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Signals deer give

Old 11-07-2010, 07:07 AM
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Typical Buck
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Default Signals deer give

Yesterday, a hunter on TV noticed a doe extend her head down and out and interpreted it to mean a buck was coming in. Sure enough, he appeared a few seconds later. I immmediately realized this could be very useful information, but I know very little about it.

My questions:

1.What/how can you learn from a deer's movements to tell you it's communicating or indicating an unseen deer?

2. What exactly does foot stomping thing do or say? I understand it means a deer has seen something to make it ansty, but is it a form of communication?

3. I've heard of young bucks acting submissively in the presence of dominant ones. What do I look for?
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:28 AM
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I am novice hunter but have learned a lot seeing and watching deer, what they do and when. I guess to answer the questions would be to look at what happened prior to the behavior. I have seen does stomp while standing by a deer I had just shot. I also saw one stomp when it caught me drawing my bow. I had a buck stomp when I grunted to try and get him in bow range. So would it be fair to assume that does and bucks stomp for different reasons? During apprehension or anticipation? A buddy of mine said he had a buck stomp when he used a doe estrus can. What has been the experience?
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:40 AM
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Forkhorn, yes deer communicate in countless ways, some vocal, some physical, some chemical, but they communicate in many ways. Watching deer over many years will teach you some of the methods they communicate but it is a never ending learning process.

Yes, foot stomping is a way to communicate different things. In my experience it is used to "alert" other deer, seen or unseen, that may be nearby to a potential threat. They will foot stomp to visual and odorous clues. It may be a sign that they have smelled or seen you or something else. I've seen them footstomp when seeing a coyote to alert other deer nearby.
A subordinate buck will always keep its attention on a dominate buck. It could face attack if it does not percieve the dominate bucks warning signs. So always watch a subordinate buck coming in to see if he is preoccupied with something behind him or off to one side, it may be a larger buck.
Years of hunting will eventually teach you some of the signs. Always keep your eyes and ears "tuned" to the sounds of the woods. Deer are very communicative, but very subtle in there ways.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:04 AM
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I have always thought the foot stomp was a warning to other deer something wasn't quite right. As far as other deer being around almost always a doe will look back every now and then to see what is behind them. Also, they will flick their tail back and forth quick to let other deer know its ok to carry on. Their ears will turn back behind them too if something is following. I have learned the hard way to always assume something is behind them. I had a doe walking away from me one day and assumed it was safe to move a little, heard a deer blow behind me, lookend back just in time to see a nice buck turn and run.
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:35 PM
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This is all very interesting. Aside from a deer looking backward along its travel route or sticking its tail up, I really hadn't given this much thought. I appreciate the answers.


Hunter 59, is it just a matter of seeing the subdominant buck act like its got something to be leery about standing bearby, or are there specific things it does?
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:44 PM
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If your stalking a feeding deer, it'll useally always flick its tail before she raises her head.
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:21 PM
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I was hunting a stand over a field several years ago, on a foggy morning.
A small herd of deer came in front of me, real close, grazing.
I watched them for about an hour, scratching the ground, flicking their tails, etc.
I could hear just a faint "coo" like grunt every now and then from various
members.
Sort of like they were just keeping tabs on each other, while they were eating. Just keeping the herd together.


I've imitated that sound many times since, and swear to have pulled deer in.
Just about as soft as you can make a deer bleat call make a sound.
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Old 11-07-2010, 04:25 PM
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some neat things their guys and stuff i have never paid attention to i do no the run when u shoot at them and thats about it but after reading this i will be paying attention while in the woods this week
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:19 PM
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As far as foot stomping goes I believe they do use it to communicate.

Yesterday my dad shot a little buck from his stand and it ran towards my stand (we aren't very far apart) which frightened this monster buck that was standing in the thicket 20 yards away from me and he did the stoming thing(I never got a shot he trotted off and it was too thick to see him). I suppose it was to try and communicate with the deer that was shot. Maybe he was "asking" what that boom was.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jerrrrstanley View Post
I have always thought the foot stomp was a warning to other deer something wasn't quite right. As far as other deer being around almost always a doe will look back every now and then to see what is behind them. Also, they will flick their tail back and forth quick to let other deer know its ok to carry on. Their ears will turn back behind them too if something is following. I have learned the hard way to always assume something is behind them. I had a doe walking away from me one day and assumed it was safe to move a little, heard a deer blow behind me, lookend back just in time to see a nice buck turn and run.
Your first sentence is spot on. Notice that when a deer stomps its foot it's STILL standing there and hasn't (yet) bolted. My theory is it's a bit of a poker play with them--a game of chicken, if you will: they have a "suspicion" and they're trying to get you to "blink" or move and bust yourself.

In this situation, stay calm and cool! You aren't busted YET! I had a doe do that to me this fall. She stood there looking at the blind stomping her foot. She then turned and bolted about 15 feet, stopped suddenly, and looked back at the blind (again, trying to get me to move and bust myself). AFTER all that, she let her guard down and walked in broadside and I took her out.

While she "suspected" something she didn't bust me--but she tried to get me to bust me for her (if that makes sense).

No matter what kind of bluff and bluster and show they put on, you're still in the game up to the point they SNORT and turn up tail and bolt out of there. THEN the game is over--but not until then.
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