Best Deer Calls & Rattlers Reviewed for Affectiveness

Deer calling is one of the essential steps in any deer hunting strategy. There are products on the market that make you do the hard work when calling a deer. Then there are the automated ones that take all of the trouble out of that. Whichever path you choose, know that the best deer calls will always be manual ones. Once the audio technology catches up with calls, then it will be a whole different ballgame for all companies.

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Today, we are adding an update to show any changes in the market for deer calls. While we have no products to add, we are adding more information in the FAQs section, situations when to stop calling a deer, and adding some common hunting terms and the benefits of using a deer call.

Featured Recommendations

Flextone All-N-One
  • Flextone All-N-One
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • A versatile deer call, best known for its authenticity and great performance
  • Price: See Here
  • Primos
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • The best known deer call on the market, praised for its ease of use
  • Price: See Here
Primos Hardwood
  • Primos Hardwood
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Beautifully crafted hardwood deer call used for different types of deer
  • Price: See Here

Primos is the cream of the crop, and then there is everyone else. There are two main things you can count on with a Primos product: it won’t cost a lot, and the materials are built to last years. That’s two major upsides for any hunter that wants to purchase a deer call.

Cleaning obviously applies to the manual deer calls only, and just involves using a dry cloth to wipe it down. If you’re a meticulous type you could always buy a kit just for cleaning deer calls. That would be a pretty interesting expense, one that you probably won’t need unless you chew a lot of tobacco while hunting.


15 Best Deer Calls


1. Flextone All-N-One

1. Flextone All-N-One
And the #1 spot goes to All-N-One deer Call from Flextone, which narrowly beat out Primos. Hunters are familiar with both the brand and the model, yet it still doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The All-N-One is absolute perfection once you’re used to it, with the company providing a pretty deep manual.
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It’s Like An Instrument

And plays like one too thanks to volume buttons and call buttons. Flextone puts the power of the call in the hands of the hunter, but allows a more streamlined experience with the way they set up the buttons on their deer call. Out of all the manual calling learning experiences, this one in particular keeps the users interest. You’ll wake up every day wanting to be better at using the calls.

Features and Specifications

Fawn, Doe and Young Buck buttons
Mature Buck can be called just by blowing
Weighs 2.6 ounces
Dimensions are 8x5x1.5
Soft flexible base


So far it idles in the low cost range with other competing products. Buyers pretty much get a 5-6 in 1 deer call when they purchase the All-N-One, so the value is tremendous.

Decision Time

Ease of use played a big role in making this the best deer call on the list. Even in a time when Primo is dominating the market, Flextone is providing some serious competition from their side of the fence.

Buttons are clearly marked

Soft exterior means it can take some punishment

Lanyard attached so you can carry it on your wrist

Takes minimal experience to master


Sound can get a bit drowned in a busy hunting environment

2. Primos The Original Can

2. Primos The Original Can
With all of the advanced deer calls on the list, how does one of the older and simpler products in Primos’ line make the list? It turns out this is still one of their bestsellers, and is used by hunters daily. It goes beyond being a traditional choice and offers the most basic functions with the highest rate of success.
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The Best Of All Time

Many have tried to take the title of best deer call of all time, but all have failed to match the lifetime sales of The Original Can. It is the single most bought deer call in Primos history, and is still racking up impressive numbers. Even if dee calls come along that beat it in accuracy tests, they will never unseat its sales record.

Features and Specifications

Raised thumb hole locator
Rubberized top and bottom
Works for Whitetail, Mule Deer and Blacktail
Weighs 3.4 ounces
Dimensions are 5.9x3.9x2.4


At this rate if you haven’t purchased a Primos Deer Call Can for hunting then you’re missing out. Any hunter that has never owned one should buy it, even if you’ll be using it for backup. The price is low as always, and gives off some really authentic sounds.

Decision Time

A lot of new hunters found out about this wonderful product too late in its life cycle. That still didn’t stop them from purchasing it and continuing to contribute to the dominant legacy that Primos started.

Gives the sound of realistic Estrus Bleats

Small and non-slip design

Can take a major beating

Sound is consistent without needing a manual

Easy to pick up and use


Call can be a little bit low

No option to “stop noise”

3. Primos Hardwood Grunter

3. Primos Hardwood Grunter
Primos makes the list again with one of their most beloved products, the Hardwood Grunter Call. This is the most professional looking deer call on the list, and just feels right at home with any hardcore hunter. Compared to the other deer calls on the list, this one has remained consistently good through the years for calling enticing prey.
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Quality In Both Looks And Feel

The draw for this deer call is not just about the name, and is more towards how it looks. Primos used the finest materials when making the Hardwood Grunter Call. Inside and out is nothing but solid construction, so if by chance you do a little damage to it over the years it’ll still be useful.

Features and Specifications

6 in 1 adjustable
Made out of hardwood
Hose is expandable
Weighs 1.6 ounces
Dimensions are 2.5x1x9


Primos keeps to its vision surrounding all of the products on their line, and the Hardwood Grunter Call is low cost. Even with its premium grade wood design, the price isn’t raised and customers get a good deal for the money.

Decision Time

Basic design, traditional wood stylings and an incredible hunt. These are all things you should love about owning a Primos Hardwood Grunter Call. It won’t let you down, and will be one of the best things in your accessory pack.

