-By Brandon Wikman
Whitetail deer have a wide assortment of both verbal and nonverbal means of communication. They’re language and lingo has been carefully studied by animal biologists since the early years of the late 1800’s. Deer have a very unique style of engaging in conversation. Many of us have already heard of the basic converse from deer to deer. A whitetail’s vocabulary ranges from bleats, grunt, bellows, and bawls. The list below details the most popular whitetail dialect. You will generate a fresh idea of deer verbalization and a typical time frame of season they communicate.
Contact Call - Also referred to as the ‘lost call.’ The contact call can be matched to the idea of the kee-kee-run call made by wild turkey. Both whitetail and turkey share the same concepts of locating fellow members of their family or group. A doe will make a loud and deep bleat two to three times every 15 minutes. You may use this calling technique as a way to mimic a confused doe. It is perfect to use while walking into your setup to cover your noise while still-hunting. Deer usually speak this language during the pre-rut, which runs throughout the entire month of October.
Doe Grunts - Differ from buck grunts in several ways. Doe grunts are a deer’s way of saying “Hey…come here.” The doe grunt is used to persuade fellow deer in the area to come. You must keep this calling technique soft to mimic the call perfectly. The louder you make the grunt, the more aggressive it sounds. Doe have been known to use this lingo throughout the month of October as well.
Breeding Bellow - One of my favorite calls. This hyper doe gurgle will be heard during the heat of the rut. Many people think that the bellow and the “estrous bleat” are the same. The converse differentiates greatly; in fact, the ‘estrous bleat’ means, “I will be ready to breed soon.” The bellow means, “I’m ready to breed right now!” I’ve used this calling technique with the combination of rattling to coax in many mature bucks. You will not hear doe make this call during the early season. The primary time of this communication will be heard during the breeding season in November.
Tending Grunt - Another breeding-style call made by high-strung bucks. The grunt is a rapid succession of mini-grunts in a staccato pattern. You may have heard this call while sitting in your tree stand and suddenly catch a glimpse of a buck trailing a doe. A buck will typically produce 10-20 soft tending grunts during any moment of chase. I’ve watched many professional hunters on video mimic this call with a follow-up of an estrous bleat leading into a rattling session.
One key of success to the art of calling is to create a surreal situation. Adding realism in your calling will give you the upper hand when calling to deer that have been called to before. Be creative and try new strategies. I’ve heard of people scratching the bark off the tree you’re sitting in with antlers when rattling. My cousin has dropped rocks from his stand to mock the sounds of hoof traffic before banging together antlers of tossing out grunts.
Game calling has always been popular in duck and turkey hunting. Bring your grunt tube into the woods during every hunt. You never know when you may want to break it out and bring the big buck into range!