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Should you rattle the first week of bow season??
If not when is it best to use a rattle bag or horns?

Just thinking maybe ill try somthing new this year.
 

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during the rut is the best time to rattle as bucks are fighting for their dominance. if you rattle very lightly during bow season a curious buck may come in to check it out. I prefer using a grunt call rather than rattling, it has been much more effective for me.
 

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I would hold off til the first of November. The pre rut will be in swing and the bucks should have the pecking order figured out by then. If you rattle to early in the season they might not respond later. Nothing gets your blood pumping like seeing a buck come running to the sound of horns.
 

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You can rattle, although it's not the best time. If you choose to rattle, do so lightly and infrequently. Deer spar all the time and as stated eariler, you may get a curiosity response. That being said, chances are rattling won't be as effective even during peak times due to the poor buck to doe ratio we have here in Michigan.

I always have my rattling antlers with me, but I pick and choose when I use them. If you rattle everytime you hunt a spot, it's effectiveness is bound to decrease (same with scents, grunt sequences, etc.).

Keep your options open, and change techniques frequently.

Good luck!
 

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I am going to respectfully disagree with your buck to doe ratio theory. I don’t think you can group MICHIGAN as a whole into 1 category. I hunt a few different spots and at one side of the county there are 3-4 bucks always running together before rut with maybe 10 - 15 does and in another side of the county I have seen 1 maybe 2 bucks with 30 does

I don’t think rattling is going to help you until every NOV. As stated - testosterone levels are higher and bucks are fighting to be dominate in there "pack" so to speak. I would also not give any advance about when and how to rattle unless I knew your spot that you hunt. How many bucks have been spotted? How often? Age / size? Things like that.

I personally can’t give advice without the questions posted being answered. If you have 1 buck on your property then he might respond to rattle because that is HIS land so to speak but if you have FIVE bucks rattling is going to be much more successful for you being that 5 dif. males are fighting for dominance. Hope this makes sense to you
 

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To add to the great advice given already,i have found that i have better results with a smaller pair of horns[small 6 pt.]and moreless tickling the points together,of course loud enough to be heard.im not one to take a monster set of horns or rattle bag and slamming them together.in the past usally a domanit buck will rush in looking for the fight thats going on...good luck
 

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I wouldnt be afraid to do some light sparring with a smaller set of antlers the first week of October but after that i'd hang 'em up till Halloween.

I've rattled in bucks in late Sept. while studying them in field and i've had a few bucks come in the first week of season to rattling, but once you get into the "Oct lull" I think its pointless. I have never rattled in anything in the middle of Oct. not saying it cant be done, it just doesnt work for me.

I'd stick to the first week of season and then the cool quiet mornings of early Nov.

Ryan
 
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