Deer Snorts -- It Doesn't Always Mean You're Busted

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.

More Whitetail


Tips For Taking Hill Country Bucks in the Rut

Alex Gyllstrom - November 10, 2017

Growing up in Southwest Michigan I didn't have much experience hunting hill country until I...


Explaining Marginal Shots on Whitetails

Bill Winke - May 14, 2019

Will a marginal shot on one deer get the same results as a marginal shot on another?


Are Some Bucks Unkillable?

Bill Winke

Bill Winke says don't waste your time hunting these deer.

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.