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When to Call Whitetails - and When to Shut Up

Sometimes it seems that calling and rattling is the thing to do, but it could be a mistake.

When to Call Whitetails - and When to Shut Up

The time was the last week of October. The place was western South Dakota. I was perched in a treestand situated in a tall cottonwood that stood along the banks of the Bad River. A little better than 30 minutes of legal hunting time remained as I reached for my rattling antlers. Thankfully, the wind had finally died down to a slight breeze.

After going through a rather aggressive 45-second rattling sequence, I fished out a grunt call and let go with several subtle urps. A few minutes later, I heard the unmistakable sounds of a deer walking across the river behind me. I knew the deer had crossed to my side, and that it had to be very close. But at least five minutes went by before I finally spotted it. The big 10-pointer was headed straight toward my position at a slow walk.

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