Calls for Early Season

OMB

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Nov 13, 2019
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27
I don't even pack a grunt tube until October. You might be able to get some younger bucks to come in out of curiosity, but I won't do any calling until late October in the Upper Midwest. I generally avoid any blind grunting or bleating because it's counterproductive and focus on calling to bucks that look like they're not going to be in range naturally. I will blind call with rattling antlers but again, I'm saving that for the last 7-8 days of October. They're just not going to come to a call early in the season.
 

Cedarsavage

Senior Member
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Oct 16, 2017
Messages
173
Location
Upper Michigan
East coast, big woods WT action... What calls, rattles, etc do you carry out with you early to pre rut? Like to know...
Most of what you listed is done when they’re rutting. It sounds like the south is different in places but we don’t get rut activity until mid to late October. I don’t really pack calls very often but I do use a bleat can and have called a few deer in with that. Mostly around Veterans Day. You should check out hunting beast on YouTube. Idk much about early season but he’s done well
 

Brendan

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Aug 27, 2013
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Boston, MA
None. Wait until Halloween. If anything, maybe a contact grunt or some light tickling antlers together, non-aggressive, if I see a buck that's going to walk by out of range and I've got nothing to lose.
 

T28w

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Dec 10, 2018
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240
i saw you have another thread on whitetail deer and will said a few things.
first is i got out of "hunting" whitetail prob 10 yrs ago. it is really a sit and wait game, and just wasnt excited about it anymore. i still go on some private land and take some does for meat, but its not much of what id call hunting.
i have stalked/stilled hunted some and killed does but never a nice buck. i say that to basically that it is find a spot and sit and wait type game with whitetails, then hope they arent nocturnal.
as far as calls, the buck doe ratio here is so out of whack that calls really arent used. ive never used one and dont know if i know of anyone who uses one, except maybe and thats a big maybe during rut, but if i was in a good spot i would not rattle or grunt. id be way too worried it would scare more than attract. those work in areas that have better buck doe ratios from my understanding. lol the only call ive ever made is with my mouth to stop them before i shot with bow,
 

Drenalin

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Nov 15, 2018
Messages
370
Early season I have called in young, curious deer - does and bucks - with a soft grunt. I have had a few deer come in to very light rattling (basically tickling the tines together) through the rut. But I stopped carrying calls a handful of years ago for a few reasons: 1) they just aren't that effective, especially early and late in the year, 2) I'd prefer to not have deer know where I am, and 3) my success increased when I stopped toting gadgets around in the woods and learned to sit still. Lots of folks love calling, I'm just not one of them anymore.
 
OP
wildernessmaster

wildernessmaster

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May 12, 2020
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Location
Pittsboro NC
Early season I have called in young, curious deer - does and bucks - with a soft grunt. I have had a few deer come in to very light rattling (basically tickling the tines together) through the rut. But I stopped carrying calls a handful of years ago for a few reasons: 1) they just aren't that effective, especially early and late in the year, 2) I'd prefer to not have deer know where I am, and 3) my success increased when I stopped toting gadgets around in the woods and learned to sit still. Lots of folks love calling, I'm just not one of them anymore.

Thanks... Other than elk calling during the rut, I have not found calling effective either. Most of my success has been good wood skills, and good set up.

I also got to foster a fawn this year, and one of the things I noted in working with it is that 90+% of its communication is no vocal. Deer don't make that much noise, and babies probably make the most. They will "uh uh" to get attention but that is about it. Otherwise the rest was non verbal.

I maybe joining the no call club!
 

tugrivercopper

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Sep 7, 2014
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Fargo ND
in early season about the only goodi have found a grunt call to be used for is if you barely bump a deer and he starts to run off, i have hit the grunt call and had them stop momentarily and turn around and look at me, sometimes enough time for a shot, and sometimes not
 

Brendan

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Aug 27, 2013
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Boston, MA
FWIW, success with calls will depend on the area: Buck to Doe ratios and Pressure.

I called in and killed my best bow buck with a couple non-aggressive contact grunts on December 20th on public land here in the Northeast. He came straight in from a couple hundred yards out - slow and purposeful. Probably a 3.5 year old 9 point. I've killed at least one other in November that I can remember that came right in, probably another 2.5 yo 8 point.

Have had calls work many times during the rut on public land. Have quieted down a blowing / nervous doe with calls as well, and numerous bucks come looking, although most of the time they are the 1.5 and maybe 2.5 year old ones.

If you're hunting unpressured whitetails, or someplace like Iowa, your experience is probably going to be different.
 

Don Qui Puncher

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Oct 14, 2017
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814
Location
Boston Ma
Once I realized real life wasn’t like a Primos movie I mostly stopped carrying them. Like said above I only used if they were getting out of range and would call to see if I could get them to turn. Last time I used one It backfired, he spun to come back then saw a little basket rack six and and kicked the snot out of him and that was the best reaction I’ve ever seen. Most times they pause for a few seconds and carry on. Only in November for me after I’ve seen some day walkers and chasing
 

JATails

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Joined
Oct 3, 2019
Messages
11
Not East Coast but hardwood and pinewood area here (east texas) - I usually don't make any noise until we get a good cool/cold front. When this happens in early season I usually see the bucks get a little frisky (all ages) nothing too serious just a little pep in their step. If I'm after bucks I'll take my rattling antlers and tinker with them, nothing aggressive and not very often and have been able to arrow several doing this. Overall for making noise, I've not had much success with a grunt tube or doe bleat but antlers seem to work better for me.
 
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