Best looking deer call on the list

Requires only a little practice

Hardwood gives it an official feel

All 6 calls sound great from long distances


Expandable hose can be a pain to adjust

4. Extinguisher & Black Rack

4. Extinguisher & Black Rack
As Seen on TV items can be a bit flaky when they are not reviewed properly. So it comes as a surprise to see one of those items make it at #4 on the list, with the Extinguisher & Black Rack Calling System being on an entirely different level than other deer calls. Hunters are still finding out about how to maximize this great device, with a small following claiming it is the best deer call ever.
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Take A Look At The DVD

The 2 in 1 instructional DVD is a requirement, even if you are an experienced hunter. They don’t beat you over the head with simple stuff so it’s quite enjoyable to watch-once. After that one time, you’ll know everything important about your new deer call and how to use it.

Features and Specifications

Patented ModiSlide technology
6% NAHC Field Test approval rating
FreezeFree Design
Dual layered Throat-Tube
Bone-Core technology rattling system


This is the most expensive deer call on the list, but also the most advanced. People either love it or hate it, so the best way to figure it out is to try it for yourself. It’s a really good product that automates a lot of important calls.

Decision Time

Don’t let the average craftsmanship scare you off from a device that is still unbeaten in several deer calling tests. Hunters will have no trouble finding a place for this in their current arsenal of deer calls.

The included DVD is professional in quality

Has the world’s highest rating for a deer call

Rattling sounds are just as realistic

New uses are still being discovered


Incredible features have a hit or miss quality

Craftsmanship a step below Primos brand

5. Knight & Hale Pack Rack

5. Knight & Hale Pack Rack
The Pack Rack Deer Call looks a little bit different than the other deer calls on the list but has the same base functions. Combining years of experience with a little bit of innovative design has created a pretty nifty piece of equipment. So far, hunters are having a pretty good time with it.
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Compact & Silent

When a deer call is portable that doesn’t automatically make it silent while transporting. In a worst case scenario you could have your prey running away from all the noise a deer call is making in your pocket. The Pack Rack Deer Call is made to be completely silent while transporting, thus avoiding unintentional noises.

Features and Benefits

High density plastic
Loud volume when rattling
Can be put into silent mode while traveling
Olive-drab color
Weighs 6.4 ounces


There are hunters that swear by this model, and it’s inexpensive enough to where it’s worth the money. Buyers shouldn’t consider this a risk since the price is so low for getting one.

Decision Time

If the materials had been reinforced a little bit more, then it could have been higher on the list. Even with low durability this is still one of the more effective deer calls you can get.

Compact size lets you take it anywhere

Blends in well with other camouflage designs

Lightweight and easy to use

Sound carries when in use over long distances


Plastic wears out over the years

Water exposure could lessen its effectiveness

6. Primos Buck Roar

6. Primos Buck Roar
The Primos Buck Roar Call won’t win any design contests, but it does the job just fine. Once again industry leader Primos has made the list, with this iteration of their product having some noteworthy improvements. It’ll be up to hunters to decide if this product is worth replacing their current deer call.
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Getting The Grunt Right

With all the talks of getting sounds correct for deer calls, some in the industry only get close. The Primos Buck Roar Call is perfectly authentic, loud and aggressive. It’s a pitch for pitch performance of a buck during the rut. The effectiveness of the deer call is sometimes scary!

Features and Specifications

Straps to wrist or arm
Challenge-Wheeze is mounted to the call
Is the loudest Challenge-Wheeze available
Weighs 1.6 ounces


Primos always does well when it comes to pricing their products. The Buck Roar Call is low priced, and is a bit more forgiving than other manual deer calls. Beginners will master this one faster than the others on the list.

Decision Time

With the right grunt you can have a full grown prey right in your sights. Getting it right only takes a few days, and will give you hunting memories that last a lifetime.

Comes with instructional DVD

Multiple roars to go through

As authentic as it gets

Easier to handle than other deer calls


The wrong sequence can scare off your prey

Takes a little bit of practice

7. Hunters Specialties True Talker

7. Hunters Specialties True Talker
Hunter’s Specialties went all in with their True Talker Deer Call. The design, functionality and user friendliness are all part of making this the one of the most effective deer calls in the industry. With a few minor quirks here and there, few people have had complaints about its effectiveness.
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Instructions Are A Must

A lot of manual use goes into making this the perfect weapon against deer. Without a little practice or trial and error, most users will end up regretting their purchase. The instruction manual pulls no punches in how to operate the equipment, and is the best thing about this item.

Features and Specifications

Tone and pitch are authentic
Produces full range of deer sounds
Fingertip controls let you control the call
Lanyard included


Like all manual deer calls, this product depends on how good the hunter is with mastering its calls. The included manual sheds some light on how to use the product, and with its low price should be worth the time of all levels of hunters.

Decision Time

Old School hunters that are looking for a successor to the original True Talker may have just found the answer. Just make sure to read the instructions or you’ll be in for a lot of frustration.

