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How can I tell if what Im hearing is a deer?

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How can I tell if what Im hearing is a deer?

Old 11-27-2012, 02:15 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default How can I tell if what Im hearing is a deer?

This has always bothered me when I hunt. I have bad eyesight especially at night and I guess my hearing has overcompensated. I can hear the slightest noise even 100 yards out and immediately turn my eyes to that point and eventually a few seconds later I will see a small bird hoping across the ground or a squirrel jumping onto a tree. I can easily hear deer feeding in my corn piles before sunrise even at 150 yards.

The problem is when its very dry and I can hear everything within 150 yards like its right under me. It drives me crazy. Especially when something sounds like it might be a deer walking. I will hear 2 steps, long pause, 2 steps, another pause, 3 steps, pause, etc. like a deer stopping to eat some acorns or smell the air. But then I hear it scurry up a tree dashing my hopes. Also all the deer I do see I never hear. Its like they are a bunch of ninjas. I will be texting a friend whos hunting another stand and ask if hes seen anything cause I havent and then I will look up and 4 deer in my corn pile. Or I will be playing a game and look up and see a buck and 2 does halfway out into one of my fields. Im talking no rain in 3 weeks and end of November with all the leaves on the ground and I never heard so much as one step.

So is there anyway to determine what noises have a higher chance of being a deer? About the only deer noise I know is them blowing before waving bye bye with their tail. Where I live I have never heard a grunt, grunt-wheeze, doe bleet, or fawn distress noise. Never heard 2 bucks locking antlers either. Im guessing thats why everytime I try calls they never work. I have heard something that sounded like King King coming through the woods snapping branches only to see a bobcat emerge. So is hearing a bad way to tell if you have deer close by? What noises should I pay attention to and what should I ignore?

Last edited by Cypress32; 11-27-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:39 PM
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I listen for sticks breaking. I hunt in and around pine thickets and can usually distinguish a deer walking from squirrels. To me, a deer walking has a purpose. Squirrels and other small animals sound to me as if they are walking on top of the leaves. Having said that, my eye sight is better than my hearing and I usually spot them before I hear them.

Something you might want to consider is to mentally get in the hunt. Texting and playing games distracts me too much when I'm hunting.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by VAhuntr
I listen for sticks breaking.

Something you might want to consider is to mentally get in the hunt. Texting and playing games distracts me too much when I'm hunting.
Great advice VA. Nothing other than a deer (or human) will snap a twig in my woods. It takes time in the woods be become good at seperating noises. Sometimes it's impossible to tell the diff between a squirrel and a deer in the very dry leaves. The timing, noise level, and repetition (or lack) of certain noises can usually tell you what's prolly making it though.

Last edited by early in; 11-27-2012 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:25 PM
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if they are running it is loud thuds and distinctive.
when they are walking fast it sounds like shuffling, but when they walk slow...nearly no noise. Squirrels do it to me. I have the opposite..bad hearing and they get me nearly evertime.
WORSE THING TO DO IS TURN. If they are there they are there. WAIT and listen more, and if it is in shooting range with a bow stay still, if you gun hunting ! well you should see them anyway.
AT NIGHT ? well what the hell you worried about at night ? I think your over thinking it.
And stop poaching after dark ! lol
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by early in
Great advice VA. Nothing other than a deer (or human) will snap a twig in my woods.
you havent seen the size of my squirrels. Usually thats what I try and listen for but then i hear them laughing at me and the scraping of bark as they run up a tree.

Originally Posted by VAhuntr
Something you might want to consider is to mentally get in the hunt. Texting and playing games distracts me too much when I'm hunting.
A lot of times I will sit for 4-5 hours. I figured playing games on my phone with no volume is less likely to spook a deer than reading a magazine and turning pages. Although the biggest buck I have seen this year came out while I was flipping through my anatomy book.

Last edited by Cypress32; 11-27-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Cypress32
you havent seen the size of my squirrels. Usually thats what I try and listen for but then i hear them laughing at me and the scraping of bark as they run up a tree.



A lot of times I will sit for 4-5 hours. I figured playing games on my phone with no volume is less likely to spook a deer than reading a magazine and turning pages. Although the biggest buck I have seen this year came out while I was flipping through my anatomy book.
You are right, it is less likely to spook a deer but you are not paying attention to hunting. That is why you look up and deer are suddenly there. Mentally, you were not in the game. That's not a knock on you, as it is something I fight with as well.

Personally, I can't read a book or magazine while hunting....it is just too distracting to me. You have to train your eyes and ears to see and hear deer and this takes time and experience.

You are going to have to find something else to occupy you on the stand, IMO. Have you thought about a set of binoculars? You said you don't see well so they might help you in this regard. I use them and will admit to using them to look at birds, squirrels and other animals to help pass the time.

Last edited by VAhuntr; 11-27-2012 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:28 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by VAhuntr
You are going to have to find something else to occupy you on the stand, IMO. Have you thought about a set of binoculars? You said you don't see well so they might help you in this regard. I use them and will admit to using them to look at birds, squirrels and other animals to help pass the time.
Yea I have a pair of Nikon 12x50s. But I think they are too big. Even sitting in my biggest stand where I can sit a foot back from the shooting window and wearing a ski mask deer have spotted me when I use them. I have been watching a pack of does 150 yards away and they have bolted before and Im not making jerky movements when I scan with them either. I think I just need to get a smaller pair. Plus they are heavy as ****.
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:57 AM
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VAHuntr is right, you aren't in tune with the environment you are hunting...Plus you have too much magnification with your binoculars, get an 8 power and a good bino buddy...

I'm 57 and started hunting at 6, I was a squirrel hunter until I was 18 or so when I started getting serious about deer hunting...The point??? I can easily tell the difference between a squirrel, bird, raccoon, deer, dog, human, etc...

Put the smart phone down and learn to listen, watch and hunt...It's easy to spend several hours in the stand when you are looking and listening...

Years ago when I was learning to sneak through the woods I noticed the woods goes through periods where it is very quiet and the animals stop moving, I learned to do the same...After a minute or two the animals would start moving again and I would do the same...

Once a hunter hears and feels these type signals he is on the right track to being a true hunter...Unfortunately deer hunting has gone the way of food plots, special camo, the latest technology, all types of calls, feeders, tower stands, etc...Hunters don't start small game hunting when younger so they don't learn to shoot and hunt like many did 50 years ago....There is no substitute for learning woodsmanship, sitting in the woods on a smart phone is not necessary the way to learn these things...
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:17 AM
  #9  
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I don't know, this doesn't sound like such a bad problem to me. I gave up a long time ago on trying to decipher the difference in the sound of a squirrel, a deer, a chipmunk, or a tweety-bird when I'm sitting in a stand. Too many times I dismissed rustling leaves as being a squirrel, when in fact it turned out to be a deer. I just SLOOOOWWWWWLLLYYY turn my head when I hear leaves crunching, try to see how fast I can pick off whatever's making the noise with my eyes without getting spotted first. Little things like this make you a better hunter and teach you how to blend in with the surroundings, as well as pass time.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:24 AM
  #10  
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nothing makes noise like a squirrel in leaves. Ive heard them before and just knew a pack of rabid deer were running my way, to only have it be a little gray squirrel looking for nuts. Now i dont get excited about any sound, i slowly scan the area but no movements. If it sounds close and you arent seeing a deer, its prob something else. If it is a deer and my stand is set up right, they are probably going to go past me so no reason to get in a tizzy
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