The Ned Rig: The Best Bass Lure You’ve Never Heard Of

Unless you’re a pro angler, you’ve probably never heard of the Ned rig. Most amateur anglers, like myself, stick to the basics for the most part.

I recently went fishing with Costa FLW Pro Jason Mullinax, who introduced me to the Ned rig. I was a bit apprehensive about using a new rig at first, but after getting a bit on the first cast, I quickly gained respect for the Ned rig.

As soon as I felt the fish bite, I quickly jerked the rod and attempted to set the hook.

“You don’t need to set the hook on the Ned rig,” said Jason. “Just let ‘em chew on it a minute then wind down to it. It’s an exposed hook, so it doesn’t take much force to hook the fish.”

The next cast, I again felt the familiar tug of a bass pulling on the lure. After testing my patience for a long ten seconds, I wound the line down as instructed and landed a decent-sized spotted bass. Needless to say, I was hooked on the Ned rig.

I recently read a great article on this little-known lure that was posted on In-Fisherman magazine’s website. You can read the article by clicking here.

The article detailed an interview with Ned Kehde, inventor of the Ned rig. Kehde describes himself as a finesse fisherman and describes how he was inspired to develop the perfect finesse lure—the Ned rig.

Photos by Jason Mullinax

At first glance, I thought the lure might be prone to snagging just about anything it comes in contact with, but the lure’s design allows it to bounce across the bottom with very little effort. I used a Picasso 1/8-oz. Tungsten Ned Head with a 3-inch Roboworm Ned worm in Aaron’s Magic color. You can order the same items on the Picasso Lures website by clicking here.

During our trip, I became acquainted with the Ned rig and Jason explained why it’s a great all-around lure.

I would describe the Ned rig as a do nothing worm,” said Jason. “It’s definitely a finesse lure that will use a stand-up head. It’s a super subtle finesse bait.”

He noted a few tips that helped me understand how to present the lure to fish holding to cover, or simply suspended near the bottom. I have always been a fan of the Texas rigged worm. The Ned rig could aptly be described as a polar opposite lure from the Texas rig.

“Right off the bat, you have to realize that it’s an exposed hook, so the hook set is totally different than a Texas,” said Jason. “There’s no need for a powerful hook set. You’re using a razor-sharp hook that will penetrate like a hypodermic needle.”

I soon got the hang of using the Ned rig and was reeling in bass at just about every location we hit that day on northwest Georgia’s Lake Allatoona.

“I think it excels on post frontal days—bluebird days when the fish are pinned to the bottom and kind of lethargic,” said Jason. “Anytime the fish are highly pressured or in the middle of a high pressure system when they are not in a chasing mood. A great time to use it is after the spawn.”

Jason noted that a fish doesn’t have to exert any energy to get a chance at biting the Ned rig. The lure bounces methodically across the bottom, presenting bass with what looks like an easy-pickings baitfish browsing the bottom.

The lure’s overall effectiveness is unwavering. The Ned rig can attract bites in almost any conditions and in a variety of structure—or lack thereof. If you’re on the fence about trying this lure, check out the numerous videos online featuring pro anglers praising the Ned rig’s versatility and productivity.

Give it a try by ordering your Ned rig gear from Picasso Lures here.

Picasso Ned
Photo credit: PIcasso Lures official website

The Sleeping Bear


This article was written by Jason Swindle and was originally posted on the Swindle Law Group’s official website here. 


In 1979, an epic story about brothers, war, and life in the Montana wilderness was written that no one would hear about until 1994.

Some American Indians in the Montanas believe that an encounter with a bear in the wild changes a man. The bear becomes part of him. While the bear may sleep, he is always with the man. The bear can awaken at any time.

I believe the bear is also a natural part of few men when they are born.

I have known such men.

Because of betrayals the United States government perpetrated on the American Indians, Col. William Ludlow left the army and moved to a remote part of Montana. Along with One Stab, his friend from the Cree Indian Tribe, he built a ranch and raised his family.


