scenario. Though its use is limited to the breeding season, having such a great product will certainly give you a fulfilling hunting trip.
Illusion systems brand is dedicated to bringing your hunting expedition to the next level with this package that consists of the Extinguisher and Black Rack Calling Systems.
This unit measures at 15 x 9 x 5.8 inches and weighs at 1.7 pounds, meaning it’s a little heavier than our earlier reviewed choices. Of course, that shouldn’t surprise you since it’s combining two deer calls.
We found that this product worked well for making pre-rut calls and you can use it for all species of deer. Besides, the grunt call was excellent, sounded great, and was super easy to adjust.
Most users expressed their happiness at the ease of changing the sound. However, the Black Rack was a little challenging to carry and didn’t sound quite loud as we’d expected but still called a few bucks.
It was also highly rated on Amazon though it didn’t receive many reviews as our top pick. Looking at the score, there’s no doubt that many users were satisfied.
This is an effective and reliable attractant; it comes with an app to help hone your skills. The price is reasonable, it’s superb, and makes realistic calls.
The Flextone Headhunter Extractor is an excellent choice for making sound like buck grunts, doe bleats, doe grunts, and fawn brawls.
This product is extremely versatile, thanks to its patented X-glide button slide adjustment that enables you to change the vocalizations to suit your interest. With the specialized tube design, you can make sound in different directions without moving around.
When you’re not using the right deer call, hunting in the cold can be frustrating. However, you won’t have any freezing issues with this unit as it allows you to clear the ice buildup by sliding the X-glide button.
Many of the recent reviewers were happy with its ease of use and loudness. However, we found that sometimes the sound was a bit off; and whenever that happens, we’ll adjust the glide button to get the right tone.
This unit comes with a lanyard that allows you to hang it on your neck for easy carrying and accessibility.
This Flextone model is an excellent option for hunters on a budget but desirous of a reliable tool for inviting the alpha buck using the snort wheeze call.
When shopping for the best deer calls, you can always have high expectations from Primos brand because of their years of experience in the industry and commitment to maintain high standard.
This Grunter model is from hardwood, making it an instant winner in terms of durability and craftsmanship. You can use it for years and it’ll still function under harsh weather conditions.
It has exceptional functionality, thanks to its adjustable reed assembly that enables you to produce up to 6 grunts and bleats. With such versatility, you don’t need to buy a different call for each sound. The use of the hardwood is the reason for its extra loudness, and that’s quite needful when enticing mature bucks.
This unit weighs around 1.4 ounces, making it one of the lightest on our list, meaning you’ll feel much at ease when carrying it around.
Unlike models with adjustment sliders, we’d always decouple and couple again to change the sound; that was a little challenging for us. However, looking at the cheap price point, you shouldn’t expect absolute perfection.
Since it was highly rated by the previous users, it clearly shows that this Grunter model served its purpose.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option in the market, this Grunter version is a great choice. However, don’t let the price fool you, you’ll enjoy it for long as the hardwood material makes it super durable and capable of producing loud grunts.
A List of 5 Other Products We Reviewed
The Black Rack model from Illusion Systems will allow you to generate incredibly realistic antler-like sound for attracting those mature deer. In the package are two racks for you to imitate a buck fight. Fortunately, the model is black, meaning it’ll blend with the environment and the prey will charge into your shooting range without noticing.
We found that its sound was highly realistic, and we had greater success when using it in the field.
Like our previous products from this brand, this one comes with an app to help you understand its use. However, this tool is made from plastic, so you’ll be a little cautious to prevent it from breaking.
Great product for the money, produces authentic sound, and quite excellent for creating that aggression in mature bucks.
The Trap PS7064 is another exciting tool for communicating with the deer. What separates it from our 2nd choice is the absence of the non-slip grip rings. However, this one is quite compact, so, it’s easier to handle.
Fortunately, this model produces authentic estrus bleat calls that those mature prey will quickly respond. It has also been tested and found to function in all-weather condition.
It got many positive reviews from its users, proving its effectiveness at attracting the deer.
Like the Primos Original Can, you can prevent it from making unwanted noise by removing the plastic sticker at the bottom; but you’ll always cover the hole with your thumb to control the sound.
This product has proved itself to be quite useful in the woods for attracting deer. It produces fantastic bleat sound, so it’s worth the money.
The True Talker from Hunters Specialties comes with all the specs you’ll need to make your deer hunting much more successful. Earning the reputation as the world’s only revolutionary buck calling system, you can be sure of this pacesetter’s outstanding performance.
It’ll excite you that this product generate sound for all deer types, perfect for drawing even the smallest fawn and the dominant buck. It’s pretty easy to use, thanks to its patented fingertip control system. Unlike most models for sale, you don’t need to reassemble the unit to change the tone; instead, you only roll your finger to manipulate the pitch.
This True Talker version has a protective rubber coating that provides a convenient mouthpiece. There’s a balanced hardwood reed system that won’t freeze under cold weather and you can easily disassemble for cleaning. It also comes with an adjustable lanyard that allows you to wear it across your shoulders or around your neck.
