Best deer call

Hunting

The most common deer calls mimic a grunt, which is a basic sound deer make to each other to identify their location and has nothing to do with breeding.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which deer calls are best?

Few things are more exhilarating for a deer hunter than calling a deer closer. Using the right deer call can make all the difference. Deer calls are an important accessory for every hunter to consider.

There are many factors that can attract a deer to — or scare it away from — your hunting area. Deer calls are an easy way to improve the overall odds that a deer will come your way. The best equipment and best location notwithstanding, a deer that hears one of its own is most likely to draw near. There are many different styles of deer calls, but the Nationwide Scents All-in-One Deer Hunting Wooden Call is the top-recommended deer call.

What to know before you buy deer calls

A different season requires a different deer call

Depending on where you live, hunting season for does and bucks may overlap, run simultaneously, or in some cases, be separated. Having the right deer call for the right deer is essential.

Sound quality is variable

Many manufacturers promote their deer calls as able to make both realistic doe bleats and the grunts of rutting bucks. There are some models that are adjustable to change between different calls. Each one has its own unique sound quality, though. You may want to check out more than one deer call, depending on the variety of deer that you are hunting. For more information about these nuances, check out the Best Reviews summary on best deer calls.

Learn from the experts

Some deer calls come with instructional DVDs or at least a detailed how-to-use guide. There are many online instructional videos too. Look for those from the manufacturer and take their advice to heart as you practice and prepare for the next hunt.

What to look for in quality deer calls

Material

There are three main material types of deer calls. For many hunters, wooden deer calls are the gold standard. With proper care, they can last for decades. Additionally, they stand up to cold weather.

Metal deer calls are also very durable, but they can be uncomfortable to use during cold weather.

Some manufacturers use rubber, plastic, or nylon but they can grow brittle quickly when exposed to the sun and varying degrees of hot and cold temperatures.

Freeze-resistant

Since deer season falls during the colder months of fall and winter, having a deer call that won’t freeze is critical. Deer calls with moving parts are particularly prone to freezing, so be sure to review your manufacturer’s product description. Some models have a specially designed point that keeps the call from freezing.

Moisture-resistant

Metal and plastic deer calls can form condensation, and if the water droplets get inside the call, it can affect the overall sound quality. Look for models that have specifically addressed how to keep water out. Also, it is recommended to carry a dry cloth with you to help wipe down deer calls that start to get moist.

How much you can expect to spend on deer calls

There is a wide range of prices for deer calls starting at just $6 to $10 for functional models, but from $10 to $30, you should have a deer call that is reliable and will endure multiple hunting seasons. From $30 to $100, there are gravity-activated “can” and electric deer calls available.

Deer call FAQ

What is a deer rattle?

A. This is a unique form of deer call that simulates the sound of two bucks that are fighting. This sound can often attract other deer. Some calls can generate a “snort wheeze,” which is a long hissing sound that fighting bucks make as a final sound to signify the fighting is about to begin. Make sure mature bucks are nearby when using a snort wheeze; otherwise, younger bucks will be scared off.

When is the best time to use a deer call?

A. Ideally, the best time to use a deer call is when you see the deer from afar. You can watch its body language and see how it responds to additional calls. Otherwise, you will have to use it when no deer are insight and hope for the best. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for best practices is recommended.

What are the best deer calls to buy?

Top deer call

Nationwide Scents All-in-One Deer Hunting Wooden Call

Nationwide Scents All-in-One Deer Hunting Wooden Call

What you need to know: Made from cherry wood, this rustic deer grunt call is versatile and proven to work in the field.

What you’ll love: The extra-long tube increases volume and makes grunts more realistic. An adjustable ring allows you to mimic the sound of different bucks and bleats. A freeze-proof tip endures the coldest conditions. A money-back guarantee is included.

What you should consider: The joint has been reported to come loose after several hunting seasons.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top deer call for the money

Primos Big Bucks Bag Call

Primos Big Bucks Bag Call

What you need to know: This unique style of deer call simulates the sounds of two bucks fighting, which can cause other deer to stop what they are doing.

What you’ll love: There are two sets of tines included that can be rolled or rattled to simulate different sizes of fighting bucks. A waterproof camouflage net bag has a drawstring to keep the tines quiet while carrying. There are drilled holes for variable volume and pitch.

What you should consider: The mesh bag can show wear and tear over time from continued use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Worth checking out

Illusion Extinguisher Deer Call

Illusion Extinguisher Deer Call

What you need to know: This well-crafted deer call is realistic-sounding and one of the best-selling systems on the market.

What you’ll love: It has a patented “modislide” that adjusts between buck, doe, and fawn sound instantly. It comes with a free CD and a mobile app that includes instructional videos. Approved by the North American Hunting Club, it comes with a 30-day satisfaction promise.

What you should consider: The effectiveness of this call is impacted by colder temperatures and should be considered as such.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.