Ludlow had three sons: Alfred, the oldest who unsuccessfully sought his father’s approval his entire life, Tristan, the Colonel’s favorite son, who was wild and well-versed in American Indian traditions, and Samuel, the youngest, who was constantly watched over by his brothers.

Ludlow’s wife did not adapt to the harsh Montana winters and moved to the East Coast; Tristan vowed never to speak of her again. At age 12, Tristan touched a sleeping grizzly bear. The bear awakened and injured him, but he stabbed at the bear’s paw and cut off a claw.

From the age of 12, Tristan Ludlow would adopt the ancient ways of the Cree, battle the bear inside of him, and try to protect the ones he cared for the most.

When the boys went to Europe to fight Germany during World War I, Samuel volunteered for a dangerous reconnaissance mission and was killed by enemy gunfire. A devastated Tristan, who arrived too late, held Samuel until he died. Then, as he was taught, cut out his brother’s heart and sent it home to be buried at the ranch. That night, he single-handedly raided the German lines. After his attack, he returned to camp with the scalps of numerous German soldiers.

When Tristan came home, he and Susannah, Samuel’s fiancee before he died, began a relationship. Although he cared for her deeply, Tristan’s guilt over Samuel’s death forced him to leave Montana again. During his absence, Col. Ludlow suffered a stroke, the ranch deteriorated, and Susannah married Alfred, now a congressman. Tristan would never be able to save her from the misery of living with Alfred. She committed suicide just a few years later.

Tristan returned during Prohibition. He married and had two children. Like many folks during that era, became involved in small-scale rum-running, finding himself at odds with a powerful bootlegging family; the O’Banions. When his wife was accidentally killed by an associate of the O’Banions, Tristan took the lives of those responsible; beginning a feud that would end up costing the lives of all the O’Banions.

Years and people passed away. But, Tristan lived to become old in the North Country. While One Stab believed Tristan would die as a young man, it was the people he cared for and wanted to protect most that died young. In 1963, he was once again confronted by a grizzly bear. The old man drew his knife. One Stab would say, “It was a good death”.

The story told in Legends of the Fall was from a different and lawless era. Today, Tristan Ludlow would be in prison for numerous crimes. But, the story provides the best example of those rare men who are inherently good, care more for others than themselves, risk their lives trying to protect others, but also commit violent, vengeful or bad acts along their life journey.

One Stab provides the simple reason. “I think it was the bear, growling inside him. Making him do bad things. Nothing that Tristan did was truly his own fault. It was the bear.”

Shark Bait: A Fisherman’s Tale


I was 27 years old when I took my first deep sea fishing trip on the open ocean. Being born and raised in the rolling foothills of the Appalachians, I was accustomed to only fishing in lakes, ponds and rivers around Georgia and Alabama. I traveled to Panama City Beach with a group of friends for what would become an unforgettable adventure.

We booked a trip with Captain Scott Fitzgerald of Madfish Charters and set out on a beautiful sunny September morning. I did not know what to expect to catch in the emerald-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and asked Capt. Scott about our chances to gain some sense of reassurance.

“You think we’ll catch a fish or two?” I joked.

“Oh, we’ll catch plenty,” he laughed. “Your arms might get tired from reeling them in.”

We boarded the boat and held on and he ramped the motor up to what felt like 100 miles per hour. We seamlessly glided across the water to our destination nearly 10 miles offshore. As I stared at the endless blue horizon, my friend, Paul, slapped my shoulder and pointed to a massive sea turtle making its way toward the surface as we zoomed past. I quickly realized that today was going to be vastly different than fishing any Georgia freshwater reservoir.

We arrived at our first stop where a shipwreck lay roughly 100 feet below us. I fished a scrap of blackfin tuna that Capt. Scott had caught just minutes earlier for our day’s bait. The bait and sinker plunked into the water as the tuna left an oily trail on the surface.

