Deer hunting is one of the most beloved hunting activities, and many people enjoy this sport because it’s challenging and puts some healthy meat on the table. But having the right equipment is a must, seeing as these creatures are very fast and stealth.
Apart from choosing the top notch hunting gear and weapons, you’ll also benefit from the best deer call you can get, since this will attract the elusive deer towards you.
It’s a good idea to do your research and get a complete picture of how and when to use these items for increased efficiency, which is what we’ll try to help you with. After that, we’ll analyze some of the best items on the market so you can make your pick easily.
How to Choose
Choosing is an art, so you’ll have to take into account the general features you want your deer call to have, the type of sound you’re more likely to benefit from, as well as the logistics of your hunting trip.
Most important features
When it comes to choosing your deer call, you’ll have to be on the lookout for the following features:
- User friendliness. The number one reason why you’d want such a product is to make your hunting easier. So you’ll have to learn how to attract the deer, not scare them away with the wrong product.
- The best products should be durable, low maintenance and appropriate for all sorts of weather.
- Search for the deer calls that suit your techniques and can make a plethora of sounds since they’re multi-functional. Also, it’s best to look for a natural sound that renders these gizmos effective on the field, and that can easily be adjusted.
Types of sounds
Apart from these general features, you should be looking for in a reliable deer call, you can also make a good investment and acquire different sorts of deer calls to use in various situations. As such, you can pick:
- Bleats: These sound like fawns, so if you’re after does, this is definitely the sound for you. That’s because the sound of a lost fawn is a natural lure since it awakens motherly instincts.
Plus, you can always employ a can call for this purpose: turning the can on the other side will mimic a bleat A doe bleat is a response a fawn is looking for, so make sure to use this if you’re searching for fawns. Estrus doe bleats are also attractive for young bucks who want to mate because they signal a potential partner.
- Grunts: These deer calls sound like bucks, and that’s their main purpose. On the other hand, they’re pretty versatile if you want to use them in any other way and make different vocalizations.
It’s just the way that a buck sound has a particular resonance to it. The most common error with these deer calls is using them when the buck has made eye contact with you, and that’s dangerous because it warrants an attack.
- Rattlings: If you’re in the market for something that sounds like a couple of bucks having a brawl, this is it. The sound of their fight is bound to lure in other eager young males who want to watch or take a turn.
But if you make too many rattlings, bucks will think the fight is too way big for them and will simply avoid it. That’s why fewer rattle calls can prove more effective at luring in new bucks.
- Wheezings: Here’s something for the more mature males, because these mimic sound alpha-males make when they’re trying to ward off younger males who are trying to steal their limelight.
So this isn’t really effective when it comes to luring in young bucks because they’ll be scared, but it’s awesome for the older ones that want to see a kid getting some much-needed The best way to use this is if you’ve already set your eyes on the game you want to trick.
When deer calls are a lifesaver
Apart from taking care to choose a versatile deer call that can switch from bleats to grunts, to rattling calls and wheezing calls, you should also take into account other factors. As such, the gender and age of the game you’re targeting should be accompanied by the season and the place you’re hunting in.
These particularities will help you make more appropriate calls depending on a specific situation. Effective calls are based on veracity, as well as on using various combinations that prove pretty effective.
So bucks can be attracted both by doe bleats, as well as rattling calls, and you can alternate between these especially during the rut when hormones run wild.
Depending on the season remember that:
The early season
Is a big let-down when it comes to deer calls. That’s because hormones are not yet reaching their maximum levels, so both rattling calls and doe bleats don’t really work now. The most appropriate calls at this time of year would actually be grunts for young bucks or wheezings for older males. You could also try to use a fawn bleat to attract does with increased maternal instincts.
Just make sure you’re hunting from near a plentiful food source, that will increase your odds.
… is a time of year when deer are looking to find a perfect partner or more, so your calls should reflect their mating interests. This gives you a few options like:
- Doe bleat + buck grunt, extremely effective if you’re hunting from downwind a bedding place.
- Fawn bleat + doe bleat + multiple buck grunts. Seems like the option above, but it’s different because it suggests the mother in heat has left her baby to go off mating. That makes it more effective for the young buck that’s in full mating season and is sure to find a desperate mother who wants another baby.
- Multiple buck grunts that attract both does in search of a partner, or other bucks in search of a good fight that eliminates unwanted competition.
- Some fawn bleats work great for luring in two targets at once. That’s because the doe will feel the need to find the lost fawn, and the buck trying to mate will follow her since she already accepted and finding a new eager mate isn’t as easy as it seems.
The late season
… is yet another time of year when bucks haven’t had quite enough and could do some more mating. That’s why doe bleats are still effective now for those young bucks who want to spread their genes. A fawn bleat can also work for a more sensitive doe, but rattlings and grunts are not that effective now.
When deer calls should be avoided
Deer calls are not a magical tool to always lure your game in, and they can have a negative effect if:
- The buck is already coming your way. An additional call can actually help him spot you and ruin your cover.
- The deer isn’t in range, but looking your way. Another call will trigger its defense mechanisms and ward it away.
- The animals heard you, but they simply don’t want to head your way.
