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Old October 24, 2001, 10:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: December 2, 2000
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Do grunt calls and rattle bags really work?

How good do grunt calls work for whitetail I have never used one, Is it hard to do, which calls are good and which should be avoided, and how often should you call. thanks
JeFF D on The High Road
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Old October 24, 2001, 11:29 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
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Articles in the hunting magazines have "learned discussions" about the use of calls. I've never used them, doing mostly walking hunting.

On a really cold, still morning, horn-rattling can bring in larger whitetail bucks. Having a big old mossy-horned grandaddy buck come roaring in on you can be a trip and a half!

Fighting bucks do a sort of hit-and-run deal. So, rattle just a few seconds. Scrape the ground and thrash some small branches a bit; then be silent for some ten seconds or so. Then, repeat. After no more than a minute or so, be quiet for five or ten minutes.

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Old October 25, 2001, 02:06 AM   #3
Fred Hansen
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Grunt calls work OK on whitetails. I have never had the patience to use them much. I shot my first deer while still-hunting, and so am spoiled to that style of hunting. Stand-hunting is probably the best way to use a call since attracting the deer's attention to your position won't neccessarily betray your presence. I have used the grunt call in the past to calm or slow agitated deer long enough to get a shot off.

My limited understanding of rattling is that it works best with WT's as Art said. My further understanding of it is that it works best with a high Buck to Doe ratio, because of the competition for breeding does that result. As Art said less is more when it comes to calling. If for no other reason than how easy it is to become engrossed in the calling, only to miss the deer.

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Old October 25, 2001, 11:43 AM   #4
Will Beararms
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Join Date: October 12, 1999
Location: North Texas
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Scents, Calls and rattling devices: Beware

Where Mr. Eatman hunts, there are beau coup deer. If you are in an area where the deer population is not as abundant, scents, calls and rattling horns can actually work against you serving as warning signals.

If you don't know how to call, you will probably end up spooking a buck. What you think is a good grunt may be a distress grunt to the deer.

I advise to find sign and hunt it. I also advise to get in a tree stand for safety from other hunters and to allow movement and to mask your scent.

What is sign? Signs include: rubs on the bases of small to medium diameter trees, scrapes on the ground usually under a tree limb accompanied by the branches above being rubbed or knawed off. Deer manure is also an indicator of activity as well as tracks.

Once you find one rub or scrape, go in all directions and chances are you will find a line of rubs and scrapes 30 to 100 yards long. Many of these will run parallel or perpedicular to an old logging road or trail.

If you find a well-traveled deer trail, DO NOT SET YOUR STAND NEAR IT!!!!! Instead walk 20 or so yards above and below the trail. 9 times out of ten, the large Bucks will travel a less-follwed trail parallel to the "deer freeway". Why do you think the does always come up to a stand nest to a heavily traveled trail and snort or flag? They are warning the old buck who either in front or behind you. An old buck is smart as a whip and in the timber of South Arkansas where I hunt, I am convinced that the number one killer of large male deer is disease, predators and old age-------------------not hunters.
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Old October 25, 2001, 10:58 PM   #5
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I've never known grunt calls to actually "call" a deer. In my limited experience with them, I noticed that it simply relaxes a deer's guard, making them think they are safe, so they wander closer to you as they forage, or makes them feel safer about venturing out into a clearing. I really don't know if there is a rule about how often to use it, but I have grunted two or three times every ten minutes or so, or if I see a doe thinking about coming out of the woods into a clearing.

As for doe calls, it does get bucks interested during rut--so I hear. I've never used one.

I never used a rattle-bag either.
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