November 30, 2020
By Terry Madewell
Few experiences in deer hunting are as rewarding as drawing in a mature buck with a set of rattling antlers you’ve fashioned yourself.
Steve Cobb has a few pointers on the subject.
"First, I get the biggest, heaviest set of antlers I can," says the Hunters Specialties pro staffer. "Thicker antlers make that deep, loud sound produced when two big bucks fight, and realism is a key to rattling success."
He opts for a matched set of 4x4 antlers, though antlers with more points will work, and you can use any two sheds, even if they’re not from the same deer.
"The key is having one right-side antler and one left-side antler, as this makes them sound natural and sync together nicely," Cobb says. "I’ll trim the tips off the points so they’re a little safer to use, but I leave the majority of each tine intact so I can make the light clicking sounds you get when tickling the antlers together."
Cobb drills a hole at the base of each antler and connects them with a length of cord. He then wraps the bases with tape to protect his hands when rattling.
"Mimicking a fight between two mature bucks requires considerable force, so protecting your hands is important," he says.