Pre-Rut Calling Strategies


Mimic the natural behavior of deer in your area is you want to be successful at calling.

As we get closer to the end of October, we also get deeper into the pre-rut stage. This is a time when the buck activity slowly rises before things break loose around the first of November. Bucks will be on the lookout for the few does that come into estrous early during the latter half of October. In an article on the North American Whitetail website called, “Whitetail Calling Tips For All Phases of the Rut,” the author explains that your calling strategies now will be different from your calling strategies two or three weeks from now. The article goes on to explain the calling strategies for each phase of the season. Watching deer react to calling can be an exciting part of hunting, but you need to make you’re doing the right type of calling as we approach the rut.

Bucks at this time are not all that aggressive yet. You see them sparring throughout October, but the all-out fights that come during the rut are still a ways out. Deer will react differently to calling this time of year than they will in late October into November. The progression and change that happens in the deer as we approach the rut is the same progression you should use when calling. The intensity should increase as the year goes on.Right now and for the next week or so, calling strategies should be light and not overly aggressive. You are just trying to spark some interest in bucks. A bit of light rattling and grunting can bring out curiosity in bucks and could produce the chance for an encounter. Some bucks will be more receptive to calling than others depending on their mood and personality. Bucks with aggressive personalities tend to respond to calls more often. If you have a buck in your area with a history of being aggressive, don’t be afraid to do a little calling if he is out of range. Furthermore, do not be surprised or discouraged if your calling goes unresponsive at this time. The season is still young.

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Smashing your rattling device together and aggressively blowing your grunt call this early will likely do more harm than good. In fact, even over calling at this time of year may be the wrong approach. Deer have a pretty good idea of what goes on this time of year and aggressive fighting and aggressive or breeding grunt calls are rare. Too much of the wrong calling intensity may make bucks in your area less receptive to calling later in year.

Calling at this time of year can be productive, but it’s crucial not to overdo it. Your calling throughout October should mimic the natural behavior of deer. As you monitor the intensity and aggressiveness of buck activity rise, your calling strategy should also rise. Too much at this time may make calling the rest of the year unsuccessful.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>