Instructions are concise and to the point

Deer call can fit in your pocket

Finger controls let you go through a wide range of calls and inflection

Takes less practice than other manual calling methods


Takes some time to master

Rubber housing can be annoying

8. Primos Big Bucks

8. Primos Big Bucks
Sometimes traditional is always the best, or at the very least the most trusted. Primos offers the Big Bucks Bag Call for hunters that don’t want to bother with electronic deer calls. This product works remarkably well, and is a favorite of thousands of hunters worldwide.
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Brand Name Quality

Primos is known for always having a hunters back. The Big Bucks Bag Call is a good reason why hunters love the company. They can do both traditional and innovative products, putting them in a very unique category. When you buy a Primos product you get a quality buy for life.

Features and Specifications

Two sets of Power Tines
Tone holes included
100% Waterproof
Camonet bag can be used to make it louder
Elastic strap prevents unintentional use


This is one of the cheapest deer calls you can buy, and it works. The value problem comes into play when you think about the hunter that is using it. Inexperienced hunters will more than likely scare away deer, making this a bad buy until they get used to the sequence.

Decision Time

Experienced hunters at some point in their travels have used a set like this before, and they swear by it. In the right hands the Primos Big Bucks Bag Call will be the only deer call equipment you ever need.

Stronger than other bag calls on the market

Made of high grade sturdy material

About 10-11 inches long

Camonet bag makes a big difference if you’re in an open area


Bag may be a little weak

Not for beginners

9. Primos Hunting Speak Easy

9. Primos Hunting Speak Easy
Hunters that like things to be a little more automated with their deer calling have had good success with this Primos system. It’s a no hassle electronic deer calling system that covers all of the important sounds to get you started.
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Wireless Remote Control

Being able to lure out deer while in a completely different location will let hunters set up for a perfect shot. They can also create chaos in bunkers, or high up in a tree. The options are unlimited, and all thanks to this wireless remote option.

Features and Specifications

50 Yard range for remote control
One AAA battery required
Speaker clips included
6 Prerecorded calls
LED volume indicator
Rubber straps included


The price is low, so this is a tricky one. The crutch of the device is the speaker attachment and its ability to be heard by your prey. A savvy hunter will be able to amplify the speaker sound and make the purchase worth it.

Decision Time

It may require a little tweaking, but with some patience this will make hunting a lot easier. Just make sure to be mindful of where you put the speaker attachment.

Only one battery required

Calls sound realistic

Pick up and use operation

Speaker attachment can be mounted anywhere


There is some dependence on the hunter to get the pitch right

A bit bulky to carry around compared to other models

10. Hunters Specialties 00412

10. Hunters Specialties 00412
First up on the list is the trusty Nemesis, with a simple design to get the attention of your prey. This is a proven product that has a nice loud pitch to it, and is pretty good at the one job it is expected to do. Since the sounds have to be realistic as possible, practice makes perfect with this product.
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It may seem simplistic, but a lot price for a one use item is a must unless that item is the best of its class. The Nemesis is a good product that gets the job done, nothing more, and nothing less. Hunters Specialties priced it according to its usefulness and really did a great job in reading their customers.

Features and Specialties

Doe bleats
Young buck grunts
Rutting buck grunts
Mature buck grunts
Twist to select call type
Expandable bellows helps with inflection


As mentioned before, the price is perfect. The potential of the value will come down to whether the hunter is experienced or new. An experienced hunter should be fine adjusting the few settings and making the call correctly.

Decision Time

Some beginners may shy away from this manual model, but it is tested and proven. When you want realistic deer calling sounds, this comes out to be one of the better buys in the industry.

Changing your inflection is easy

Sounds are realistic

Price is exactly where it needs to be

Twistable mouthpiece is great for changing calls


There is some dependence on the hunter to get the pitch right

A bit bulky to carry around compared to other models

11. Flextone Headhunter Extractor

11. Flextone Headhunter Extractor
Another Flextone brand deer call has made our list. This time it’s the Flextone Headhunter Extractor call, a great choice for hunters looking for an option that can imitate a number of different calls.
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Variety of Calls & Inflection
This Flextone deer call is very versatile, offering the hunter the option to imitate young or mature buck grunts, doe grunts, bleats, or bawls. Thanks to technology from Flextone, the Headhunter Extractor call can imitate actual tones while also adding a realistic inflection simply by squeezing the corrugated hose to adjust the tone.

Features & Specifications
100% nylon rope
Freeze-resistant design
Rubber hose to help make variable tones
Dimensions are 12x5.8x1.5
Weighs 4 ounces

This deer call is priced right for the hunter looking for a versatile option to take along with them on their hunting trips.

Decision Time
The Flextone Headhunter Extractor is a great addition to any hunter’s repertoire, especially the hunter on a budget who requires a call with many different call options.

Snort-wheeze function

Slider function can be operated with one hand

Louder than other deer calls

Not much call distortion


“No freeze” function

12. Nationwide Scents Grunt Call

12. Nationwide Scents Grunt Call
This Nationwide Scents brand deer call is the perfect companion for the hunter on the search for whitetail deer. The Nationwide Scents team used their 28 years of experience with hunting to perfect this deer call for hunters everywhere.
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Attractive Design
The Nationwide Scents deer call is made from high-quality cherry wood for a beautiful finish. It’s also laser engraved, making it an attractive piece that you won’t be ashamed to hang around your neck. It’s been proudly perfected over the years for a custom-made feel by the Nationwide Scents team and features an extra-long tube to help control the volume and produce an accurate sounding throaty grunt.

