I believe many hunters’ calling campaigns are unproductive simply because they call too often and they call at the wrong times. Typical scenario: a hunter manages to rattle a buck in just outside of bow range. The buck holds up and stares in the direction from where he heard what sounded like two bucks battling it out. However, he sees nothing. After a tense 60 seconds the hunter tries to coax the wary buck in by tickling his rattling antlers together. Suddenly, the buck whirls and runs back in the direction from which he came. In this scenario the hunter would have been much wiser to hold tight, there’s a good chance the buck’s curiosity would have brought him in a little closer.
Keep in mind; I’m talking about a mature buck and not an adolescent. Young, lust-crazed bucks are often easily duped. Imagine you’re standing out in the parking lot at the local high school when you hear what sounds like a riot inside the gymnasium, people are yelling, cursing, you hear chairs slamming and glass breaking. Yet, when you open the gym door to look inside it is so quiet you can hear a pin drop and all you see is a big empty room without a single a soul in sight. So you just stand there looking around and wondering what the heck just happened! Sixty seconds or so pass when you turn to leave, then suddenly the violent sounds of a brutal fist fight shatters the serenity and still, you see no one. Whoa, I think at that point you would be pretty wary, bewildered and perhaps a bit frightened? It would probably seem like something from out of the Twilight Zone.
This scenario is very similar to what you might run into if you try to lure a mature buck closer with additional calling.
If a buck holds up and then turns and walks away, I suggest you cease your calling efforts and sit quietly; there’s a good chance his curiosity may still bring him your way a little later….
- Dan Perez