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.


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 entitled “Rattle Master Gives Tine-Tickling Tips.”


About hunting365

Lynn Burkhead is a blessed man who digs being alive to know, live for, and worship the Creator; being married to his babe, Charissa; and being "Dad" to Katie, Zach, and Will. Professionally, he is a nationally recognized outdoor writer who served as an associate editor, senior writer, and blog columnist for the Web site for much of this decade. Burkhead has also been a deer hunting columnist and fishing fundamentals columnist for Texas Fish & Game magazine as well as serving as a hunting columnist for Southern Sporting Journal magazine. Finally, he has been a busy freelance writer and photographer for more than a decade with hundreds of byline credits appearing in such places as, Bowhunt America, Bowhunter, Buckmasters, Field & Stream,, Great Plains Game & Fish, Louisiana Game & Fish, Lone Star Outdoor News, North American Whitetail, Oklahoma Game & Fish, Outdoor Life,, Rocky Mountain Game & Fish, Texas Sporting Journal, and Texas Sportsman. When time permits, you'll typically find him outside with a bow, a shotgun, a fly rod, or a Nikon camera in his hand. View all posts by hunting365

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: