View Full Version : Ever try rattling for bucks in Ohio?
09-04-2003, 02:34 PM
I'm thinking of trying some antler rattling this fall. It seems like something that works in some parts of the country and not in others. I grew up hunting in Michigan where it never seemed to be very effective. Too many does, and not enough mature bucks.
The deer herd here in Ohio seems more mature and has a much better buck:doe ratio, so I've considered giving it a shot.
Has anyone had any success with rattling?
When is the best time to rattle? early season, prerut, rut......
Any pointers you can share?
09-04-2003, 07:14 PM
I by No means am any expert on the subject, But I have had EXCELLENT success with Rattling and have harvested several Deer using it Including my best deer to date.
When I first attempted Rattling I had lil Luck with it and was discouraged with it. The topic would come up again and again with me and others and there approuch and success with it or lack of. at I started to Understand the art a Lil better. AND READ ALOT about it to understand it. You touched on it BUCK/DOE ratio thats Key in success with rattling, there needs to be competition amongst Bucks for Does to breed with. If theres not its not very successful.
I will share whats worked for me. First off I use Real antlers. not Rattle sticks or Bags, or even Synthetics But Real Horns. The Tone Must be differant becasue I definatelly notice a differance. the Bags work, but never as well as real Horns in my Observations.
I have had very lil Luck in early Bow season and None in Late Bow season and dont even do it at these times for the past 7 seasons. I will Only Rattle now from about the 3rd week of October Rite up till the Rut and During Rut.
Also I hunt Very Light in there Core areas before this time also as to not disturb the area I am Hunting. I stay back and fringe Hunt until I feel there Most Vulnerable and there Guard is down.
This 3 rd week in October and Up till about the 2nd week of November is PRIME.
I will setup Now in there PRIME CORE area where they feel safe and be on the Downwind side. But now there becoming Vulnerable and there gaurd is down.
I will try to Postion in a clearing within some of the Thickest Brush I can Locate, This has been key so they need to come rite into the area of the rattle and not view it from afar
This HAS BEEN KEY How many times has a Deer appeared in front of you in an area you have been watching Intently all day and all of a sudden appear. When those Horns are rattled a Deer somehow Hones in on exactly where that Noise came from and will position his approuch keying in on that area and MORE often than not make you without you ever knowing he was approuching. I know this because Who I hunt with we have witnessed this between our stand locations and Deer responding, Until we Hunted the Thick stuff, then the tide turned into our favor.
Once in the thick stuff I Position in my Tree stand. I will Not rattle now until about 9 am or after This is when I do the first sequence its short tops 45 seconds to 1 Minute. I rub them hard and grind them hard BUTTT Mildly tickle The 2 Horns into the Tines. set them down and wait. and wait and wait. Every Deer I ever Rattled came in with his nose to the wind to try and make his Counterpart. I believe Deer know the Deer in there area by Sight and smell association. Hence scrapes, RubLines. Licking Branches all sociable behaivor to recognize each other within there area.
I will wait upwards of 45 Minutes to an hour if no response, this Next sequence I perform is short maybe 20 seconds But I am on them as Hard as I can get on them, Really causing a ruckus waking up the entire forest. I will set them down grab my Bow and stand always looking downwind and LISTENING. More often than Not If he's a good Dominant Deer he's coming in Hot and Heavy. Neck swollen and Fur Raised on his Back. Ready for a fight. If its going to happen it will always in my experience happen within 60 seconds of setting those horns down, and he's coming in HOT... Somehow they hone in within Fett of that sound and will lock it up rite then and there where that noise came from. I have witnessed this several times and its most Often a good Deer coming in Hot like that for a Fight. I have only had 1 small 8 Point respond that was no more than 14" wide and he was run off by a Much more mature 8 Pointer that also responded. But still not what I was after that year.
If I get no response. I will not repeat this Until 3-4 Hourssss later... Overdue it in an area then it conditions there response. also screw up on a Deer doing this I have never had that same deer respond to it twice.
I need to add I have the Hock Glands from a Deer Foreign to the area I killed in the past I keep them frozen in a ziplock bag and use only for this reason. I will Freshen them with a Gland scent made by Myles Keller or Trails end. these i Hang from a tree at the base of my tree.
