Last year I was lucky enough to be awarded Outdoor Life’s North American Deer of the Year. I actually was able to stop my 191" wall hanger at 17 yards by making a doe bleat with my mouth. While that worked in a pinch to stop a deer, the rest of this blog will help you bring them into bow range.
I believe we all should have a grunt tube. It's like a translator in a foreign country. I have had a True Talker since 2001 as it was the first one recommended to me when I was working at Gander Mountain. I immediately liked how you could customize the range of sounds from a fawn bleat all the way to a dominant grunt with the squeeze of your finger on the internal reed.
While the True Talker is still in my arsenal, I have now converted over to the new Nemesis Deer Call from Hunters Specialties. In WI I'm stuck wearing thick gloves most of the year and I find myself at times not able to look down where my fingers are. The Nemesis Deer Call changes tones like the True Talker but by rotating the mouthpiece of the call. This can be done a couple different ways, either by hand or by closing down on the opening with your teeth and rotating your hand if you only have one hand free. The rotating mouth piece has stops for the low and high range so you can tell where you are at without looking. Rotating the mouth piece moves the internal reed on the inside and gives you options from doe to rutting buck. You confidently know what sound is going to come out of the call.
Cheater Tips for Grunt Calls:
- I have the best success with the dial somewhere near the "rutting buck" setting on the Nemesis. A real deep “eRRp” sound seems to always work (at least that’s the sound I hear in my head when making the call). Check out my videos on Hunters Specialties' timeline with the sound I am getting out of the Nemesis. That tone seems to work for Dominant and up and coming bucks alike.
- You can emulate a snort wheeze by blowing in your Nemesis Grunt Tube from the wrong end. I recommend trying this one at home first as he’s going to have to be pretty close to you to get a response.
- I never call to a deer that is already headed my way. There's no sense in drawing undo attention to yourself.
- If he's headed the opposite direction, I'll call until I get a reaction. In my younger years I only would grunt 2-3 times and then stop. This year I have done it up to 8-9 times in a row until I got a reaction. Yes, the tone you use does matter. If you aren’t getting a reaction and he isn’t coming your way try a deeper or lighter tone or even switch calls. I did exactly that this fall with my Nemesis and brought a nice 130” 8 pointer right to my decoy.
- Having a buck decoy in addition to your Deer Call is a really great trick. The decoy adds some validity to the grunting that buck is hearing. Plus that buck won’t take his eyes off the decoy. You have a much easier time pulling back without a buck seeing you. That buck will be far more worried about getting gored by your decoy than that blob up in the tree.
- The debate I have had with friends is whether you should or shouldn’t grunt to a deer that you can’t see. I can tell you though, I will randomly grunt just in case there is a deer nearby I can’t see. It does have a negative affect on doe movement though so be careful. They usually want nothing to do with tending grunts. On occasion I have had bucks come in to my area a few minutes after I grunted to the woods. Having them ultimately go right under my stands lends me to believe they came to the call, even though I couldn’t see them during the process.
- My last trick is one you probably haven’t heard. You can stop a buck right in his tracks after shooting him with an arrow with a loud grunt. Don’t be shy on the loud part either, the jig is up and you have nothing to lose anyway at this point. I have had this work 2 times in my life. It really shortened my tracking time. Even pausing a big buck for a second or 2 is the same as 40-50 yards in the woods at full tilt.
When the rut hits and bucks are on the hoof, you need a way to stack the odds in your favor. Having a Nemesis Deer Call in your arsenal is the easiest way to do it. Follow the 7 tricks I outlined above to get your Deer of the Year on the wall!