- You start with a very loud call when you’re blind calling because this sort of sound will drive deer off and you wouldn’t even know they were actually there.
- You don’t have your weapon ready. Deer respond to calls pretty fast, and if you don’t have your bow or gun prepped, you might miss your chance.
- You make noises that might scare them away, like stepping on a twig. You can still cover your tracks if you make a loud fawn bleat immediately, seeing as the lost young ones aren’t very good at staying stealth either.
Top Grade Items to Consider
After looking at all these factors that influence your choice, making an informed decision seems easier. And that’s a good reason to look at quality items like the ones below, to see if anything stands out for you.
Extinguisher Deer Call
Weight: 2.5 ounces
Dimensions: 10 x 2 x 2 inches
Specifications: versatility; FreezeFree design; portability; weather-resistant
Best Use: deer hunting
Description: This 4.5 stars and $28.49 Extinguisher Deer Call is a very versatile one, meaning you can use it from the beginning up until the end of the deer hunting season.
The fawn calls are effective for the opening season since they can attract does in distress, the doe and buck calls are perfect for the rut season, and the late season benefits from the estrous doe and fawn-in-distress sounds.
This is a user-friendly product, seeing as it has a low weight and a compact build, that renders it highly portable on prolonged hunting trips.
It’s likewise easy to use, with a simple slide of its reed switch. In fact, its Modislide system that helps you change between this wide range of deer vocalizations has been patented.
Another user-friendly characteristic is its included DVD with complete instructions on how to use this product. Rod White, the Olympic gold medalist, is also featured here, so that adds to increased confidence in the use of the ExtinguisherM Deer Call.
Besides this, the Realtree camo design is quite appealing, giving its design a professional touch. Speaking of design, its FreezeFree construction prevents calls from freezing and making you miss your chance. The weather resistant build is an additional plus, especially since not all hunting trips take place in sunny weather.
Flextone Bone Collector Buck Collector Deer Call
Weight: 7.4 ounces
Dimensions: not specified
Specifications: buck grunts; wheezes; fawn bleats; doe estrus bleats; portability; attached cord
Best Use: deer hunting
Description: This 4.5 stars Flextone Bone Collector Buck Collector Deer Call is endorsed by Michael Waddell, a renowned name in the area of hunting. That’s a great feature, considering you need a reliable product that won’t fail you on the field.
The main vocalization that this item produces is related to various buck growls and even grunts, that prove quite aggressive. These sounds are good for signaling a fight and attracting other young bucks who might be interested in such an event.
However, it’s a versatile gizmo and as such you can blow on it from its rear end to produce snort wheezes. These sounds are very loud and sharp, amazing at mimicking alpha-males that are fighting off younger challengers.
So these vocalizations work well in the pre-rut season when young males might feel the need to prove themselves.
The rut season is another appropriate time to make use of this item, considering that it gives out tantalizing estrus bleats, provided you push the side buttons. The fawn bawls will work well during rut too, but also at the beginning or end of the hunting season.
This item is furthermore compact and easy to carry, seeing as it has a low weight. It’s versatile and easy to use, and it has proven its increased efficiency, given that most online reviews underline its positive aspects.
Primos “The Original CAN” Deer Call with Grip Rings
Weight: 2.5 pounds (shipping weight)
Dimensions: 2.12 x 3.88 x 5.88 inches
Specifications: quality materials; weather resistant; damage resistant; thumb hole; estrus doe bleat; non-slip; grip rings
Best Use: deer hunting
Description: This 4.4 stars and $9.9 Primos “The Original CAN” Deer Call with Grip Rings is amazing for the rut season especially. That’s because it produces very life-like estrus bleats that does usually make when they’re trying to find a suitable male for their mating purposes.
You can confidently use this product during the rut season, but also during the late season when some young bucks are still looking for some fun.
The fact that Primos is a renowned brand in the field is an additional plus, giving you the certainty of its top reputation and great materials used. It’s high-quality design and craftsmanship make this product withstand various weather conditions, as well as tough on-field situations that might damage it.
Its great design can also be observed thanks to the non-slip construction for the top and bottom, which are made from rubber. The grip rings will keep your hand steady, so you don’t waver and miss your game. Plus the thumb locator is another amazing feature for an easy, safe use and life-like sounds.
Black Rack – Deer Rattling Antlers
Weight: 1.75 pounds
Dimensions: 15 x 9 x 5 inches
Specifications: black; Bone-Core technology; instructional DVD included; portability; weather-resistant
Best Use: deer hunting
Description: This 4.3 stars and $32.12 Black Rack – Deer Rattling Antlers is an user-friendly item. Its black color is perfect for concealment purposes, and the innovative design that makes it look like two racks is even better than using real antlers.
The fact that it includes an instructional DVD is another plus, seeing as it will give you all the ins and outs of rattling calls. And it features Rod White, which is a renowned name in archery, seeing as he won the Olympic Gold.
Its reduced dimensions and rather low weight make this product easy to carry and to handle. Besides, its awesome design and quality materials render it resistant to all sorts of damages and bad weather too.
