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Old June 7, 2010, 08:20 PM   #1
mitchell koster
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"Animal awareness"

When hunting I often think about the awareness of say the deer to other animals and how they are reacting. In my opinion the deer and other game for that matter will watch not only the bush surroundings around them but other animals like birds, rabbits, hare (pretty much any other game around them). I'd like to hear opinion on this because I think its one of those things that as hunter we should be aware of.

For instance, If i'm walking through some scrubb and a rabbit sees me and bolts. This in my opinion would alert the deer that there is something wrong ir that something is coming. In Africa I believe there is a type of deer that hangs around trees where monkey live in. This means that the deer don't need to be as aware or "on guard" as they normally would have to. When the monkeys hear, smell see something from the tree tops (where they can see from a distance) they'll make a racket. Although the deer haven't seen the predator they move on becaus THEY know the monkeys have smelt something and so they move on.

I've been doing a bit of research on this and I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this or even heard of it. I don't

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Mitchell.
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Last edited by mitchell koster; June 7, 2010 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Bad Grammar
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Old June 7, 2010, 08:46 PM   #2
briandg
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Tick birds.
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Old June 8, 2010, 07:22 AM   #3
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squirrels. If they bust you in a tree stand it takes time for things to settle down. They make a heck of a noise in the woods when they get wound up.
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Old June 8, 2010, 08:13 AM   #4
Art Eatman
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There is a normal pattern of behavior among all wildlife, and some normal noise level. The human ear, generally, is not sensitive enough to pick up much of the small level of background noise.

Whatever disturbs this normal pattern is taken as a warning sign. In general, prey animals seem to operate on the basis of, "If it's different, it's bad."

I've seen comments from wildlife biologists that a guesstimate of the attention span of a deer is around twenty minutes. Thus, if you spook a deer, then some twenty minutes or so after the initial reactions the deer will return to normal behavior for the time of day.

Add it all up and you can see why sitting and waiting at a likely spot provides the most success in hunting. Animals aren't disturbed by a motionless person, and normal patterns return and continue.
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Old June 8, 2010, 08:36 AM   #5
.284
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Have you ever had a group of deer alert you that a buck was on his way in because they heard/saw him first? Have you ever had deer come to a turkey call becase they like to feed in the same areas. And yes, I have had two fighting squirrels spook deer coming my way.

You bet their behavior is influenced by other animals.
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Old June 8, 2010, 09:42 AM   #6
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When the monkeys hear, smell see something from the tree tops (where they can see from a distance) they'll make a racket.
The racket made is an "alarm call." Many/most vocal species have them and some non-vocal ones have other forms of non-audible alarm notification behaviors.

Animals occupying the same region will be familiar with the alarm calls of other species and some species provide mutual protection in such a manner.
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Old June 8, 2010, 02:40 PM   #7
kaylorinhi
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Inter-species alert

They Baboons in Africa actually have different "words" for different dangers/predators, for example if the baboons see a Bird of Prey and vocalize the other animals react accordingly, if they vocalize for a snake the other animals react accordingly again. Not my stuff the Animal Planet is great for gathering intel on our choosen prey!
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Old June 8, 2010, 02:52 PM   #8
Doodlebugger45
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Under normal circumstances I guess this is true. However, during the rut a buck deer or bull elk seems oblivious to everything. I've had bull elk charge right out of the timber when I was crashing through it on a horse. He thought I was another massive bull making my way into his territory to challenge him. He died 40' away from me. I had a very large buck deer emerge from thick cover about 25 yards away from me last fall. I guess he had caught the scent of a willing doe because he looked straight at me and just kept up on a slow deliberate walk seemingly ignoring me. He also died right there. Does and cow elk are a different matter though. They seem to have more sense than bucks and bulls. They are constantly sniffing the air and paying attention to all manner of indicators of danger.
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Old June 8, 2010, 03:48 PM   #9
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Under normal circumstances I guess this is true. However, during the rut a buck deer or bull elk seems oblivious to everything. I've had bull elk charge right out of the timber when I was crashing through it on a horse. He thought I was another massive bull making my way into his territory to challenge him.
You have misinterpreted the bull's behavior. He wasn't oblivious. I am sure he was fully aware, but he was also charged full of hormones. His fight instinct was stronger than his flight instinct. This is not the same as being oblivious.
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Old June 8, 2010, 05:24 PM   #10
Daryl
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If you pay enough attention to your surroundings, you'll learn to read the animals to some degree, too.