It comes with a manual that you can always refer to if you’re having any difficulty.
However, a few users complained that a little change in the pressure applied could trigger a fluctuation in the output. However, that wasn’t a deal-breaker for us since many of the reviewers didn’t mention that as a flaw.
Overall, the True Talker is well-constructed, and the high Amazon rating indicates that it’s a reliable choice for any serious hunter.
This unit is another new version from Flextone, and this one comes with True-touch buttons that you can press to generate bleats, grunts, and snort wheeze calls. You need to be cautious of the amount of pressure you’re applying on the buttons else the sound would be awful.
From our observation, this device was pretty comfortable to use, and you wouldn’t need to spend much time to practice. It worked as expected and the grunt was deep, making it the perfect choice for attracting mature deer.
You can quickly pull it apart and clean the moisture buildup to prevent freezing. Overall, it sounded fantastic, and you’ll appreciate the flexible tubing that makes switching vocalizations easier.
This call is excellent, with the ability to produce different sound, you don’t need to carry extra calls into the wood. The price is reasonable, coupled with its high Amazon rating, you have enough reason to make this model your favorite hunting gear.
We can’t exhaust our top list without mentioning the Nationwide Deer Call because of its fantastic performance and unbeatable durability.
The vision to design this model was birthed and materialized by a team of hunters who’d spent about 28 years in raising and hunting whitetail deer. So, you can use it with confidence, while expecting much pleasure and success.
This model weighs around 0.64 ounces making it the lightest on our list, meaning you can’t feel uncomfortable having it around your neck.
Besides, it boasts of an extra-long tube to give it better volume and realistic throaty grunts. Twisting the joints, you can adjust the ring on the reed to switch sound. However, doing this frequently can cause the parts to wear too soon.
The Nationwide Scent has a small hole near the bottom that allows you to raise or lower the volume. It can mimic rutting buck grunt, breeding buck, fawn, and doe bleat calls.
This is the ideal model for persons that desire to invest in a lightweight but high-quality deer call. It’s made to produce loud sound; but you can control the volume by covering the hole. Sold at a mid-range price, this Nationwide Scent model is will add huge value to you.
Other Tested Products
- 01Primos The Great Big Can Call
- 02Flextone Buck Commander Rut Hunter Deer Call
- 03Primos Big Bucks Bag Call
- 04Hunter's Specialties Bucgrunter Deer Call
- 05Flextone All-In-One Deer Calls
- 06Hunters Specialties Nemesis Deer Call
- 07Primos Power Buck and Doe Call
- 08Hook's Custom Calls Messenger Deer Grunt Call
- 09E.L.K., Deer Talk Call
- 10Primos Hunting Deer Call
Deer Calls – A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide
1. Deer Call Types
There are different types of deer species, each having their unique sound, and that’s the reason you should know the kind of call to get for the buck you’re hunting.
- Bleat – This is like the sound of does and fawns, especially when they’re communicating. A mature doe bleat at a lower pitch compared to those from a fawn. When a doe is about to mate, it’ll bleat to attract the male folk.
If you’re targeting bucks, the bleat call is perfect. When a buck hears the sound, it’ll perceive a doe is on heat and would come around. You can attract deer to your area combining bleat calls with grunt calls. One of the simplest ways to make doe bleat sound is to use a Can-call.
- Rattle – You have to use this sound when you’re simulating a buck’s fight. Most hunters have used this tactic for many years to attract whitetails by making them believe there’s an ongoing fight. You can make a rattling sound by jamming two antlers, but you’ll only be successful with regular practice as you learn how they vocalize in their rut phases.
- Grunt – Almost all deer hunters are familiar with the grunt call. It’s a simple means of communication that helps a buck to identify where a doe is. We recommend you use the grunt when you spot the prey as it’ll help draw it closer to the point of call.
- Snort Wheeze – This sound works most on mature bucks as they often produce it to intimidate the fawns. The snort wheeze should be your last resort for deer call as it could send the buck away. However, dominant bucks will always answer in the direction of the call.
2. The breed
Since different breeds have different vocalizations, you should buy a deer call that suits the kind you’re hunting. For example, if you want to shoot a buck, choose a buck grunt call. If you’re not selective of deer breeds, you can pick an all in one deer call.
The strap allows you to attach the call to your body, making it easier to carry and access.
The material construction will determine its durability, resistance to weather, and quality of sound. Most brands use hardwood, plastics, or both to create specific call effects. You should choose models that won’t freeze under cold conditions.
Most items include user instructions, videos, and app that help you know their correct use.
Your deer call should make a sound that could be heard from a far distance. As a rule of thumb, the louder the vocalization, the better. Louder calls will reach a greater area of land, increasing your target options.
Since you don’t want to buy a new deer call each time you’re going for a hunt, it’s perfect to choose a model that’ll last for a long time. Always buy from reputable companies to ensure the product won’t quickly lose shape and in turn, distort the sound.
A right deer call should be compact, lightweight, easy to convey and doesn’t take huge space when storing in a bag.
