Plainly put, if you are not using a grunt call during the rut, you are missing out!
I’ve lost track of the number of bucks I have called in during the rut with a simple grunt call, but suffice to say it has been a bunch!
A grunt call is easy to use, bucks respond to one very well, and so far as I know, I have never run off a buck using a grunt call. Grunt calls are not a sure thing, however. I have had bucks stop, look and then continue on their way. I’ve had them come part way and then have second thoughts. And I’ve also had them come in as if on the proverbial string.
For this hunter, a good grunt call is a very important part of my gear. I have one around my neck, a spare in my pack and another in my pickup, just in case. Although only rarely have I had a grunt tube fail, unless of course I have plugged it up with partially chewed peanut butter sandwiches or chocolate chip cookies. Thus, a spare is cheap insurance.
You only need one buck tune during the rut. The so called tending or trailing grunt. There is a slight difference between the two, but the difference is so slight that there is really no need to think about it. If you are just getting started in calling, forget about the so-called roar or the snort-wheeze. Both are effective only in very specific situations and if you use one regularly, you will just run off bucks, which may have responded well to a series of tending and/or trailing grunts. If you have ever heard a buck grunting as he trailed or tended a hot doe just imitate that sound. If you have never heard a buck grunt, have a friend show you how to use a grunt call. No such friend? Then investing in an instructional calling DVD is your best bet.
The other sound you want to be able to imitate is the doe bleat. I don’t use it nearly as much as the buck grunt, but I do like to mix a few in with my buck grunts. It would sound something like this: Bbrrrp-bbrrp—bbrrrp—baaaaa—brrp-brrrp—-baaa—-brrrp. You can mix them up anyway you like. The deer do.
The can is real popular for doe bleats. If you go that route, I suggest you get the small can. The big ones are just too loud.
Personally, I prefer a variable tone grunt call. That way I don’t have to reach in my pocket for a can. Just depress the reed and instant doe bleat. Easy.
I know a lot of very good deer hunters and all of them carry and use grunt calls. You should be using one, too. And I’m not talking bowhunters only here. Plenty of bucks are grunted in each season by guys toting, 270’s, slug guns and muzzleloaders.
During firearms seasons it’s all about timing. Go out there tooting on your grunt call on opening weekend in the kind of places most of us hunt and you are likely going to attract the attention of more hunters than deer. But by mid-week, when most of the guys have gone home, that’s the time to use those grunt calls and doe bleats.
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