In the following section I am going to explain a variety of whitetail deer calls that are used in today’s modern hunting world. When deer calls are used correctly it can improve your hunting experience. Research has shown when you are able to speak the deer language they may react and move in for a closer look. However a deer call will not be your solution if you have bad hunting skills. They are simply an aid to help increase your chances when other tactics fail. Be very careful in blind calling (when no deer are visible). Deer will approach from a downwind position to increase their chances of catching the scent of the noise maker. I also included a deer decoy with the descriptions of the deer calls. Though technically speaking a decoy is not a call, I think it works best when used as a combination tactic with a grunt tube or rattling techniques.
The Grunt Tube
When using a grunt tube you are trying to reproduce a communication sound all deer make. Usually the deer makes soft contact grunt to tell another deer “Hey come check this out”. A heavier, louder grunt can be made by bucks when fighting over an estrus doe, or when fighting over their territorial rights. Most hunters use a grunt tube to try and bring in a dominant buck in the area. Be careful. The deer will move in looking and scent checking for the source of the noise. If he doesn’t spot you or smell you, your chance at a buck just increased. You can also use the buck grunt to try and stop a buck that is moving through your shooting lanes, or to bring one in a little closer so that you can get a shot.
A doe bleat is also a communication call for the whitetail deer. Short bleats are used by mothers to keep their young close by. A louder and longer bleat is used by does that are very close to coming into heat. Sometimes you can get a buck to answer your doe bleat with a soft grunt. That is his version of saying “Stop, I will be right there”. If you choose to blind call I would recommend doing so with the bleat first. It is a very simple call to make and leaves less room for error when a young hunter is trying to reproduce the deer language.
Rattling is the term used for when you are trying to reproduce the sound of bucks fighting. You can buy rattle bags or use an old set of horns to reproduce this sound. Buck fights heat up in times of the rut. They may be fighting over a hot estrus doe or battling with each other over their home turf. When a hunter uses a rattle call it can bring in other deer in the area. Bucks will sometimes respond to it out of just plain curiosity or dominance.
A deer decoy is a real life sized plastic deer. You can get mature bucks, small bucks or does. Put a little extra money in it and you can purchase a fully animated deer that will do life like actions such as tail and head movements. For safety reasons cover your deer in blaze orange when carrying your decoy to and from your hunting area. The decoy is used to distract the incoming deer to focus on the fake deer instead of you. You can also place various scents on the deer. For example doe-in-heat or a dominant buck scent to further entice the deer to move closer to the decoy. If you’re a blind caller that rattles and grunts it will possibly increase your chances because the incoming deer can relate to where the deer language was coming from.
Most electronic calls come standard with all common deer sounds. They are small hand held devices that transmit the sound you want through a speaker system. Be sure and check your regulations of the state you will be hunting in. Some states do not allow electronic calls to be used when hunting big game like the whitetail deer.