Features & Specifications

Freeze-proof tip
Fully adjustable
Loud or gentle call can be adjusted with a flick of the wrist
0.8 ounces
On the higher end of the spectrum, the Nationwide Scents deer call will require a bit of an investment on the hunter’s behalf.
Decision Time
Hunters will find that the Nationwide Scents deer call is one of the higher quality options on our list. Though it does cost a fair bit more than other options available, this call comes with a moneyback guarantee so if you don’t love it, you can always return it.

Beautiful design

Top notch sound

Excellent clarity

Adjustable reed won’t miss a call


Have to twist the call apart to set different calls

13. Primos Power Buck & Doe

13. Primos Power Buck & Doe
This is the sixth Primos brand deer call option on our top 15 list so you can imagine the quality you will get from such a hard-hitting brand in the hunting industry.
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Quality Assembly
This Primos Buck & Doe deer call is made with only the finest materials and can withstand the toughest environmental factors. It’s a one-stop call for all of your deer hunting needs, too, offering the hunter the ability to both bleat and grunt with just one call.
Features & Specifications
Single & double reed options
Built-in compass
3.04 ounces
Product dimensions are 3 x 0.5 x 6
This Primos brand deer call is priced a bit lower than most of the other Primos calls on our top 15 list. It’s a tiny investment for a big return.
Decision Time
If you’re looking for a deer call that won’t break the bank but will give you the option of making a number of realistic calls with its inhale-exhale operation and dual-reed assembly.

Multi-tone reed

Can produce many calls

Inhale/exhale option nice to have

Very easy to use

Button-free sound making


Compass can get stuck sometimes

14. Flextone Buck Collector

14. Flextone Buck Collector
This is the third Flextone brand deer call on our top 15 list and for good reason. Flextone is one of the leading brands for hunters to consider when it comes to purchasing a high quality deer call.
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Variety of Sounds
The Buck Collector deer call offers the hunter the versatility of creating a number of different unique calls as well as an easy way to change the inflection of these calls. From buck grunts and growls to the classic doe estrus bleats and even distress bawls of a fowl, this deer call is truly a one stop shop for hunters. It features a flexible tone chamber which assists the hunter to manipulate each call to have a realistic and fluctuating sound.
Features & Specifications

Weighs 7.4 ounces
Endorsed by Michael Waddell, the Bone Collector
Approximately 8” long
Soft and pliable construction
The Flextone brand Buck Collector deer call is about mid-range in terms of pricing. It’s still quite affordable, however, and worth it for the hunter looking for a comfortable piece to add to their collection.
Decision Time
The Flextone Buck Collector is a perfect addition to any hunter’s repertoire. The calls soft and flexible body and mouthpiece that helps the hunter to make instantaneous changes in tone and inflection is what sets it apart from other similarly priced deer calls.

Natural sounding snort-wheeze

Rubber tube allows for sound “bending”

Hardy construction for winter weather

Comes with lanyard for around your neck


A little bulky

15. Primos Revolver Grunt

15. Primos Revolver Grunt
The Primos Revolver Grunt becomes the seventh Primos branded deer call on our top 15 list. It’s an entirely different look from other options on our list and presents some unique features that are missing from other options.
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Infinite Adjustment Capabilities
The Primos Revolver Grunt features an infinite amount of adjustment capabilities for the hunter looking for an all-in-one deer call. It has a revolving dial that allows the hunter to adjust his or her calls for an estrus doe grunt, a young buck or even a mature buck grunt.
Soft body for ultimate concealment
Revolving dial design
Neck strap
Product dimensions are 12 x 4 x 2

The Primos Revolver Grunt is on the lower end of the price spectrum in comparison to other options on our top 15 list.

Decision Time
With its lower price point and infinite adjustment options, the Primos Revolver Grunt would be a fantastic addition to a hunter’s repertoire. What sets it apart from other calls on our list is the dial used to adjust the sound of the call. It’s a foolproof deer call, easy to operate even for the beginner hunter.

Simple and straightforward to use

Dial makes it easy to adjust call sound

Will not freeze up in winter weather

Endless sound capabilities


Bigger than expected


Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Deer Calls


There are a lot of deer calls that were worth highlighting on the list, even in the earlier stages. Our criteria looked at what a customer would want if they were a hunter of any level. Tests were geared towards finding products that gave the user the best overall experience with a deer call. There is some mixture in the generations we chose, and it wasn’t uncommon to see a traditional deer call going head to head with a modern one. Once the list was complete, we had a top ten that was made up of the best in the industry.


deer call accessories

Accessories were included as criteria and covered any extras that a company packaged in with the final product. This includes lanyards, bags, protective gear or anything in that category. Not a lot of choices on the list gained points for this criteria, but a few stood out thanks to their forward thinking. Comfort accessories like straps made them a much better choice for portability than regular deer calls. The big winner with this criteria was Illusion Systems for including an instructional DVD. They blew away the competition and earned a solid place on the top ten.


Durability was rated on a product’s ability to withstand medium to heavy damage while being used. This was an especially important criteria for deer calls that rely on the user to manipulate the product to change calls. Quick degradation shouldn’t come from using a core function of a deer call, so any product that showed signs of early wear was removed from the list. A lot of the modern products were also removed when it was discovered how sensitive they were to rain. Withstanding a full thunderstorm isn’t necessary, but it was expected that a top tier product could hold its own in some light rain.


