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The Art of Calling: Understanding When to Use Deer Calls for Optimal Results

when to use deer calls
Written by Marc Niad
Last Update: August 11, 2023

Deer calling is a hunting method. It is used to lure deers towards you, making it an easy target. To get the best result out of deer calling, you need to know when to use deer calls and which one to use.

There are many types of deer calls. But for newbies, there are 4 types you need to be aware of. Grunt is used especially for blind calls. On the other hand, Rattle is used when dominant deers are nearby. Bleat is used in mating season and Snort Wheeze is when deers are in groups. Depending on seasons and targeted deer you need to use these calls.

In this post we will try to discuss these calls in brief and tell you about some points to help you out.

What Is Deer Call

Deer call is the mimic sound for call deers under the range of hunting. From ancient times, it has been an effective way to get deers near the hunting zone.

In old times, hunters used their own voice or antler. But in present days, hunters have synthetic antler, rattle bags and even deer calling devices to mimic the sounds.

If you are new to hunting, you might need to know deer calling in detail. Once you know it, it’s very easy to deal with it.

Types Of Deer Calls And When To Use Deer Calls

There are several forms of deer calls. But 4 are the most commonly used. Let’s take a look at the types of deer calls. Here you will know how and when to use certain deer calls.

1. Grunt

Grunt is the most commonly used form of deer calling. Deers make this sound in most of their movements including scraping, rubbing, fighting and chasing. They use this sound to portray dominance over other fawns and doe.

When the deer is in the sight of a hunter but out of target, grunt is used. When the deer is near you and facing you, soft grunt works best. But when the deer is facing the other side from you, giving a quick burst helps.

Even when the deer is not in sight, and you need them to get drawn to you, give a blind grunt every 30 mins. For grunting, you can use a grunt tube. It makes the buck chase the sound thinking another buck is making the sound in his zone.

2. Rattle

Rattle is basically the sound of deer horns crashing when they fight. It’s an aggressive way to call deer. After grunting, ruttle is the second best way to call for deer. Even though it is the fighting sound, too much of it can make the deer flee away.

Rattle is used to attract the dominance buck. If they hear this sound, they tend to go to the sound zone. At that moment, hunters can do their job.

While rattling, you need to be cautious. Too much rattling will seem unnatural. Try to use a short rattle. Sometimes this shows immediate effect and sometimes it can take some time.

Also mixing rattle with other deer calls has proven to be effective. They tend to create believable sound and grab more attention among the bucks.

3. Bleat

Bleat deer call

Bleat is the vocal sound of does and fawns. When it comes to does, they bleat the whole year. But when it is the rut season, buck identifies the does with the bleat.

When it comes to the fawns, they communicate with their mother with the bleat sound. Thus, the bleat from fawns are of higher pitch than the does looking for mating.

Hunters claim that making bleat sounds along with grunt makes the bucks assume that some other bucks are mating with their does. Especially bucks from the rival clan. As a result, they tend to look for the spot of the sound creation.

The does even talk with each other in the bleat voice. This is of lower pitch than the fawns communicating with their mother.

Using the bleat sound during the rut season works best on the mature bucks. The high pitch attracts the female deer.

4. Snort Wheeze

Snort Wheeze is a technical deer call. Big bucks use this call to intimidate other bucks and declare themselves to be superior. In other words, it is a sound that deers make to call others to start a fight.

Using snort wheeze is not going to work all the time. Even big bucks don’t use them often. Finding the right time in seasons of the rut, hunters can use the sound in the dominant bucks territory. This heightens the defensive response of the bucks.

Even though it is tactical, it has a higher effective rate. The expert hunter who has heard the snort wheeze by the deer, can work with the call. You can experiment with it, but it can drive away the deers.

Important Tips In Getting Result From Deer Call

If you want to get the best result out of the deer call, then you are at the right place. There are 3 tips to get the best result out of the calling.

  • Combine deer call

Depending on one deer call might not give you the desired result. Thus, it is suggested to combine at least 2 to 3 calls. This increases the success rate.

  • Always be prepared:

Sometimes hunters do get successful in deer calling. But they can’t hit the target due to unpreparedness. Especially if you are a new hunter, then always be prepared with your hunting equipment.

  • Gradually build up the calling

Don’t do blind call loudly at the beginning. Start with soft calling and then increase the level gradually. Otherwise, you might end up chasing away the deers near you.

When Not To Use Deer Calls

Deer calling doesn’t have a negative effect, but it is necessary to know when you need to stop. This increases the effectiveness.

  • When the deer is coming:

When the deer has already heard your calling and is getting attracted to you, you need to stop the call. You don’t want to give the exact location of yours to the deer and also it might frighten them.

  • Don’t call once the deer is already alert:

If you see the deer is already alert from the previous calling or by your call, you need to stop the call. Otherwise, the deer can change its own pattern or it can sense that things are not usual.

  • In change of wind flow:

The change of wind flow towards the targeted deer creates confusion in the deer. It creates more damage than good.

Final Word

Once you have the basic idea of which and when to use deer calls, huntings becomes more fun. You cannot become an expert on deer calls on your first attempt. But following the instructions and practice, you will develop.

Try using the mix call. That is supposed to give you a better result. Especially in blind calls.

About the author

Marc Niad

It’s been several years that Marc, a retired teacher and a proud dad, has silently been piling up mature bucks down the South. This humble hunter began his hunting journey at quite an early age and since then, he spent countless hours in the woods and learned good lessons in terms of woodsmanship. Along the way, he also made money sharing his skill with his followers and well-wishers.

The Ranger Expert is the brainchild of this veteran hunter who loves hunting the swamps and the hills around the Mississippi and Homochitto rivers. His most favorite hunting technique is taking his climbing gear and going to the top of pines with a 25.06 – the old-fashioned way!

He gets most of his games during late December through mid-January – his favorite hunting time. Marc strongly believes that hard work, passion, and a bit of luck can bring you success in the wild.

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