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Home / John Stallone / How to Call Deer… Deer Vocalizations

How to Call Deer… Deer Vocalizations

August 8, 2016
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White-tailed Deer use different sounds to keep in contact with each other (Contact); to express alarm and distress (Alarm/Distress); to solicit attention from and respond to does (Maternal) and fawns (Neonatal); to express dominance/threaten other deer (Agonistic). Deer also make sounds associated with courtship and breeding behavior (Mating). The tone of the call usually depends on the deer; older and larger deer, especially bucks, tend to make deeper sounds.

 

Alarm/Distress

The Snort is an intense blowing sound produced by expelling air through the nostrils, best described as a loud whew, or whew-whew-whew. Deer that see or hear a disturbance but cannot smell the source often use repeated low snorts, foot stomping, head bobbing and tail flipping, possibly to alert other deer of danger. The head bobbing and foot stomping may be used to startle a predator into moving and giving itself away. A deer’s sense of smell is thought to be independent of conscious discrimination, and deer that smell danger usually snort, then flee while flagging the tail.

 

The Bawl is an intense call used by deer in distress, often when caught by a predator or trapped. The sound is a loud baa. Does often respond to the call by running in, presumably out of maternal instinct.

 

Agonistic

The Grunt is used in three different forms to express dominance or to threaten another deer. It is also used to locate other deer, which causes them to respond by coming to the call, or by announcing their location by returning the call.

The Low Grunt is used by both does and bucks throughout the year. The call sounds like a soft guttural err. This is the first level of aggression, used to displace lesser deer. If the lesser animal does not move it is usually rushed and may be kicked with a forefoot by the dominant.

The Grunt-Snort is used most often by bucks during the breeding season in more intense situations. One or more snorts are added to a grunt; err-whew.

The Grunt-Snort-Wheeze is the most intense form of an aggressive call. It consists of a grunt-snort followed by a drawn out wheeze through pinched nostrils. The wheeze may sound like a whistle.

 

Contact

The Social Grunt is often performed by members of a doe group when they become separated, and it may help deer stay in contact when they can’t see each other. In one study only females performed this call. This call is longer than the low grunt and can be heard by humans as far as 100 meters. It may attract bucks during the breeding season.

 

Maternal/Neonatal

The Maternal Grunt is a low, quick grunt performed at short intervals when a doe approaches the fawn’s bedding site. The fawn generally leaves it’s bed and joins the doe. It is audible to humans for only a few meters.

 

The Mew is used by the fawn when it wants attention, or is given in response to the maternal grunt of the doe.

 

The Bleat is the fawn version of the bawl, it is given by the fawn when it wants urgent attention, is hungry, or wants care, and may be heard as far as 100 meters by humans.

The Nursing Whine occurs while the fawn is nursing or searching for a nipple.

 

Mating

The Tending Grunt is a low grunt used by bucks when pursuing an estrus doe. It may consist of a single short grunt, several grunts or a long drawn out grunt. It is probably given to alert other deer of the presence of a dominant in order to keep them away; and to attract does.

 

The Click is a clicking sound bucks may make when looking for of following estrous does. It sounds like someone slowly running a fingernail across the teeth of a comb.

 

The Flehmen Sniff is a low sound produced during the lip curl, when air is inhaled to bring urine in contact with the nose or vomeronasal organ (on the roof of the mouth), allowing the buck to determine the breeding readiness of the doe.

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John Stallone

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John Stallone Marketing Director: The Hunting Channel Host of Days in the Wild Content coordinator: for The Outdoor Insiders Field Editor for Earned DIY journal  Facebook Twitter Instagram I am the marketing Director for The Hunting Channel, a National pro-staff shooter for Mathews, Swhacker, trufire, Sneek Tec, Bow IQ , cogburn and Gold tip as well as many more . I am a outdoor videographer and writer in the hunting industry. My program is viewed over  4million x monthly, I am a published outdoor writer and have over 4 million views on youtube and receive traffic upwards of 65 million each year on my video clips. I have completed my whitetail slam and currently working on my super slam. My TV show was voted viewer’s choice for 2014 on Carbon TV and I have been successfully producing shows for over 11 years. Here is some of my video work: Chevy :Mathews, Tenzing Swhacker Broadheads, Cogburn    Here is a sample of my Hunting Show My books: The Whitetail Hunter’s Blueprint The Secrets of Hunting Western Game  Some of my accolades:  Featured in Tom Miranda's book rut hunters  Certified Deer Steward from QDMA and Clemson University Certified Wildlife Manager from Penn Foster Master Degree from Colorado State in Rangeland Management and Ecology   Some more about me:  1981 first deer hunt 1990 first deer with a bow 1996 won first archery tournament 1998 Received a Bachelor’s of Science from Grand Canyon University 2001 Started shooting Mathews as Pro-shop field staff 2002 Became chief of Infield testing for Huntech Inc 2004 started The Hunting Channel online 2004 Published First article in Midwest Whitetails 2005 Started TV Show Days in The Wild 2006 Release 1st book The Ultimate Guide to staying Scent Free 2006 Enter # 11 pope and young by spot and stalk Antelope 2007 Started Market My Hunting Business 2007 Started THC’s Tip of The Week 2008 Released  2nd Book The Secrets of Hunting Western Game 2008 Began The Hunt Fit Program 2009 Released 3rd Book The Whitetail Hunters Blueprint 2009 Began The Hunting Channel Blog 2013 Completed Master’s of Science Rangeland Management and Ecology 2013 Was awarded  The Whitetail Slam 2013 Was featured in Tom Miranda’s book The Rut Hunters 2014 Became Field Editor for Earned Magazine 2014 -2015  Days in The Wild awarded Viewer’s Choice Carbon TV 2015 first to Harvest a Florida Mt. Ibex with a bow on film 2015 Became The Content Coordinator for The Outdoor Insiders