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Old October 12, 2006, 08:44 PM   #1
FirstFreedom
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Deer snorting

The sound I most dislike, and hear too often - the problem is being upwind without good scent control.

My question is, what exactly does it MEAN in whitetail language. Obviously it means they are trying to get a better whiff of the scent to figure out what it is, and something is a little off, but which of these 3 does it mean precisely? Please pick one and only one of these 3 - the one that comes closest to the actual answer in your mind:

1. It just means they smell something out of the ordinary, and want more information - they are on alert at that point, but not necessarily high alert/alarm (with them making their way quickly away from you). So it's to your advantage to to stay calm, stay still & quiet initially, and then try to stalk in some more, preferably making your way downwind - maybe if they don't hear or smell any more from you, they won't wander far - keep hunting those particular deer right then and there,

OR

2. It always or almost always means not only that they smell something awry, but they KNOW it's human scent or at least bad mojo scent, and this sound means HIGH alert, alarm to other deer, time to clear out - get the hell outta dodge. So give up hunting - they are gonna be long gone before you make your way downwind and try to stalk up.

OR

3. It *depends* on the exact sound of the wheeze/snort - if it's high pitched and short intervals between, it's an alarm. If it's more normal pitched and several seconds between, it's not necessarily an alarm, just an alert deer wanting more information.

????? Sometimes I think it's #2, sometimes I think it's #3. I don't think it's #1 but it could be. Anyone know for sure? Thanks.
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Old October 12, 2006, 09:15 PM   #2
chadwimc
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Every time I've ever heard snorting from a deer, its been to alert and alarm the other deer. A snorting deer has always left my location in a hurry.
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Old October 12, 2006, 09:45 PM   #3
FirstFreedom
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ok, you vote #2; thanks...
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Old October 12, 2006, 09:46 PM   #4
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When a deer snorts,they are not going to calm back down any time soon.They may blow several times, but almost always leave the area.If it's a doe with fawns,the fawns will do whatever she does.But,if there are other deer around ,say 100 yards away, they really don't seem to pay that much attention to it.A couple of years a go I was in an old falling down tenet house to keep out of the rain.All grown up around.It had some persimmon trees next to it and a doe was eating some of them.She blew like crazy and left.It wasn't 60 seconds later that one of the best bucks I have seen came in.There I was standing on my tiptoes trying to shoot my bow out the top half of a double hung window with the floor rotted away where I really needed to be standing.I finally let an arrow fly with the buck about 15 yards away.The arrow caught the top of the window and helicoptered out over the deer.Oh well,he didn't pay any attention to that doe blowing.
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Old October 12, 2006, 09:54 PM   #5
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I've never seen a snorting deer that didn't leave right after. I'll go with #2.
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Old October 12, 2006, 10:34 PM   #6
Capt Charlie
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A couple of years back, I saw something that, if someone else saw it and told me, I'd call them a liar (politely ). It was late November and the rut was in full swing. I was getting in a bit of late season bass fishing, and was easing the boat along the shoreline of Salt Fork Lake (Ohio) using my trolling motor. I was about 20 yds. from shore. and heard a buck snorting.

Nothing unusual there, you say? Well, the deer ran alright... right at me! He got right to the water's edge and stopped, looked right at me, and snorted some more while tossing his head. I just sat there laughing, and he trotted back up into the woods.

But then he did it again! Ran right at me and snorted several times at the shoreline! He did this four times before he finally gave up. Man, he wanted a piece of me! Guess he had some ladies up in the woods or something.

Given that experience, I'd have to guess that snorting can sometimes be a challenge as well. I'm not a deer hunter, so what do you folks think?
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Old October 12, 2006, 10:46 PM   #7
Venison_Jerkey32
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I vote #2, but I've only seen does snort.
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Old October 12, 2006, 11:22 PM   #8
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Capt. Charlie,
I would think from that experience that it is unwise to laugh at another male if he is jealous, unless you have a moat between you.

