While a lot of deer-calling methods focus predominantly on bucks, does can be called just as easily using roughly the same means. In this article, we’ll take a look at some helpful hints for how to call in a doe. I’ll let you in on a few secrets that will make doe calling easy for any and all hunters.
Different types of deer calls
The main deer calls that are traditionally used are grunts, rattling, and bleets. Grunts are aggressive noises, rattling mimics the sound of bucks fighting with their antlers, and bleets are more subdued sounds that traditionally mimic fawns and does. Each of these calls is more useful in certain situations than others.
While all three can be used when calling does, you are going to get the most use out of mimicking the bleats of a fawn. Because does are generally most focused on their children and pack than anything else, you will get a lot of use out of mimicking the bleating of a fawn when calling a doe. The bleat of a fawn is more high-pitched than the bleat of the doe and can act as a signal to the mother to come near.
Making deer calls
Deer calls can be made with instruments or with your own voice. Deer calls made with instruments are generally more effective than those made with the human voice. This is because they more closely mimic the natural sound of the deer.
If you want to mimic the sound of a fawn bleat, you can either buy an instrument made specifically for the occasion or make one yourself. Making a deer-calling instrument is simple enough if you know how to do it. In fact, you can find my guide on how to make a deer caller here. For those who would rather buy one, you can find a wide variety of deer-calling tools at your local outdoor and sportsmen shop.
A good tip for calling does is to become slightly elevated. One way to do this is to learn how to climb trees. Tree climbing is an important tool in the hunter’s repertoire if you can learn how to master it.
Climbing a tree allows you to get out of the range of a doe’s field of vision. Deer are largely focused on the horizontal plane and have a hard time seeing action vertically. Making a call from an elevated position will help trick your prey into coming your way.
Making your doe call from an elevated position will also allow it to travel farther, which will make it that much more effective for blind calling. Blind calling is when you make a call when there’s no prey in sight. This is of vital importance when deer hunting.
When they get close, be quiet
It is important to remember that once you’ve managed to call a doe into your vicinity, you need to pay careful attention to how close they are getting. When a doe is close enough, you should stop calling. The closer they are, the more they will be able to discern the noise, and they may be able to tell that it isn’t a natural noise coming from another deer like they thought it was.
The closer a doe is to you, the more likely that they will be able to pinpoint your location with their excellent hearing. If you make a call when the doe is too close, they may look right at you. Once they’ve spotted you, it’s too late, and you’ll have to start all over again in a different area.
How to call in a doe
You are generally going to be going after does that have wandered from their pack and are looking for either a group of other deer or their fawn. So, you’re going to get the best effect with either the soft beats of a fawn of the soft grunts of another doe.
A fawn bleat can be mimicked with any traditional bleat calling instrument by simply adjusting the reed on the inside. This will increase the pitch of the bleat to more accurately mimic that of a fawn. Nothing catches a doe off-guard more than the sound of her little ones.
Once a doe is within sight, you need to keep a careful eye on her while you’re making your calls. A misplaced call can send the doe off running, aware that something is amiss. Pay attention to the body language of the doe and make sure she isn’t getting spooked by your calls once she starts coming closer.
Does have a low tolerance for suspicious activity and will choose to vacate the premises rather than give in to their curiosity or desire for a pack if something seems wrong. For this reason, patience and timing are key when it comes to calling in a doe. If you feel you’ve gone past the point of no return with your calls, simply take a break and watch and see what the doe does.
Fawn and doe communication
Does and their fawn have a continual call-and-response that serves to let them know where each other are and that everything is safe1. They will use soft and friendly bleats and grunts to signal to each other that everything is going okay, as well as to signal their location. A very soft fawn bleat is perfect for trying to lure a doe in that is trying to keep track of her fawn.
Timing and patience is key
The most important thing to remember is that there is no one method for how to call in a doe that works every single time. Does are living creatures with different experiences and different mindsets. You may have a doe who’s seen it all and knows better, while another doe may be inexperienced can fall prey to some fairly simple deceit.
You will always need to pace yourself and make sure that you aren’t overdoing it with your calls. Once a doe is in range, space your calls by minutes apiece, and cease calling if the doe seems even slightly suspicious. With the right amount of patience, you’ll be a master.