Calling Deer With Will Primos
Will Primos is still speaking the language of wildlife after decades of pursuits in the outdoors. For Primos, call making started with duck calls. Since then, he has created some of the best calls available for deer, turkeys, elk, predators, and more. Calling deer started later in life for Primos. As a youth, he hunted deer with dogs. Most shots were on the run and it was rare to see a deer in the wild acting naturally. After stand hunting became popular, Primos saw and heard deer move through the woods without regard for human or canine intrusion. Being a call maker, he studied the sounds they made and how other deer would react to them. These lessons became the basis for calls and techniques he would later perfect.
I recently met Primos at a promotional event at A-1 Archery in Hudson, Wisconsin. He spent the day shaking hands, answering questions, and telling stories. One of the coolest parts of the day was a kids seminar. Primos and the guys at A-1 gave almost 100 kids the components of a Primos Magnum Roar buck call. The kids were instructed on how to assemble the call and then how to use it. I must say, the sound of a hundred buck grunts in an archery range is deafening. At the end of the day I talked with Will Primos about passing on hunting to kids and calling deer.
Primos says the biggest roadblock to successfully calling deer is fear. “A lot of people are scared. I have a good friend that was scared to wheeze a at deer because he thought it sounded to much like what he thought was a snort. A wheeze is a buck telling another buck “we’re fixing to get into it, we’re fixing to fight.” If another deer hears that they know they are fighting over something maybe it’s a doe.”
Calling isn‘t going to work every time. But Primos insists that even if your timing is off, you‘re not going to mess up your hunt. “Calling deer is all about timing. You can go at the beginning of the season and grunt and bleat to deer and it’s like they don’t even hear you. They change… At the pre-rut, a couple of weeks before the rut starts if you use the doe bleat, does do that when they’re under stress and ready to breed and a buck knows that… You can do that and a buck will act like he didn’t hear it. The next day he will run to your stand.”
The mantra of Primos Calls is Speak The Language. Will lives by that motto and says truly successful callers tell a story with their calling. “Combine a bleat and a grunt and you’re saying a buck is following a hot doe… It’s all about communication. When you say those things, every deer in the woods knows what it means.”
One mistake Primos says he sees all the time is people calling too timidly. “Don’t be scared to call loud.” Primos says deer will call in hushed tones but if you want to get a deer’s attention call boldly, you’re not going to sound out of place. “That is real deer communication.
Kids really enjoy learning to use calls and Primos loves teaching them. “If you teach them to love something, they will want to protect it later on. That goes for turkeys, for ducks, for deer, for elk, for all things that are wild. If you teach them to love bird watching, if you teach them to love a ditch full of beautiful weeds to add things for cover, if you teach them to understand that they will appreciate it. If they don’t know anything about it, if all they know is concrete and steel, there is no love for it and they don‘t want to protect it.”
To listen to my entire conversation with Will Primos in podcast format, press play above. To see the video version, press play on the screen below.