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Helpful Tips About Grunts Calls, Rattling and Scents

September 18, 2008

    Many hunters are familiar with using a deer grunt call to influence deer. But here are some tips which may be helpful to novice and veteran deer hunters alike.
    One piece of advice is that biologists’ studies show that the grunt of a buck deer is only seven tenths of a second long. Care must be taken not to make the sound too long and alert vigilant deer.
    The grunt call is most effective in making a moving deer pause. This may provide the hunter with his only available good shot. Each deer has its own voice.             Thankfully that makes it virtually impossible to make the wrong tone. Subordinate deer do not respond to a grunt, according to Bechdel.
    But in the deer world, attitude makes dominance, not size alone. A bleating fawn call can accomplish the same thing and has the added effect of luring curious animals.   
    Here are a couple pointers about rattling antlers to attract deer. Duelling bucks do not charge each other head to head like battering rams.
    Most often, they lock horns and then use body strength to push and shove in an effort to establish dominance.
    In doing this, the antlers scrape together and make a lower sound than banging. This sound can still be heard by deer for long distances. The hunter is better served by scraping antlers together rather then hitting them against each other.   
    Rattling entices all deer to watch —  they are curious about the sound.
    This fact gives the edge to the hunter. It is easy to scrape and poke yourself when using a set of antlers to rattle, so caution is advised. Another option is to use a new product on the market.
    A small nylon bag filled with gnarled sticks of plastic can reproduce the scraping sounds of bucks in a tussle.
    This device eliminates the danger of real antlers. Another caution is that field studies show one out of three tree stand hunters fall, so take extreme care in that tree.     Using scents can improve your deer hunting success.
    Deer can be trained to appear at scrapes at the right time for the individual hunter. Pre-season scouting in the area you are going to hunt is important. Most hunters find scrapes made by buck deer, but many of these are located in a spot that does not allow the hunter a good hiding spot and a clear line of fire for a sure shot.             It is recommended that when you find such a scenario, you should look around the area closely.
    If you can locate a good shooting spot off to one side or the other, then you can begin to alter the behavior of deer through the use of scents.        
    When you find the spot you are comfortable with, make sure prevailing wind conditions are in your favor. 
    Return to the deer scrape and look out at a 45-degree angle from an imaginary line between the scrape and your shooting spot. Along these 45-degree lines you can now make your own scrapes. In the appropriate places, use a three pronged gardening tool used to till flowers to make an artificial scrape.    
    All leaves, sticks and debris must be removed from the spot.
    Then leave a few drops of doe urine on the soil. Refresh this every few days.
    Deer will begin to start using the scrape as if it is natural. An inexpensive way to check deer visitors is to place a stick across your scrapes knee high.
    Deer are forced to jump over, thus leaving a deeper track in the bare earth. Penn State biologists have determined that the wider hips of doe deer force doe hooves to point outward in the track.
    The hooves of bucks will point inward. This method saves the expense of using cameras.       
    A day or two before season opens you should use a drag rag which has been spotted in three or four places with doe urine.
    Tie the rag with a small rope, use rubber boots and drag the rag behind you in a loop between the three scrapes.
    A deer following this trail will present a good shot to the hunter on a stand no matter the direction of travel. Repeat every few days.    
    When the rut begins, use doe in estrus urine on the drag rag and use buck scent on another drag. Pull one in each hand around the loop between the three scrapes. This forces deer to follow the loop, trying to locate the strangers.                 Bucks will scrape out the buck scent you have introduced.
     This model will add 20 minutes to your prime deer hunting in morning and evening. Allow for wind change by having a secondary stand on the other side of this set-up.
    You may make your own luck on your next deer hunting venture.    

Tips on Keeping Clothes
Scent Free
    There are several ways and many different methods to keep your hunting clothes scent-free.
    According to the DNR, the best method is:
Items You’ll Need
    1. Two old bath towels
    2. One old wash cloth
    3. One large cardboard box (unscented)

Washer and Dryer Method
    Step 1. Wash two towels and washcloth by themselves using scent-free laundry soap. This clears all human scent from washer.
    Step 2. Rewash towels and washcloth and hunting clothes using scent-free laundry soap. 
    Step 3. After wash is finished, remove towels and washcloth from washing machine. Spray well with scent eliminator cover scent.  Place in dryer and run a full drying cycle. This will remove unwanted scents from dryer.
    Step 4. Remove towels and washcloth and respray with cover scent. Replace in dryer. Put washed hunting clothes in dryer and run full drying cycle. Half way through cycle take out towels and washcloth and respray with scent eliminator. Finish drying.
    Step 5. When dry and still hot from dryer, remove towels and washcloth from dryer. Fold one towel so it fits the bottom of cardboard box. Spray towel with cover scent eliminator until towel is damp. 
    Remove hunting clothes from dryer and place in box on top of first towel. Spray washcloth with scent eliminator and place somewhere in the middle of clothes.         
    Remove second towel, spray and place on top of all and close box. Place in a corner away from as many house scents as possible. 
    The key is to place clothes in box while still warm.
Air Dry Method
    Wash as in Step 1 and 2. Air dry on clothes line. When dry, warm towel and washcloth by steam or warm in oven. Follow Step 5.


Article Photos

GETTING?AN?EDGE?— Grunt calls and antlers, which are used for rattling, are helpful devices for deer hunters.



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