Shake, Rattle and Roll Those Big Bucks

Larry Weishuhn

Larry Weishuhn

Tom Miranda of the Whitetail SLAM has authored a new book, The Rut Hunters. This Tom Miranda blog features excerpts from that book.

No hunter should dare visit Missouri, Iowa, Texas or even Nebraska without a good set of rattling antlers. Few regions feature as callable deer as the South Central Plains. This is one of the reasons why hunting celebrity and wildlife biologist Larry Weishuhn spends so much time hunting these deer.

“My go-to tactic is always rattling horns, followed by a good shooting rest. I learned a long time ago through my research at Texas A&M with penned deer that they actually make all kinds of noises and are very vocal. I’ve used that to my advantage ever since, and I absolutely love to rattle.

“If it’s early season I may not rattle as much, but might spend more time rubbing brush with the antlers. As it gets closer to the rut I’ll try to mimic some sparring, with a mix of grunting tossed in. I’m just trying to mimic two bucks pushing one another back and forth, not all out trying to kill each other. When it gets into the rut, though, the fights become much more serious and that’s what I try to sound like.

“I’ve witnessed actual buck fights that lasted a couple of seconds, and some that were absolute battles that lasted eight hours and the bucks were breathing out of their mouths and totally worn out. Many times I’ll incorporate snort-wheezing into my rattling sequences when bucks are really getting after it. There’s nothing better than a big buck charging in to your set to kick some butt.”

Catering rattling and calling sequences to the phase of the rut is a key piece of the equation. If you’re out there in the beginning of October banging your antlers together as hard as possible, it’s not likely you’re going to get a positive response.

The same goes for using estrus scents well outside of the rut or posturing decoys at the wrong time. Understanding what the deer expect to be happening in specific parts of the season is huge.

For more fantastic big buck information, click here now to order Tom Miranda’s new bookThe Rut Hunters.

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