Much like a henned-up tom turkey, a buck that's tending a doe is one of the most difficult to call. When paired up, a buck isn't likely to move toward your stand on its own, Drury says. If the doe happens to be leading it toward you, there's no need to call. Otherwise, you've got nothing to lose, and only aggressive calling will do the trick. "I've been able to pull some of these bucks away using a snort-wheeze call," Drury says. "Sometimes that challenging, in-your-face call is more than even a tending buck can stand. If I see a mature buck with a hot doe and the pair is surrounded by lesser bucks, I'll rattle hard at him. This buck is accustomed to chasing off rivals-and may well come running in." **Shy Bucks **
Naturally, there are bucks that can frustrate even the most skilled callers. "If I see a clean-looking mature deer-that is, one with no marks on his coat or broken tines from fighting with rival bucks-and he's just slipping through the timber, I assume he's going to be difficult to call," Drury says. "Some bucks are just shy. I feel they're either nonbreeders or simply afraid to challenge other bucks." Such deer might come to a call out of simple curiosity, Drury notes, but they're almost certain to circle downwind of you en route. Here, it may be best just to cross your fingers and hope the buck moves into shooting range. "Most of the time, I won't even call to a buck like this," Drury says. "I don't see any point in educating a deer. They're smart enough as it is."