Can You Rattle In A Blacktail Buck?

On October 30, 2007, I was hunting here in Linn County, Oregon. I was doing some rattling and I shot a blacktail buck later that morning. I know that buck was in pre-rut mode, because it had quite a bit of fresh shredded bark at the base of it's antlers.

My theory is that I rattled that buck into the area I was hunting. It's hard to prove because I would sit and rattle for about 15 minutes (intermittently) and then I would get up and still hunt very carefully and quietly through the woods and up into a clear-cut.

I ended up seeing the buck in that clear-cut, trying to sneak away from me on it's belly. It was crazy! You can read the whole story here: 2007 Oregon Blacktail Buck

Also, I did see one buck this season on October 31st. And at about the same time I saw the buck (I can't remember if I heard it before or after the buck ran off) I could hear something a little ways off in the trees that sounded like two bucks sparring. It may have even been another hunter rattling some antlers.

I believe the buck I saw was on it's way to check out what was going on in the direction of the rattling.

So, in my opinion, I think rattling can be a very productive technique for hunting blacktails at the end of October, and up through the middle of November.

Has anyone else had any experience with rattling in blacktails? Please share your wisdom!

The first person to comment with a tip on rattling in blacktails wins a $10 gift card to Easy Canvas Prints!

Brigham Brewer


  1. shot my first buck, first time ever hunting with my own tags, rifle, license, the whole bit. After researching rattling before my license came in the mail. Thought I was a rookie and my hunting buddies looked at me like I was crazy when I showed up at the meeting spot with full camo and grunt calls and the rattle bags. What I did was separate myself from the group while they ate lunch on a high bluff. They laughed as I whipped out the rattle bag and grunt instead of a sandwich. I grunted and rattled (trying to picture what a sparring match would sound like) and after my 15 minutes (intermittent)of what I consider to be a hell of a fake fight I told my crew that I would be right back and headed down the bluff and started in the downwind direction very slowly (slow enough to feel the ground while looking through binos the whole time). By the time I had gotten off the bluff and over the next ridge I spotted antlers cruising over some tall brush, guessed where he was going to poke out of the bush and when he came into clear view my rifle was already on him. I gave a short blast from my hands free call and he stopped dead (literally). By the time my friends made it to where they heard the shot I was already standing over my 2x2 (i consider this not bad for a first timer) praying in what I can only assume was Latin. The next trip everyone showed up with a rattle bag and grunt calls :)

  2. Great story, Anonymous, thanks for sharing! That just goes to show you that anybody can be successful hunting. And the bucks almost always show up when you least expect them. You just got to keep believing and trying all the time and when opportunity meets preparation (such as in your case) you score!

    Happy Hunting!


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