The thing you have to remember is this: just because a deer makes that vocalization, it may not be the best call to make.
The buck growl is just a very aggressive grunt. Somebody popularized it a few years ago, but I knew about it when I successfully used my first grunt call back in 1989. The problem is this: a low growling grunt is the cervid equivalent of walking into a biker bar and yelling "Which one of you sissy's wants it first!"
You may get the ultra-aggressive besotted dominant buck to respond, but there will be a bunch of bucks that aren't on the top of the pecking order that are going to disappear right then and there.
Last season on the KY Opener, I was up in my stand watching 4 younger bucks hanging out just out of range. I kept trying to get the scope on them, but the thick cedars were getting in the way. I decided to mix it up a bit and gave three little poots on my grunt call-- all four suddenly decided to leave. It was a Quaker Boy
Ridge Runner that I'd just won in one of their story contests.
Now it just so happens that the Monarch of the Forest was in earshot and came in, and he's still out at the taxidermist. However, my point is this: if your deer does not think he's dominant over what's making that grunt or that growl, he's going to leave. I've got more details on it on my weblog and website. I killed my two best out of the same stand, Opening Day in 2003
, both with light contact grunts.
I go the other direction. I get a tunable grunt call and set it a notch or two higher than a buck-- somewhere between a young buck and a doe. Then I blow a few contact grunts. Instead of trying to be Arnold Whatzisnegger, I try sound like Wally Cox or Paulie Shore. That way, the dominant bucks think I'm some wussy trying to move in on their girl, and the subdominant bucks think I'm one of their weaker buddies.
I also use it sparingly. Outside of the rut and the false-rut, I've found deep grunting in general to be non-productive. You need a worked-up deer. It just so happens I was chatting with Brian Warner of Heirloom Calls
last night about this very subject. He's trying out a line of new handmade wooden grunters, and I was asking him if they were tunable. He concurs with me: the big deep grunters will scare off more deer than they attract. If'n you talk to Brian, tell him the shaman says howdy.
That's not to say the aggressive low grunts and growls are useless. If you've scouted up the Biggun, or paid to have someone scout him up for you like they do on TV, you may get him to come on in. My theory is that the really big ones are not all that concerned with showing dominance and eschew fighting, and that's how they got to be so old and big.
Your mileage may vary.