Bruce: Why Rattling Will Work in the South

A hunter sent me a photo of two good sized bucks that had been fighting and their antlers were locked together. The hunter was on his way to his stand in Morgan County, Georgia when he came upon these two bucks. Both bucks were mature, with trophy racks. One of them was already dead and the other was finished off by the hunter. He now has two trophy racks, and a fascinating story.

Some hunters choose to mount both bucks together in their final locked position. Either way, it proves one thing for certain: bucks fight in the South too. Bucks will fight to exert their dominance and/or fight over the privilege of breeding a doe. Depending on their status, they may decide that its worth endangering their lives and will try to kill the other buck.

If bucks are in this condition, they can be rattled up. Several factors must be in place for this to work right. It needs to be close to the rut and there needs to be a good population of mature bucks in the area. If these conditions are there, as they are now in Georgia and South Carolina, a hunter may rattle up a rutting buck.

I have never seen two mature bucks fight like they mean it. I've seen it on video and on film at hunting shows, as most of us have, and I've seen small bucks spar. But I'd love to see two big boys really go at it. The rut is on in some states such as Georgia where I hunt, and you can bet I'll be rattling in attempt to draw in a rutting buck. I just might catch one in the right mood and get the buck I'm looking for.