“Got one!” Paul yelled as we turned to watch him fight the day’s first catch, a small red snapper.

Capt. Scott grabbed the line and raised the fish into the boat to give us a closer look.

“Check out the teeth on that thing,” he said, showing me the fish’s needle-sharp fangs.

Before he could release the snapper, our friend, Jason, piped up.

“Fish on!”

I focused on my own rod to ensure I hadn’t missed a bite. I slowly cranked the reel just one turn before I felt a sharp tug on the end of the line. I quickly wound the line and felt the unmistakable sensation of a fish dancing on the hook. This did not feel like the old run-of-the-mill largemouth bass or bream I was used to catching. The fish tugged and darted with much more power than I anticipated, sharply jerking the pole downward as the reel whined against the catch.

My heart was pumping as I brought the fish to the surface. Another red snapper. I was amazed at how the brilliant red color seemed to brighten to a different hue as I brought it out of the water.

We continued to reel in fish after fish. Our group caught mackerel, beeliner, triggerfish, grouper, and the occasional shark. All the worries I originally brought with me on the boat about returning with an empty cooler vanished. It was every bit of fun I had hoped for—and more.


As the heat began to wear on our boat in the open sun, we began to maneuver around the vessel for the small sliver of shade offered by the covered steering column in the center. Soon, Jason had reached his limit for standing in the hot sun.

“Captain, can I jump in and take a dip for a minute? It’s hot as all get out,” he said.

“Absolutely not,” said Capt. Scott replied. “These are shark infested waters and we have been chummin’ up the water all day.”

In light of Capt. Scott’s warning, Jason persisted.

“Come on, man,” he said. “It’ll be alright if I just jump in for a little bit. I don’t see any sharks around here anyway.”

Capt. Scott firmly declined once more, to which Jason continued to plead for just one minute of relief from the boiling sun.

“Look, you’re a grown man, so you can do what you want to, but the second you step off this boat, you are not covered by any kind of insurance I can offer,” said Capt. Scott. “Do not jump into—”

Capt. Scott was interrupted by a large splash as Jason jumped into the cool water. The Captain shook his head and muttered a few choice words regarding Jason’s decision.

“Wooo! Come on, fellas! This feels great!” said Jason as he smiled with relief from the sweltering sun.

“Dude, get out,” said Paul. “I don’t want to be pulling you up out of a shark’s mouth.”

After our group reasoned with him, Jason relented and climbed into the boat.

“SHARK!” Paul yelled as Jason picked up a towel to dry himself with.

Jason smiled at what he likely thought was a joke from his friend, but his grin quickly sank into a shocked expression as two full-grown bull sharks cruised past the boat directly under where Jason had just exited the water.

We stood in silence as the pair of large sharks swam away from our vessel.

“See what I mean?” Capt. Scott said in a matter-of-fact-tone.

Jason and our group tried to dismiss what we had just witnessed with nervous laughter, realizing that we narrowly avoided a nightmare scenario. We soon relocated to avoid any further incidents with the sharks. Our group arrived at what Capt. Scott said was a fairly large reef below. Within minutes, we were all back to hooking and reeling in fish.

Donny and Paul
Paul (left) and I getting ready to fish off the pier in Panama City Beach.

“Whoa! I got something big,” said Paul.

Moments later, Paul’s line went limp as he continued to reel in what he hoped would be a monster fish. As his hook neared the surface, it became evident that Paul had initially hooked into a medium sized snapper that had been bitten clean in two.

“Looks like the sharks are back, let’s get out of here,” said Capt. Scott.

We all protested, hoping that one of us would catch one of the giant creatures.

I caught another decent red snapper, which floundered atop the surface after being released. The fish floated away nearly 20 feet from the bow of our boat. I flinched as one of the sharks crashed the surface, snatching the fish away before returning to the depths.

“Did you see that?!” I shouted to our group.

