Skip to main content

8 Deer Vocalizations You Must Master

Learn the lingo to improve your odds in the whitetail woods.

8 Deer Vocalizations You Must Master
Shutterstock image

When the woods explode with deer activity — and sounds —master the following vocalizations to maximize your chances for success.

1. SOCIAL GRUNT (Buck)

The best-known deer call is the simple social grunt. A buck uses this call to keep tabs on other deer, especially a doe he knows is near but may not be able to see. It is a low volume call, usually a single note. A hunter making this call may induce a buck to answer or come closer.

2. TRAILING GRUNT (Buck)

A buck trailing a doe that is rife for breeding makes rapid, multiple, low-volume calls that may even have a ticking sound. To blow the ticking call, use the same technique duck hunters use for blowing a mallard feed call, tonguing the mouthpiece while saying “ticket, ticket, ticket.”

3. TENDING GRUNT (Buck)

The tending grunt is low and reassuring in tone, more frequent than the social grunt and less frequent than the trailing grunt sequence. The note may also be longer in duration. Hunters using this call near active scrapes may draw in a buck that thinks another buck has a hot doe in his sights.


4. ROAR (Buck)

The loudest buck call is one many hunters have never heard,and it sounds like a chainsaw or an ATV. The call rises and falls in tone with successive calls lasting as long as a hunter’s breath. The call’s best application is attracting a dominant buck at the peak of the rut.


5. SNORT-WHEEZE (Buck)

This buck call can mean that a buck has seen another buck, caught the scent of another buck or smells urine scent placed by a hunter. It can indicate dominance over another buck or that there is a potential to other deer, especially to a doe the buck is following. A hunter who sees a buck with a doe that is out of range can use it to draw the buck closer. It may also draw an unseen buck from cover. However, it could have the unintended consequences of a buck ramming a doe with its antlers to chase her into cover or chasing a subordinate buck away.

6. GRUNT (Doe)

Does make grunts that have several meanings. A single, short grunt sounding like a low, monotone moo calls her fawn from cover and attracts deer of all ages and sexes. A loud, short grunt made infrequently indicates she wants a buck to keep tabs on her. A loud, short grunt is an aggressive or territorial call used to warn another doe or unwanted buck away from her fawn or a food source. It is excellent for attracting a doe to fill an either-sex tag.

7. ESTRUS BLEAT (Doe)

The doe in estrus bleat is a pleading call of longer duration than a grunt. It may rise and fall in tone and taper in volume and can bring a buck on the run.

8. FAWN DISTRESS

The fawn in distress call is blown in the same manner as a dying rabbit call for predator hunting. Blown loudly and plaintively with full force, the call is made with as many squeals as the hunter has breath. Its best use is to chase deer away from a hunter’s stand. Blown less aggressively, it may attract a doe with a defensive instinct.


Calls that help

Primos Can: Primos makes Can calls in different sizes. The Great Big Can sounds like a buck, the Original Can, a doe, and the Lil’ Can simulates a fawn. Holding the can with one hand and bumping the underside with the heel of the hand mimics trailing buck grunts.

Flextone All-n-One: When I hunted with Tom Wiley, inventor of Flextone calls, his latest call was the All-N-One. When he demonstrated its use as a predator call, I remembered witnessing a bobcat killing a fawn and nearby deer scattering. Consequently, as far as I know, I became the first hunter to blow a fawn in distress call to repel deer, chasing 18 from a food plot. Before that, Wiley and other hunters did other things, including rattling rocks in a tin can. Pinching marked tabs changes the length of the reed for blowing buck, doe and fawn vocalizations.

Mad Snort-Wheeze: The Mad Snort-Wheeze simplifies this complicated combination deer sound. Used to incite a territorial or aggressive breeding response, this call stops a dominant buck and pulls him closer.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Berkley Hit Stick & PowerBait Pre-Rigged Swim Shad

Berkley Hit Stick & PowerBait Pre-Rigged Swim Shad

The Berkley lineup for 2020 includes a new multi-species lure, the Hit Stick which is available in six different sizes ranging from 1 3/8” to 6” in length along with a variety of color patterns.

Engel

Engel's High Viz Drybox Coolers

Versatile boxes available in four sizes; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

How to Rig a Fishing Kayak

How to Rig a Fishing Kayak

Outfit your 'yak for summertime angling in 6 easy steps.

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

Shimano Vanford Spinning Reel

In-Fisherman's Managing Editor, Rob Neuman, sits down with bass pro Josh Douglas, to get insight on the all-new ShimanoVanford spinning reel. It features a LongStroke Spool for long-distance casting. The Vanford spinning reel will be available in 7 sizes: 500-5000. MSRP: $299.99 - $239.99.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths.5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish time after time.10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish...

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix them.10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems Fishing How-To

10 Most Common Reel Performance Problems

Anietra Hamper

Here are the 10 most common spinning and baitcaster reel performance problems and how to fix...

More adjustability and improved balance make these nine compounds even easier to shoot.The Best Compound Bows for 2020 Bows

The Best Compound Bows for 2020

Jace Bauserman - August 24, 2020

More adjustability and improved balance make these nine compounds even easier to shoot.

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

Boss Buck introduces attractants that are powerful and long-lasting.Apple & Acorn Liquid Attractants for Deer Hunting Whitetail

Apple & Acorn Liquid Attractants for Deer Hunting

Game & Fish Staff - June 10, 2020

Boss Buck introduces attractants that are powerful and long-lasting.

With archery deer season ready to open, here's a look at crossbow rules in 13 Eastern states.Crossbow Hunting Regs in Eastern States Crossbows

Crossbow Hunting Regs in Eastern States

Bob Robb - August 21, 2020

With archery deer season ready to open, here's a look at crossbow rules in 13 Eastern states.

Advice can be tough to follow when a whitetail is on the ground.The Shakes: When a 6-Pointer Becomes a 3-Pointer Whitetail

The Shakes: When a 6-Pointer Becomes a 3-Pointer

Jeff Johnston

Advice can be tough to follow when a whitetail is on the ground.

We give hunters an edge on hunting public land close to home.Public Land Hunter Magazine Now on Sale News

Public Land Hunter Magazine Now on Sale

Game & Fish Staff - July 21, 2020

We give hunters an edge on hunting public land close to home.

See More Whitetail

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now