Calling Bucks You Can’t See

Herb T. from Arkansas writes to ask about blind calling for deer. "My buddies and I have discussed the value in just blind calling bucks, even when we can’t see them. What do you think about this? Is it worth trying?"

Dr. Dave Samuel

When you see a buck and he is not coming your way, definitely call. If the grunt call doesn’t work, then I will give the aggressive snort wheeze call with my mouth. But calling blind, when you don’t see the buck, is a different story. If I am hunting in an area where there are few hunters and very little pressure, then I sometimes call blind. I do it when it is quiet and when I feel that there are bucks somewhere close by. I probably blind call more when there is thick cover around me.

When you are calling without a decoy, then that thick cover prevents the buck from seeing the deer making the call (that’s you). Another time when I don’t call much is when there is a lot of hunting pressure. The more hunters, the less I call in general, and the less I blind call. Also, I tend to blind call more when using a decoy. When the buck you call doesn’t see another deer, he is less likely to respond. When he sees that decoy he is more likely to respond. These are just some of my rules of thumb. 

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Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for If you have a question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of‘s content at Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.

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