9. Electronic Deer Calls
Besides mechanical deer calls, digital calls are the next option for you. They’re highly sophisticated and can make recordings of live deer then play the sound. Before buying, you should consult the authorities to know if they permit the use of electronic calls in your area.
The top companies in the industry would do better than the newer brands in terms of advanced user guides, durability, and finish. But the latest brands win the day by innovations and ease of use.
For beginners, here are a few outstanding manufacturers to choose from.
- Illusion Systems: The outstanding feature of all Illusion products is an unbeatable technology base. This American company offers its buyers the option to select various sound with one deer call. Besides, each of their models undergoes rigorous test and tuning to ensure the product will work for you in the field.
- Primos Hunting: Whether you’re a professional or recreational user, Primos calls will suit your needs. The company introduced its first call in 1934 and has been consistent in producing durable and easy to use models.
- Flextone: This manufacturer ensures that you have the whole herd in one call. For us, their products aren’t as innovative like the Illusion Systems’, but you’ll appreciate their unique throat tubes that makes changing the tone easier.
Deer Calling Tips & Strategies
As you prepare for the next hunting season, here are a few bucks calling tips to keep in mind.
Be flexible – With the change of seasons, deer calling strategies also change. You should know how to switch between calls to suit any situation and time of the year.
Be Prepared – Bucks often show up immediately when you hit the call, but what happens if you’re not ready to shoot? So, always keep your bow prepared to strike right before making the call.
Don’t start loud – It’s ideal to start soft then gradually increase the volume so you won’t scare off your prey.
Stop Calling when the buck is approaching – You better stop calling to prevent it from seeing you ahead of time.
Don’t keep calling when the deer isn’t responding – It’s not always that the whitetail might be interested in your calling. So, don’t overdo it since this will negatively impact in its pattern whenever the deer is in that area. Bucks that are already alert as a result of an earlier call shouldn’t be called as it could tip them of impending danger.
Regular practice matters – No matter your level of skills, you should always practice knowing when to use the calls before hitting the woods. Sharpen your skill watching those instructional videos and following the manufacturer’s guide.
Limit your calling frequency – You should know that deer don’t regularly make sound everywhere they go, so much calling could send the wrong message to them. For the best results, we recommend you call at least once every 30 minutes.
Scan the area – You should ensure that no deer is available in the area. If any, start calling with a soft tone and then pause to observe their reaction. If the deer doesn’t respond quickly to a grunt call, you can try a snort wheeze; but do this sparingly.
When you’re shopping for the best deer calls, always check the number of calls it has and ensure that it matches with your hunting style. The wrong product can mar your hunting trips, so compare their specs, pros, and cons before making your choice.
If you’re looking for a mid-range option, the Extinguisher deer call is the best. It tops other models we’ve listed by its ease of use, versatility, and reliability. For the best estrus bleat calls for the rut, you can’t go wrong with the Primos Can Deer calls.
We hope our buying guide should give you everything you need to choose your ideal product. Finally, ensure you practice with your device and watch the instructional videos for better results.
- Are deer calls Effective?
Ans. When you’re hunting in the field, and the deer isn’t within your shooting yard, you’ll need a call to lure it to your range. Once the buck is closer, taking a good shot is more comfortable. You only need to master the appropriate use of this device for it to be effective.
- Is it true that automated calls are in some way better than canned ones?
Ans. Both deer call types do work; it depends on your preference. Most persons choose can calls because they’re loud and durable. Also, they don’t freeze under cold conditions and can operate without batteries.
Electronic calls operate with battery, meaning it costs more to maintain, but are even more straightforward to use since you’ll only press a button to select the prerecorded sound.
- What is the sufficient calling distance?
Ans. Deer calls are most effective within a 200-to 300-yard radius.
- Does a deer call successfully attract deer all the time?
Ans. Things like personal skills, noises, and quality of tone could affect the attractant’s ability to lure deer all the time. Since you can’t eliminate all of these factors from interfering with your hunting activity, you shouldn’t always expect a 100% success.
- Should I care about durability?
Ans. You won’t be happy if you’re buying a new game-call every season. Besides, the more you’re attached to a given device, it becomes easier for you to use, and you’ll mostly get better results.
- Are low durable calls tend to lose the quality of calls?
Ans. We can’t authoritatively say that the durability of the device can affect the output of the calls. Of course, if the unit depreciates over time, the tone quality will fall. That’s more reason to invest in a call that can maintain its basic performance standard despite the years of use.
- Does type matter with deer calling?
Ans. Your hunting style will determine the suitable deer type to buy. Generally, using the wrong game call will alert the prey and mar your chances of getting a good hit. Your device is to help you attract the deer to sight, and this can only work if you’re using the right attractant for the animal you’re having in mind.
- Why are prices so different?
Ans. You can’t rate the product’s quality only by its price since, in most cases, cheaper calls can perform like those expensive types. However, the purpose of price differentials is to help you plan your spending.
- Why should I choose hands-free devices?
Ans. While you’re making the call, it’s also important to be ready to shoot at any moment. Choosing a hands-free unit will help you to be in a convenient position to target the buck whenever it shows up.