Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose a Deer Call
Types of the Calls
- Bleat. The bleat call is similar to the sound of a doe. You probably heard this sound when a doe leaves a fawn. If your target is a doe, then the bleat call is the best choice. Doe is going to look for a lost fawn. Bleat call can also call buck in. Bucks perceive this call as a doe in heat. The simplest call for bleat to use is a can call. Turn on a bleat every 25 minutes.
- Grunt. This is one of the most widely used calls for bucks. Buck tends to grunt when fights, chases a doe or wanders. It is better to use grunt when you see the buck nearby as it is going to find out where the sound comes from. There’re usually calls in the form of a tube. The call should be produced with 1-2 blows every 30 minutes. To achieve greater effect, you should use it during the pre-rut season.
- Rattling. This call is used for buck’s fights. The sound attracts bucks making them believe there’s a fight they want to take part in. However, it is not easy to produce real and original sound without practice.
- Wheeze. It is also called a snort wheeze that works on mature bucks. It will not be so effective if you call young buck. The big bucks usually accept the challenge and go on the call’s sound.
Why You Need To Have A Grunt Call
- Easy to use. There is no need in looking for a deer and spending hours for it as you can attract animal from a distance.
- Durable. Most of the calls are tested and suit extreme weather conditions and environment, so you do not have to worry whether it is going to work or not.
- Versatile sounds. Manufacturers do not stop working on the new calls and sounds. They improve the quality of the sound and try to make it as natural as it’s possible.
How To Use A Call Right
- Be prepared. As soon as you push the call’s button, make sure you’re ready with your gun.
- Choose a volume. Most of the hunters tend to start a call on the highest volume. However, it may scare deer away. You should begin with the lowest level and gradually increase the volume.
- Change the call. Remember that deer do not use the same call all the time. The choice of the call’s tone depends on the season of the year.
What You Should Not Do
- Do not try to attract deer when it going to eat.
- Do not call a buck that is nearby.
- Do not call in the same way. You should change the manner of calling.
- If the buck notices you do not try to use the call in the attempt to stop him.
Deer Calling Strategies
A well-made and highly functional deer call greatly increases your chances to find your prey. However, calling a buck demands not only pro tools but also deep knowledge of how and when to use them as well as patience and a bit of artistry. Unlike most birds, for example, deer are rather intelligent animals with a great vocabulary that changes from season to season, so you need to use various strategies to make sure they respond to your calls.
The first efficient method of attracting these beasts during the early hunting season is based on using soft grunts in a nonaggressive way, imitating social sounds. Animals that have been living in rather large groups during peaceful summer months tend to maintain a high level of natural curiosity towards their neighbors so they are likelier to decide to explore the source of familiar social sounds expecting to find a group or a lonely animal. The main trick is to stay unintrusive. Do not call too often especially when a deer moves towards the sound. Let it be guided by its own curiosity and correct the beast’s course with patience to not frighten it.
The second calling strategy exploits the animals’ affection for sparring matches. Your task is to persuade the animal that he/she is a glance away from a potential contender. Use a series of rattlings to attract a deer that is ready for an early-season sparring and stays within your calling range. Avoid using overlong calls; in order to sound natural, your calls must not last longer than 10-15 seconds. Repeat them several times in a row to make sure your call sounds like a challenge and wait for an answer.
Whereas rattling calls are usually nothing more than invitations for a friendly sparring, short-wheeze signals are mostly used when deer fight for dominance. This type of calls can be used to attract animals that are too far away to hear grunts. Combine short-wheeze calls with rattling calls in order to attract more animals or create an impression of a rather large group of deer so that your potential prey will not be frightened to investigate the situation.
In general, you will achieve better results by using versatile calls with a flexible approach to the challenges provided by this hunting enterprise. Remain responsive to your prey’s behavior and try to adapt and improve rather than simply repeat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is the type of the call really that important?
Yes, the type of an attractor is a critical success factor. Bleat attractors and grunt calls are designed to lure different animals under different conditions. You should not expect that a short wheeze would attract a young buck. The same goes for rattling calls in a pre-rut period – they won’t be exactly successful. Analyze the timing and decide what type of a call you should choose before using it in the field.
Is it true that digital calls are in some ways better than canned ones?
In crude terms, both types of tools may be useful and necessary for an ambitious hunter. The choice between them often depends on the hunter’s preferences only. Canned calls are simple in use, loud and highly durable. They require no batteries and work under all weather conditions.
Their digital counterparts are even more user-friendly since all you have to do is press the button and choose between several types of prerecorded vocalizations. However, they require batteries and their vocabulary is limited, nor you can change it whereas simple attractors can emit more subtle and nuanced sounds.
A good thing is to consider the advantages of electronic attractors with remote controllers. Although larger and more sophisticated than other models, these devices may allow you to confuse the beast by luring it to the perfect spot for an ambush.
What is the effective calling distance?
The most effective distance for calling is considered 200-300 yards for most types of devices. Provided that the area is clear and there are no sound-distorting factors, a deer call works at the distance of not less than ½ mile. However, to achieve the best results, hunters rarely choose beasts that are too far away.
Does the deer call successfully attracts deer all the time?
Needless to say that even the best call does not work all the time. We are not talking scientific precision here, though the more you try and the more effective tools you use the stronger is your hand in the deer-attracting game. The call may not be perfect so that the deer may become suspicious and do not respond; various ambient noises of the wood may muffle or distort your call; or, the prey may be too far away to hear you. Finally, a deer may be too busy to respond – after all, they are not legally obliged to do it. Still, experienced hunters report that something about 40-50% of deer responds to their calls.
Should I care about durability?
Yes, highly durable calls beat simple models in durability. They work longer, which is especially important for canned calls because you have to get used to the specific tool and adjust your efforts so that the volume and tone of your calls would be optimal. Extra durable models simply grant you a luxury of wider practice, which will secure you improved results.
In addition, a deer call should be able to withstand harsh weather. Models found on the quality end are tested under moderate to harsh environmental conditions, while for cheaper plastic options it’s not necessarily so.
Is it true that low-durable calls tend to lose the quality of calls?
The correlation between the quality of the sounds and the durability of the deer call is not quite evident. The basic idea, however, stands true. Slow deprecation of the attractor leads to the distortion of sounds, silences your calls and makes it impossible to match the correct tonality. That why it’s important to ensure that your call meets the basic quality standards and doesn’t decrease your performance.
Choosing one of the described calls can change your hunting season. Do not wait that the call works itself easily as it requires some knowledge and skills. However, having a good one call is also important and we hope that we help you a bit with the choice.