Many's the time I've had a bird spook, and alert me to an approaching coyote while I was calling them. You just have to pay attention to what's going on around you.

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Old June 9, 2010, 08:04 AM   #11
Art Eatman
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"However, during the rut a buck deer or bull elk seems oblivious to everything."

Like guys during happy hour at the corner bar...

The rut is one of the very few times that mammals are mammals, regardless of species.
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Old June 11, 2010, 02:05 PM   #12
James R. Burke
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I agree deer are on guard all the time. I think when other animals are acting normal they dont even notice, but do when something is up. I noticed hunting you might have a few deer looking around, and one or two eating, then switch off. I also think red squirrels can give you away. I take care of them before seasons with the 22 from a long ways away. Gives them a chance, and good practice for you. I think most wild animals use alot of things to determine if danger is around. Or your sitting in a blind motionless with the wind in your favor, and there looking right at you. They just know something is not right. They no doubt rely on many things in there surroundings other animals, wind, sight, smell, other animals etc. I once shot at a eight pointer pretty far away, and missed. Not knowing were the shot came from he ran straight at me. When I reloaded and shut the bolt he stopped about 30 yards from me. Did not miss on the second shot. He just picked the wrong way to run.
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Old June 11, 2010, 02:28 PM   #13
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However, during the rut a buck deer or bull elk seems oblivious to everything.
Yeah, including a forty-thousand dollar SUV .

I think that sometimes it's not only noise they alert to, but sudden silence as well. Spring here finds Spring Peeper frogs setting up a deafening ruckus around ponds & streams, but they'll go silent in a heartbeat if something's amiss. I've watched browsing deer stop and go into alert mode when that happened, although that could've been due to them becoming aware of the same thing the frogs detected.
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Old June 11, 2010, 03:13 PM   #14
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Obviously different animals have alarm calls and I'm sure they learn to interpret calls from different animals. A rabbit running by would alert them (or anything) and make them look around just as it would you or I. But in reality if a rabbit is running by a deer the deer more than likely has you pegged already too. I think what saves most animals is the fact that they are just plain spooky. When you or another critter does something to throw suspicion they bolt. Im most cases they aren't worried about lookin stupid or waiting around to find out what caused it. They get a whiff, a sound or a look at something that might cause even a hint of danger they re off. I don't call this aware, I call it livin scared. And they do it for good reason. A buck during the rut doesn't lose it's awareness, it just tends to think/hope/wish it's a doe and loses some of it's skitishness.

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Old June 11, 2010, 04:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
I think that sometimes it's not only noise they alert to, but sudden silence as well.
Excellent point. Your peeper frogs will go silent as you note and that is a larger area proximity alarm of sorts. I sort of figured it as a warning to be on the alert because something is determined to be amiss. If you approach, they will then make a chirp as they hope to safety in the water which is an immediate or close proximity alarm call. For the frogs where I am, this happens anywhere from 15 feet out to 2 feet out before they chirp, hop, and swim.
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Old June 18, 2010, 06:50 AM   #16
roy reali
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Very Aware

I was bird hunting with a friend and a couple of dogs. The dogs would go to brush piles and kick quail out. Then we noticed a hawk flying right over the dogs and landing on the brush they were heading for.

The hawk was waiting for the dogs to kick out some meals for it.

I would say that this bird was very aware.
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Old June 18, 2010, 11:48 AM   #17
Smokey Joe
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Animal awareness...

During deer hunting season I don't know how many times I've had a blue jay spot me, and fly off, screaming "Deer hunter, deer hunter, look out!!!" at the top of its voice.

The darn birds seem to take an evil delight in doing that. They're not nearly as upset by human presence when one is not hunting. Mebbe they can tell the difference.
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