Another suitor arrived seconds later. Cold is One Thing, Snow is Another. It's a short, loud sniff or snorting sound followed by a long wheeze. For the reasons above, an estrous deer call should be used in the pre-rut to peak rut period, when does are actually in estrous and bucks are very eager to chase them. This is a period when deer have transitioned from their early season patterns to … It's just not a deer call one hears very often. Photograph by Wes Uncapher; Windigo Images The first time I heard it years ago, I was shocked. The tube is much the same as a grunt tube, but it makes a very different noise. When planning a rut-hunt for mule deer or blacktail in new country, it will pay to call area biologists to determine when the rut generally occurs and when the peak of the rut is anticipated. Big bucks may be laying low for most of the day, but when they are out feeding, checking scrapes, making rubs and chasing off lesser bucks, they are susceptible to aggressive tactics. Pre-season scouting, persistence, patience and a little bit of luck are all important aspects of deer hunting. This is the call mature bucks like to use in the pre-rut and rut when they want to intimidate a rival away from their does. Late-season mule deer hunting is often predicated on watching the weather. But the real key to success lies in understanding how a big buck’s behaviour changes as the rut peaks and dips in the fall, between October and December. Allowing hunting any other time of the year is a death sentence to the mule deer. This call sounds exactly like it is described. Despite the hair-raising tension, a clash did not ensue. Right now, as the pre-rut begins to give way to the rut using calling and vocalizations can really start to play a big role in your hunting strategy. Some people refer to the period from opening day until mid October as the pre-rut. Time Period: October 10-22. I don’t. If you have never tried breaking out the Knight and Hale EZ Grunter and Rack Mag and bringing a big mature whitetail buck out of the hardwoods, you really should give it a try! Aside from relying on your gear to help you maximize your efforts, here are a couple of simple tips that can help you find a mature mule deer buck once the weather turns cold. Opening day until around October 10 is the early season. Mule deer are relatively easy to hunt, but not when it comes to mature bucks. You can allow more hunters in the field, and you will have lower success rates. Pre-Rut. See if rut hunting is as easy as you think. When the rut is in full stride late in the season, your best bet is to first locate and follow doe groups, knowing that any mature bucks in the area will also find them. I was photographing rutting mule deer along Colorado’s front range when a mature buck laid back its ears and emitted what hunters now refer to as the snort-wheeze challenge. 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