Nine Bar Ranch Blog

Learning About Deer Calls for Hunting


calls for hunting

Human beings are the most intricate and incredible beings to ever be created. This unparalleled creation has evolved throughout its existence to prevail over all other creatures. Despite physical transformations for Homo sapiens, one aspect of life that has conquered time is communication. From the beginning of civilization, the way that individuals communicate has changed, but nevertheless, it has always endured. Though humans have the most complex forms of communication, they are not the only creatures that correspond in order to survive. One of the most well-known animals, deer, are exceptional in connecting with each other. Because we are able to observe these interactions, we know exactly what kind of sounds they produce. Recreating these communicative noises tricks the deer into believing another deer is close by or seeking a mate. Specifically, in the hunting world, calls for hunting, or mimicking deer sounds can bring success to hunters of every level.


Piquing the interest of a lurking buck is incredibly thrilling. Unfortunately, just one badly-timed call or incorrect call will crush those dreams in an instant, as well as leaving you sounding like a dying goose. A little bit of deer calling advice will give you the ability to “talk the talk” (so to speak) the next time you find yourself in the beloved tree stand.


First, it’s important to know that deer are the most receptive to hunting calls in the weeks preceding the peak rut. This is the season in which you’ll find them pursuing a mate, meaning bucks will readily respond to lonely doe calls. During this time of mate-searching, the testosterone-fueled state will make bucks more likely to challenge other males to territorial fights. Strategize and take advantage.


Grunt Calls

Unlike humans, bucks communicate using a grunt in order to test other bucks and attract does. Because the grunt is versatile and common, it’s a given for a hunter to have that call along with them. A longer, low grunt is meant to signal a challenge to another buck. A pattern of short, abrupt grunts is made when chasing an estrous doe.


Snort Wheeze

Reserved for the big boys, this call is typically made from one man to another. By man, we of course mean buck. A buck produces this sound by forcefully pushing air out through his nostrils.  It’s meant to be an aggressive form of communication between two bucks, letting one know that the other is near. Obviously, this would imply a situation between two bucks in which they are possibly challenging each other over one doe.



Following the grunt calls, rattles are the second most common lure utilized by hunters. Buck tend to make this specific sound when fighting during the rut period, and rattling attempts to mimic it. This form of fighting occurs during the pre-rut to post-rut season, known as the rut cycle. In nature, there are differing stages of the rut. For instance, during the pre-rut, bucks are attempting to figure out where they stand on the dominance scale. Depending on the stage of the rut cycle, the buck will make varying sounds in attempt to successfully challenge another buck.



Moving to the other gender, bleats are sounds produced by does and fawns during the time in which they are being pursued by bucks. It’s helpful to know that bleats from a fawn are higher pitched than bleats from a mature doe. This sound seems is a long, “bawling” noise. A tone of a doe bleat is altered slightly when they are estrous, signaling to bucks that they are ready to mate. Any buck that doesn’t already have a mate will quickly become interested.


Learning about communication between inhabitants of nature could make one believe that human communication is rather simple. Despite the variety of calls, deer only have one main form of communication: making noises. This makes a bit easier on the hunter, but before heading out to the tree stand, be sure that you know the correct timing, tones, and choice of call to make.


Top 5 Common Deer Hunting Mistakes: Nine Bar Ranch Weighs In

common deer hunting mistakes

You’ve been anxiously anticipating the first day of deer hunting season; the time of year when the bucks let their guards down and the hunters pick up their rifles. Knocking down a trophy is challenging, and making rookie errors will only make it that much harder to hit your target. If you’re a hunting newbie, you’ve probably landed on this page to learn how to avoid some of the most common deer hunting mistakes. Only experienced hunters can pass on their years of wisdom, which is why Nine Bar Ranch is here to help you.


1.      Being Rowdy and Rambunctious

One of the top secrets to a successful hunting escapade is stealth. Many hunters scare away any deer by moving around too much. Even if you can’t visibly see a deer, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe to wiggle around or fidget in your tree stand. Here’s the thing: deer will almost always spot you before you will spot them. Too many hunters lose their focus, make noise, and lose a target before it’s even in their sights.

NOTE: Banging a rifle against a tree or clanking an accessory against the tree stand is a warning alarm for any deer.



2.      Making Too Many Wrong Calls

Many hunters are “call happy” which will quickly drive deer out of the area. Our tip is to only call if you physically see a buck, but he’s not moving in your direction. You’re not going to lose anything by doing this; making an appropriate call at a time like this can lure a buck closer to you. Calling blind doesn’t always work. Your hunting experience won’t look the same as what you may have seen on popular hunting shows on tv. On the other hand, if a deer is coming towards you, don’t make a single sound. If he changes directions and begins to walk away from you – try calling him. Your best bet is to err on the side of less calling.


3.        Hunting at the Wrong Time of Day

It’s easy to get out in the tree stand at the wrong time of day. In general, a majority of deer movements are made during their feeding periods – just before and right at dawn as well as around sunset. Deer are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active between sunset and sunrise. They spend daylight hours sleeping.

There is a lot of information online regarding deer movements and feeding habits relating to lunar phases. While the moon can have some effect on deer feeding patterns, it is our opinion that you’ll get better results relying on weather conditions over phases of the moon. Research shows that deer prefer cooler weather – even in Texas – so anytime a cold front is predicted, get your gear ready and head out to your tree stand.


4.        Failing to Neutralize Your Scent 

Some hunters don’t realize the impact of even subtle human (and artificial) scents out in the wilderness. Chances are, after last year’s hunting season, you hung your hunting gear in your garage and that’s where it stayed for the next several months. You can’t go out in the woods with smelly overalls and flannels. A mature buck has an incredible nose. One sniff of your human scent and he will be evacuating the area ASAP. Wash your clothes with unscented detergent and store them in an air-tight, scent free bag. Shower with unscented soap just prior to a hunt, and use field spray. It’s even helpful to get dressed out in the field, if possible. Scent control could double your advantage.


5.        Lacking persistence

It’s been shown that most deer follow a three-day cycle. Hunters who move their tree stand after one or two days of not seeing any deer will go home empty-handed and frustrated. Just like most things in life, hunting requires some time and patience to be successful. You obviously don’t want to continue going back to a “dead” area if you never see anything, but don’t make the mistake of ditching a spot too early. Give it at least three days before you move to a new spot.