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Let's Talk Grunt Calls


Editor’s Note: Chris Kirby, the president of Quaker Boy Calls in Orchard Park, New York, is a World Champion turkey caller and has been hunting deer and turkeys all his life. His father, Dick Kirby, founded Quaker Boy Calls, and he and Chris have hunted all over the nation with bows, rifles, pistols and muzzleloaders. Quaker Boy and Mossy Oak have partnered to create the Deer Thugs and Turkey Thugs brands of calls, and a portion of the sales from each one of these calls goes to help wounded warriors through the Hope For The Warriors Outdoor Adventures Program. According to Kirby, “Stalking deer is as much about what to say and when to say it as it is blowing the correct and an accurate call.”

One of the biggest advantages of the Deer Thugs Brawler from Quaker Boy Calls is you can use it to simply grunt, or you can use it in combination with other calls. When a deer hunter uses deer calls, he becomes an artist rather than a hunter. Deer calls enable a deer hunter to paint a picture in the deer’s mind. The deer hunter becomes an illusionist, causing the deer to think there are other deer in his territory that he needs to come investigate - to be social or spar with, fight, court, run off or once again establish dominance. I think deer calls are most effective just before the breeding season, during the breeding season and after the breeding season, when the first doe is in estrus during the rut, when they are looking for that last doe still in estrus in the post-rut and/or the first doe comes in heat during the second rut. By using the Deer Thugs Brawler and collapsing the tube, you can sound like a young doe; by extending the tube 1/2 to 3/4 of its length, you can sound like an older doe; and by extending the tube all the way out, you can sound like a buck. 

DeerCalling2_llAnother advantage that the Brawler gives you is that you can add movement to your calls. If you observe deer in the wild, you’ll notice that rarely will they stand in one place and vocalize several different times. When deer are grunting, they’re usually on the move. So, by turning the end of the Brawler in different directions, you can make the sounds appear to be moving around your stand. For instance, if you’re in a tree stand, you can point the Brawler to the left and grunt; then point directly behind you and grunt; then to the right and grunt; then halfway to the right and grunt. My favorite way to use the Brawler is in conjunction with rattling. By grunting and rattling, you can sound like two bucks fighting. Then when you stop rattling and collapse the tube, you can sound like a doe in estrus.

Deer are much like children on a playground. When a fight breaks out, all the children run to see who’s fighting. Even smaller bucks that don’t even want to become a part of the fight will come sneaking in to your stand site to become a spectator and not a participant. A dominant buck often will come in charging. An older, smarter buck may circle to get downwind of the fight, so he can see and hear which deer are fighting, and more importantly, to see if there is an estrous doe at the site. A deer hunter is a magician with his deer calls, creating an illusion in the deer’s mind. By blowing hard in the call, the hunter can produce growling sounds, which are more-aggressive buck sounds. Another advantage that we’ve put into the Brawler is the ability to blow it very loudly. One of the primary reasons that bucks don’t react to grunt calls is because they can’t hear the calls. Therefore on windy days or when you spot a buck a long way from your stand, you can grunt or growl with the Brawler to get his attention.  

Another call that I’ve developed more and more confidence in over the years is the Weezzy snort-wheeze call. We’ve developed the Weezzy to produce the snort-wheeze for the hunter. We’ll get into more depth on how to use the Weezzy tomorrow. 

Day 1: What Makes Deer Thugs Calls Special

Tomorrow:  Chris Kirby on the Weezzy Snort-Wheeze Call

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