How To Call Deer From 20 Miles Away
Last fall I had one of the neatest experiences of my bowhunting career, and I wasn't even holding a bow in my hands. The experience in question also happened to hammer home the crazy effectiveness of rattling up rutting whitetail bucks, and why you need to be carrying a rattling system this fall, but again, my hands during the incident in question last fall held no such system. I wasn't even hunting. Let me explain.
The date was November 9 and I was sitting in my Minnesota home office, attempting to finish a few feature stories I'd been working on before blasting off for a whitetail rut hunt in north-central Kansas, when my cell phone rang.
On the line was the hushed and excited voice of my buddy Matt, a new deer hunter. He'd never shot a deer and that, I knew, had been his primary goal of the 2016 season.
Matt was whispering into his phone from up in his MN treestand: Hey Mark, I just had a beauty 10-point buck at 40 yards; I tried bleating to him, I tried gruntinghe just ignored me and walked off like he was on a mission. What should I do?
A strange request, for sure, but hearing the extreme urgency in Matt's voice I went with it.
Me: Can you see him now?
Me: Do you have a rattling system?
Me: How long ago did he walk off?
Matt: About 10 minutes.
Me: Rattle for a bit, not crazy loud, then put it down quickly, grab your bow and get ready.
Somehow Matt is keeping me on the line as I instantly hear him rattle; a few seconds later I hear him mouth-grunt, then the unmistakable sound of a bow shot.
All this went down in mere seconds. I'm thinking, is this real? Am I being punked somehow?
Then some rustling and Matt comes back on the line.
I just drilled him! Matt whispers, a bit louder now. Holy cowhe came in on the run and I stopped him and shotI just saw him tip over! Should I wait a while or can I go over there? Oh my god.
Matt's trembling voice had given me goose bumps, but at this point, my smile had to be as wide as Matt's eyes. Some well-timed calling had turned the tables yet again.
Me: No need to wait man, he's dead as a stonejust watch yourself climbing down, remember to use all the steps Congrats man! You did it!