View Full Version : OK, what exactly can a deer snort sound like?

January 7, 2005, 12:15 PM
I was hunting last weekend and I hear this sound TWICE, and both times I hear it *just* before I saw deer running away, and I swear it seems like one of the deer made it to alert the others to my presence - I think they scented me - about 40 or 50 yards away. But it didn't sound like a mere snort or blow - I heard it distinctly, and it was a sound that sounded like it was made by a cross between a human, crow, monkey, hyena, and owl, let's say. It was a *screech* more than anything - kind of a loud, high-pitched, screechy, but pretty short-lived "Eee-Yaaiee!" -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-?

January 7, 2005, 01:26 PM
That wasn't a snort. At least none that I have heard and I have watched them snort several times. I have heard that sound when young does were frightened.
A snort is really their attempt to clear their nostrils so they can smell a threat better. You can come pretty close by taking in a deep breath and blowing it out sharply through your mouth with you cheeks slighly closed in. I agree often it is the only thing to tip you off that a deer is in the area.

January 7, 2005, 06:05 PM
Hmm well in all my years i havnt heard a deer snort unless it was that big buck that was facing me on my first day of Bow and i was sitting on the ground...but it probably wasn't the scent that made them crash out, it was proably you moving, everytime i hunt its not my scent(never used any scent lock in my life) its usally i move my head to fast, and i jsut heard them crash off,

now what you heard is proably not a deer, the deer to signal others is their tails, that way they can have a nice silent way to get out, which they ruin when they crash out louder than a chevy crashing threw the forest :D

bill k
January 7, 2005, 06:18 PM
Was it a fawn bleet, kinda high pitched sound, I've heard it many times when the fawn gets pushed away from her mother. If you were in Northern California or Souther Oregon it might have been BIG FOOT.

John Y Cannuck
January 8, 2005, 08:46 PM
Hounds do it on a regular basis, and most other dogs occassionally. They just forcefully blow their noses. It clears the nose (as mentioned above) so they can get a good whiff of you.

January 9, 2005, 12:29 PM
I have heard young deer make a high-pitched, lamb-like "baaaaa." As far as snorting goes, most bucks I have heard make a low-pitched "burp" sound.

Ohio Annie
January 10, 2005, 11:29 AM
It was a bleat from a young deer, probably female. The snort is made by adults of both sexes. I've never heard a buck do that growl thing they do. *urrrp*

January 10, 2005, 02:46 PM
Does can make that sound when hurt. Perhaps one had a leg wound and quick movement was painful.

Paul B.
January 10, 2005, 05:45 PM
I've only heard a deer scream one time. :eek: I shot at the deer and lost it in the scope due to recoil. I got off several more shots as it ran off. I refilled the magazine of my rifle, and started over to check for blood or hair. The deer had been in dark shadows under a low tree branch, but as the range was under 50 yards, I don't see how I could have missed. As I started over, I heard a blood curdling scream. My wife, who was with me, thought that maybe my bullet had hit a human. As I moved into the underbrush where the deer had been, I came across another deer with a neck wound. It was still alive, although I can't figure out why, but I gave it a finishing shot. While I was gutting it out, my wife searched the area to be sure no one had been shot. We discused this with the warden at the check out station and he said he'd heard this scream from wounded deer before. Sure took a big load off my mind.
As far as a deer snort, blow you nose real hard and that will spook every deer within hearing distance. Must be a real close imitation.
Paul B.

Long Path
January 10, 2005, 08:09 PM
Paul B, I got busted by a doe the other day at about 10 feet, and when she realized I was there (which, um, was when I realized she was there), she made a sound exactly like the "blowing nose" sound you described. I just tried it. (Does anyone have a Kleenex?)

It's not here (http://www.dundeesportsmansclub.com/dundee%20pic/dscinc.deer.sounds.htm), though they've got a lot of other deer sounds.

I hit the spine of a doe one day, and she went down. She was paralized for a few seconds before bleeding out, and bleated like a stuck goat a couple of times.

January 10, 2005, 10:58 PM
Oooh, LP, cool site - thanks!

December 10, 2009, 12:16 AM
i probably know that they are alerting other deer ur in the area but does that mean ur area is done for awhile after that or not just wondering

December 10, 2009, 01:35 AM
if a deer does a snort or distress call near you (because u got busted) the hunt for that night is pretty much over. I have never seen deer after being busted. try again in a couple days and mind where the deer were trying to come out of the bush, and where the wind is from. they can be crafty lil buggers sometimes

December 10, 2009, 04:24 AM
I have recently heard that sound. I was coming out from one of my stands and slipped up on a group of does feeding under a pear tree. I stood there for a minute watching under a bright moon. I decided not to spook them so I started to cut up over a ridge where I had parked. As I started up a path, I came within probably 3 yards of a young doe headed to the pear tree. She was thinking of nothing but food. Any way it scared her nearly to death and she let out an ear piercing screech. It didn't do much for my nerves either. I had never heard a deer make that noise until a couple months ago but she sure enough did.

