Know-How: Bleat Now!

posted on September 25, 2017

The early October morning was getting hot. I’d seen a few does far off between the trees, but that was two hours before. I wanted to fill a doe tag and had come to this stand in the early season for that purpose. Before climbing down I decided to try a bleat call, as I didn’t think it could hurt. I didn’t expect much but then, just a minute later, a doe group came in fast. The lead doe had that “searching” expression on her face we more often associate with bucks in the rut. She approached my tree in such a rush that I almost didn’t get my bow off its hook before she was under my stand.

Since then I’ve learned the early season is a great time to bleat like a fawn. This works best near doe bedding areas. It’s not magic—what is?—but I have now killed a lot of does using this method.

There are basically two types of bleats we can utilize when hunting: a fawn-in-distress bleat and a doe-in-estrous bleat. In the pre-rut when I want to fill a doe tag, I try a fawn-in-distress bleat with a single-reed mouth call like Knight & Hale’s Single Reed Fawn Bleat. When the woods are quiet, distress bleats can reach surprisingly far. Later in the rut, a doe-in-estrous bleat can be a convincer to bring in a cruising buck. Honestly, I’ve never heard a doe in estrous make this call, but I have had a lot of bucks respond positively to it. For this, nothing works better than The Great Big Can from Primos. Just keep it in your pocket, and flip it over and back again to bring a buck into bow range.


Seal Of West VA With ASA Logo
Seal Of West VA With ASA Logo

West Virginia to Allow Airgun Hunting for Big Game

The Airgun Sporting Association, the trade organization of the airgun industry, announced that West Virginia will soon be allowing air-rifle hunting for both small and big game.

First Look: Antler King Red Zone Food Plot

Antler King’s Red Zone food-plot mix is designed to give hunters an opportunity at a trophy buck no matter what season they hunt.

First Look: New Binos from Covert Optics

From alpine slopes to desert floors to the whitetail woods, Covert Optics 8X42mms and 10X42mms are made to help hunters dissect the details of wild landscapes to uncover a prospective target animal, or accurately size up a cruising buck in the distance.

Ruger Reintroduces the Marlin Model 1895 Trapper

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. has announced its reintroduction of the Marlin Model 1895 Trapper.

Hunting License Sales Down in 2021, But Remain Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

The 2022 National R3 Symposium wrapped up last week in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The 220 participants representing over 100 different organizations with an interest in hunting and shooting sports were the first to lay eyes on data released from the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (Council), documenting a slight decrease in hunting license sales in 2021.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.