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Secret #4 – Don’t Put Away Your Grunt Call after the Deer Rut

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John’s Note: Jeff Lindsey of southern Iowa has been a bowhunter for 20 years and shots PSE bows ( Jeff and his dad, David Lindsey, hunt and film for Drury Outdoors ( You can use Jeff’s tactics no matter what your weapon is.

I believe that rattling antlers, doe bleats and grunt calls are most effective during the early season, pre-rut and the rut. But we still carry a grunt call with us when we are hunting in the late season. The deal with the grunt call is, if a mature buck is walking away from you, if he is in thick cover, or for some reason, you don’t believe you are going to get a shot at him, you have nothing to lose by blowing the grunt call. When we use that grunt call in the late season, we don’t blow the call aggressively. We just want the buck to know that another buck is in his area. We hope to get that buck that’s out of range curious enough to come and see who this deer is that is grunting. I use the M.A.D. Hyper Growl (

I took a 9-point buck in Kansas at the end of November one year, when the rut was over, that scored 151 on Pope & Young. He had two broken brow tines. I saw a deer walking just out of range that I wanted to shoot. So, I started grunting to him. That buck didn’t pay any attention to the grunt call. But this big 16 pointer that we’d named Mr. Bojangles earlier heard the grunting and came out a little behind the buck to which I was calling. We had trail-camera pictures of Mr. Bojangles and knew he was one of the biggest deer on the farm. The deer I was actually grunting to was about 150-yards away. I was grunting loudly enough, so that the deer at that distance could hear me, but I wasn’t grunting aggressively. If I hadn’t grunted for that other deer, I don’t believe Mr. Bojangles would have come out of cover.

When I saw Mr. Bojangles coming straight to us, I put my grunt call up and picked up my bow. Mr. Bojangles presented a 42-yard quartering-away shot. I released the arrow and double-lunged him. I am convinced I never would have seen this deer, if I hadn’t blown the grunt call. I think this demonstrates some things we need to understand about the grunt call. The grunt had no effect on the deer I was calling, but Mr. Bojangles, a buck I’d never seen except on our cameras, heard the grunt and came straight to it. No hunting aid always works on every deer. I believe perhaps, if there is more than one buck in the area and you blow a grunt call, you may have a chance to call in an unseen buck.

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