December 28, 2012
Deer Hunting Tip: Bestul's Ingenious Rattling-Antler Rig
By Dave Hurteau
As I say in this video, Bestul, being the model Midwesterner, would never be so immodest as to tell you how damn slick his rattling-antler rig is. So I’m left to do it. In a nutshell, he tethers the two antlers together using eyehooks and a bungee cord, like this:
1. Start with a full rack that has at least three fighting tines on each side or similar antlers from the same side of different deer. Brace one antler in a vise. Then, using a 1/4-inch bit, drill a hole about 11/2-inch deep into the bottom of the main beam.
2. With the antler still in the vise, screw a 1/4x2-inch eye screw into the hole. Take a sturdy pair of pliers and bend the eye of the screw open slightly to create a gap. Then repeat steps 1 and 2 with the other antler.
3. Lay both antlers down on a bench or table. Slide the elastic section of a 24-inch bungee cord into the gap you made in the eye of each screw. Use the pliers to bend the eye closed again. Boom, done.
What’s so ingenious about this rig is that you can carry the antlers by wrapping the bungee cord around your waist like a belt, or wrap the bungee tightly around your pack or climber to both carry the horns and secure extra clothes to on the walk in. (For safety’s sake, do either of the above only during bow season.) The eyehooks allow you to position the antlers anywhere along the cord, which makes it easier to carry them comfortably and avoid making noise. And of course, the rig gives you a simple way to hang the antlers once you’re in the stand.