Meadville Tribune

Outdoors

October 30, 2013

50-some-year veterans hunter shares tips that helped him hunt down 'Titan,' a 10-point buck

(Continued)

COCHRANTON — Cochranton-area resident John Crooks is a longtime outdoors writer.

Here are a few tricks that can help bring that big 10-point your way this fall:

n Add trail cameras. I can’t speak enough of the importance of using trail cameras to locate deer. Place them on trails and scrapes to see what’s there when you are not.

n The importance of the setup. Learn to get them in close. Set your stand or ground blind for a 20-yard or closer shot. Set up downwind of where you expect the deer to show up to avoid his sense of smell.

n Use scents. There are a lot of good deer scents on the market today. During the rut stay with the “doe-in- heat,” type lures. Bucks are searching 24/7 for does in estrous and the right scent in the right place can quickly bring a good buck your way.

n Use deer calls. Deer calls can attract deer. Deer vocalize with many different ways — fawn bleats, doe bleats, buck tending grunts, wheezes and snorts. Probably the most common call used during the rut is the tending grunt of the buck. Basically, this call closely resembles the sound of a grunting pig. It is heard when a buck is trailing or searching for a doe. I always keep a grunt call within reach.

n Try rattling horns. Rattling horns, either synthetic or real, or rattling bags can also be an effective tools for bringing in rutting bucks. The logic is simple. When bucks find a receptive doe, fights often result. Many a cold morning I have heard the sound of antlers clashing together and crashing brush as bucks fight over does. Aggressive rattling can draw in bucks searching for does.

n Keep an eye on scrapes. Last but not least, scrapes are an excellent place to ambush a buck. Scrapes act as the primary signpost during the rut. They can be greatly enhanced with the right scents.

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