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When & How to Use a Deer Call – All 5 Types Explained by Seasoned Hunters

How to use a deer call
Written by Erik Himmel

When it comes to waterfowl hunting, calling is one of the most effective tactics. Most hunters will not attempt hunting without giving a call. Though most hunters while deer hunting, don’t use this hunting strategy, some are of the option that the strategy is less effective while others become afraid of the process involved and try as much as possible not to mess their effort up.

The information below will go a long way and help to eliminate any form of guesswork when it comes to deer calling. Who knows you might start looking for the best deer call as soon as you finish reading this blog!

How to use a deer call

When & How to Use a Deer Call – Beginner Tips

1. Bleats

Buck grunts are isolated sounds. Although, when they are being chased, they tend to grunt continuously.

Bleat call is similar to the sounds created by fawn or doe. Fawns are known to bleat whenever they chase or look out for their mother. In times like this, they make sounds in the woods.

If your focus is on does, then the use of bleat can be a perfect choice. Whenever they lookout for a lost fawn, they tend to use the bleat sound. Though bleats are great when it comes to calling, most estrous does get bleat once a buck chase after them.

The sound can signal most doe during heat into most competitive bucks within an area. You can use calls to create the bleat sounds and this is quite easy to use. You need to ensure the entire flipped is over if before creating a bleat. You can give 2 – 4 bleats a short at once within an interval of 20 – 30 minutes.

2. Grunts

This is one of the most common buck calls. If you have observed bucks grunt whenever they are fighting, they tend to create rubs and scrapes; chasing does, at any specific time. On some occasions, you can see a buck grunting while it walks across the woods.

Grunt calls are effective whenever a buck comes to sight; and this is most times out of range. The sound appears as a challenge, so they often try to check out what makes such sound.

One of the major mistakes most hunters make is to try the grunt call when they gazed of a buck is completely focused on them. Doing this will only get you spotted out regardless of how high you are on a tree. Using grunt tubes is one of the most effective strategies beginners find more appealing. It is advisable to bow 1 -2 note calls within 20 -30 minutes. I have found this strategy to be beneficial when carrying out a pre-rut.

3. Rattling

Rattling is another common call strategy you can use to mimic a buck fight. Real antlers can be used, antlers produced by factories or rattle bags. Although lots of people think slugfest is the best when rattling. Most times, all you need might be a couple of crashes. Most young bucks are known to spar without getting involved with it. Fighting March, most times, attract the biggest bucks that are out there to boss over little guys. If a heavyweight match is recreated, you have succeeded in decreasing the chance of attracting a deer, and this is because –younger bucks don’t participate in a big fight.

I use to make a couple of quick rattles once I observe that a buck is now moving off from a stand site. It is also vital not to rattle once you discover the buck gazing at you. Once the mood gets to them, most times, they run straight to the raffle. You can use rattling at all times, but in my opinion, I prefer rattling in the early season and go straight up.

Once you have the rut get to the peck, the order is created, causing the bucks to mate. Rattle anytime you spot out a deer getting away from your space or do this once in every hour; this will help attract more of their attention from a distance. You can also have a blend of grunts to add more reality to the sound.

4. Wheezing

This is also referred to as a snort wheeze; this method of calling is pretty effective when it comes to calling mature bucks. When it comes to dominance calls, this appears to be the ultimate. Whenever a mature bucks want to intimidate a younger subordinate –wheezed is used. If you intend to call on younger bucks, then you should stay clear from using this method of calling. If you gasped this at most young bucks, running for safety becomes their next option for survival.

On the other hand, most dominant bucks will yield to the challenge by getting close.

One of the perfect things about wheezes is that –you don’t need to buy or use a call. The sound can be created with quick breathing alongside with your teeth clenched while your mouth is barely open. Once all the facial positioning is rightly done, try exhaling quickly while your mouth is still held in the same position. This works perfectly; if you observe the bucks moving away from you.

Although the strategy doesn’t work often, and most times if it is done before a deer is spotted out, then it is possible to spook off younger bucks.

Your step to deer calling is not something mystical. Similar to any other types of hunting measures, which most time does not yield a grantee outcome. Although if the style is used correctly, deer calls will be an additional hunting tool within your arsenal.