Reaching into my pocket for my phone, I realized that the camera on my Samsung flip-phone had recently been damaged. My stomach sank as I realized I had not taken one single photo of any fish we had landed that day. I quickly asked Paul and Jason to get their phones ready to capture footage of the sharks.

Jason replied that he had left his phone in the hotel, while Paul began readying his brand-new smartphone to capture any glimpse of the sharks.

“No!” he groaned. “My phone is dead! I can’t believe this!”

Capt. Scott laughed as we agonized over what we knew would be a fishing story nobody would believe.

“You guys didn’t bring a camera?” he said. “I usually keep one in the boat, but my wife has it today.”

Capt Scott
Captain Scott Fitzgerald, owner of Madfish Charters.

We laughed at our misfortune and continued to enjoy our time on the water. Our group began catching large red snapper around the reef, two of which were likely more than 20 pounds. Once again, I felt a distinct tug on my line and began reeling in what I knew to be another red snapper. After fighting the fish for a few seconds, my line seemed to lock into place and refused to budge. I pulled on the rod, but it had snagged something that felt to be unmovable.

“Captain, I think I’m hung on that shipwreck down below,” I reported.

Captain Scott stepped out from behind the steering console to investigate.

“No, you’ve got one of those sharks,” he grumbled.

“It’s not moving. I’m pretty sure I’m hung up,” I said.

As I pulled once more and attempted to turn the reel, something on the other end nearly pulled me off the boat. The rod tip bent down just inches away from the water’s surface as I quickly realized that I had indeed managed to hook one of the large bull sharks circling our boat.

The reel screeched as the beast fought against my efforts to hold on for dear life. I can only describe the experience of fighting a full-grown shark on medium-tackle as similar to fighting any other catch, but instead of having a fish on the end of your line, imagine it being hooked to the bumper of a pickup truck that’s driving wildly around a parking lot.

When the shark would let up, I would pull the rod closer to my body, wind down any slack he had given and brace for the next round of thrashing and pulling. Captain Scott, entertained by my struggle, was grinning widely as a I fought to keep my feet planted on the boat.

“Want the belt?” Captain Scott asked. “It will keep that rod from hurting your stomach.”

“No, I’m fine,” I said, ignorantly trying to preserve my masculinity by assuming that I was fighting the fish “the old fashioned way.” After a few more minutes, the rod began to make it’s presence known at my waistline, piercing down while I continued to battle the beast. I soon realized that I would need the belt in order to have a chance at hanging on to the rod much longer.

“Alright, give me that belt,” I said.

I fought the shark for what seemed like an hour. The fish darted and ran back and forth with so much force that it seemed to tug the boat around with ease. Occasionally, the shark would relent and allow me a few moments to reposition my grip and catch my breath. Beads of water clung to the line and dripped off into the ocean while I wound the reel to reclaim some of the line that the fish had taken. Just when it seemed that I was making progress, the rod would bow down again and the reel screamed as the shark went on another run.

Twenty minutes passed as I struggled with the fish before our crew was able to get a decent look at the animal roughly 25 feet below the surface.

“Yeah, that’s a nice one,” said Captain Scott. “Looks like he’s a good 8-feet and probably 200 pounds or more.”

I was both exhilarated and exhausted from the fight, but unwilling to concede to the fish who seemed to be weakening significantly. Before we could begin to decide what to do if I managed to get the fish to the boat, the line suddenly went limp—dangling in the breeze. My reel, which had been whining and screaming for the past half-hour was now silent.

Our group peered over the side of the boat into the depths below to investigate, but it was evident that the fight was over and the shark was gone. I reeled back my empty hook and leaned the rod against the steering column behind me. My feelings of disappointment were dampened by the sense of relief from the end of such an intense fight.

Our day on the water was an unforgettable adventure. We returned to the boat dock with a cooler-full of fish and more than our share of memories. My arms still ached and trembled from fighting the shark.

My first deep sea fishing trip offered more excitement than I could have ever imagined. While I was able to cross off one bucket list item, I added another one to my list: Catching and photographing another big bull shark.

