Deer Calling For Beginners

Most hunters at one point or another will most likely use a call to try and lure that big, mature buck into shooting range. But what if you’ve never attempted to use a call before? You’re in luck! We will go over a few basic calls and how and when to use these calls in order to optimize your chances of bagging the deer you’ve been looking for.


Bleats: Bleat calls are designed to mimic the sounds of fawns and does. Fawns will bleat for many reasons such as looking for their mother, especially when the rut kicks in and the does abandon their fawns. They may also bleat if they are in danger or hurt. If you are targeting does, the bleat can be an excellent choice for a call because does may come looking for the lost or injured fawn. Does also bleat, especially when they go into heat and will bleat when being chased by a buck. This call can be a signal to more mature bucks in the area that a doe in the area is being pursued by a possibly less dominant buck. Bleat calls come in many styles, but the easiest to use is the “flip can” style. Simply flip the can over to make the bleat sound. Do not over use this call as it can also be a signal that something isn’t right in the area and could scare the deer away. It is recommended to only do 3 -4 bleats every 30 minutes.


Grunts:  Grunt calls are the most popular call used by the majority of hunters for many reasons. Bucks will grunt when fighting, making scrapes, rubs, chasing does, or really any time they feel like it. A grunt is usually an isolated sound, however if chasing a doe, they may grunt continuously.  This call is most effective when there is a buck within sight, but out of shooting range. The grunt can be seen as a challenge to the mature bucks and may come investigate to see what’s going on. The biggest mistake hunters make with the grunt call is calling to the deer when they are looking in your direction. Once the buck reacts to your call and turns in your direction, stop calling and let the deer move in and get prepared for a shot. The most popular type of grunt call is the grunt tube which come in many shapes and sizes. As with the bleat call, only use this call every 30 minutes and blow 1 – 2 grunt notes.  


Rattling:  Rattling is used to mimic bucks fighting. Young bucks often spar with each other and this sparing can attract a bigger buck that wants to show the little guys who’s boss. When you do attempt to rattle in a buck, you want to mimic young deer sparing, not 2 mature deer fighting. If you simulate to large of a fight, the younger deer will be scared off and the chances of bringing in a buck could drop significantly. A good time to try the rattling calls is if you see a deer through the brush moving away from you. There are many different types of rattling calls to choose from; real antlers, rattle bags, or a factory produced antlers. Whichever you choose, practice with the call and also practice adding some grunts in while rattling. This adds realism to your calling.

As with any type of call, there is no guarantee it will work, but with practice it can be another tool in your arsenal that can help you bag that big buck you’ve been looking for.  We hope these tips help you in your future hunting adventures.

-Adam Sites, Fall Obsession Field Staff