One favorite tactic of many modern deer hunters is rattling antlers. There is a lot of friendly debate among hunters about when to pull the rattle bag out of their bag of hunting tricks and how to use it. Your success with the technique will boil down to many variables, some of which are unique to your hunting area and situation.
I was doing some pre-season scouting early on a mid-September morning. While climbing onto an old spoil pile overlooking an overgrown field, I heard a faint clicking sound. I cautiously peeked over the tip of the knoll and was surprised to see two bucks engaged in a rather serious fight.
As they pushed each another around that grown-over field, I noticed some movement off to my left. Amazed, I saw a respectable nine-point step out of the thicket on the edge of the field and watch the fighting bucks for about five minutes. Then he turned and walked along the bottom of the spoil pile below me before he disappeared into the timber.
Watching this scenario unfold before my very eyes has convinced me that rattling antlers during the first part of archery season may indeed work despite claims by some to the contrary.