I have the priveledge of hunting about 1000 acres in SW Arkansas. The place is a treasure and holds lots of big bucks. Over the last 3 years I’ve been hearing what I assume is 1 buck (probably isn’t but I’ve never placed eyes on him). Anyway, “he” likes to grunt long, guttural grunts in succession (think anywhere from 5-20 times every 10 or so seconds).
This guy is NOT bashful about letting his presence be known. He almost has a “here I am, come get some” attitude. I will say he can’t be heard when others are on the 4 wheelers. But primarily I walk in unless it’s to the far reaches of the property.
I’ve had him as close as 65 yards and can hear him as far as roughly 300-400 yards away. He’s been upwind, he’s been down wind. Sometimes cruising sometimes stationary. But he always stays just out of sight.
I’ve thrown everything at him from aggressive grunts, submissive grunting, doe bleats, heavy rattling, light sparring, even scraping trees together to simulate rubbing. I can’t seem to close him.
I have a suspicion of what deer it may been. But I’m falling into the trap of chasing one deer. I think you probably get the picture.
My question to you all is.... what would you do?!
Looking forward to everyone’s response.
I also hunt southwest Arkansas. I would aggressively grunt this deer in. By that I mean long, loud grunts with only a few minutes between. I would do this 3-4 times and then get quiet for 20-30 minutes. This is only my opinion but I use this technique every season on a few hunts and it works more times than not. I will add that I hunt mature deer and they do respond where I hunt.
A snort-wheeze oftentimes works especially well on dominant, aggressive bucks. Have you tried that?
lov2bohunt-tried it many times. He stays just out of sight.
Lostnwoods-?? you jacking with me?!
Huntiam-I swear he follows me around everywhere just toying with me.
Bill-I like the decoy idea, will you carry it in for me? I got enough gear! ??
Drycreek-its def crosses my mind! ??
So I might point out that I’m hearing this deer (if it is just 1) in a particular part of the land that stretches a good distance. His is def starting to show his route.
I’ve recently begun to live by the wind and only going to areas I know I can travel successfully (in regards to the wind). But he tends to just “pop up”. And nine times out of ten it’s not where I’d expect. Part of me wants to believe he knows I’m there but as time has passed he’s been getting closer and closer. It’s almost seems like he’s curious, and wants to know what I am... I guess we feel the same about each other ??
I love the tarsel gland idea and have been contemplating doing that. It really drives me crazy I haven’t see this deer with so many experiences with the loud grunting. I’m honestly to the point I just want to see him to see which deer he is.
Also I know for fact we have “hot” does again right now. Everything has been late this year. The acorns, rut, etc. so hoping he’s stays hungry for a little deer taco haha
3 instances where I know it wasn’t anything but a deer...
1) was hunting close to the main entrance (one way in/out) where I would hear any other vehicles come in the land. Gates were locked when I arrive. We dummy lock them when we are in. I was ALONE, No traffic. Heard him at roughly 300-400 yards traveling. This was the first time he proved it was a deer to me. Not going to lie at first I thought at it was a tree frog or wood pecker or something other than a deer because I had never heard a deer grunt repeatedly and so deeply like this guy. But I gave him a hard rattle sequence and sure enough he turned and walked right down the edge of a thicket to where the thicket ended. Closing the distance to roughly 100 yards from me. Continues to grunt and then stopped. After a while I figured he came and didn’t see anything and went on his way. 45 minutes later!! He hasn’t moved goes back to grunting several times from the same exact position from earlier and then stops. Never heard him again that morning.
2) had heard him earlier in the morning walking a ridge. Finished my hunt from the stand and went to where I heard him to check out his path (heard him on this path several times, in the mornings on sunny days). When I was in the general area 6 doe popped up out of no where. I froze they eventually mover past me and right after they did here he comes from the opposite side of the does. I slide up behind a tree (riffle season) and I’m thinking it’s about to go down. He holds up in the thick sh*t opposite the does. He was maybe 65-70 yards from me!! But there was a slight ridge between us. Belly crawled and everything to get closer and never saw him..... Grunting the whole way till he either realized they weren’t hot or smelt me. Does never spooked. I do believe he may have caught my wind that day.
3) This past Saturday. Been in the stand 30 minutes. Came in early before light. Out of no where he lets loose maybe 100 yards dead down wind! And a strong wind at that. 8-10 grunts then goes silent. 15 minutes later grunts again. Hasn’t moved. He’s a freaking ghost guys I’m telling you. If he moved north I see him if he moved east I see him if he moved west he’s in the river. He had 1 option and he knew where to go. Thing is I’m virtually certain he would have winded me that day. But for a mature buck to stay down wind of me for 15 minutes grunting. I don’t know.... I’m befuddled by this guy. I truly believe this deer just has that 6th sense about him.
I’m sure y’all can find holes in my stories to say no man, someone is out there with a call. But if they are how come they never close the distance in me. But honestly story #2 confirmed it for me. He was cruising, he was in the center of what I would know and call his “core area”. The area that I have heard him the most. He’s a bonafied mature river bottom deer and he’s had absolutely learned how to avoid human contact.
I’m honestly amazed by him. If I ever get the chance to draw on him it would be bitter sweet I think. I truly have a respect for this animal. I have thoroughly enjoyed this chase this year. It’s like NOTHING I have ever experienced in my 25+ years of hunting.
One other tid-bit I think points to it being a deer is 2 years ago I heard him once. Last hear heard him twice. This year I’ve heard him on probably 50% of my hunts. But I hear him virtually every time I’m out there by myself when he’s undisturbed. And especially when there are no 4 wheelers being used. Therefor I walk in on as my hunts now sometimes 1000+ yards
Busta-May scare off every deer around but I’m gonna keep this in my back pocket. Great idea!
Archer-I have been tempted to stalk him. I just don’t think it’s possible. He’s always one step ahead. And I’m old school just don’t think I could go the decoy route...
longbeard-I love my trail cams and have so many big deer it could be any. But the one I think it is is this 250lb (guessing) sh*t rack 8 point who is clearly dominate
Deaver-I’m felling ya...
Lostnwoods-we just hit the second estrous cycle. I feel like it’s my last chance this season
I’m going to try and get a couple pics up of which deer I “think” it may be...
He was aggressive, I rattled him in as a 2 year old and passed. Saw him “roaring” as a 3 year old in December when in a doe. Passed him again
This year I saw him once and he was grunting and roaring, again while chasing a doe
The day he was killed I didn’t see him, but I heard a LOT of grunting and was sure it was him.
He wasn’t responsive because he was distracted, but he was old enough, I think calling him wouldn’t have been too successful. Even when I rattled him in at 2, he was circling downwind.
I think being quiet and moving stand locations would work better. Let him move by you naturally. Think of all the places you’ve seen or heard him, and consider relocating stands to those areas if possible. He’s probably in those areas for a reason, terrain or otherwise.
I think you’re on point. I’ve been moving regularly to avoid blowing him out. He’s wise.... he confuses me with grunting and staying in 1 place for long periods of time. Never thought about him being with a doe because I just never see the dang thing.
I’ve got one stand location I haven’t been able to get into quite yet because of the wind. It’s the one place I’ve heard him the most and topographically he’s following a ridge. It’s the major terrain anomaly of the property.
Fingers crossed, this weekend is shaping up weather/wind wise for me! Been waiting for a cold, sunny morning with south winds