Isn't wildlife interesting at times. I had a river otter in the Clearwater river where it is still just a large creek snort at me month ago. He hadn't seen me and I had crouched down behind a rock He surfaced within 10 feet of me and got up on a rock. Took him a few seconds to see me but when he did he dove in the water came up a few feet away and snorted, dove came up 30 or so feet away snorted again then went quite aways before surfacing again. I figured the snorting his way of telling me he was unhappy with me in his area.
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Old October 13, 2006, 12:27 AM   #9
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Capt. Charlie, do me a favor and send that very agreeable deer down HERE, will you? Honestly, some people....not even HUNTING and they get bucks coming to them. LOL.

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Old October 13, 2006, 08:33 AM   #10
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I'll go with No. 2, too. A couple of years ago, I had a doe walk about 10 feet away from me before she realized that I was there. I was standing at the top of a small hill, and she started walking up the hill; I had her neck in the cross hairs, but the reticle shaking around so much that I didn't take the shot. She ran off, and then I heard her stop and give a really loud snort. I can't really describe the sound of it in writing, but it was like a loud "zzzzzzzzzuh" sound, and then I heard her trotting away.

Man, that sound made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It was pretty strange! I didn't see any deer the rest of the morning.
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Old October 13, 2006, 09:31 AM   #11
springmom
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Maybe she was allergic to you, Fremmer, and that was her sneeze? (j/k)

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Old October 13, 2006, 10:27 AM   #12
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Probably so, Springmom.

Or maybe that is how deer laugh at hunters who can't steady themselves enough to take a 10 foot shot.
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Old October 13, 2006, 11:09 AM   #13
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During the rut a bucks snort/wheeze is a sign of aggression. It is usually accompanied by alot of grunting. A doe's blowing is usaully an alarm. I did have a doe snort at me 3 different times once and didn't leave the area untill the third. I was sitting with my wife against a pecan tree when right at daylight she and her two fawns came out. She headed right for us but I couldn't get a shot bacause the angle I had to get at my muzzle was only about a foot to the side of my wife's face. (needless to say I would never tale a shot like that.) The doe came within about 30 yards and tried to make us out. She stood there stomping for about a minute and then blew and ran the other direction for about 100 yards. She then turned around and ran back at us and stoped this time at about 20 yards. She did the same thing as before then snorted and ran about 100 yards again. Once again she turned and ran strait at us. She got about 15 yards this time and as I was reajusting to ruin her day she finally made me and blew and ran away. I looked over at my wife and she was grinning from ear to ear. So my answer is; it depends, but a snort is mostly an alarm.
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Old October 13, 2006, 11:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Probably so, Springmom.

Or maybe that is how deer laugh at hunters who can't steady themselves enough to take a 10 foot shot.
Oooooh. Yeah, you may be right...... LOL!!!!

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Old October 13, 2006, 12:55 PM   #15
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Bucks in rutt or near to it often get runny noses as part of the spreading the scent thing all over. Snorting is also like blinking the eye, or clearing your throat to talk, they are clearing out their nose so they can smell you better. At the same time, they are spreading their scent around as a challenge. I have snorted back and had them come trotting up ready to fight, I have snorted and had them crash and trash the forest in an effort to get away from me. I have started waiting after the first snort and making a muffled snort if they snort at me twice. last year this brought in two bucks and also kept a Doe from walking away until after I had popped the buck.

In the summer or the spring, it is just clearing the nose for better detection. If it sounds like a old dog sneezing and then addin a "snooooo" on the end, it is probably a buck.
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Old October 13, 2006, 02:04 PM   #16
springmom
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Deer snot

You know, the things we talk about on this board......deer snot....



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Old October 13, 2006, 06:03 PM   #17
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Capn charlie, that is a very cool & weird story; it makes you really wonder whether he would have tried to gore you with horns had you been on shore. Who says deer ain't *dangerous game*?

Deer snorts have scared the poopy outta me at times; lol. When they're within 40 yards or so, and the air is quiet, and you don't see them - it is LOUD. Sometimes though, deer will snort even if you are downwind if they SEE something awry, and try to smell what's up. I actually remember them once doing this when they saw my blind, and then they wandered off, not running (3 of them). Not slow, but not running, either. So perhaps if they SMELL you, and then blow, you're done for on THAT deer. But if they SEE you, and blow, perhaps not....

