Monthly Archives: July 2010

RIP to the Original Rattle-Man

While doing some house-cleaning today in the office and getting ready to jumpstart my “H-365” blog again, I came across a sad tidbit that I had not heard of until now.

Robert “Bob” Ramsey of Hunt, Texas passed away on Dec. 20, 2009 at the age of 91. 

The art of smashing deer antlers together to lure in a love-crazed buck spoiling for a fight is generally accredited to the late Bob Ramsey of Hunt, Texas.

Now you may not know who Bob Ramsey was.

But you should.

That’s because Bob invented one of deer hunting’s most iconic techniques, the smashing together of a set of deer antlers to mimic a pair of bucks fighting in an effort to lure in a true blue “Muy Grande” whitetail.

Known around the whitetail hunting world these days as “antler rattling,” the technique dates back to 1932 when Ramsey received an impromptu rattling lesson from a neighboring Uvalde County rancher named Sam Barkley.

After Barkley showed the youthful Ramsey how to properly clash a pair of antlers together, the youngster soon tried the technique out in a Nueces River bottomland.

“I started rattling and heard some clattering,” Ramsey recalled during a 2005 interview I did with him.

“A deer came running down the hill looking all around him for the fight. When he was about 40 yards away, I shot him with a Winchester Model 95 30.06 lever-action rifle.”

And today, untold gazillions of whitetail bucks later, the horn rattling technique is as much a part of American deer hunting tricks as the use of Tink’s 69 is.

While this is a little late, Bob Ramsey, rest in peace.

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Note: If you would like to learn more about Bob Ramsey and the deer antler rattling technique he helped to pioneer, check out this 2005 article I did for ESPNOutdoors.com entitled “Rattle Master Gives Tine-Tickling Tips.”

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