Call of the wild

I mentioned that I would be hunting the hardwood drains in Clinton during the primitive season because we had found a fairly decent acorn crop – white oaks, water oaks and cherry bark acorns. I checked a couple of stomachs from deer killed last Tuesday (by the way, it looked like deer moved from 8:30 in the morning until dark, and were working the new clover growth in the patches) and one doe was full of white oak acorns and a yearling buck was full of water oak acorns (both were killed on patches).

I have always been a believer in using deer calls, imitating the grunts of bucks, bleats of does and bleats of fawns (early season call) and have had pretty good success. I have numerous calls in my pack. I like the old Haydel grunt call, and I have the new Knight and Hale rack blaster call that I like, along with a whole host of other calls that I have purchased or have been given to me. I must admit I don’t use the snort/wheeze call, but I do not hesitate to use the grunt call, especially when the bucks are chasing does. I do not have the Primos can estrus bleat call, but I have a call that can imitate the can and it will get a buck’s attention.

No doubt timing is everything when calling deer, and not all deer will respond in a positive manner. The fawn bleat will work and get the attention of a doe in the early season but I have not had success with it as the season progresses and the fawns get bigger.

Last month on a squirrel/scouting trip on Pearl River Wildlife Management Area, I was heading back to the boat when I heard some pigs about 50 yards away. I started snorting with my nose and within a few minutes I had a nice hog about 10 feet from me. I picked up a Primos hog call on my next shopping trip and had a chance to try it out this past weekend at Jackson-Bienville WMA. About 8 a.m., after the initial shooting had stopped and I thought it wasn’t my morning, I saw some pigs cross a woods road about 100 yards away. I took out the pig grunter and started grunting and snorting. It’s not as nasally as the nose, but within a few minutes I had hogs under me in the privet shrubs and my .444 Marlin dropped a nice one in its tracks.

I am heading to Pearl River WMA for the Thanksgiving hunt so maybe I will have a chance to test it again.
I made a run to Clinton this morning (Nov. 25) and only saw a couple of scrapes, the same ones I had seen a week ago, so the peak of scraping has not started yet. All the green patches look really good with clover and winter grass. If you planted but did not fertilize, now would be the time to do it, using something like an 8-24-24 on the clover and nitrate the grass.

About David Moreland 246 Articles
David Moreland is a retired wildlife biologist with LDWF, having served as the State Deer Biologist for 13 years and as Chief of the Wildlife Division for three years. He and his wife Prudy live in rural East Feliciana Parish.