doe bleat call

How to Use a Doe Bleat [Simple & Effective]

Knowing when and how to use a doe bleat is a great tool you can use to bag mature bucks.

After all, every buck has its own personality and tendencies. And some are more wary of moving around during the day.

So how can you use doe bleats to make him come to you?

Producing short sequences of doe bleats every 15 minutes is a great way to use this call. Since doe bleats are used in many scenarios, they are effective calls throughout the year. They are best used closer to the rut, however, since bucks are actively seeking does to breed. 

And this is because bucks love to keep tabs on the doe groups that bed nearby. Especially as the rut approaches.

If you run into a buck that doesn’t move much during the day it could be a tough season.

Unless you use a doe bleat can call to lure him out of his bed.

Read on as we dive into specific ways to use a doe bleat call to gain an advantage when hunting these mature deer.

What is a Doe Bleat?

So if you’re going to understand how to use a doe bleat effectively you should probably know what they are and how does use them.

A Doe bleat is a noise uttered by female deer to signal messages to other deer. These messages differ depending on the time of the year as well as age and mood of the deer calling. Does and fawns use doe bleat to communicate very frequently to understand each other’s locations.

Fortunately for hunters, they’re super easy easy to mimic — especially with a doe bleat can call.

You can listen below if you haven’t heard a doe bleat and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Why Do Does Bleat?

Generally speaking, does bleat in order to find each other.

You’ll often hear fawns bleating, and they do this for similar reasons as their mothers.

Fawns bleat to keep track of where they’re at so they don’t get lost. Kind of like a little kid yells for their mom in the grocery store.

More mature does may bleat when in estrus to signal to bucks that they’re ready to breed.

If a doe has her tail straight up or parallel to the ground, then this is most likely the case.

doe in estrous
Image by Dger

Don’t mistake doe bleats for another sound you may hear in the woods — blowing.

Blowing is much different than bleating as it’s used by both bucks and does to signal to other deer that there is danger nearby.

If you hear a deer blowing there’s a good chance you won’t see any deer for an hour at least so using a bleat call may not be that effective.

How to Use a Doe Bleat Call

Now that we know why female deer use bleat calls, we need to understand how to utilize them. 

There are numerous tips and tricks for how to use bleat calls most effectively while you’re out hunting whitetail deer.

This includes the proper technique of doe bleating as well as which situations you should doe bleat in to attract a mature deer.

How Often Should You Bleat Call?

The biggest battle when it comes to using doe bleats effectively is figuring out how often to use them.

The frequency you’re using a doe bleat call should differ depending on the time of the year as shown in the table below.

Time of YearBleating Frequency
Early SeasonEvery 30+ Minutes
Pre-Rut & RutEvery 15+ Minutes
Late SeasonEvery 30+ Minutes

To best mimic actual doe behavior, you should keep the frequency of your bleats down to one or two bleats per bleat sequence.

You can play with this number as bit as long as you don’t bleat for ten minutes straight.

Deer aren’t used to hearing excessive bleating in the wild so it’s best to only do bleat sequences sparingly so they won’t be suspicious.

Doe Bleats Are Most Effective Against Scattered Populations

Doe bleats are most effective in areas where deer populations aren’t as condensed.

Deer learn to use their vocal methods of communication more in areas where they are spread out, so they are more likely to respond to bleats.

This makes the bleat call a great tactic to draw deer out of dense pine, rhododendron, or mountain laurel thickets — especially if the deer population is scarce.

Small pine thicket in South Georgia.

You can almost always find buck bedding in these thick areas because they aren’t easy for their predators to quietly access.

Setting up on the edge of these thick bedding areas and letting out a bleat sequence can be an effective way to draw mature deer out.

Bleats are also great to use when deer are sleeping or resting during the day.

It could wake them up and peak their curiosity enough to come to your stand.

The Pitch of a Doe Bleat Matters Significantly

Changing the pitch of the bleat call allows you to mimic different age-classes of does.

Contrary to popular belief, letting out long estrus bleats is usually not an effective tactic.

Higher-pitched bleats can be used to mimic the bleats of fawns, which will increase your chances of attracting does.

On the other hand, lower pitched bleats increase your chances of attracting bucks, especially during the pre-rut or rut.

Best Time of Year to Use a Doe Bleat Call

If you’re looking to take a buck, then bleat calls are going to be most effective during the rut or pre-rut. The rut is when deer will be most active. Peak rut for all deer occurs once a year and the timing differs based on where you’re hunting.

We’ve made it easy for you and put a link to some rut information for each of the southern states in the table below.

StateRut Info Link
AlabamaRut Map
ArkansasRut Map
FloridaRut Map
GeorgiaRut Map
KentuckyPeak Rut Dates
LouisianaRut Map
MississippiRut Map
North CarolinaRut Map
South CarolinaRut Map
TennesseePeak Rut Dates

Although peak rut lasts about a week, does come in heat every 28 days if they haven’t been bred that year.

Bucks will be more active in responding to doe bleats during these cycles because there are far fewer does left to compete for.

does-not-bred-by-rut-phase

They’ll often place themselves downwind and within earshot of popular doe bedding areas making these great areas to use doe bleats.

The rest of the year bucks typically won’t come to bleat calls — they know that does aren’t seeking their attention like they are during the rut.

During this time, you’ll likely just attract does or young bucks who didn’t breed with doe bleats.

The Different Types of Doe Bleat Calls

There are two different types of calls that you’ll find most hunters using to mimic doe bleats – the doe bleat can call and the adjustable grunt tube.

Both have their pros and cons, but one of these is the most obvious choice for most hunters.

Doe Bleat Can Call

The doe bleat can call is the most common of the two types of calls that you’ll typically find being used to mimic doe bleats.

You work this call by covering the bottom hole with your finger and facing that side up. Then, quickly flipping the call back over so that hole faces down.

This causes the puck to make a bleat noise as it slides down the inside of the can.

It’s a super easy call to use and doesn’t take up much weight making it a good option to have in your pack.

Adjustable Grunt Tube

adjustable doe bleat/grunt tube

As one can tell from the name, the adjustable grunt tube is mainly used to make grunts to mimic a buck call.

It also comes with an adjustable slider making it capable of doe bleats and grunts of varying pitches and tones.

This give you the ability to mimic different age-class deer and limits the amount of gear you need in your pack.

deer-call-pitch-bar-chart

It also comes with a lanyard so you never have to make noise searching for it in your bag.

It’s easily my favorite call between the two and is the best for someone learning how to use a doe bleat.

Summary

Whether it’s calling in bucks around breeding season or mimicking fawns outside of the rut, you can use the doe bleat in different ways to fill up your freezer.

In order to utilize bleats most effectively, you will need to become attuned to the patterns of the deer in your area.

You can start by scouting in person and learning the areas that different doe groups typically bed in.

Once you understand the area you’re hunting, utilizing the doe bleat will drastically increase the amount of meat in your freezer.

If this article helped you out, read some of our latest articles so you can learn different ways to fill your freezer this year!

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