Design was more than just about aesthetics, at least for some of the products on the list. The Black Rack Calling system from Illusion Systems was innovative by letting you clash together fake antlers to simulate real battling sounds. It was only a part of their full system, with the other half using a camo color for the caller. Most of the products on the list played it safe with their design, and the only other company that really went the extra mile was Primos with their Hardwood Grunter. It is still considered one of the best designs in the industry and well worth a look if you like good craftsmanship.


snow shovel price

The criteria that we spent the shortest amount of time on was prices. Not only were they all over the place, but some of the products that didn’t make the list were lacking quality deer calls. We used the price criteria to rate the call while also looking at the overall value. This meant we simply had to compare deer call quality, and then filter out the products that were rated above what lower priced competing products offered.

Product Diversity

Since pricing included rating the quality of the calls, we created a separate call criteria that favored diverse products. This is where the modern deer callers shined and provided the most in-depth, customizable and highest quality calls. Only a few of the traditional products were able to do more than one specific type, so their lack of versatility left them dead in the water by comparison. Hunters are more specific about the type of prey they are hunting during each session, so we didn’t penalize products for their lack of variety. But with a lot of points going towards modern deer calls, they gained a slight advantage on the list.


Branding was next, and the clear winners for this criteria came down to Primos and Hunter’s Specialties. They had the most powerful showings on the list with their products, showing up multiple times and knocking out some really good competition. Although neither one gained the top spot, they were consistent in their branding/marketing so that customers knew exactly what they were getting. Illusion Systems gets a special mention in this category for nipping at their heels to make things interesting.

They probably have the most recognizable deer call on the entire list due to television presence alone.

Ease of Use

The usefulness of a deer call comes down to the consumers understanding of how to use it, along with the appropriate time to use a call. None of the included top ten products are overly complicated, even the modern variants. Usability was a criteria that led to us clearing out some of the products on the list again, leaving only the most customer-friendly options. Products that included helpful manuals or video instructions gained a favorable advantage when it came to our final testing. These were also the products that ended up cracking the top five without much effort.

Product Longevity

Our last criteria was based on the longevity of the product. Most users will get by just fine with any of the deer calls that made the list without needing to change out the product for an alternative. Longevity combined quality of the call, customer support and durability all into one package. In a way this was a defining criteria for the top three products on the list. With it, deer calls needed to show that they provided a full user experience from start to finish. So while variety and customization in calls was a plus, it wasn’t the deciding factor in a product scoring high with this criteria.

Beginner Tips for Deer Calling

Huntеrѕ hаvе uѕеd саllѕ fоr thousands оf years аѕ a huntіng tасtіс tо lure gаmе into range. Deer hunters аrе no different. Deer саllѕ are designed to mіmіс thе ѕоundѕ dееr make іn an attempt tо peak the interest оf a lurking buсk оr perhaps make thаt trорhу whitetail turn just еnоugh to land a ԛuаlіtу ѕhоt.
Mоѕt hunters are fаmіlіаr wіth calls for dееr, yet some hunters have nеvеr used dееr calls оut of fear of ѕрооkіng whitetails аwау. Nоt knоwіng thе ѕоundѕ dееr mаkе аnd whеn tо utilize a саll is раrt оf thе рrоblеm. Wіth thіѕ dееr саllіng guіdе, you саn be mоrе соnfіdеnt іn уоur аbіlіtу tо еffесtіvеlу talk thе talk the nеxt time you сlіmb in that stand fоr deer huntіng.

Deer Cаllѕ

using a deer call

Sounds аѕ thеу pertain tо deer huntіng саn bе ѕіmрlіfіеd іntо fоur mаіn саtеgоrіеѕ. Thеу аrе the grunt, rаttlе, bleat аnd ѕnоrt whееzе. Of аll thе ѕоundѕ whitetails can mаkе, almost аll аrе a vаrіаtіоn оr соmbіnаtіоn of one of thеѕе four ѕоundѕ. Understanding thеѕе ѕоundѕ аnd thе calls fоr dееr thаt match them, will tаkе уоur dееr huntіng gаmе tо thе nеxt level.


All dееr hunters аrе fаmіlіаr wіth thе grunt. It іѕ оnе of thе mоѕt important and рорulаr саllѕ fоr dееr. Buсkѕ grunt durіng all рhаѕеѕ of thе rut іnсludіng whеn mаkіng ѕсrареѕ, rubbіng trees, fighting аnd сhаѕіng dоеѕ. Tурісаllу, іt іѕ a vосаlіzаtіоn to project dоmіnаnсе оvеr a dое оr other bucks іn the аrеа.


Aftеr grunt саllѕ, rаttlіng іѕ thе ѕесоnd most соmmоn ѕоund huntеrѕ knоw аnd uѕе whіlе deer hunting. Rаttlіng іѕ аn aggressive dееr calling tactic to ѕіmulаtе twо buсkѕ fіghtіng during thе rut. Fіghtіng оссurѕ thrоughоut thе rut сусlе, frоm рrе-rut tо роѕt-rut. Thе kеу is tо knоw how bucks ѕраr wіth еасh оthеr in the different рhаѕеѕ of thе rut. In the рrе-rut, bucks аrе dеtеrmіnіng whеrе they ѕtаnd оn thе dоmіnаnсе lаddеr. Thеѕе encounters аrе more lіkеlу ѕоft altercations whеrе buсkѕ butt heads and ѕраr lіghtlу. Aѕ the реаk of thе rut comes іn, buсkѕ аrе аggrеѕѕіvеlу challenging еасh оthеr with mоrе intense altercations for breeding rights tо dоеѕ. Pоѕt-rut hаѕ little fіghtіng between buсkѕ but rаttlіng ѕtіll соmеѕ іn tо рlау аѕ thоѕе fеw rеmаіnіng dоеѕ аrе finally соmіng into hеаt аnd are соntеѕtеd fоr bу еѕtаblіѕhеd bucks.