To learn more about Madfish Charters, visit their Facebook page here.

The Secrets to Spawning Bass

Costa FLW Series Pro Angler Jason Mullinax with a monster spawning largemouth bass.

Spring brings with it one of the most exciting events of the year for bass fishing enthusiasts: the spawn. Bass will begin to move from the cold depths of their winter habitat into the shallow sections of lakes in preparation to lay their eggs. Anglers will search the shallow areas around shorelines in pursuit of bedding bass, but many are unaware of some key secrets that pros and old-timers say make all the difference in catching bass during those warmer months.

Fishermen hold the spawn in high regard as it is the time of year that an angler is most likely to catch a monster bass. Here are four “secrets” that might help you land those double-digit lunkers that take to the shallows every spring.

Head South

“When bass start to spawn, you will almost always find them beginning to spawn on the southerly-facing shoreline in just about any lake,” says Jason Mullinax, Costa FLW Series pro angler and bass fishing guide.

Jason explains that the southern shorelines are exposed to more sunlight, which causes the temperature in these areas to rise more quickly than northern shorelines. Southerly-facing shorelines also offer protection against north winds that typically bring cooler air. Bass will seek out areas in which current and winds will not sweep their eggs away from the bedding area.

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Cast, Cast Again

Many anglers make the mistake of giving up too early on a bedded bass. After a few casts, they may simply assume that the bass will not bite the lure, and move on. Jason says one of the keys to catching bedded bass is repetition.

“Boat position and repeated casts are paramount,” says Jason. “If the buck bites first, box him until the female is caught. Don’t be afraid to try every plastic in the boat, One will trigger the fish to bite.”

Many anglers have reported throwing lures to a particular bedded bass for more than 45 minutes before finally getting a bite. If you don’t get a bit after a few minutes of casting to the fish, try a different lure or color presentation.

Aim Small, Miss Small Catch Big

Jason is adamant that there is a specific spot within a bass’ bed that will trigger a strike. It is important to throw to the bed from different angles to find this trigger spot.

“There is a spot within the spot when you’re fishing for bedded bass,” says Jason. “Pay close attention to where that spot is. Ninety-five percent of her bed will not yield a reaction, but the spot within the spot will cause her to turn, flare her gills, or give other indications that she’s not happy with it.”


Seek Out Hidden Spots

Unlike the largemouth bass, spotted bass will often find bedding areas well beneath the surface in locations that many anglers will never be able to spot them. It is not uncommon to find spotted bass on bed at depths of more than 10 or even 15 feet.

“Spotted bass look for a good, hard bottom to spawn on,” says Jason. “Areas that have pea gravel, boulders, or red clay bottoms will be prime locations for spawning spots. Most of the time, you’ll find these spots by casting in the same location. Once you catch the male, keep throwing to the spot and you will eventually get a bite from a spawning female.”

Take these secrets and pass them along to other anglers. They may provide an edge during the spawn that can help an angler catch the bass of a lifetime.

From Gamer to Outdoorsman



Nearly four years ago, I made the decision to give up one of my favorite hobbies. From a very early age, I had always loved playing video games. I would spend countless hours sitting in front of a television enthralled in the fantasy world I had at my fingertips.

My father and grandfather always discouraged me from playing games. They would warn me that it would “rot my brain,” and stressed to me how much of a waste of time gaming was, even for a small child.

Gaming was an escape for me. I had always been an athletic, active kid, but video games offered an easy way for me satisfy my imagination. There were periods throughout my life in which I couldn’t wait to get home from school or work only to plop down in front of the television and get lost in whichever game I was into at the time.

As I grew older, I realized that gaming was becoming more of a distraction from things that should have been important in my life. Soon after my grandfather passed away, I began feeling more and more compelled to leave the games behind.

