How to Use a Grunt Tube


Of all the rut trick tools a hunter can employ, a grunt tube is one of the easiest to use and can be the most effective. As with any device, you may worry about improper calling that may actually be chasing deer away rather than bringing them closer. Last week, I found myself 15 yards from a mature doe enjoying my big buck attractant as daylight faded. I didn’t want to reveal the blind location, so I picked up a grunt tube and gave a solid puff, hoping to scare her away. Not so much as an ear twitched. Next, I gave a series of aggressive grunts… nothing. Finally, I blew the tube like a bugle and the old doe casually looked up.

The point here is that a grunt tube may not always help, but it rarely hurts. Some hunters reserve grunt calls until a buck is in sight, yet I’ve interviewed many hunters who randomly use a grunt call and bucks suddenly SD Deer 2013 2 140appear. Call variations range from a few grunts to a steady series often called the “tending grunt” to the “buck roar,” a very loud grunt that mimics a bellow. Since a buck could be just over the ridge, begin on the mild side and increase the volume and aggressive tone of calling with time. Grunt tubes often offer multiple options; take for example the Flextone Extinguisher, which uses a convenient slide to change from buck grunts to doe bleats to fawn sounds. Doe bleats can be very effective during the rut, and using multiple calls can up your odds for success. Also, fawn bleats aren’t usually effective on big bucks, but can be dynamite on coyotes should you hear one howl nearby.

High wind is one of the worst hunting conditions to deal with, yet I knew of a thick deer-extinguisher[2]patch of cedars that was practically a whitetail bed-and-breakfast. I circled down wind of the thick cover and began grunting. With no response, I moved 150 yards and began calling again. This time, I lured a good 8-point to 20 yards within minutes. The grunt tube transformed a terrible hunting condition into a cool success story.

If you’d like more information about the Flextone Extinguisher, visit

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.