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Field Guide -Gear

The Best Deer Calls for 2024

You're glassing and spot a huge buck just out of range – what do you do next? Seasoned hunters understand that hoping deer wander into range is not always successful – sometimes, you have to call them.

To bridge that gap and lure in deer, hunters can deftly use deer calls, depending on the type of call and time of year.  

What deer call should you use? Which ones are the best deer calls for 2024? We've got you covered. In this guide, we'll reveal four of the year's top deer calls and provide some tips on how and when to use them effectively on your next hunt.

A buck listens, using deer calls concept.

Why We Recommend Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls

When it comes to hunting calls, sound is everything. The tonal quality of the calls is what ultimately attracts the animals, and Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls prioritizes this thought process. 

Rock Mountain Designs is a name you can trust, and we trust them as one of our HuntWise Gear partners. Their focus on pure tone, backed by meticulous engineering, means they're constantly innovating new products and enhancing proven ones. 

Their calls are endorsed by experienced hunters who not only preach but also practice deer calls, instilling confidence in the product's performance in the field. 

So, with that, we start by highlighting two Rocky Mountain Hunting calls in our top four. 


1. Our Best Overall Pick: Deer Dialect 2.0 

deer dialect 2-0.png

Price: $32.99

Boasting an impressive vocal range, Deer Dialect 2.0 from Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls is a new and improved vocal caller that builds on the components of the original dialect tool. 

The tone selector means you can switch up your calls in the moment to maintain your pace and cadence without rummaging through your bag for a different call. It can produce a range of vocalizations, including fawn bawl, doe bleat, tending grunt, or rutting grunt. 

The new voice box allows you to introduce additional sounds into one call, creating subtle tonal shifts and sounds that add that touch of realism to your calling. 

 

 

 

2. Best Antler Impersonator: Mini Rattle Cage

The Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls Mini Rattle Cage, deer calls concept.

Price: $29.99

Rattling antlers can mean only one of two things for a big buck: two other deer fighting over a doe or an ongoing battle for dominance. It can be an irresistible call for a deer keen to test their dominance and, when executed correctly, can draw in some impressive bucks. 

Realism is essential, and the Mini Rattle Cage from Rocky Mountain Hunting Calls produces highly realistic sounds thanks to its unique rattle box design. It's easy to use, compact, and durable, providing years of usage to the dedicated hunter.  

 

Using the Antler Rattle

Our friend Cody Barhorst, an experienced HuntWise Field Team hunter, talks about calling a buck with antlers or a rattling cage. 

He says:

"Rattling antlers is a great option to attempt to get a big buck walking your way. I've spent lots of time watching different YouTube videos and trying to pick up different tips and tricks, and this is a great spot to start learning. 

Rattling horns are used during the rut, and my strategy is to rattle at the top of every hour. I rattle for 20-30 seconds, and then I look hard for the next couple of minutes because if a buck is close by, there is a good chance he will be coming in fast to check the area out. 

These are tactics I use when hunting in Midwest Ohio, but they can be applied to deer in any part of the country. As with anything in life and hunting, using these calls effectively takes time and practice to get better."

Save on Deer Calls With HuntWise

Our partnerships with top-quality gear providers mean HuntWise subscribers can save hundreds on everything from clothing to scopes and calls! If you're ready to gear up for your next hunt, take advantage of this special perk for HuntWise users. 

 

What About Other Deer Calls?

Aside from our top two picks, several other companies deliver quality deer calls for hunters to consider. Here are three to consider. 

 

The Closer by Woodhaven Customs, best deer calls concept.

3. Best Doe Bleat: The Closer By Woodhaven Custom 

 

Bleats are a common doe vocalization, and calls like distress bleats, bawls, and estrous bleats can all be utilized to tempt a mature buck to come to investigate or trigger a mature doe's instinct. 

The Closer by Woodhaven Custom is a compact mouthpiece that allows the user to produce soft and harsher vocalizations depending on the environment and operating requirements. 

