View Full Version : Do deer shun from range fire???!!

November 6, 2009, 08:17 PM
We have our own private shooting range...but it is located directly adjoining the acreage that we deer hunt on... we frequent the range at least once a week all year long... The month before deer season we dont shoot there for fear that the shooting may run off the deer... Does anyone have info on this matter...or an educated opinion of whether this would scare off the deer that are there... if they are used to hearing it all of the other 45 weeks of the year.. tkx in advance for any help/comments.;)

November 6, 2009, 08:34 PM
No it will not bother them. For many years i hunted next to a rifle and trap/skeet range and the shots never bothered the deer. For the most part i believe that deer are creatures of habit. The same with farm animals and farm equipment thay just get used to it. I have killed many deer in the same field about 50 to 75yds. away from farm animals or equipment, and the same way with the range during live fire.

November 6, 2009, 08:37 PM
... and we had to cease fire when a pair of bucks wandered out from the treeline, to graze by the 200yd bullseye targets, as we were shooting rifles including a MAK-90, a Knight black powder .50, and a H&K 91.

This was the month before deer season.

Go figure. Odds are those two would have been nowhere in sight a month later.

Dr. Strangelove
November 6, 2009, 08:51 PM
Doesn't bother them in the least. I joined a private shooting club a few weeks ago, and one of the main rules stressed was not to shoot deer on the range. Hmm, no problem, I thought.

We regularly have to call cease fires for deer on the range! I was shooting the other day with several other members, when 2 bucks waltzed out in front of the backstop during a lull in shooting.

Art Eatman
November 6, 2009, 09:46 PM
Deer get used to certain patterns of noise. There once was a group of about a half-dozen does which would bed down about 75 yards behind my uncle's 100-yard backstop.

A residential subdivision was developed adjacent to my acreage outside of Austin. I observed that the deer seemed to have some sort of "comfort distance" with regard to dogs, human voices, go-carts and chainsaws. They became acclimated to the subdivision noises and would not even look up from browsing.

Jet fighters from Bergstrom AFB going to afterburner at some 2,000 ft AGL didn't bother them, either.

November 6, 2009, 10:17 PM
Deer get used to certain patterns of noise.


I suspect that it depends on what they're accustomed to. Deer regularly wander onto my local range while people are firing. You'd swear that they were attracted by the gunfire. Ducks, geese and rabbits do the same. But the foxes will react to gunfire.

November 7, 2009, 01:36 AM
If it is something that goes on all the time, I imagine that would get a custom to it. If it's a range out on your ranch or lease and it's only used every other month, then I wouldn't recommend using it during deer season. Especially after they hear a bang and the deer next to them goes flop a few times.

T. O'Heir
November 7, 2009, 02:28 AM
''...thEy just get used to it..." Exactly. Biggest deer track I've ever seen was in the 'butts' of a CF range.

November 7, 2009, 06:09 AM
If it is something that goes on all the time, I imagine that would get a custom to it. If it's a range out on your ranch or lease and it's only used every other month, then I wouldn't recommend using it during deer season.

I wouldn't even say they need that much acclimation: I generally try to shoot about once every couple months, and I've spooked deer less than 75 yards from my range after an hour of shooting.

November 7, 2009, 06:19 AM
My wife and I went to the local range a few days ago. On the way in, four does crossed the road in front of our car. They were less than 200 yards certainly from the range, which was being used by at least four shooters at the time.

And the deer were headed toward the range.

Around the "compound" here they don't pay any attention at all to doors slamming, kids screaming, yard dogs barking, pigs squeeling, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, tractors....you get the idea.

But you take a step in the dry leaves, and watch 'em come to attention.

November 7, 2009, 09:42 AM
I have seen deer in the impact area of a tank range at Ft Hood, TX. Crazy how they adjust to surroundings. At a sporting clay range here, I've seen shot falling on a sounder of feral hogs. They just shivered a bit and kept on rooting.

Art Eatman
November 7, 2009, 10:10 AM
Come to think about it, deer and antelope wander all around the firing-range area of the Whittington Center. The mule deer are generally closer than the antelope, but that's mostly because of the terrain and vegetation. The couple of miles of shooting ranges are against the foothills with a good bit of brush and trees. The HQ is more out in the grassy plains.

November 7, 2009, 12:49 PM
we had a herd of does wander onto the m60/m240 machine gun range during qualification. caused 8 re-shoots cause we had to shut down 1/2 way thru.

ive also had deer scare the heck out of me while chain sawing, 1 doe "snuck" up to 5 feet away, i look up, and its at spitting distance just staring, ears up and all.

November 7, 2009, 12:59 PM
At our local range there are 9 shootable buck antelope lying right up against the fence,you could set up your B/R rifle and kill any one of them.(with permission and $450.00).Biggest whitetail buck I have seen lives in the same field.

November 7, 2009, 01:16 PM
Its amazing how fast they adjust too. Have had deer come within 50 yds of a felling crew logging. Thats several chainsaws and trees dropping. 50 yds was not normal, but they would regularly be within 100yds, we never approached them so I dont think they felt threatened.

November 7, 2009, 01:22 PM
deer and antelope wander all around the firing-range area of the Whittington CenterArt, those deer and antelope are playing. Buffalos roam.;)

I have actually seen deer walk across our rifle range. I would say they are not too terribly scared by gunfire if they are used to it.

November 7, 2009, 02:35 PM
Aeons ago, a buddy who was with the 8/40th Armored were doing tank tables with the coupla machineguns in thier M60A5s at Fort Huachuca, (yes a LONG time ago), when a deer wandered out onto the range. Man, did they get chewed out for "not hearing" the cease fire command, but Mikey said "several hundred" rounds of 50 BG went downrange, and the deer made it from one side to the other unscathed.

November 7, 2009, 03:58 PM
Deer pretty much only shun the things they learn to associate with danger. If they never learn to associate consistent gunfire with personal danger, they don't really care. They'll run in the woods after a shot because either they got shot (duh?), it's unusual for that area (and the unusual does scare them), or they see other deer running (the unfortunate "white flag").

Tom Servo
November 7, 2009, 04:03 PM
Nope, and sometimes they'll even wander into the range (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3755167&postcount=27).

November 7, 2009, 04:04 PM
Nope, I've had deer wander onto the range while people were shooting. The biggest bunch was a half dozen that just trotted out. We couldn't get them to go away by shooting the steel plates downrange or just shooting around them. No, we he do go downrange to shoo them off. Had it been hunting season we could have slaughtered the whole bunch in 5 seconds.

November 7, 2009, 05:03 PM
One ran out into the impact area while we were throwing hand grenades in basic training. We were the last group so it had been going on for a while.

November 7, 2009, 06:20 PM
I just noticed a fresh scrape right next to one of my target stands on my own range. We've been using the range frequently the last month or so.

November 8, 2009, 11:57 PM
Nah, gunfire doesn't bother deer, but it sure bothers fellow hunters.