My grandfather was an outdoorsman his entire life. He would tell my brothers and I about all the adventurous things he did as a child, and as a young adult. He had been raised on a farm and knew how to ride horses, raise bird dogs, plant a garden, and the man had been fishing in nearly every lake from South Carolina to the Mississippi River. I would often go with him on hunting or fishing trips, or just help him around his farm with various tasks he liked to refer to as “piddlin.”

After he passed, I though more and more about him, and how much I wished I could have gone with him on some of his outdoor adventures. I’m ashamed to admit that on many occasions, I chose to play video games instead of join him on a fishing trip, or help him out around the farm. The regret I feel for missing out on those opportunities stings worse now than ever.

One day, about four years ago, I sat at breakfast and reminisced about how much I enjoyed spending time with him. I wondered if my grandchildren would ever have the same kind of memories I had of my “Papa.”

Then it hit me. If I didn’t give up my guilty pleasure of gaming, I wouldn’t have any of those amazing stories to tell my own grandchildren.

The hours and hours I had spent gaming was time that I could have spent exploring the great outdoors, fishing, hunting, riding horses, or any other adventure that I would get more out of than any video game could have ever given me.

I got rid of my gaming console that day and resolved to take advantage of any opportunity I could to enjoy the great outdoors.

Since then, I have cherished every opportunity I get to be adventurous. I’ve made some incredible memories with friends, and I have grown closer to my father, and enjoyed the time we get to venture into the great outdoors together.

A few people have asked me why I quit playing games. I always respond with the same answer.

“I want to spend my time enjoying real-life adventures, and I want to have some incredible stories to tell my grandkids.”

If I could offer any advice to someone the same situation I used to find myself in, I would strongly encourage leaving the virtual world, and exploring the vast, magnificent world around them.

People will never remember all those levels you beat in that video game, or how good you were at an online multiplayer game. But, those adventures you and your friends set out on will create unforgettable memories that will mean more to you and those around you years from now.

Get up off that couch, turn off the television, and put down that controller. In doing so, I guarantee you will enter a world of endless adventure that will surpass any enjoyment you can ever get from anything you will find in the digital world.

How to Stop a Cruising Buck



Just a few days ago, I was hunting in a great spot and had what many hunters have likely experienced—a big buck came within view, but he was cruising for does, and headed away from my position. He was walking along a creek-bottom nearly 100 yards from my stand, and getting further away with each passing second.

The deer was making his way through some thick underbrush, which blocked my opportunity for a good shot.

Desperate to draw the buck back into range, I grabbed a doe bleat can from my pocket and hit the call. The bucks’ ears perked up, but his legs continued to move. Frustrated, I waited a few seconds and again sounded the bleat. The deer was having none of it, and trailed off into the brush.

As my heart raced, and my hands begin to tremble in excitement, I searched in the direction where I last got a glimpse of the buck, but saw no sign of his return. Weighing my options, I reached for a grunt call, hoping to stir him into investigating another male suitor in his turf. After sounding a few grunts, I waited…


We’ve all probably experienced something like this while hunting. It’s the peak of the rut here in Georgia, and bucks are “cruising” around, looking for does. These bucks are moving at all hours of the day and night, and bagging a monster buck is most likely to happen when he’s lovestruck and casting caution aside to find a mate.

I consulted with my father, Keith Karr, who is one of the most knowledgeable hunters I know, and asked for some tips on stopping a cruising buck if I have a similar encounter in the future. My Dad has killed more bucks than I’ve ever seen, and has accumulated a wealth of experience and wisdom over the years related to whitetail deer hunting.

Here are some key methods he pointed out that can be used to get a cruising buck to stop in its tracks, and—if you’re lucky—draw him back into shooting range.

First, let’s define what a “cruising” buck is. A buck is considered cruising when looking for a doe in heat during the rut. These cruisers are moving at a good enough clip that you’ll completely miss the opportunity for a shot if you’re not prepared.

These bucks will be moving faster than usual, and not interested in stopping to smell the roses. He won’t be in a flat-out run, but more of a trot.

