Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rape in the Forest

                                                   Photo courtesy Apple Creek Ranch

You don’t have to have a dirty mind to be an effective trophy deer hunter during the rut, but it sure helps. I was just reading an advertisement for my favorite deer call, Primo’s "The Can." I like this call because it is absolutely deadly on big bucks during the rut. I also like the way they sell it. Their pitches go like this:

"Estrus bleats tell bucks that a doe is ready to breed…"

"All respond quickly and dramatically to the quivering doe…"

"Reproduces the estrus bleat of mating does…"

Until I read these ads, I had no idea that does were running around willy-nilly, bleating about their desperate desire to copulate. The "quivering doe?” you ask. Seriously, I’m not making this up.

I have heard a lot of does bleat during the rut; the vast majorities were yearlings experiencing their first breeding season. The poor little darlings don’t know what to expect. All they know is that the buck keeps coming for them relentlessly. They feel the urge of blood calling to blood and they’re scared to death. The doe leads the buck into thick cover in an effort to escape him, not to find a cozy place where they can be alone.

As hunters we often try to impose noble human attributes to the animals we hunt. But there is nothing noble or gentlemanly about a whitetail buck, especially during the rut.

No one asks to be raped. Rape comes uninvited, even in the deer world. The estrus bleat is truly a rape bleat. The young doe is panicked. This sound is worth imitating because when an old buck hears this sound, he’ll know that some other buck is up to no good. He will think another buck is tending a young doe and will come in and attempt to steal the doe.

A doe’s bleat is considerably louder than the buck’s grunt and can be heard for quite a distance in the forest. However, man-made grunt calls tend to carry farther than man-made bleat calls. I like to use "The Can" in conjunction with a grunt call. A sequence of two grunts followed a few seconds later by two or three bleats seem to work best for me.

As with all calling, if the buck can’t hear you he won’t respond. I recommend the "Long Can” for its increased volume. I buy several of these each year. I only wish they’d make a can the size of a five gallon bucket.

Good Luck and Good Hunting, Jim
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