Hi A5, I talk to deer quite often, but I rarely hear them talk back! I have called many deer and I think they respond well in the fall.
I have had less success with rattling. It seems to work better for me arter the rut like December/January.
I use a grunt tube quite often with some success. The buck I shot this past season I got only because I heard him walking in the distance, after a few blows on the grunt tube he walked straight to me. I shot him at less than twenty yards.
I have tried rattling with only moderate success, never taking a deer with that method.
I heard a guy set up for rattling this year and I think he over did her a little, It sounded like someone swung open the gates to jurasic park. :shock: There couldn't have been a deer within a mile of this guy.
Rattling works best during the rut when you are trying to attract a dominant buck in a given area. He will come to see who is fighting for "his" does. The grunt call I use lets me imitate young bucks, does and older bucks. I prefer to use the young buck calls to draw a bigger buck and the doe to let him know why he wants to chase off the little buck. I have taken 3 deer in 3 years, talking them to death.
That's probably why I haven't had much luck other than the fact I don't get out much but a few times each season since I got married. I never use a call and maybe it would change things a bit if I did.
I've had success with a grunt. I always carry one with me. Its great if you know there is a deer close but can't see it. I've had a lot of luck with a bleat can. The bleat can works best for me early in the season. As far as rattling goes I've really only given it a good shot once and drew in a big doe. There's just something about making that much noise while I'm in the woods that keeps me from doing it often. I have heard of guys that have had success with it. These guys used the extreme dimension game calls.
I wouldn't go to my stand without a grunt and bleat can. If anyone is interested in tagging a doe early in the season the fawn bleat is the way to go. For bucks, I agree, using a young buck grunt is also the way to go. Also, two years back in Maine I starting using the bleat can along with the grunt tube. I did it one early morning during the rut and not 30 seconds later a doe came running out of a swamp with a nice buck on her tail. One grunt later the buck stopped and was mine. I would say, out of the last 10 deer I have shot 6 or 7 have been called in.
Here's a trick for all the non-believers who think deer calling is bunk. Find an area where does and bucks are known to hang. Go in early season..no weapon...full camo and a video camera. Use a fawn bleat and blow it like a wolf is tearing you to pieces and mom needs to get there quick. Watch the show as every doe with and without a fawn comes in on the fly.
WARNING: COYOTES love this call and I have had bears come in looking for the free lunch too.