December 10, 2009, 06:14 AM
Look up fox scream/howl on youtube and see if it wasn't that. Your description is close to many who hear a fox.
That will surely spook out the deer.

Lee Lapin
December 10, 2009, 10:19 AM
My wife calls it 'the deer scream.' She had one about scare her to death once doing that, she saw it scream at her and had never known deer could make a noise like that before.


December 10, 2009, 10:45 AM
i had a small buck do that last year. i was sitting agenst a big beach tree and i think he got a wiff, he kept prancing around sceeming looking all over.
pretty funny to watch.

only time i have ever seen/heard it tho. real simmular to a wounded screem but there was nothing wrong with him.

i think he was just frustrated---think 17 at the prom.:p

December 10, 2009, 10:55 AM
It was a doe alerting others to your presence. I've heard both bucks and does do it. The mature buck sound is more of a snort and sounds more challenging, the young buck or doe is a high pitched whistle/snort/blow sound. I've heard it many times, unfortunately.

Last year during bow season I had a doe dead to rights at about 10 yds from my stand. I came to full draw and she had no idea I was in the world. Unbenownst to me the lower limb of my bow was resting against the rail to my climbing stand (new stand and I hadn't practiced much from it). When I released there was a loud "THOOIINGGG" sound and my bow nearly jumped out of my hand. The arrow passed underneath her chest. She trotted out about 40 yds away and started blowing at me. She continued to prance around that open field for nearly 2 minutes repeatedly blowing at me.

Even though it was only 3:00PM and dark was several hours away yet. I got down and went home. :rolleyes:

December 10, 2009, 01:43 PM
I've been hearing that sound off and on for 30+ years. Deer "snort" hard sometimes, and they'll make a wheezing type screech when they do.

I called a coues deer doe in one time out in the Canello hills that blew snot all over my buddy and I when she did that. She was standing about 18" from me at the time. That was one ticked off doe!


December 10, 2009, 04:44 PM
The sound I hear most often is sort of a "Chuff" sound. I heard one once work her way all the way around me making it. "Chuff, chuff, chuff, chuff, chuff..." sort of sounded like a old steam engine.

It was the first time I've ever heard a deer make a sound. Stood the hair on my neck up at first until I saw her (out of bow range of course).

I've also heard one make a bleating noise, like a sheep (Baaaaaaaa). She was caught in a fence (broken back leg) and the dogs had her surrounded. The driver caught up to her and finished her off.

June 19, 2010, 10:38 PM
I have heard that one time before, and it was very recent. I was in some bushes, and it was too dark to see, but a deer caught a sniff of me, or heard me, and I heard a loud snort, sort of high pitched, but not too high. It sounded more challenging like a buck would, and about 3 or 4 seconds later heard another. It FELT like he was warning me to leave his area, because after that second one I was spooked and scrammed lots of fox and coyote areound here. I left those bushes, but stayed in the area..Never heard it again the rest of the 15 minutes I was there. I think he knew he scared me.

James R. Burke
June 20, 2010, 03:00 PM
I have heard kind of a snort sound from a deer, and blowing, and tail signals. They are to warn other deer. Somtimes you will see a bunch take off if your watching in the right area. Or they may try to get the wind in there favor while doing this also. They will also thump with there feet to try to get some movment from you.

June 20, 2010, 03:02 PM
snorting..to me... sounds like someone who cant whistle..trying to whistle..sounds like alot of air coming out of a mouth really fast.

Double Naught Spy
June 20, 2010, 08:38 PM
A deer snort sounds like a lungful blast of air through the nostrils.


At about 2:20 in this vid...

July 5, 2010, 08:36 AM
+1 Double Naught Spy

Deer, as most other species of animals, have their own vocabulary. The young start learning from birth.

Learning your prey's vocabulary(including rattling antler's for horned critters) and the reason for their sounds will make you a much better hunter. Example: you wouldn't want to make the 'alarm sound' of a deer or turkey when trying to call one in. You'd want to make an assembly call, mating call or young in distress call. Depending on time of season.

Learning these calls well takes hunting to a different level, especially during rut.

July 5, 2010, 09:56 AM
From the "nice info, but doesn't help here in the US" file:

I was riding my bike through rural Japan a dozen years ago and I rode into a herd of their tiny red deer that were crossing a road.
They made a flurry of chirping sounds (kind of like birds) as they scattered.

Really cool.

July 15, 2010, 12:38 PM
Deer make different sounds in the woods etc. Grunts(happy)Squeals(alerts) Barks(what?).Deer are cool,Mother Natures messengers.