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Calling Deer During the Rut

Posted on November 01, 2012

Michael waddell deer call

Whitetail hunters know we are entering the time of year where the good is fixing to get better. The pre-rut has the bucks cruising for love, and now is probably the best time of the season where a big boy will make a mistake. I love using a call to take advantage of Sad Daddy’s sexual frustration and tempt him into the range of my Hoyt with grunts, growls and snorts.

I think most hunters limit their whitetail vocabulary to a grunt call, and there is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes it goes ignored if not used at the right time. A tending grunt call is deadly around the days of peak rutting activity. It imitates a buck hot on the heels of a doe. Use it to pull on the heartstring of a lonely buck during the peak of the rut.  Hopefully he will come in a try to steal the doe he think is being courted by you call. No doubt it works in certain situations, but my favorite all-time call is the snort wheeze.

A snort wheeze works great when bucks are staking out does in their area in the pre-rut – generally before they are ready to breed. A buck uses this call to tell other bucks to stay out when he has found a hot doe. A dominant buck hears this call and he can’t help but to defend his turf. He will come in ready to square off for a fight. There are times when I will grunt at a deer and swear it must be deaf because he pays it no mind. But then I hit him with a snort wheeze and he immediately bristles and makes a bee line to my stand. It is one call I think hunters underutilize.

Lastly, I will use a buck growl right before the days of peak breeding times, similar to how to I use the tending grunt. But a roar or growl is when that buck is out a couple hundred yards or it is really windy. It is also great if you hunt with a gun, because you can usually use it to stop a cruising buck long enough to put your sights on him.  

Those are the three main buck calls I use during the pre-rut and rut, and because I use the Flextone Bone Collector Buck Crusher, I can call audibles like Peyton Manning at the line of scrimmage based on the timing of the rut and the deer’s mood. The Buck Crusher is a hands-free call capable of making grunts, growls and snort wheezes. As a bonus, it even has a doe chamber if you like to use that. Check out the instructional video and start talking freaky with the dominant bucks. You can tempt them to look for love in all the wrong places, like the shooting lanes in front of your tree stand.