Rattling Deer

Discussion in 'Bowhunting' started by swhetstone1, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. I was thinking about trying to use rattling antlers while bowhunting. Can anyone give me some tips and advice about doing so. Also what is the best time to use this kind of calling. Thanks for any advice in advance.

  2. I have had little luck on big bucks rattling. I have had a lot of young ones come in and offer shots. I generally grunt a few times, and gently tickle the antlers together. I wait a few minutes to make sure there is nothing coming in, grunt agian and bang them together pretty good. You need to be ready to shoot, if they come in they are looking and you normally only have one chance to shoot. WHen they don't see other deer they wander off pretty quick. If you have some sort of scent out that can give you a few extra seconds to get the shot off. Hope that helps.

  3. Carpn


    I've had some success rattling. I've had mosta my luck in thick areas where the deer hafta search out the other deer. I shot a low 140's 10 pt that came out of a standing corfield to rattling and a 130ish 10 pt that came into rattling in a thick bottleneck...Both deer where shot within 5 minutes of rattling and both where less tha 15 yd shots...Had a few other close calls where I just couldn't seal the deal. Timing is everything and that time is fast approaching..Late Oct/Early Nov. is prime time to rattle. When I rattle I usually grunt a couple times then wait a few minutes before rattling in case there are any deer close that I can't see...I generally rattle HARD....I want deer to hear me from a way off...Hit the horns together then kinda gind em back and forth...I don't rattle for very long either...less than a minute... Not sure if this will help but it seems to have a worked a few times.
  4. I've never had luck on rattling but from all the videos I've seen and talking to people rattling its always best in the early stages of pre-rut and in morning hours.. I agree with swantucky about starting light then bashing them hard. I use a rattle bag and its impossible to really get a loud crack from them. True rattle antlers are probably better. Supposedly you need an area where the buck to doe ratio is good. Set up down wind (up to 100 yds away depending on your terrain,etc) of your does and in the next 3 weeks you'll see something- you won't need antlers. Good luck!
  5. HCF


    I've had some luck also usually near thick area's such as bedding, standing corn always start with a light rattle never know how close they might be with some soft grunts, then get a little louder at times I usually do this every 15-30min. Be ready, Was out couple weekends ago and had hunting partner set up near thicket an I was about 80 yds away seen buck come across field and hit the path an came to within 20yds of hunting partner who was looking in other direction I watched in the binos as a nice wide 8pt with drop tine stood near him and never know he was there till my partner turned his way, buck seen him move busted. I've had success in pre rut rattling over the years an have seen some shooter bucks with plenty of nonshooters also.
  6. It has worked for me also and it is a real thrill when it works right.

    As the other guys have said, it works best when you're in or near thick cover and the buck to doe ratio is a key ingredient, but I've had it make a difference even in counties of Ohio with a less than desirable ratio.

    I never bow hunt without antlers. Sometimes a buck will moving in a direction away from you and the horns can turn him a bit. Other times, they'll RUN toward your stand, so when you're done rattling, put the horns down and pick up your bow and be ready.

    They will often circle downwind, which is an function of how smart they are. To counter this try to hunt with a steep dropoff on your downwind side or enough obstacles and dense cover that the animal has to commit to your roundhouse to truly check things out. Try to think about the set, so that you can maximize your odds. It should be a consideration when picking a spot for hanging a fixed position stand...it can be that good when it works.

    Here's something else that can make a tremendous difference...get yourself a set of tarsal glands from either a buck or a doe. If you go to one of the deer processing guys, they often have a number of bucks stacked up in the cooler and if you ask, they'll often walk you into the cooler and hand you a knife. I do this every year. This year, I killed a doe and the first thing I did after I tagged her was remove her tarsals and put them in a zip lock. They're in the freezer and I'll be putting the to good use in the next few weeks. They keep nicely if you refrigerate them after each hunt. (Please don't tell my wife...I hide them behind a large pickle jar:D )

    Place the tarsal in your set where you would normally put scent and you can use them in combination with your favorite set. I place mine about 20 yards out and upwind of my set. That way, an approaching deer usually catches the scent if approaching from behind in either direction.

    I killed my best buck using this trick and I'll never forget it. He came in but wouldn't offer a shot. He was with a doe and they were heading out when he caught a whiff of those rutting buck tarsals I had hung out. He spun around and walked back into a shooting lane. He now resides on my wall next to my computer desk in my home office.

    I've also stopped a few bucks that were vacating the area by rattling. One that comes to mind was leaving and I rattled a bit, just a bit. He spun around and came back but wouldn't come in. He started to leave again and I used the snort wheeze call. He bristled up, came back and posed broadside. In the excitement, I overestimated the distance as 30 yards and made a perfect shot...right over the vitals about two inches over his back...clean miss. But it was also something I'll always remember.
  7. IMO only.

    Many times I've heard bucks tickling the tips of their horns rather than a full-out bashing. Seen'em approach each other & tickle their tips & move off. Years back I did bash the horns like a real battle but then I started the tickling, maybe 4/5 simple hits, & it seems that it will get them to investigate in a curious mode, rather than scaring them away.
    Again, only what I do.
  8. OK, I agree with the fact that rattling will bring in the smaller, younger bucks, but, I have seen where a larger deer will wait to see what the younger bucks do before it approaches. Rattling brings all kinds of bucks in, you just don't get a lot of time to decide whether or not to shoot. I called in 8 different bucks last year in 1 morning. It was great. Although the ranged in sizes, the largest deer came in last. I tend to see tha larger deer later anyways. One important thing to keep in mind, you can't be too aggressive on the antlers. In my experience that more or harder I rattled, the faster or more deer would come. A decoy really helps as well, when the deer comes in he will be looking for the other bucks, if they see a decoy they don't waste any time to get there. One last thing, this old guy told me last year to tie the rattling anters together then tie them to a long string to hang from the stand, just long enough to hit the ground. When you rattle, drop and drag the anters on the ground, make as much ruckess as you can, then pull them up and tie them off, then pick you bow up and get ready.