Deer calls can help bring deer to you, but different calls are more useful at different stages of deer hunting season. There are four main types of deer calls, each with its own purpose.
A bleat can mimic the social sounds of the deer, and specifically does. Bleat cans let other deer know where you are. They should be used sparingly to let deer come to you. The beginning of the rut is the best time for the bleat can. You can also get calls that mimic fawns in distress to bring out the protective side of nearby adult deer.
If you’re looking for mature bucks, the grunt call is the way to go. Occasional calls every 15-20 minutes can help get the attention of a buck. Real deer grunt when they are fighting, making scrapes, or chasing does, meaning this call functions as a challenge to other bucks in the area.
The sound of rattling antlers indicates fighting to nearby bucks. The sound of locking horns during the rut inspires bucks to challenge each other, and may bring a buck your way. Provoking aggression is less effective after the rut, when setting up close to bedding areas becomes a more effective method of targeting deer.
Snort wheezes are used by large bucks to intimidate smaller bucks. This is a call of dominance. This call should not be used often, but can bring out the territorial nature of the buck. It is most effective during the rut, but be aware that it may draw a buck to you or send him in the opposite direction if he’s intimidated by the sound.