Grunting is kind of a habit everybody indulges in from time to time. Sometimes, when you’re lifting a heavy weight, you can’t help but grunt a little. The truth is, whitetail have a lot of communication sounds, including bleats, wheezing sounds, grunts, and a number of others.
There are three ways to make a grunt call, depending on the time of the season and the activity of the deer. There’s the blind call, a snort-wheeze during the rut, and what are called “tending grunts.”
Of course, there are variations of each grunt type and every hunter has their own way of doing things. The main idea is to get the buck in front of you, whether you’re playing to his mating urge, competitive urge, or his curiosity.
How to Grunt Call for Deer
Both tending grunts and the grunt-snort-wheeze have their places, depending on what point of the season you’re in. They call them tending grunts because it may mean two different things. Tending grunts are sounds bucks make when they are “tending” to a mate. It’s also the sound a buck makes when it’s looking for a mate.
It’s the compromising version of the next one, which is far more aggressive. Most seasoned hunters feel like this call is used by older bucks more often than younger bucks. It’s not quite a challenge, but it’s enough to bring a buck over to check things out.
They say the best time to make this call is around Halloween, late October, or early November. It’s difficult to write a sound but it’s a “buurrpp” sound without the “b”. Only make the sound if you can do it loud and long—about 8 seconds.
If there’s a buck nearby, it’s likely he’ll come running. He’ll either be mad as all get out or looking to steal himself a doe and runoff.
When to use a doe bleat
Does are by far the most vocal deer. The bleat is their favorite call and it means all sorts of things, depending on the circumstances of when it’s used. It depends on what’s going on at the time.
It’s certainly something that is useful during the rut when there are plenty of bucks out there still looking. Most of the time, does use it to keep everything together or to locate other whitetails if she’s lost.
If a doe is in heat and hasn’t been bred yet, she will use the doe bleat, which is what makes it a significant call to have in your bag when the rut starts. Pre-rut, the call may bring in a mixture of does and bucks.
During the rut, it’s far more likely to bring in a buck than anything else. The doe bleat is a call you should mix in with others, especially if the others aren’t working at the moment. A doe bleat is not the easiest thing in the world to create with your mouth but the can method is one of the more popular calls.
Buck Call Sound
It’s a challenge. It literally has no other meaning to it. It’s a straight-up, let’s do this right now challenge. It’s also known as the grunt-snort-wheeze. That’s the problem with it and the genius of it at the same time, so long as you know how to use it.
One thing that it will do is scare some bucks away. But it just might bring in the big one. It will only bring in the most dominant deer, assuming that it’s there. It may also run a buck or two out of the area, so the risk is yours.
You can create the sound by your mouth alone, or you can purchase a snort-wheeze call. If you want to try the sound out on your own, you’ll have to bring your hands up to your mouth like you’re going to holler at someone.
It’s a three-part wheeze and the entire thing is almost like flapping your lips to make a fake farting sound. You can see it done here. The first part uses more air, the second is a quick burst of air through the lips, and the third part is like a long exhale, continuing to flap your lips.
They say that “every deer is an individual.” There’s a lot of truth in that, so it’s a good idea to always bring multiple calls with you. If you can make some of the calls with your mouth alone, so much the better.
Some of the calls, like the last, might make you feel downright silly trying them out for the first time. But hey, who are you trying to impress out there in the woods? Practice makes perfect, and you would be surprised at how often deer will respond, even if you get the call a little off.
Unless you’re an off-again, on-again, occasional hunter, deer calls are an important part of your pack when you head out the door. Make a few calls and create a few combinations. You never know when you’ll get that one buck’s attention.
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