Steve Ray is a life long deer hunter that grew up in North East Texas on a dairy farm. Steve and his Dad would hustle through the morning milking in order to get to the deer woods shortly after daylight and hunt till milking time again in the evening. Steve harvested his first deer, a 140 class nine point buck, at the age of 15. Steve never looked back and has been addicted to whitetail deer hunting ever since.
Steve’s hunting pursuit has carried him to Central Texas, South Texas, Old Mexico, West Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado. “I never liked hunting over corn and preferred to hunt deer on their own terms,” says Steve. “Hunting over bait is boring and offers little challenge compared to other methods of hunting,” Steve ads. “I started rattling seriously when I hunted in Old Mexico and grew to embrace the method and perfect the technique. I’ve been rattling for 20 years and have rattled in well over 3000 deer”.
Steve early on chose to start using cut down Elk antlers for rattling because they are heavy and can be slammed together to get the most volume. “The number of points on the rattling horns are not important,” says Steve, “what’s important is that the deer hear the ruckus. That wind and brush eats up sound real quick and I really like to rattle when it is windy”.
Rattling Forks.com emerged from this genealogy of trial and error using large, heavy antlers. “My Elk antlers would eventually get old and brittle and break up, so I decided to create my perfect set of rattling horns.” The resulting product produced so very well, that Steve decided to share the product with the market.
Retired from the computer software industry, Steve now concentrates on video for his hunts. “Beth and I eat a lot of deer meat so we take culls and doe on a regular basis and an occasional trophy buck. We don’t film kill shots because I think it is a bit overdone,” says Steve. “We are thrilled to just rattle in a mature buck and get some great footage”.
Beth is a California girl that moved to Texas in the early 80’s. Beth had never hunted or fished until she met Steve. She took her first deer, a doe, the first year she hunted. She subsequently has taken a few more deer culminating with a 9yr old 145 class 10 point in 2012. “Everybody on the ranch wanted that deer but he would disappear when the feeders went off,” says Beth. “Steve rattled him up three different times and I finally took him at 120 yards with my 257 Roberts”.
Beth was introduced to rattling by Steve early on. “One of the first times we tried it, Steve got out of the top drive and walked out about 80 yards to rattle from the ground. Almost immediately, a huge mature buck came running just past the truck headed directly for Steve,” says Beth. “I sincerely did not know whether to yell and warn him or stay quiet and not spook the deer. I decided I best stay quiet and when Steve walked back to the truck, he had no idea the buck had even charged in”.
Beth now attends almost every hunt with Steve. She helps with the camera, provides an extra set of eyes and immerses herself in each whitetail rattling session. “It’s exciting, unpredictable, and we rattle in tons of deer. I’m hooked on it.”
Raleigh is a Black Mouth Kerr of unknown ancestry. She began hunting with Steve and Beth at the age of two and never misses a hunt. She rides in the bed of the hunting truck or atv where she witnesses a lot of deer coming to the horns. “When a deer is down,” says Steve, “we always let Raleigh find it first, even if it is in plain view. She proved to have a good nose so we now rely on her for tracking wounded deer.”
Today, Raleigh is the namesake for Rattle Dog Productions, the video enterprise side of Rattling Forks.com. “It was my idea to introduce her through our film,” says Beth. “She has located so many deer, it seemed appropriate to give her some credit.”