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There's No Mystery to Rattling

-- In most places where whitetails are hunted, rattling doesn't work very well because does greatly outnumber bucks and there aren't many mature bucks. Rattling works best in a well-balanced deer herd where the buck-to-doe ratio is pretty close.

Shed antlers or average buck antlers that you don't want to mount make good rattling horns. I like to use antlers from the same side of the rack -- two right side antlers, for example -- so I am less likely to gore myself when the antlers curve the same way. Use a grinder to remove the brow tines and smooth the burrs off the antler bases. Drill a hole in the bases so you can fit them with a carrying string or leather thong.

When rattling, I always start slow, just grinding the antlers or tickling the tines together to make sounds that are recognizable but won't startle any buck that might be close.

Fighting whitetails don't get a running start and smash together like mountain sheep do. Rather, they lock antlers and get in a shoving match. There's more grinding than clashing.

Be ready. Bucks might come within seconds of hearing the first sounds, and they're more likely to circle and try to get downwind of the fight.

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