Coming to Horns

Coming to Horns

If you are one of those deer hunters that can’t sit still then rattling may be the technique for you.

Story and photography by Bob Zaiglin

Texas deer hunters are willing to do just about anything to see a whitetail buck supporting a large rack.  But even dedicated hunters get tired of sitting in a blind looking over the same turf throughout the season.  If you are one of those hunters who can’t sit still for very long—rattling may be the technique for you.

As we enter December, bucks, particularly in South Texas, intensify their search for does, particularly those in estrous (heat).  This major surge in mature buck activity escalates to a zenith point sometime in mid December, and it is during this time period that those sometimes referred to as unkillable bucks enter their most vulnerable stage as they move around more, particularly during daylight hours.  They also become more aggressive and combative as they confront other bucks in order to ensure that only dominant males breed.  While fighting their way up the breeding hierarchy, they will often check out every buck confrontation they hear, a behavior that is critically important to those who enjoy calling in deer.  Horn rattling is not only the most effective tool in luring big bucks up close, it is fun, rewarding, and quite easy to perform.

continue article»