(reprinted with kind permission of
Ned Northrup (DevilDog)
Hey, Ned. After making one of
these and practicing for hours, I have failed to bring in any deer....are you
sure these whistles work on deer LOL
1. Cut a piece of antler to about 2 ½ - 3 inches long.
I prefer to keep the tips for myself and other adults, (kids could get hurt with
a sharp point hanging around their neck) and give the thicker base antler
whistles as gifts to children. The further down the tine, the thicker,
bulkier and heavier the whistle will be. I have found that kids think
bigger is better and they like the big thick whistles and it is more hand
filling for them and durable.
2. Drill a ¼" diameter hole into the thicker end of the
antler. Only drill down through the center (running the length of
the antler) and only drill to depth of
to 1". The longer/deeper the hole, the lower the "tone" of the
whistle. Conversely, the shorter the hole, the higher/more shrill, the
tone will be.
3. Approximately 5/16"
from the end with the drilled hole, using a hack saw, cut straight down
approximately half way though the antler and into the hole you drilled.
4. Measure 5/16"
down the antler and make another hack saw cut at an angle towards the first cut.
5. Cut a ¼" diameter hardwood dowel into a piece
inch long. Split or shave 1/3
to ¾ off the length of it and test fit it into the hole. It should not
extend past the cut that is straight down into the hole. If it sticks out
to far on the end where you blow then you can sand it down or cut it off later.
This is the tricky part. You may need to test the dowel shaved anywhere
from 1/3 to 3/4. It all depends on how deep the hole is and the size of
the notch you made. It is best to split different dowels and test them in
the hole before you glue it in.
6. When you get the tone you want, use wood glue or super glue
to hold it in place. I have learned that kids, after using the whistle,
tend to soak the wood dowel with saliva. To counteract this, cover the
dowel with "Polyurethane" or "Skippers Varnish" using a
small paint brush or even a "Q-Tip". A little dab will do ya and
this helps the dowel stay in place and keeps the wood and glue from softening up
7. At the opposite end of the mouth piece drill a
hole from one side to the other across the antler. Thread a 36"
length of rawhide through this hole and tie a not approximately 1" from the
whistle then another at the running ends of the rawhide.
8. Extra work if you want: The 3rd whistle is how the
first few were made (with flat ends). The other 3 were given a shallow
scoop or lip cut by using a "Dremmel" tool with a sanding bit.
It gives it a more finished look and is comfortable to rest on your lower lip.
Do not shape the end until the dowel is dried in place because as the last hand
held picture shows, you will need to also cut and shape the dowel.
Regardless of how you shape the mouth piece use a "Dremmel" tool, file
or sand paper to bevel the edges around the mouth piece to eliminate all sharp
Take a kid hunting or shooting!
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