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» Trad » Main Forums » PowWow » Anyone else had zero luck rattling? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Anyone else had zero luck rattling?
Michael Arnette
Contributor 2017
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I've used rattling on and off in Oklahoma for around 14 years. I've only used it from around the last week in October until the third week in November and I've never had any luck. In fact I've noticed a marked level of fewer to no deer sightings when rattling!! So much so that the last 3 years I've never carried the antlers with me in oklahoma...only in Kansas. I've been trying again this year and so far every time I've rattled I haven't seen deer?!
So my question is what might I be doing wrong or has anyone else had the same problem? I'm wondering if the issue doesn't have to do with the fact that I mostly hunting travel corridors and rarely staging or bedding areas?

Posts: 2584 | From: Tulsa, Oklahoma | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mec lineman
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Michael, I 've had better results rattling while gun hunting. Most of the bucks have either come straight in for a frontal shot and only for a brief moment or came in from way down wind. Unless it is windy I don't rattle hard , I believe just like calling turkeys, they can pinpoint you. Now with that being said, I do like to tickle my horns lightly early pre rut. It draws some curiosity that can lead to a shot with bow

"Pick a spot,now aim 6" lower!" Kota Killum, Tall Tines Stickflingers & Ten Ring strings

Posts: 729 | From: southern virginia | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Steve O
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In Michigan...Iíve watched enough bucks run away from rattling I would not bother ever again.

In Iowa, Kansas, remote southern Ohio, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan Iíve had great results.

I think if you are in an area where deer act like deer and not scared rats from pressure you have better luck with rattling...or grunting...or wheezing...or any flavor of the month attractant.

Posts: 6206 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I've had rattling work great to spook deer away..

"May your blood trails be short and your drags all down hill."

Posts: 1154 | From: NE Iowa | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I have had great luck rattling in S Wisconsin where there are far more bucks than does. No luck anywhere else. so much so I don't bring the horns with me.

I have had most luck using a method similar to Mike Mittens however I didn't have a mess of big hors so I would rattle and have a bunch of brush tied to a rope at the base of a tree. Of course I have not done that in over 15 years as I have been in another place where deer sightings were minimal at best.


You'll live longer!

Charlie Janssen

PBS Associate Member
Wisconsin Traditional Archers
Mohawk Hudson Traditional Archers
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>~TGMM~> <~Family~Of~The~Bow~<

Posts: 17442 | From: Central Wisconsin | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trad Bowhunter
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I don't rattle often and typically when I do nothing happens. But when it works it works great and there is no doubt it was due to rattling. When bucks come to the noise thrashing their horns on everything in site it is a cool thing to behold.
Posts: 309 | From: TX | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I can't say I have had NO luck with it but I don't find it to be an ideal tactic most of the time.

I only rattle in the later stages of pre-rut or the rut. I only rattle where there is some wind; no wind and they pin point you too easy if they are close and you just get busted around here. If it's super windy I just stay quiet as the noise won't travel that far anyway and I really only want to make noise to call in deer that are already far away. When I rattle, I only do it from a stand and I only do it with horns on the small to average size for the area. Deer will be looking for other deer on the ground, not in the trees. I don't want horns that are huge drawing attention to me or sounding like a MONSTER is present to smaller deer that might make for a good meal...therefore I go for less is more. When I rattle I use my gear line and attach the horns to it then slowly lower it to the base of the tree. I jerk on the string and let them clash around and hit the ground (like stomping) or hit brush/leaves to simulate a rustling of the environment. I've found this to produce a more natural sound and seems to work marginally better.

All that said, I consider it to be only a marginal tactic for my area and only worth attempting in the best scenarios. Most of the time I hunt only with a doe bleat and grunt call that Jeremy made me. My grunt gets 95% of my noise making attention throughout the year. I only hit it when I see a buck that isn't going to cross my path. Occasionally it'll work to bring them in closer. In really early season occasionally does will come into a bleat but most of the time bucks ignore the bleat and does ignore my grunt where I hunt.

Sarrels Sierra Mountain Longbow - 53.5lbs @ 29"
GT Traditional 5575 - 238gr up front for 22% FOC

Posts: 1445 | From: Arkansas | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Tried it.

Zero deer showed up.

Most likely because I have no idea what I'm doing.

A quiet ambush seem to be the best method for me.

Charlie P. }}===]> A.B.C.C.

Bear Kodiak & K. Hunter, D. Palmer Hunter, Ben Pearson Hunter, Wing Presentation II & 4 Red Wing Hunters (LH & 3 RH), Browning Explorer, Cobra II & Wasp, Martin/Howatt Dream Catcher, Root Warrior, Shakespeare Necedah.

