Tips & Tactics

Sweet Somethings

Sweet Somethings

By Ken Piper

There are subtleties that make stopping a deer work perfectly or fail miserably.

It’s always better to shoot at a stationary target. Unfortunately, whitetails don’t often remain still for very long.

Mouth-grunting is the standard tactic we use to stop a walking deer, but there are nuances to it that can make or break your shot opportunity.

One example is while trying to stop a deer in a small opening. Quite often, if you wait until the deer is in the opening before you grunt at him, he takes another step or two before stopping. That one extra step can carry the deer back into cover, ruining a shot opportunity. The remedy to that situation is to grunt just as the buck’s head enters the opening.

Tone and volume of your grunt impacts how a deer reacts. Because the goal is to stop a buck rather than spook him, grunt just loudly enough for him to hear the sound but not immediately identify it. Our mouth grunts don’t sound much like a real deer, so it’s better to be subtle. Remember that you’re playing on a buck’s curiosity, and that a sudden loud noise is more likely to send him running.

There are times when desperation calls for something more aggressive, even going so far as to yell, “Hey, deer!” That’s not likely to work if the deer is running from you, but it can stop a buck fleeing something else, or even a buck on the trail of a hot doe. The only caveat to the desperation yell is a buck will pause only for a second.

In all situations where you want to stop a moving deer, be ready to take the shot before you make the sound. Bowhunters should be at full draw, and firearms hunters should have their gun shouldered and ready to fire.

Read Recent Tip of the Week:

Go Low: It feels good to aim at center mass, but lower is better.

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd