This season, I realized something about grunt tubes I’d like to share with Buckmasters fans. Sometimes bucks will not respond to one type of grunt, but another will bring them right in.
This discovery came with a 9 1/2-year-old buck I took during the second weekend of Oklahoma’s 2017 rifle season.
We only have a two-week rifle season, so you have to get it done no matter the weather, and no matter if bucks are cooperating with calls.
The first week, I hunted hard, and I didn’t see a single deer the first two days.
Bucks don’t typically respond well to buck grunts by the second week of Oklahoma’s rifle season. They are usually locked down — spooky, or not abandoning the doe they’ve chosen to go fight — so I knew this might be a long wait.
On Saturday, I stayed in my treestand from dark to dark. Again, no deer.
Sunday came, and it was my last chance to hunt. I refused to give up, so once again, I got up early and went to my post to watch and wait.
About 8:30 a.m., two young bucks cruised by with their noses to the ground. I decided to move about 600 yards away to a ladder stand overlooking a creek bottom. It’s a natural funnel and a good place to ambush a cruising buck during the rut.
Soon, I spotted movement through the trees. At 120 yards, it was hard to see exactly what it was, so I decided it was time to be proactive. I pulled out my Primos Buck Roar grunt call and grunted softly at first.
I could see antlers as the buck stopped to listen. Obviously, the soft vocalization wasn’t enough, because the buck turned to walk away.
This time, I tried longer, louder grunts. Again, it looked my way, but did not come to me.
My Buck Roar has multiple functions, so this time I hit him with a loud snort-wheeze.
Immediately, the buck twirled around and RAN toward me!
When it reached a fallen elm tree, the old boy stopped and tried to peer through the branches to find the challenger. I couldn’t shoot.
After about three minutes, it finally cleared the deadfall, and I found a saucer-sized opening between the branches and took the shot. The buck dropped in its tracks!
All this is to say, had I not at least tried using various calls, that buck would have made it through the Oklahoma season.
Not all deer respond to calls the same way, but I learned to not be afraid to be aggressive with my grunting, even when one type of grunt brought no response.
Don’t leave home without a good, versatile grunt call. You never know which vocalization will set off the biggest buck in the woods!
If you have a unique or special tip you’d like to share with Buckmasters fans, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and, if chosen, we will send you a cap signed by Jackie Bushman, along with a knife!
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