5. Blind Calling

When should you try calling with this call strategy? Let’s take for instance; you spotted out a deer you intend luring within your shooting range. And you read the body language and make necessary adjustments on the right call in accordance. For instance, you sight the buck bristles, seeking for a fight. Once you have tried that out with rattling, sometimes it can fall for your final grunts, and this can most times pinpoint your ideal position.

In contrast, when a buck is wary and tries to turn off from the sound, you can try using a social grunt, since they might want to flee anytime they hear something a bit aggressive.
Although many calling setups are done when there is no deer at sight, this process is known as a blind calling. And it works most time flawlessly, especially during the pre to early rut phases that are carried out close to bedding areas. Most of these areas are thick, making it easy for most deer to hear vocalizations and activities without having direct access to the source of sound.

6. Doe Bleat and Grunt

Deer are generally vocal, although this fact is yet to be acknowledged by many hunters. This is because they produce silent sound that makes it quite challenging to detect such sounds, except they come very close to your stand. A grunt and doe bleat is one of the most effective when it comes to pre-and post-rut. It is essential to know that most secondary rut takes place within a month, just immediately the first rut peck. The main reason why most doe sounds effective is pretty simple –most bucks are out there to look for a doe they can breed.

Stick closely to the standard rules when calling a deer, whenever you intend using the grunt or bleats calls. Mouth-blow or tip-over calls can also be used carefully. Produce a few bleats within every 20- 35 minutes while you stay back and watch how the bucks try to sneak to the position, to sniff the doe. Anytime a call is made, make sure the deer is position downwind, and if this smells instead of the hot doe, the buck will have to get out of sight.

Whenever you intend using the blown doe call, it is essential to practice to perfection in a truck or within the comfort of your house, and while heading to your hunting spot, you can still rehearse the “Baaawwl.” Do this carefully, and try as much as possible not to get spotted out by a buck, and if this is used at the early hours of the morning, it is vital to be a bit patient and wait to have a good shooting spot and view before you proceed with the first bleat.


Deer calling can be an exciting tactic if done right. It allows you to successfully lure a doe or a buck within the range of your bow or rifle.  If carried out properly, the process is pretty satisfying and exciting to behold; how you effectively communicate with the wild animal until it responds can be amazing, don’t you think so? Although, sometimes calling fails, but having a blend of calls to a tactical repertoire will make you a better-rounded bow hunter.


Q. 1: Do deer calls work?
A. When it comes to pre-rut, carrying out a deer call with trail grunts works perfectly, as most bucks get to rut mode in search of receptive does. Lastly, most tending grunts are known as grunt variation, which a buck can use once it acquires a doe.

Q. 2: How often should I use a doe bleat?
A. A mouth-blown or tip over doe bleater can be used carefully. You can go by making a few bleats within 20 – 35 minutes of intervals, afterward observe downwind, until a bucks sneak in an attempt to sniff the doe. You can use doe estrous urine that is set on each stand to your location; this will make your hunt scent-free.
Q. 3: How often should you grunt for deer?
A. Stick to the standard rules when performing a deer call, irrespective of the technique used; be it grunt calls or bleats. Mouth-blown or the tip-over call should be used frugally. Try as much as you can to make a few bleats within 20 -35 minutes of interval, while watching downwind carefully to spot out when a buck sneaks in to sniff the doe.
Q. 4: How to call bucks in during the rut?
A. This is one of the reasons why fawn bleat is considered one of the most effective ways to deer call when it comes to does attraction. Let say you intend going after a fully grown, mature buck; using fawn bleats will help increase a buck’s curiosity and as a result, directs it within your range.

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About the author

Erik Himmel

A Part-Time Firearm Instructor

Hi, this is Erik. We all know firearms are dangerous, but only when one doesn’t know how to use and care for them. I have 15+ years of experience with different types of guns and for the last 10 years, I have taught numerous people how to hold and shoot a gun while staying safe and keeping the surroundings unharmed. My neighbors are some of my biggest admirers who enjoy talking to me about their guns, firearms safety and maintenance.

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