Quote:
I have snorted back and had them come trotting up ready to fight, I have snorted and had them crash and trash the forest in an effort to get away from me. I have started waiting after the first snort and making a muffled snort if they snort at me twice. last year this brought in two bucks and also kept a Doe from walking away until after I had popped the buck.
Now THAT is good information; thanks. Something you don't learn on the tv shows or the books/magazines/websites. I may have to try that during the rut. It seems like, that during the rut, ANYTHING that remotely resembles a challenging deer, but which would *ordinarily* be detected as human BS by the deer, are actually possibly going to work, since their minds are clouded by testosterone (just as human males minds are 24/7/365).

Clayfish, that is also good info; thanks.

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Honestly, some people....not even HUNTING and they get bucks coming to them.
I know; it's sickening, isn't it, S.M.?
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Old October 14, 2006, 05:12 PM   #18
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I vote 2. I never thought about snorting back... I'm going to try that one this year. Heck, my experience has always been when they snort, you're busted, and you won't see that deer. 1+ to previous posts. If they're going to take off and likely not return, why not go on the offensive? Not gonna hurt anything...
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Old October 14, 2006, 07:40 PM   #19
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I had 2 snorters today. The first was in the AM. I couldn't tell what it was, but I did see the white flag go up. That's when the snorting started. It kept it up for almost 5 minutes all the while out of sight. Didn't see nothing else for the rest of the morning.

I went back and took a half hour nap in my stand. I woke up to seeing a coon eating my corn. I figured "what the heck" and let an arrow fly at it. I bumped my stands' "rifle rest" and nailed a tree!

An hour after that I heard a crashing in the woods. It was going in the opposite direction. I grabbed my "estrus bleat" can and had at it twice. About 5 minutes later the deer came back. She was high stepping/stomping and searching for the source of the noise. I let it go a few more times, and she continued. When she finally got into view about 25 yds away (much to my suprise) I started to reach for my bow, and of course she spotted me. She stared me down and snorted and ran back and forth. I kept bleating when she tried to go away, and she would come back. This went on for about five minutes, never again exposing herself to a clear shot, before she left for good.
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Old October 14, 2006, 08:47 PM   #20
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Vote for #2.
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Old October 15, 2006, 10:38 AM   #21
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I was sitting in a tree stand, one evening, checking on a buck some folks had reported in the vicinity. An old doe caught my silhouette and went to blowing and snorting and generally raising a ruckus. She circled around, went quiet, got downwind and started all over with the racket. She then circled on around and uphill to my right. I watched her through all of this carrying on.

She then went quiet and just stood and watched the world below.

Just at sunset, here came Big Bucky, ambling up the draw. Nice, shootable buck. Just as I was putting the crosshairs on him, she sailed off the hillside, shoved her rump under his nose, and away they both went.

I said things like, "Shucks!" and "Golly, gee." and other polite phrases...

Separately: Shootable bucks tend to go downhill by going off a toe; uphill via a draw. That gives you an idea of what/where to watch for movement. But does and little bucks can be any old where, moving in any old direction. FWIW.

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Old October 15, 2006, 06:58 PM   #22
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I would tend to have to agree with number 2 here. Also I have had a roaring time reading this thread thanks all mostly SpringMOM the wife and I have loved reading your posts.
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Old October 16, 2006, 11:24 AM   #23
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As I understand it the snort is comparable to the hoof stomp in that they are both meant to elicit a response from an unknown something. That something could have been detected by sight, smell, or sound. The result (how you react) determines the response. I have had deer blow and stay in the vicinity. Last week a doe stood at 25yds blowing and looking in my general direction, a moment later a coon ambled out and she calmed down. However many times that blow or stomp will startle you…busted, deer gone.
I vote #1, just my experience.
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Old October 16, 2006, 01:40 PM   #24
loaded24/7
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In my experience, hunting in south eastern AL, the deer generally do the hoof stomp as a sign to be alert, some times the other deer that are present dont even pay attention it. if the deer decides it is time to leave and takes off with its tail up, and you see the infamous "white Spot", it is then when the deer will snort or "blow" to aware surrounding deer.
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Old October 17, 2006, 12:54 PM   #25
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I've witnessed the same Art mentioned when I used to hunt just North of Del Rio on the Butt end of the Chihauhaun dessert. I can't wait to go back. I love the terrain there.
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