Here’s my tip for making a rattling sequence sound more realistic to any buck within listening distance of your setup.
I’m amazed at a deer’s ability to pinpoint exactly where a sound is coming from. From what I’ve observed, they can figure out the source to within a few feet, even when the sounds are above ground, and even when they had to come from a long way off.
My tip helps shift a deer’s focus to sounds on the ground, not in your tree.
But before I share my technique, I would like to emphasize that I hunt well above the ground in a treestand. For personal safety reasons, I would not recommend doing this from ground level.
During the part of the season when rattling makes sense, such as the pre-rut, I pull out my rattling antlers and grunt call and head to the woods.
When I rattle, I want deer to believe two bucks are REALLY going at it hard.
In reality, bucks generate a lot more sounds when they fight, not just the noise of two sets of antlers clanging together.
If you’ve ever watched two bucks battle in a death match, they run into trees, dig into the dirt, roll on the ground, grunt, wheeze, break sticks and generally tear up the surrounding woods.
I try to replicate these sounds the best I can from the safety of my elevated position.
Well before the hunt, I arrange a pile of dry materials beneath my stand: dry sticks, dead leafy limbs, brittle sticks and anything that will create noise.
I place a log or tree limb on top of the pile and tie a length of duck decoy line to it, with the other end leading to my stand.
You can use camouflage paracord or drab-colored rope, as long as it’s strong and not highly visible.
When I start my rattling sequence, I use my grunt call and occasionally yank on the string. The log makes a ton of noise on top of the brush pile, creating a much more realistic presentation than a lone set of antlers.
Again, for your safety, this is a tactic only to be used from a treestand, not at ground level.
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