Posts: 4095 | From: Upstate NY | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I have rattled one buck in on Veterans day years ago. Usually nothing happens.

One year in October I was hanging a stand and knocking some branches down, when A nice buck came trotting in.

The for sound from a can was much more productive, but they were really looking for the deer.

"By the looks of his footprint he must be a big fella" Marge Gunderson (Fargo)

"Ain't no rock going to take my place". Luke 19:40

Posts: 2120 | From: North Dakota | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I heard my first real buck fight a few weeks ago. Sounded nothing like "rattling".

It was a full on brawl. Leaves rustling all over from the wrestling and positioning. Super loud cracks on antlers (Not the tickle tickle of tine tips like most rattling). Loud panting. I heard that buck panting from 100 yards through the woods. 10-15 Loud gasps.

I don't recall any vocalizations before the battle or after.

I don't know how you could possible replicate that. Maybe be on the ground where you could run around. Slam the main beams as hard as you could together a few times here and there (think 2 wooden bats being swung into each other). And some panting and mid fight gutteral noises.

Wear eye protection and gloves, cause your horns are gonna be shattering tips off. [Cool]

And then I still don't know what the reaction would be. The idea is to stimulate a mature buck fight to pull in another mature buck...right???? Intruders on his territory and such.

I don't see lowering antlers from a tree doing the job.

Anyway. I may try it midday sometime. I'm gonna look like a fool running around the woods, and most likely I'll break a finger on my horns. Lol

Posts: 217 | From: Dallas, tx | Registered: Feb 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I have rattled in a few bucks.Not many and I really don't hardly ever try it.Especially on public land or land where they are accustomed to rattling.Some public may be okay if its way off the beaten track and thiers good competition between bucks because of high #s.

I think if their are good buck doe ratios and they are not hammered by rattling its a bonafide technique.

Somebucks may also just want to avoid other fighting bucks all together.Thier could be problems for them.

I am sure a lot of hunters try rattling because it seems like fast food.Just take the horns out and rattle in a good one and drag him out.So its probably overused and they get smart to it.

I would say pre rut before does are really hot is the best chance.

The few I rattled in were big mature ones and I was actually using huge mule deer antlers.I would really crash them together and grind them hard and make hoof thumping noises and thrash brush etc.Like a real brawl.That was in larger hunting tract areas before rattling was in every magazine.Alot of rubs and scrapes showing high buck #s and competition.

It can work at times.

I might try it on a peak time in a good area.Set up on the ground and cover a lot of ground trying multiple setups all day long and maybe strike gold.You would want a big hunting area for that.Set up so they cant get behind you if possible down wind.A lake or a River etc.They like to get downwind.Probably why it does not work manytimes.

I did it with a buddy.Rattler and shooter out front.They can hang up much like a wise gobbler.Always hunted on the ground covering miles.

I never killed one rattling.But came close and saw some cool things.Including one absolute monster that hung up on the other side of the river at 50 yards.He galloped in like a horse and stood like a statue and departed after a 10 minute staredown

Posts: 4936 | From: Lake Orion MI. | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trad Bowhunter
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Even though I do it every season, rattling and spending money on buck lures have been a waste of time and money for me. The only deer I have ever rattled in were a doe and her fawn several years ago. They came running over like you had just whistled for your dog. I guess they wanted to see the fight.

I have had much more success using a can call and grunt tube to call in bucks.


Posts: 663 | From: Fair Grove, MO | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Terry Green
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Ah.....great memories rattling.....

This is my FIRST Trad Deer...First on the Ground...First Rattled in.... First deer kill on the family land my Great Great Grandfather homesteaded...and it was on a Thanksgiving morning...


"An anchor point is not a destination, it's an evolution to execution" - Me

"It's important, when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia

Black Powder Gang ......... &

Posts: 31297 | From: GAWGIA | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bob Morrison
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Years ago rattled in bucks quite often. Like everything else it has been over done, I can't tell you how many times I hear rattling several time in one setting and it is not deer. Same with scents.
Posts: 1293 | From: USA | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trad Bowhunter
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Iíve rattled a good bit and only called up 2 or 3 bucks. We hunt private land in MS but it is highly pressured. I think the deer are too cautious to come in during daylight unless you just catch a buck in the right mood or a young one out of curiosity

TGMM Brotherhood of the Bow


Posts: 2525 | From: Mississippi | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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