by John Trout, Jr.
Archers often hear deer snort at a distance and wonder if they were detected. Surprisingly, snorting does not always occur because a deer detects the presence of a human.
Several years ago, after leaving my stand one morning, I walked the edge of a harvested cornfield back to the vehicle. I spotted no less than five bucks in pursuit of a doe. Then they stopped and encircled her. The doe then broke away from the bucks and ran hard, snorting in frustration all the way.
Only last season, I heard a deer blowing hard and coming closer. Then I spotted a mature doe as she passed within 40 yards of my stand with a young buck chasing her.
Deer often snort out of frustration and anger. I've witnessed them snort at housecats, raccoons and many other smaller mammals we often encounter. Other times, I've watched one deer snort while others appeared unbothered and continued feeding.
On one occasion, I spotted a doe snorting and stomping as she stared across a field the opposite direction of where I was located. I had no idea what had her in a dither, but moments later a buck showed up and approached her.
It does appear that during the rut, a buck could be attracted to the sound of a snort, hoping that it will lead him to a doe. It also appears that mood plays a significant role in snorting.