I have Killed 4 Bucks in the last 6 Years within this time period. and all due to Rattling. I am Hopefull to tag me another this year with this same technique. Also Never do it from the same Loaction, My best success is always from differant locations within an area. .
Alot may be Luck, But I think alot of its just plain working, Give it a try, theres nothing to loose and maybe alot to gain... I will close by saying the Doe/Buck Ratio in the area I have been successful is very high 3-4 to1 No idea why that is. but it is. and I am sure that has alot to do with it. I am saddened because I loose this area after this year.
Good Luck This season, Hope we all fulfill our Dreams, I been dreaing for Months now, have felt like its opening day for about the past 5 weeks itching to get out. well Good Luck!!!
09-05-2003, 07:37 AM
Good stuff OBH. I haven't tried much rattling. I do have a rattle bag and tried it a handfull of times, but with no response. I saw some small bucks lightly sparring a few hundred yards off and hit the rattle bag a little to see what response I would get. All they did was stop and look in my direction and then went back to sparring.
Another day a friend and I were bowhunting close together. Right after daybreak I heard my friend rattle, so I thought. Soon after, I spotted a huge 10 point buck come over the top of the hill through the field, down towards where the rattling came from. To make a long story short, my buddy was not rattling after all. He wathced two smaller bucks fight like mad and then the big buck came in and ran both of them off. He ended up shooting one of the smaller bucks. He was dissapointed he didn't get close enough to shoot the big buck, but said it was the best action he has ever seen.
09-06-2003, 05:12 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys. I think I'll be giving it a try this season.
09-20-2003, 03:35 AM
Great post OBH. You said it all.
I hunt southern Ohio in Adams Co. and have had mixed results with it. I have noticed a big difference in response form the deer when I use real antlers. My bag rattler seems to work only 50% of the time and my old plastic of-the-store-shelf antlers don't seem to work at all. I had a pair of 6 point antlers hanging in my barn for several years and decided to try them about 5 or 6 years ago. BINGO - that may have been the the key to success. All of a sudden rattling seemed to be working better.
Just like OBH said, I have found that very early and very late season rattling does not work very well. I usually don't rattle until I notice the rut "frenzy" starting. I have also found that rubbing the antlers together seems to work better than loud clicking of the tips.
Here's a crazy experience I had a few years ago. It was September of 1999 and we had a very rainy spell. I was not able to work my fields due to the wet conditions so I decided to spend a Saturday in the woods scouting. For some strange reason I grabbed my antlers on my way out of the barn. I knew the bucks were still in velvet but I did it anyway. After about 3 hours in the rain with no activity I started making my way, very slowly, back to shelter (and lunch). I thought I caught a glimpse of movement about 50 yd. to my left and I immediately crouched down in some brush. Nothing. I guess I thought "oh well, what the heck" and I unhooked the antlers from my belt and rattled a little. I rattled a bit louder than I usually do because of the rain noise. Within a minute after rattling three nice bucks came crashing toward me from the direction that I saw movement. They were still in full velvet and one was smaller than the other two. This all happened very quickly so I did not get a chance to count all the points but the two bigger ones appeared to be 6,7,or 8 pointers. Anyway, they came to within 20 yd. of me and started a terrible fight. They looked like something out of National Geographic. The small (maybe 4 point???) just stood there watching as the two big guys tried to kill each other. Velvet and blood was flying for about two minutes. Both of the bucks had velvet and blood smeared all over their faces. In just a minute or two they stopped and slowly walked of toward my right as though nothing had happened. The little guy seemed to be very nervous and kept jumping as they walked away. Very strange.
09-21-2003, 07:28 AM
WOW! Very strange indeed.
09-21-2003, 08:48 PM
That is a wild experience you posted there... Never know how a deer is going to react. I think alot of it depends on what leads up to that moment that we trigger the response from them by Rattling.. maybe he just got his Butt whoopes a day earlier and when we rattle he's headed for the Hills. Or maybe he was roughed off his turf the year before and is looking for revenge. Its just another thing to try in our bag of tricks I guess...
But pre rut I wont leave hope without them..
Less than 2 weeks away. everyone gettin the Itch?
09-22-2003, 07:12 PM
Funny you should mention it, Bald Eagle. I just got the latest issue of Deer & Deerhunting magazine today. In it there is a story and photos of 2 bucks fighting in full velvet. Pretty Cool!
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