What Do Deer Sounds Mean? Bleats, Grunts & So Much More

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If you’re relatively new to hunting, one of the most interesting things to experience is the wild array of sounds deer will make. Since you’re new you might not know what they mean, but ask any verteran hunter and they’ll tell you certain sounds drive instant excitement, while others drive utter disappointment.

We’ve all been in a blind or treestand, and all of sudden, out of nowhere, you hear that blow – BAM! You’ve been winded. Time to pack it up (most of the time) and head out.

On the other side of things, hearing a grunt through some brush will drive any hunter to grab their gun or bow and get ready for what’s about to appear!

As mentioned, deer are well-known for their vocalizations, at least to hunters, which they use to communicate with each other and to warn of potential danger. These sounds can be quite varied and range from soft grunts and bleats to loud snorts and roars. Understanding what deer sounds mean can be incredibly beneficial for hunters, as it can help them to better understand the behavior and movements. So let’s get into it!

Grunt

One of the most common sounds that deer make is the grunt. Grunting is a soft, guttural sound that deer use to communicate with each other, and it can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, a doe may grunt to her fawns to let them know where she is, or a buck may grunt to another buck to establish dominance. Grunting is usually a quiet sound that is difficult to hear from a distance, so it is most often used when deer are close to each other.

Bleat

Another common sound that deer make is the bleat. Bleating is a high-pitched, whine-like sound that deer use to communicate with each other, and it is often used by does (female deer) to call their fawns to them. Bleating is a relatively quiet sound that can be difficult to hear from a distance, so it is most often used when deer are close to each other.

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Furthermore, doe bleats during the rut can be somewhat common and used to let surrounding bucks know they have not yet bred. While it’s not the most common sound out there, it should be referenced and noted as a potential tool in the woods for any hunter.

Snort / Blow

In addition to grunting and bleating, deer also make a variety of other sounds. One of these is the snort, which is a loud, explosive sound that deer make when they are alarmed or startled. When a deer snorts, it will usually lift its head and flare its nostrils, and the sound can be heard from a considerable distance.

Snorting is often used as a warning to other deer of potential danger, and it can be a helpful clue for hunters to know that they have been spotted by their prey.

Whitetail Buck Sounds Video

While this isn’t a very common occurrence, it is a great visualization of the different sounds a deer can make.

Non-Verbal Signals

In addition to the various vocalizations that deer make, they also communicate through body language and scent. For example, a deer may flick its tail or raise its head and ears to indicate that it is alert or alarmed.

Deer also use scent to communicate with each other, and they will rub their bodies on trees and other objects to mark their territory and attract mates.

What About Fawn Sounds?

Fawns, or baby deer, make a variety of sounds that are used to communicate with their mothers and with each other. One of the most common sounds that fawns make is a high-pitched whine or bleat, which they use to call their mothers or to signal that they are hungry or in need of attention. This sound is similar to the bleating sound that adult deer make, but it is usually louder and more persistent.

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Fawns may also make a variety of other sounds, such as soft grunts, snuffles, or chirps. These sounds may be used to express excitement, frustration, or other emotions, or they may simply be a way for fawns to communicate with each other and explore their surroundings.

In addition to vocalizations, fawns also communicate through body language and scent. For example, a fawn may nuzzle its mother or lick her face to signal that it is hungry or to request attention. Fawns may also use scent to communicate with their mothers and with other fawns, and they will often rub their bodies on objects to mark their territory and attract mates.

Overall, fawns make a variety of sounds and use other forms of communication to interact with their mothers and with each other. Understanding these sounds and behaviors can be helpful for hunters, as it can give them insight into the behavior and movements of fawns and their mothers.

The Sound Of Antlers

Antler sounds, or the sounds that are made when deer rub their antlers against trees or other objects, are typically used by male deer (bucks) to establish dominance and to attract females during the breeding season, also known as the rut. Antler sounds are usually accompanied by other behaviors such as roaring, pawing at the ground, and thrashing trees and bushes with their antlers.

When a deer hears antler sounds, it may respond in a variety of ways depending on its gender, age, and reproductive status. For example, a female deer (doe) may become alarmed or flee if she hears antler sounds, as this may indicate the presence of a dominant male deer (buck). On the other hand, a male deer may respond to antler sounds by approaching the source of the sound and attempting to establish dominance or to mate with a female.

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Antler sounds can be very loud and can be heard from a considerable distance, so they can be an effective way for deer to communicate with each other and to establish their presence in a particular area. Understanding the meaning and significance of antler sounds can be helpful for hunters, as it can give them insight into the behavior and movements of deer during the rut.

Whitetail Bucks Fighting - Deer Sounds

Source

Why Are Deer Sounds Important To Hunters?

Understanding the different sounds that deer make and the meanings behind them can be incredibly helpful for hunters. For example, if a hunter hears a deer snort, they will know that the animal has been startled and may be more likely to move or flee.

Similarly, if a hunter hears a deer grunt, they may be able to locate a group of deer that are nearby (similar to what you can do with deer poop). Additionally, being able to identify the sounds of a deer roaring can help a hunter to locate a buck during the rutting season and to determine when it is most likely to be active.

My Final Take

So all in all, deer make a variety of sounds that are used to communicate with each other and to warn of potential danger. These sounds can range from soft grunts and bleats to loud snorts and roars, and they are often accompanied by other forms of communication such as body language and scent.

Understanding the different sounds that deer make and what they mean can be incredibly beneficial for hunters, as it can help them to better understand the behavior and movements of the animals they are hunting.

As you spend more time in the woods, you’ll become more accustomed to what these deer sounds mean and how you can utilize them to achieve new levels of success. Good luck this upcoming season!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>