Stop That Buck!

But don’t au­to­mat­i­cally reach for your bleat call to do it. Each sit­u­a­tion is unique

Field and Stream - - WHITETAIL HANDBOOK - By Scott Bestul

Some­times bleat­ing to stop a mov­ing deer can ac­tu­ally be dis­as­trous, turn­ing a make­able shot op­por­tu­nity into a spooked buck bound­ing out of your life for­ever. No­body is say­ing you should aban­don the bleat call al­to­gether, but you do need to learn to use it wisely. Here’s how to make the most of this ubiq­ui­tous call.

1. BLEAT!

If your buck is in an ag­gres­sive mood, he’ll have his ears laid back and back hair erect, and he’ll be walk­ing proudly. Some bucks are bul­lies, and you can usu­ally tell from view­ing trail­cam­era pho­tos or first­hand ob­ser­va­tion. Your bleat won’t bother them a bit.

2. DON’T BLEAT!

If a buck comes slink­ing in and try­ing to look small, keep your mouth shut and wait for him to pause or slow on his own. Just as some bucks are ag­gres­sive, oth­ers are wimps and lon­ers. Play it safe on deer like this.

3. BLEAT CARE­FULLY!

On calm days, soften the vol­ume of your bleat so you don’t star­tle a buck. On windy days, or when crunchy leaves make it dif­fi­cult for cruis­ing and chas­ing bucks to hear you, amp it up a bit.

4. OR YELL!

I’ll try to stop any run­ning buck I want to kill, even if I have to shout. I’ve got noth­ing to lose, and even if all I do is confuse him for a sec­ond, I’ve cre­ated a much bet­ter shot than I had in the mil­lisec­onds be­fore I hollered.

Whoa, Boy

A bleat works best for halt­ing ag­gres­sive bucks.

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