During this part of the season, callers should imitate the same vocalizations-grunts, bleats, even snort-wheezes-as they would during the rut. The only difference, according to Drury, is in volume and intensity. "I tone down my calling by 50 or 60 percent during the early season. And I limit my calling efforts to the prime times of early morning and evening. On an evening hunt, for example, I'll wait until the last hour of light, then start making a soft series of grunts every 20 to 30 minutes until dark. The same holds true in the morning, but in reverse. I start at first light and go for 60 to 90 minutes. "Bucks are homebodies during the early season," Drury says. "So I assume my calls are reaching only one or two bucks that might be bedded in my area." The same strategy applies to rattling. "As soon as bucks' antlers are hard, they spar continually. But you rarely hear a big fight until closer to the rut, when a big buck wanders in from another area. Early in the season, I just tickle the horns."