“I’ve learned over the years of a few methods that can stop a buck and present you with a shot, but I’ve also found that sometimes these methods work, and other times they won’t,” Dad says.


“Assuming a buck is close enough to hear a bleat call, that’s the first thing I would do,” he says. “Sometimes you might not have a chance to reach and grab an actual bleat call, so I’ve actually just made a similar noise with my mouth and stopped a buck in its tracks.”

A cruising buck is already searching high and low for does in heat, so a bleat call could make him think you’re the answer to his prayers.A buck will need to be within about 100 yards to really have a chance to hear a bleat, especially if he’s moving along at a fast rate.

Sometimes you won’t have a chance to grab a bleat call. Dad said a simple “baa” sound (similar to a sheep) is usually close enough to the real thing to get a buck’s attention.

Whether using a bleat call, or trying to mimic the sound with your mouth, be sure not call too loud, as you might actually startle some bucks.  

It’s important to practice these calls before your hunt to ensure you can properly execute the sound you want when the time comes. There are loads of videos online that offer instructions on deer calls, so be sure to do your research.


“Second, if I can’t bleat, or if the bleat call doesn’t stop him, I would grunt,” says Dad. “If you don’t have a call handy, you can also make this call with your mouth. You’ll want to make an “oink” sound, just like you would if you were snorting like a pig. It might sound different to you, but a buck on the move won’t really be able to tell the difference in this and using an actual grunt call.”

Grunting should only be used when the deer is headed in another direction and you’re looking to get him to stop, or draw him back toward you.

In the experience mentioned above, after giving careful thought to the events, I realized that I may not have grunted loud enough for this buck to hear.

Be sure to consult with fellow hunters, or simply watch some videos online to get a better understanding of how to properly execute an effective grunt call.

Hunters will tell you that all bucks are different. Many have reported hearing a monster buck having a wheezy, nasal grunt while some younger, and smaller bucks sound like a blue-ribbon hog grunting.

A grunt call can be one of the most useful tools in a hunter’s arsenal if used correctly.

Remember, the closer the buck is, the softer the grunt should be. Grunting too loudly at a buck within 75 yards is likely to spook them.

When grunting at a cruising buck, be sure to keep it short and sweet, but don’t be shy with it either.



“Third, if a bleat or grunt won’t stop the buck, I would give a good, sharp whistle,” says Dad. “This is not something you might ever think to do to get a buck to stop, but the sound of a human whistling is a good way to stop a buck—especially if he is within range.”

A buck might be so zoned-in that grunts and bleats won’t phase him. But, a well-timed whistle is something that can often get his attention.

If All Else Fails, Yell

“If nothing else has worked at stopping the deer, I’ve made sort of a last-ditch effort, and yelled at a buck to get him to stop,” says Dad. “This is just a short, but loud verbal command like “hey” or “whoa” that is sure to get a buck’s attention.”

When using this method, Dad says there is one important point to cover.

“Be ready to pull the trigger,” he says. “Ninety percent of the time, this is sure to stop a buck, but you’ll only get a few seconds before he either runs, or continues on his path. Be ready for him to stop on a dime.”

Dad recalls using this method once, and missing a prime opportunity on a nice buck.

“I was sitting on a really pretty oak ridge when I heard a deer trotting toward me,” says Dad. “I looked, and it was a really nice 8-point buck coming right by my stand. I got up and grabbed my bow in time to draw back, but the buck was already very close to my stand. I yelled at him, and managed to get him to stop and present me a shot, but I made one mistake—I didn’t have my hand anchored in, and my sights weren’t lined up. Just that little bit of movement after he stopped was enough to spook the buck. He ran off, and I missed a good opportunity.”

You might use all four of these methods to no avail. Sometimes—especially in the rut—a buck is so crazed that nothing will stop him. But, if you do encounter a cruising buck, be sure to keep these methods in mind.

You might just get a shot that could be the difference in a wall-hanger and just another hunting story.