That’s an important advantage seeing as hunting trips will never go extremely soft on your equipment. Plus, its extended use doesn’t hurt your hands helping you avoid blisters or a general discomfort.
The Bone-Core technology is the feature we like most about this product since it helps produce life-like vocalizations of two bucks fighting. This rattling sound is extremely useful to attract other young males during the rut season when they want to fight for their mating privileges, but will also work great for luring in does in heat.
Primos Hardwood Grunter Call
Weight: 1.6 ounces
Dimensions: 2.5 x 1 x 9 inches
Specifications: quality materials; weather resistant; damage resistant; adjustable reed; versatile calls; hardwood design; expandable hose
Best Use: deer hunting
Description: This 4.2 stars and $10.12 Primos Hardwood Grunter Call is a very portable one. It excels in regards to portability because it has a particularly low weight and reduced dimensions, which render it easy to handle and particularly useful when blind-calling. In these situations, you need a lightweight item, seeing as you have to hold it in your hands for prolonged periods.
The Primos quality is visible with the manufacturing of this deer call too since it’s made from a very high-quality material: hardwood.
The properties of this sort of wood help it emit realistic vocalizations and life-like sounds in regards to intensity and volume. Most deer grunts are guttural, loud and deep, and they’re perfectly rendered by this product.
But hardwood is also quite resistant to various sort of damages, offering you a sturdy item with a low overall weight. You can use it no matter the weather, thanks to a weatherproof construction and the positive characteristics of hardwood.
The effectiveness of the Grunter Call can be ascertained by perusing the online user reviews, which are impressed by its versatility. You can change between six different calls to use throughout the deer hunting season, with the simple slide of its adjustable reed. Plus, if you want multiple tones, its expandable hose will help with that.
Primos Up Roar Deer Call
Weight: 1.6 ounces
Dimensions: 12 x 4.2 x 2.2 inches
Specifications: 3 calls; 2 chambers; combination sounds; arm strap; built-in compass
Best Use: deer hunting
Description: This 4.3 stars Primos Up Roar Deer Call is another portable one, that’s easy to carry and to use thanks to its reduced dimensions and very light weight. But that isn’t its main characteristic, seeing as it was designed with versatility in mind.
For one, this deer call has an included compass that ascertains its orientations towards a multi-purpose design. So you can follow your game with confidence, knowing that you’re less likely to lose your way. The included arm strap is likewise an additional bonus since it helps you carry and handle it with ease.
But the real versatility comes into the limelight when you analyze the three calls it makes to lure in deer. Its two chambers will each give out a realistic vocalization: one an aggressive buck grunt and the other a doe estrus bleat. These two sounds are perfect for the rut season, and for attracting both genders of the species.
Plus, if you use these sounds one after the other, you can make other young bucks jealous and eager to enter the competition for a potential female partner.
The third call resembles that of an older male fighting off a young challenger, and it’s good for attracting adult bucks. So use this only when there’s no young one in sight because it might scare him off.
Primos Hunting Speak Easy Electronic Deer Calling System
Weight: 12.8 ounces
Dimensions: 8.5 x 3.2 x 11 inches
Specifications: electronic system; 1 AAA battery required; 50 yards range; clips to the speaker; 6 recorded calls; remote with LED; rubber straps
Best Use: deer hunting
Description: This 3.7 stars and $34.99 Primos Hunting Speak Easy Electronic Deer Calling System is perfect for hunters who are looking for an easy to use product, and whose first and foremost need regards simple or no handling at all.
That’s because this item is actually an electronic deer call, that doesn’t need you to hold it in your hands.
So you can quickly attach it to your backpack or a nearby tree and let it do its job while you’re holding your gun, bow or binoculars.
That’s why it’s the perfect product for blind calls or for treestanding when you don’t have a lot of maneuvering space.
Its user-friendliness stems from its ability to be used by a remote, which has a LED bulb for indicating the volume. It only needs one AAA battery to work, and it will reach a range of maximum 50 yards.
The six recorded vocalizations can be inter-changed with the simple push of a button. They consist of a grunt, wheeze, roar, spar, doe and estrus bleat.
The only one that’s missing is the fawn bleat, which would be great for the opening season. Otherwise, the rest of the calls will attract the attention of both males and females of all ages during the rut and late season.
The only downside of this electronic system is that its recorded calls may sound a little fake, possibly tinny and a bit frequent. So sometimes you run the risk of deer not showing too much interest in you, although you’ll surely attract their attention during the rut when spirits get high and deer take more risks.
Making Sure You Get The Right Deer Call
After taking all this into account, you should always make sure your item of choice is suited for your needs. For instance, some reviewers are dissatisfied with the last product we talked about, seeing as it’s not that lifelike.
On the other hand, its main purpose regards its ease of use and the actual fact that it doesn’t include any fawn bleats shows you it’s intended for the rut season when deer don’t care that much about how realistic the calls are.
So what’s the right product for you? What are you looking for in a deer call? When and where do you hunt the most?
Let us know all that and maybe we – or our other readers – can help with additional advice. Speaking of which, is there anything we’ve missed so far in this article? Share your opinion with us, in the comments below.