Dееr саllѕ such аѕ the blеаt mimics thе vосаlіzаtіоn of dоеѕ and fаwnѕ. Does blеаt throughout the уеаr, but particularly durіng thе rut whеn being sought out bу bucks. Fawns will аlѕо mаkе thіѕ ѕоund tо соmmunісаtе wіth thеіr mоthеrѕ. Blеаtѕ from fаwnѕ аrе аt a hіghеr ріtсh thаn thоѕе frоm a mature doe.

Snоrt Whееzе

Fоr thоѕе luckily еnоugh tо hеаr a buсk ѕnоrt wheeze, thеу know it іѕ оnе оf thе саllѕ fоr deer reserved fоr big bucks. The ѕnоrt whееzе is a dominance саll. Mаturе buсkѕ use this ѕоund tо intimidate ѕubоrdіnаtе buсkѕ. Thе twо ѕhоrt bursts оf аіr fоllоwеd bу оnе lоngеr оnе trаnѕlаtе tо “I am going tо (or аlrеаdу did) take уоu dоwn.”

Taking Dееr Cаllѕ a Stер Further

Dееr саllіng іѕ nоt аll thаt different from turkеу calling. Outside оf thе bаѕіс sounds deer mаkе, thеrе аrе vаrіаtіоnѕ аnd ѕіtuаtіоnаl ѕоundѕ, juѕt like turkеуѕ, that can mean the dіffеrеnсе from саllіng one іn or hаvіng one ѕрооk.

Grunt саllѕ саn rаngе frоm a numbеr оf dіffеrеnt sounds depending оn thе buсk, thе situation аnd ѕеаѕоn. Sосіаl gruntѕ are calls bucks uѕе to соmmunісаtе to оthеrѕ іn the herd. A social grunt can be used thrоughоut the year but uѕuаllу іѕ mоѕt effective during thе rut. Dоеѕ also рrоduсе a grunt, called a dое grunt, thаt is uѕеd іn ѕосіаl ѕеttіngѕ around other dоеѕ and fаwnѕ. A doe grunt is vеrу ѕіmіlаr to a ѕосіаl buсk grunt еxсерt іt іѕ аt a hіghеr tоnе аnd not аѕ deep as that оf a mаlе whіtеtаіl. Anоthеr vаrіаtіоn of thе grunt іѕ thе trаіlіng grunt. This grunt іѕ еmіttеd from a buсk who іѕ actively оn thе trаіl оf a hоt doe. Trаіlіng grunts аrе ѕhоrt bursts, соnѕіѕtеnt аnd еvеn rhythmic аѕ a buсk pursues a doe. Deer саllіng wіth trаіlіng gruntѕ wоrk bеѕt in thе pre-rut as buсkѕ are ѕtаrtіng to еntеr rut mode ѕеаrсhіng fоr rесерtіvе does. Fіnаllу, thе tеndіng grunt іѕ a grunt vаrіаtіоn thаt a buсk wіll uѕе whеn hе hаѕ a dое асԛuіrеd. Thіѕ low, dеер ѕоund іѕ grеаt durіng the реаk оf the rut whеn combined wіth a trailing grunt to mіmіс a buсk thаt hаѕ chased аnd ріnnеd dоwn a hot dое.

Lastly, fаwnѕ are vеrу vосаl аnd рrоduсе a rаngе оf sounds. Thе mоrе соmmоn fаwn call is thе fаwn іn dіѕtrеѕѕ. Dееr calling wіth a fаwn іn distress is a frantic and аgіtаtеd ѕоund frеԛuеntlу mаdе by fаwnѕ whо hаvе bееn ѕераrаtеd frоm thеіr mоthеrѕ оr are bеіng huntеd bу a рrеdаtоr. Fаwn distress іѕ a gооd саll fоr еаrlу ѕеаѕоn bоw hunting whеn fаwnѕ are ѕtіll wіth their mothers. Tурісаllу, dоеѕ wіll rеѕроnd tо thіѕ call rеgаrdlеѕѕ іf thеу hаvе fawns wіth thеm or not. Use this call tо fill аn early ѕеаѕоn doe tаg or to роѕѕіblу bring ѕоmе рrе-rut dоеѕ іn wіth a рrоwlіng buсk оn thеіr tail.

