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The Sounds Deer Make
RuggedHunter

I'm a 12 point buck on this forum.<br> My next goal is to become a Member of the Pabucks.com  Monster Buck Club.
I'm a 12 point buck on this forum.
My next goal is to become a Member of the Pabucks.com Monster Buck Club.


Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 58
Location: 3D, 4C, 5C
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In 19 past seasons of rifle hunting I have never heard a deer vocalization...other than the occasional snort when encountered unexpectedly. Or at least I think it's a snort....it sounds like when you blow hard over a bottle, but without resonating like a flute...my dad calls the sound a whistle. This is my second year bowhunting, and as such I've got very limited experience during these most exciting weeks of the deer woods...but I've read a lot about calling on this site and many others. Almost everyone says, "Get out there and do it. Don't worry about making the wrong sounds...grunt or bleat 1-3 times every 15-30 minutes...tickle the antlers in October, crash 'em together in November..." So, I have been experimenting with a estrous can, grunt tube, bleat reed, and a rattle bag...though sparingly. And I've listened carefully to every .wav file I can find on the net and tried to immitate the sounds. 2 days ago, I saw and heard a young 6 point bleat...very softly, probably inaudible to a human 50 yards away. It sounded very lamb-like....nearly the same sound as my estrous doe bleat canbut slightly deeper in tone. That can sounds similar to the soundbites I've heard of estrous bleats, and fawn bleats...but nothing at all like a regular doe bleat. The regular bleat sounds more raspy....and my reed bleat call sounds similar for a doe or a soft grunt, but not very similar for a fawn bleat. It is a Primos Flextone call...you bite down on the reed at various points to make grunts to fawn bleats.

I haven't had much success with the calls. I did have a spike buck within 20 yards...as he walked away I grunted softly to him. He came right back to me, hung out for a little, then walked away again...I called him back twice with it. I've rattled and used the bleat calls a few times with no response, but have had deer come close within an hour or two, so I don't think I spooked anything with the calls. This morning, I had deer traveling under my stand about an hour before first light...I waited 15 minutes and did a regular doe bleat a couple times and it sounded like they came back...but it was dark...who knows...

Anyways...I guess my question is kinda vagues, but does anyone have some advice for me? Since I've never really heard the real vocalizations, should I not be trying to call anyway?
BILL

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I too have just heard a new vocalization ive never heard before. I had 3 doe cross in front of my stand about 50 yrds in front of me. As they were directly in front of me I heard a noise to the back of me along with foot steps. I just stayed still as it got closer but when it first made the noise the doe locked up and looked right in my direction.

It sounded a wooof, Like whistling with your lips without the whistle part and was very light. Sort of a snort but like you said was very faint and not aggressive at all. The deer walked under me and it was a button buck. It seems he was saying "Hey im over here". The doe continued on their way and then he fawn bleated twice and they kept going so he had to run to catch up.

Ive also heard fawns make a noise that is very faint and sounds like a clicking noise, almost purr like.

I think calling can make or break a hunt. If you hunt a low pressure area it can pay off to call. But I hunt an area where every buck has been grunted at 50 times in the past week. Ive actually chased a mature buck off with a young buck grunt during the 2nd week of November.

Im going to do a little experimenting myself this year. Im going to make a drop line for my treestand that will reach the ground. Im going to pile up some leaves on the ground below and attach a small piece of wood to the drop line. Im going to try to add some sounds of deer walking through the woods to some soft grunts and rattles.
I try to think like a deer. [Confused] I know if I was bedded down and heard this big brawl going on 75 yrds away and didnt hear any movement in the noisy woods Id be a little skeptical investigating it.

The only advise I can give you is be cautious grunting at them young bucks. I have done it myself but once they get educated they will be impossible to fool next year.
RuggedHunter

I'm a 12 point buck on this forum.<br> My next goal is to become a Member of the Pabucks.com  Monster Buck Club.
I'm a 12 point buck on this forum.
My next goal is to become a Member of the Pabucks.com Monster Buck Club.


Joined: 14 Sep 2007
Posts: 58
Location: 3D, 4C, 5C
Hall Of Fame Member

Game Tokens: 1345
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It sounded a wooof, Like whistling with your lips without the whistle part and was very light. Sort of a snort but like you said was very faint and not aggressive at all. The deer walked under me and it was a button buck. It seems he was saying "Hey im over here".

Usually when I here this sound it is very loud....probably could be heard by deer for over 1/4 mile. Sometimes I've jumped a deer in the dark while trying to get through something thick. I'd hear "WHEW!", then maybe it would run a few yards and turn back around and "WHEW!" again. I think it means, "Hey everybody! I don't know what's over there, but I'm pretty sure it's dangerous!" I've also heard the sound occasionally when I'm stump-sitting. Usually the lead doe, if she sees me but I don't move...she stomp her foot a couple times, bob her head, or maybe blow a "WHEW!" once or twice to try and get me to twitch or something. I've read that there are several variations of the snort though. They all are the same sound, but different cadences. The kind I've described is and alert, but usually means the deer doesn't know exactly what spooked it. I've read that at "WHEW!"...couple seconds..."WHEW!"....couple seconds..."WHEW!"...couple seconds..."WHEW! WHEW! WHEW! WHEW!" with no pause means "Predator has been identified over here!" I've never heard that one myself. I've also read that a nervous deer can make the sound and use it like a contact call...the deer is expecting a response and if it gets no response, it may spook him. I wonder if this is what you heard....I wonder if one of the doe made some sort of sound in response, or if eye contact with that BB was enough.

Ive also heard fawns make a noise that is very faint and sounds like a clicking noise, almost purr like.

