Sitka Gear
What makes a deer snort?...
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Trashy 06-Oct-08
Lungbone 06-Oct-08
Ron 06-Oct-08
Trashy 06-Oct-08
HunterJoe 06-Oct-08
leftybearfan 06-Oct-08
Shuteye 07-Oct-08
nijimasu 07-Oct-08
JUSTHUNT1 07-Oct-08
fuzzy 07-Oct-08
Packrat 07-Oct-08
Bowfreak 07-Oct-08
Bill in MI 07-Oct-08
bill brown 08-Oct-08
Trashy 08-Oct-08
Stumpkiller 08-Oct-08
Africanbowhunter 09-Oct-08
TRMichels 10-Oct-08
Buckfvr 10-Oct-08
Bowgramps 10-Oct-08
TRMichels 11-Oct-08
From: Trashy
I was hunting in the afternoon when a deer ran through about 30 or 35 yds out, snorting the whole time.I've got an idea of what may have happened, but would like some other opinions/thoughts/ideas.... Thanks.

From: Lungbone
Was the deer blowing or did it sound like a pig?

From: Ron
Usually you.

From: Trashy
It may have been blowing...

From: HunterJoe
Three main reasons why they snort. 1. Human sight or smell 2. Yotes 3. Does snorting at bucks during the rut when they are not in heat and are sick of being harassed.

But when in doubt refer back to number 1.

From: leftybearfan
An old timer once told me that "an old doe will blow when she gets a good whiff of your scent and she's trying to get the stink out of her nose." :-)

From: Shuteye
Deer snort when they are spooked. However, they haven't necessairly spied you. If I am walking down a woods road with my climbing stand and a deer snorts I immediately climb a tree. Sometimes they keep it up and will eventually come right to you. If they smelled you they will head in the other direction but they often snort at a noise and will investigate. I killed a huge doe year before last that was snorting her head off for 15 minutes before she came close enough for me to double lung her. If you hear a deer snort and it is up wind chances are you can kill it.

From: nijimasu
Tell them a good joke.

In mule deer, I've heard two different snort-like sounds. One is when the deer is taking off and telling all deer around (usually a doe telling her fawns) to run like hell.

The other is a deer stamping it's foot, snorting, and staring at me. I get the idea that the deer isn't quite sure what it's seeing and is trying to get me to blow my cover- once the wind shifts, the deer is gone, or once they catch a glimpse of a human outline. I get the idea the stamping and snorting is like they think I'm another deer and they are demanding I identify myself.

Usually a good joke or some pepper!

From: fuzzy
prostate exam

From: Packrat
breaking wind on stand

From: Bowfreak
Big buck hunters

From: Bill in MI
Just the stress of life in the woods will drive some to snorting. Others just enjoy the experience.

BILl iN mI

From: bill brown
I like to pull out my grunt call and answer back when some doe blows me off. It can actually work.

They've either seen, heard or smelled danger and they're warning other deer of the danger.

Deer also do a "who's that" snort, which is much shorter in duration and might just be one or two quick snorts. If you answer them back with a grunt, bleat or quick snort they might calm down and go back to what they were doing or come over to investigate.

From: Trashy
Yeah, I think that deer either winded me and/or saw me. At that exact moment I was thinking about whacking a groundhog close to my stand. I was holding my bow and moving around some. Didn't whack the grounghog...wanted to save my broadhead for deer. Thanks for your input...

From: Stumpkiller
There is a parasite called Nose Botts that atatches to the sinus membrane. If a deer has these it's more of a wheezing sound, like he's blowing his nose, rather than a typical alarm snort.

Deer has glands in the roof of the mouth

My blowing they clear mucus and stuff out so they can get a fresh intact ona scent that bothers them

impala & Kudu snorts too

the first time a Kudu bull snorts behind you you may well wet yourself

Tink Nathan

From: TRMichels
After reading sevearl research papers on this subject, and doing 10 years of research myself, I MAY be able to help you out with this.

Deer snort in response to percieved danger, to someting they saw, smelled or heard. If they smell danger they usually flee. If they only hear or see something that may alert them,they may continue to snort, and may come in to investigate further.

Deer snort to alert other deer of danger.

All deer may "grunt-snort" as a threat to other deer.

Bucks may "grunt-snort-wheeze" as a threat to other bucks.

(those are the scientific names for specific deer vocalizations)

A deer making several snorts generally hears or sees somting that alerts it to possible danger.

When I hear a deer snort, and if I am down wind (where they are unlikely to smell me) I grunt, to make them think another deer is in the area.

I hope that helps,

You should be able to Google "deer vocalizations" to learn more.


From: Buckfvr
Blowing and snorting are two seperate sounds....I have seen does blow at other deer, so it is not just percieved danger in my is used socially as well. Snorting, especially by bucks is an altogether different issue. My observations support clearing up things to provide them with a better scent of whats got their interst up. Blowing by a buck would be cleaing, and the percieved grunting can be on the inhale as often as on the exhale. R

To me, blowing and snorting are the same basic sound with a variation in intensity and the number of times they do it.

A social snort is very short in duration and only done once or twice saying "who's there?"

Blowing is a series of multiple longer drawn out snorts used to alert other deer of danger. Blowing often starts out with long drawn out snorts ending with short choppy snorts as the deer stomps off.

Grunting is an entirely different vocalization which sounds much more "pig like" and is usually done by bucks, but does do it too.

From: Bowgramps
It's sad really. If you have heard of Deer Cocaine some of them get hooked and can't stop snorting.

From: TRMichels
Blowing and snorting in response to possibel danger MAY be two different sounds, becasue they are performed by different deer, but they are used for the same purpose, and still fall under the category of an "Alarm Snort".

It is just that no two deer sound alike, or becasue different people refer to the sound using different words; one deer may blow, while another produces a snort, and another may produce a sligh whistle. It all means the same thing - "there may be something to be alarmed about ..."

T.R. Michels Trinity Mountain Outdoors

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