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BuckTracker: Easily Rattled

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September 18, 2008

BuckTracker: Easily Rattled

By Scott Bestul

Too many hunters feel the only time to rattle in a whitetail is during the rut. I think they’re all wet. On a lovely early-October evening last fall—three weeks prior to our rut—I rattled in a four-buck bachelor group. This quartet included a buck I’d have gladly shot in most seasons. But having just tagged a great Missouri buck the week before, I was feeling lordly and benevolent and gave him a pass. Besides, the buck had everything it takes to blow up into a stud. I’m hoping I see him this fall.

So I tickled the horns together for a few minutes last evening. Then I gave a few soft grunts. Within minutes I had two bucks within easy bow range. Each deer looked for the fight or, rather, the sparring match. When they didn’t see it, they faced each other. These bucks were an entire age-class apart, yet they spent five full minutes clacking horns. Then, they munched on an acorn or two and, like best buddies, headed to some nearby clover to chow down.

So what do you think? Are any of you using rattling antlers early in the season and, if so, what are your results?

Comments (2)

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from Jake K wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

What region are you hunting in? It seems like it might be a little early, I hunt in Mississippi and it is still about 85 degrees every day. I was just wondering if I should wait a few more weeks. Also, would a decoy increase your chances of success when rattling?

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from Kim wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

I can honestly say this works. I rattled in a nice 8 point early last october and it was easy to see by the hair standing up on the back of his neck that he was looking for a fight.

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from scott wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

i think he looks like he is in a pen i see wire when the camera adjusts

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from James wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

I Have read the article on rattling , & I'm one of those hunters who is getting back intohunting after many years , & Iv'ebeen told here in the south , that it was to early to rattle inearly Bow season But after Spending an entire week in the woods, in Ft,benning Ga, I saw only 2 Mature Does & all Iwas using was a grunt late in the evening , But I'll certinly givethe rattles a try , thanks for the advice.James

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from Scott Bestul wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Of course I agree! But I'm curious; where are you guys setting up for your early hunts? How long/loud do you go at it?I usually hunt the evenings, so I'm setting up on a buck that (hopefully) is bedded nearby. I like to give him a little tickle or two just before prime time. If he's not up yet, it gives him a direction to go when he rises. If he is up, I might coax him my way.Also, when you rattle early in the season, do you get more multiples--a buck or two together--than later on?

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from Joe T. wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

I haven't had any luck rattling early. But I admit, I haven't tried it much.

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from Dave wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

I agree. Most guys don't rattle real early in the season. I say, let them think it doesn't work. More bucks for me.I've rattled in several bucks in September and early October. Not as many as in late October and early November, of course, but enough to convince me it works.

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from Gary wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

I have debated this for years with a couple of friends who wouldn't be caught dead rattling during the early season. They say the bucks I've rattle in early didn't necessarily come to the horns, but may have just been passing through. But as is illustrated above, when the buck obviously comes in looking for the fight, five minute after you hit the horns, it's pretty obvious he came into my calling.

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from bigbucktom wrote 3 years 32 weeks ago

I always carry my rattling horns. I have had bucks come in throughout the season from Nov. through Jan. They may not come every time, but I see no downside to trying to lure them in.
PS Jim "rattlemaster"Carpenter and I , are avid rattlers and have written a book to help other hunters who want to rattle. Anyone can download a gift copy at www.bigbuckrattlingantlers.com

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from Jake K wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

What region are you hunting in? It seems like it might be a little early, I hunt in Mississippi and it is still about 85 degrees every day. I was just wondering if I should wait a few more weeks. Also, would a decoy increase your chances of success when rattling?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kim wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

I can honestly say this works. I rattled in a nice 8 point early last october and it was easy to see by the hair standing up on the back of his neck that he was looking for a fight.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scott wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

i think he looks like he is in a pen i see wire when the camera adjusts

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from James wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

I Have read the article on rattling , & I'm one of those hunters who is getting back intohunting after many years , & Iv'ebeen told here in the south , that it was to early to rattle inearly Bow season But after Spending an entire week in the woods, in Ft,benning Ga, I saw only 2 Mature Does & all Iwas using was a grunt late in the evening , But I'll certinly givethe rattles a try , thanks for the advice.James

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Scott Bestul wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Of course I agree! But I'm curious; where are you guys setting up for your early hunts? How long/loud do you go at it?I usually hunt the evenings, so I'm setting up on a buck that (hopefully) is bedded nearby. I like to give him a little tickle or two just before prime time. If he's not up yet, it gives him a direction to go when he rises. If he is up, I might coax him my way.Also, when you rattle early in the season, do you get more multiples--a buck or two together--than later on?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe T. wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

I haven't had any luck rattling early. But I admit, I haven't tried it much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

I agree. Most guys don't rattle real early in the season. I say, let them think it doesn't work. More bucks for me.I've rattled in several bucks in September and early October. Not as many as in late October and early November, of course, but enough to convince me it works.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Gary wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

I have debated this for years with a couple of friends who wouldn't be caught dead rattling during the early season. They say the bucks I've rattle in early didn't necessarily come to the horns, but may have just been passing through. But as is illustrated above, when the buck obviously comes in looking for the fight, five minute after you hit the horns, it's pretty obvious he came into my calling.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigbucktom wrote 3 years 32 weeks ago

I always carry my rattling horns. I have had bucks come in throughout the season from Nov. through Jan. They may not come every time, but I see no downside to trying to lure them in.
PS Jim "rattlemaster"Carpenter and I , are avid rattlers and have written a book to help other hunters who want to rattle. Anyone can download a gift copy at www.bigbuckrattlingantlers.com

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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