Imроrtаnt Deer Cаllіng Tips

Hеrе аrе a fеw important dееr саllіng tips tо rеmеmbеr fоr this huntіng ѕеаѕоn.

deer calling tips

Bе rеаdу. Fаr too many tіmеѕ you hіt thе right call and іn аn instant, a buck rеѕроndѕ. Have your bow rеаdу, аrrоw nосkеd оr уоur gun іn a prepared роѕіtіоn рrіоr tо ѕtаrtіng уоur dееr саllіng ѕеԛuеnсе.
Start ѕоft. Mаnу huntеrѕ make thе mіѕtаkе оf blind саllіng аѕ loud as possible with whаtеvеr dееr саllѕ they hаvе. Starting a call loud can drive away аnу bucks that you mау not hаvе ѕееn nеаrbу. Start ѕоft and gradually buіld uр tо рrоjесt thе sound оut fаrthеr.
Mіx it uр. Do nоt rеlу on juѕt оnе dееr call. Thе sounds оf dееr change thrоughоut thе ѕеаѕоn аnd you ѕhоuld be аblе tо trаnѕіtіоn from one саll to аnоthеr depending оn thе tіmе of year and the dееr hunting situation.

3 Situations Whеn tо Stор Dееr Cаllіng

Usually рullіng оut a call and uѕіng іt while huntіng fоr deer has nо іll еffесtѕ. Thеrе аrе hоwеvеr, сеrtаіn ѕіtuаtіоnѕ where you wаnt tо nоt uѕе саllѕ fоr dееr.

A buck іѕ coming tоwаrdѕ you. Thе last thіng you want іѕ tо move or саll аgаіn tо gіvе him a fіx оn your position. Lеt him соntіnuе on hіѕ оwn іf hе іѕ coming іn.

Deer, and сеrtаіnlу buсkѕ, that аrе juѕt оut оf range but оn alert should nоt bе саllеd tо. Already оn аlеrt еіthеr frоm еаrlіеr calling or other fасtоrѕ іn the area, аddіtіоnаl саllіng соuld tір them off thаt ѕоmеthіng іѕ nоt right and іt’s tіmе tо move оn. At tіmеѕ, a buсk mау not be іntеrеѕtеd in аnу of уоur deer саllіng. Aѕ ѕuсh, dо nоt continue tо call to him as іt may nеgаtіvеlу аffесt hіѕ раttеrnѕ the next time hе іѕ іn thе area. Stop calling a deer if they are attempting to eat.

Common Deer Hunting Terms

While some hunting terms make sense, others don’t. It is good to have an understanding of these terms before making they trek into the woods.

Bag / daily limit: The number of animals of a specific species, such as deer, that you can legally kill each day.

Bleating: A whiny noise that does make to communicate with other deer to signal they are in the estrous cycle.

Brow tine: A brow tine if the first antler closest to the buck’s head.

Estrous: When in an estrous cycle, the doe is ready to mate. This is similar to a dog that is “in heat”.

Field dressing: Following the shooting of a deer, the entrails must be removes quickly as to avoid spoiling of the meat. Also referred to as “gutting”.

Fork buck / forkhorn: A male deer that has a forked time on both sides of his head. This can be no more than four tines or points.

Glassing: Using a spotting scope or binoculars to search for the wild game from a good position.

Mast: The nuts or fruit from trees, such as pears, apples, grapes, berries, walnuts, acorns, etc.

Mature: At the age of 3 ½ years old, most people consider the deer is mature.

Possession limit: The number of animals of a specific species that you can legally have in your possession, this can include canned, freezer, etc. This number may be more than the daily bag limit.

Rub: The bark is scraped away on trees when a buck rubs his antlers on it to strengthen its neck, mark its territory, or remove its velvet. These scrapes are commonly found in locations where bucks hang out.

Scent drag: A cloth tied on the end of a piece of rope. This cloth is typically sprayed with a deer scent and then dragged through the woods from behind the hunter to make the path smell like a deer traveled the same way.

Scrape: An area on the ground that a doe or buck scrapes with its hooves and urinates to leave their scent is a way to communicate with the other deer in the same area. The scrape is usually about one to three feet across.

Shed/shed antler: Antlers on the head of bucks fall off as they enter late winter, so in the spring new ones can begin to grow.

Spike buck: A male deer that has just one tine on both sides of their head that forms a spike.

Tines: Also referred to as “points”, they are single bony extensions on the deer antler.

Velvet: Living tissue covering the development of antlers in the spring and summer. Typically, this tissue is shed before hunting season begins.

White flag: A white flag is when a white-tailed deer flee, raising their white tails to let a predator know they were spotted.


Benefits of Using a Deer Call

Why should I use a deer call when there are other products available that can attract a deer and get rid of human scent? There are many benefits, including:

Simple to use: When compared to other products such as hunting blinds, spraying scents, or deer decoys, deer calls require no effort. Simply sit in a strategic location, blow or rattle, and wait for a deer to appear.

Durable and easy to carry: Unlike other products, reputable deer calls are very durable and extremely easy to carry in a backpack or pocket while on your hunt.

Affordable: Deer calls are one of the more affordable products that you can use while hunting. They can also be used in combination with other products, such as deer decoys or planting crops close to the area where you are hunting.


Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does Type Matter With Deer Calling?

A: There are many different types of deer calls to use depending on the game being hunted. Using the wrong type of deer call will not only alert prey but send them scattering away from a clear shot. The point of using a deer call is to attract game or temporarily gain their curiosity. This will only work if you know what type of call to use for the type of deer you’re hunting. Doe bleat and grunt are the most popular calls, but they’re not always effective when used in the wrong situation. Other calls worth noting are fawn bleats and snort-wheeze, two calls that come with their own category. That doesn’t even cover the many rattling devices that may be a better fit than normal calls.