I'm pretty sure I've never heard that noise before...but it reminds me of something interesting last year during rifle season. I was set up in a tree that was on the edge of some thick laurels. I'd been set up there a couple days in a row and seen deer in the morning moving through the laurel behind me from left to right...I was hoping to catch one feeling secure enough just on the outside of the cover. My dad was set up a couple hundred yards away to my right. I had seen a couple days earlier that the group was 2 large doe, 2 fawns, and 1 1/2 not yet legal buck. So, on this cold crisp morning, I started hearing movement in the laurel behind me. I would hear what sounded like a stick crack...a wide as your thumb stick, and not like when you're walking in the woods and accidentally step on a stick...it was a crisp and clear sound with no other motion around that noise at the time it's made. Then I'd hear movement coming a little ways from that sound. Then I would hear another stick crack behind me to the right....then movement behind to the left....silence.....stick crack behind to the left.....movement behind to the right...silence....stick crack behind to the right....movement behind to the left....and so on. I had my head on a swivel... After 30 minutes or so, I finally caught some movement through a small gap behind me to the right. I tried to move and got busted by the lead doe, who was 60 yards away to my right. I listened to them trot away down towards my dad. A few minutes later...."BOOM!" My dad got one....I stayed hunting while he dragged her out. When we met at the car and I heard his story, here's what he had to say....."It was the strangest thing....it was like they were cracking sticks to communicate with each other!" That is exactly what they were doing. I don't know if they were necessarily contact calls, or if they knew I was there and were distracting me while another part of the group moved or what...and I never actually saw them breaking sticks...could it have been a clicking noise that deer make?

Im going to do a little experimenting myself this year. Im going to make a drop line for my treestand that will reach the ground. Im going to pile up some leaves on the ground below and attach a small piece of wood to the drop line. Im going to try to add some sounds of deer walking through the woods to some soft grunts and rattles.
I try to think like a deer. I know if I was bedded down and heard this big brawl going on 75 yrds away and didnt hear any movement in the noisy woods Id be a little skeptical investigating it.


I've heard of this before too, but was afraid of the motion with the rope and all. But I hunt with a climber, which means most of the time, setting up with appropriate cover is mostly impossible. I think I read an article in a mag and the author called it "jigging". He suggested tying the end of the rope to a heavy stick, and leave it unbalanced so that one end hits the ground first...you can make trotting sounds that way. Let me know how it works!
Aqualung

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I use a call that can change from a bleat to a grunt just by positioning a rubber O-ring on the reed. I've tried calling but never had results.

As for in the wild, the other night, I heard my first real-life non-distress vocalization from deer. I was sitting on the back porch of camp for the early muzzleloader season, talking to Mrs. Aqualung on the cell phone when I heard what sounded like a couple veal-calves bawling in the field below camp. They were louder than I expected and when I lit them up with the spotlight, it was 3 does in the field, about 150 yards away.

A while later, I heard a single rolling, gutteral grunt (almost like a very short growl). But, a few minutes later, when I lit up the field again, the deer were gone. I guess all that bawling landed them a boyfriend.

I have had the displeasure of hearing a deer bawl in distress. I'd pulled a shot on a mid-sized doe and hit her in the spine. She dropped and was pawing to get up and bawling something fierce. Damn near broke my heart before I could finish her off.

Of course, too many times, I've heard the whistle-snort...

Aqualung
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Funny this was mentioned. I haven't heard any vocalization for the past couple of years, but just Saturday I was making a small push for my son (I know, it should be him doing it for me now that he's 17) and had just jumped 2 unknowns while walking a trail in a fairly open spot (the edge of an old clearcut). I beat feet about 75 yards to try and get in front of them so I could maybe steer them up towards him, they hadn't gone far or fast. As I reached down for my gps on shoulder strap to see my boys exact location on the hill above, I heard 2 soft grunts. Now my ears are still pretty damn good despite liking my rock loud and I figured it was one of the doe that was still nearby. When I lifted and turned my head I heard another grunt to my left. Looking over, here came a buck stepping out of the clearcut not 11 yards from me (I paced it). He never seen me even when pulling up my ML to look at him thru the scope. He must have been on the trail of one of those doe. He turned then and started my way and that's when he seen my silhouette and started doing the head bob move. He knew something was amiss and turned and ran back the way he came, but didn't snort so he must not have winded me.

But besides the coincidence of the story, I guess my advice is that deer don't vocalize very loudly. When I start a call I do the first one pretty soft in case something is close but just out of sight. If it's a can call then I even do it in my pocket first. Then I will get a bit louder to reach out further, but never blow them like a horn. Even fawn bleats aren't too loud, just a higher pitch. Some of these tv shows show them sounding fairly loud but I think that's just a microphone issue making it louder than it really is.
Also, sound doesn't travel as far on cold, frozen mornings either so you can get a little aggressive.
brute750

I'm a 7 point buck on this forum.<br> <b>My next goal is to become a 8 Pointer.</B>
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I haven't heard to many grunts or snort-weezes, but I have heard enough. Last year in bear season i heard a buck tending grunting, and I also heard a doe. It sounds like a tree creaking in the wind, thats what I thought it was at first and then I saw the doe, at about 15 yds. I heard the buck tending grunt again I blinked the doe left and then there was a little spike standing where the doe used to be. I grunted at him and he just stood their and then I heard a bleat or grunt behind me. Not wanting to get in the middle of 2 bucks whether they were spikes or not. I turned around and there was the doe again, she was closer this time maybe 10 yards. And then it was over the buck was gone and so was the doe. I'll never forget those sounds.


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