Give a little whistle

Shooting Times & Country|June 24, 2020

Give a little whistle
Calling in roe can be very effective but it takes time to get good at it, says Henry Tegner, and the prettiest calls aren’t always the bestw
Henry Tegner

Soon after the longest day of the year in June, the roe deer become busy over their matrimonial affairs. It is at this time that the whistle can be effective. I use the words ‘can be effective’ advisedly for the roe call is by no means an infallible instrument. There would not be much attraction to the art of calling roe if it were as easy as all that.

Weather certainly has a profound effect on the success or otherwise of bringing a buck or perhaps a doe to you. Rain is generally unfavorable, for these woodland deer usually shelter so well that in rainy weather it is not easy to get the sound of the whistle to them; even if they hear it their reaction appears to be to ignore it as if they could not be bothered to seek the cause of this sound.

Wind, too, is not a favorable condition for the call. It is difficult on a windy day to get your piping to where you want it, and either the bucks do not get your message or the sound becomes distorted en route.

Effective period

I have found that the ideal weather conditions under which to call a roe deer successfully are when the evening is calm and sunny, although the cloud itself, as long as it does not produce rain, is no great drawback. A clear, calm, sunlit evening, then, is my choice when using the roe whistle.

The use of the call is pretty well useless outside the period of the rut, although, soon after the kids are born in May, a lure imitating the voice of her young will bring a doe to you quickly enough.


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June 24, 2020