 

 

 

4. Best For Grunts and Snorts: Woodhaven Custom Calls Whitetail Ninja Intimidator

 

WH_Intimidator-1024x1024-1.jpg

With strong attention to sound quality, the Woodhaven Whitetail Ninja Intimidator produces a wide range of grunts, varying from a whisper to a loud vocalization. The Inflexor tube allows for dynamic sound control, making it difficult to 'blow over,' maintaining a tonal authenticity to bring in the deer. 

 

 

 


Expert Tips for Using a Deer Call

As you probably can guess, using deer calls requires practice to sound like real deer. Follow the tips below to maximize your chances of drawing in a big buck with your deer calls. 

Build Up Your Proficiency 

Practice makes perfect; the more time you put in at home practicing your various calls, the better. Online resources such as YouTube, instructional videos, and audio recordings of natural deer vocalizations will help you hone your tone and imitate it to the best of your ability.

Remember cadence, rhythm, and silence as essential techniques just as much as the calls themselves. Bucks are highly cautious and can distinguish between a fake and a real call.

Know When to Use a Deer Call

The use of deer calls will depend on the time of year and the deer's behavior.  

1. Pre-Rut (late September to early October) 

During the pre-rut, bucks separate from their group, meaning using a doe bleat or a grunt to provoke a dominance reaction can draw in mature bucks. Rattling can also prove effective during this period. 

2. Rut (October to November)  

During the rut (October to November), the focus shifts to mating calls. The estrus bleat, which mimics the sound of a doe in estrus, can be a powerful tool for attracting bucks actively seeking to mate. 

Rattling to imitate fighting can also bring curious bucks who think a doe might be around. 

3. Post-rut (December-Jan)

The post-rut focuses on latecomers and any leftover deer looking to mate, meaning rattling and grunting calls as a call to dominance or an indication that some deer are still hanging around can still prove effective even in this late period. 

A hunter walks through the woods with deer sheds, using deer calls concept.

What the Expert Says About Using Deer Calls

When and how does our friend Cody Barhorst use deer calls? Here's what he has to say:

"There are all types of calls and hundreds of brands, but I use a simple buck grunt tube and a set of sheds for rattling antlers. Regarding grunt tubes, pretty much any reputable brand can get the job done while hunting. What's more important is how and when you use it. I also use actual sheds for my rattling antlers, but other options are available [like the Mini Rattle Cage mentioned above] if you do not have a pair of sheds.

A grunt tube can be used most of the season in certain situations but is best utilized during the pre-rut, rut, and post-rut. After buying my first grunt tube, I watched some YouTube videos to figure out different types of grunts and noises you could make, like the difference between a tending grunt and an aggressive grunt. This was a learning curve and a trial-and-error process, and I've spooked several deer doing the wrong thing. 

Usually, during the pre-rut, I won't blind call much at all, which is making a couple of grunts when you don't see any deer around, hoping that one is within earshot. However, once the rut starts to kick off, I will try to call blind several times during my sit – not constantly to where you may be scaring the deer off, but maybe twice during a morning or evening sit. 

The biggest advantage of a grunt tube is when you can see the big buck across the field or through the timber and need to get him heading your way. If you see a buck cruising, you can give a couple of short grunts to get his attention, and if you're concealed, you can follow up with a longer and deeper grunt to try and make him think another buck may have a doe locked down. 

Obviously, it's not a guarantee, but it may be enough to get him in front of your tree."

A hunter using the HuntWise app at dawn, using deer calls concept.

Use HuntWise and the Best Deer Calls to Tag Out This Season

Whether hunting locally or traveling to a bucket list location, scouting is essential when using a deer call. The HuntWise app allows you to set ideal wind directions in your blind or calling location, and the RustCast feature shows peak rutting times, meaning you can tailor your calls to the season and vocalization requirements.

So, get ready to tag out this season with the right deer calls, some practice, and the HuntWise app to help you call those bucks into your sights this season. The first week of HuntWise is on us!

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