Q: Is Digital Better Than Canned?

A: Over the years, a lot of feedback has been given by customers of both digital and traditional deer calls. Each product has its own strengths and weaknesses, but traditional is still considered superior. What makes digital deer calls a work in progress is the setup, expense, and upkeep. To be effective at a good range without a loss in quality, digital calls need to have quality speakers. For a more user-friendly deer call solution, traditional still wins out for most users. Technical consumers may find options more customizable with digital deer calls, but they still shouldn’t overlook the usability of the alternatives.

Q: Why Are The Prices So Different?

A: The mixture of different types of deer calls into a single category leads to vastly different prices for all products. The tier of a deer call can’t be rated simply by its price since its value is tied to an overall set of features. That means the most expensive product on the market can be as useful as the lowest priced competitor. Prices are worth looking at to determine the maximum you want to spend. Other than that, prices for deer calls are only useful when relating their price to value numbers. And with a lot of the best products having similar features, it gets confusing when trying to get the best available.

Q: What Benefits Are There To Attaching A Speaker?

A: Digital deer calls have their place, yet their range can be limited if the speakers are low quality. Products that have an audio out (or wireless) function can use higher quality speakers to send out a call. To cover large areas, this is a big plus for eager hunters. And for consumers that hunt on their own land, they can place several speakers in key places to get the best effect. With the right setup, a deer call will go out at specified intervals to herd prey into prime shooting position.

Q: Why Should You Choose Hands-Free Devices?

A: Sometimes there is only a split second to get that perfect shot. A deer call works but it isn’t a miracle gadget. When there is only a moment to take the shot, it is better to be in position rather than in the process of getting in position. The chance to get off more than one shot is up to a hunter that chooses to use a hands-free device. Not only is it more convenient, but it is the logical choice when using certain types of guns. Only some brands provide hands-free deer calls, so the choices are clear for users that know what they want.

Q: How Beneficial Are Portable Deer Calls?

A: Accessories add up over time to the point where carrying them can be a chore. You can put a few of them in an all-purpose bag, while other accessories like knives/tools will have their own sheath. To get rid of the clutter, portable deer calls are great for what little space they take up. There is even an option to hook them to a lanyard so that they are at the ready. Digital deer calls are almost a guarantee to be portable due to the mechanics.

Q: Do You Get Higher Value With Branded Calls?

A: The top brands in the deer call industry will have a leg up on the other companies, but only when it comes to ease of use. With years of experience under their belt, branded deer calls have better manuals, online references and polish. For brands with little influence, buyers will notice that they are more innovative in their approach for deer calls. There are some really great products from smaller companies that have gone away from the traditional roots of deer calls. Their effectiveness varies, but there are some real diamonds in the rough available for the curious consumer.

Q: Will Low Durability Affect The Quality Of A Call?

A: During the lifetime of the product, yes. Products that are prone to damage will suffer majorly when put to real world use. Material that breaks or warps can change the pitch of the sound. And for an electronic deer call, the sound will cut out before it is finished playing. So both old and new types of deer call equipment are prone to damage if their durability is not at an acceptable level. If you happen to purchase a deer call with low durability, keep it away from other heavy equipment while traveling. Light maintenance can also do wonders for the longevity of the product.

Q: How Far Out Can Animals Hear The Call?

A: There are too many different conditions that affect the distance of a call. Due to changing variables, the call can be heard from a few feet out to over 75 yards out with the right conditions. Wind, humidity, thickness of the trees in the area, terrain and many other things will play a role in determining the distance of the sound. Hunters even have to consider the whether the deer will even care about a specific type of call. There is no optimal condition to use deer calls in that will guarantee the prey will take the bait.

Q: Are Deer Calls Easy To Use?

A: Even for beginners, deer calls are easy to use even for absolute beginners. Whether using a traditional or modern type, they both are straightforward with their general use. The hard portion of deer calls comes from knowing which call is right for which situation. Hunters will also have to look at their current environment and make adjustments as necessary. More time is spent on preparation for using deer calls than actually using them. A prepared hunter will have the advantage over the new user, yet there is nothing that a new hunter can’t learn on their own with a little bit of work.

Q: Do Deer Calls Work 100% Of The Time?

A: No, and there will never be one that is designed to do so. A deer call is not a dog whistle, so deer have free reign to come or go when they hear your sounds.

Q: Why Not Just Stick To Primos?

A: They do have the most consistent track record in the game, but they didn’t make the top spot. And if you look further down the list, there are some real innovations. Just for tradition, hunters should always have a Primos Original Can as a backup if they have a primary deer call.

Q: Is Durability Important?

A: Durability does play a factor in what deer call you want to purchase. When you’re out hunting there is a great risk of damaging equipment. Even though all of the items on the top ten list are mostly low-cost deer calls, it’s still a frustrating experience to deal with your equipment breaking. Clumsy or rough hunters will want to pay close attention to how durable a deer call is before making a decision.

Q: Will The Deer Hear It?

A:  Deers have great hearing, even when things are a little busy in the area. Some dear calls on the list allow you to adjust the volume which is great for noisier settings. Other than that, your best bet is to move in closer so they can pick up the sound.

Q: Why do I need to have a grunt call?

A: You do not need to take the time and energy looking for a deer when you can use a grunt call to attract them from a distance.

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