I have been using a rock for many years and it has worked nicely as long as its done right. I always throw just one rock about the size of a marble a good distance away from the buck or bull, preferrably on the side he isnt facing. That faint sound gets their attention but they normally don't bust. They stare in the direction waiting for movement and when they don't see anything bucks tend to get nervous and stand up for a better view. Bulls can either stand up or go back to sleep which obviously requires a follow up rock. If you throw more than one at a time, they definitely come busting out. Just my two cents.
Do you notice how many friends/hunters frown on doing it or give a hard time about it ? I just tell them it works for me. One guy I used to hunt with always gave me cr@p about it. We were looking down a canyon once and he saw me pick up a rock and got ticked off. I told him there isn't a deer standing up right now and heaved a rock down the hill. A nice 3x3 stood up and looked down hill. I whispered there he is and he popped him. Heard no more from him after that.
'HuntWYODon' - it kind of falls into that category of people who think shooting a deer in its bed is unethical. That reasoning makes no sense to me, but chucking rocks is definitely a good way to stir the pot when all is quiet.
Im a rock chuckin fool. If i see something bed in thick short stuff and know where he is i know my rock must land below him and the wind must be right. I had a forky 5 yards from me last year lookin the complete opposite direction from me. I was in the wide open ridgelined on a huge rock. I came to full draw on him several times and thought long and hard about taking him. "one in the hand is better than two in the bush" but the two in the bush were much larger. And i couldnt see myself packin a forky out 5 plus miles.
I agree. Sometimes when a you have glassed a canyon and haven't seen anything and it looks too good for not holding deer or a buck, You have to roll or thow a rock, or two. Sometimes that type of noise they are used to hearing in rocking canyons. Rocks are always falling. Sheep especially don't get very alarmed by it.
You won't see me trying it! Patience is the name of the game!
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I've tried it before, and it hasn't given me a shot opportunity. They either ignore the rock or stand and become very "alert" and to me when you are archery hunting very alert animals aren't a good thing. They won't give you good shot opportunity. However, if the winds are switching and it's time to fill a tag and get something for your efforts and investment I'll toss a pebble again.
I've tried it many times and only had it work once. 9 times out of 10 the buck will bolt out of bow range before looking back. With odds that low I would not do it on a large buck unless it was the last day of the season and getting dark. Here's the one it worked on, it took 2 rocks to get him to jump, when he stopped running I thought he was out of range. he looked for the source of the noise for a few minutes then went to feeding! I pulled out the range finder and he was only 45 yards.