What Does A Deer Sound Like?

December 11, 2022 by No Comments

It’s surprising how many different noises deer can make, and each one has a unique meaning. It takes some practice to learn how to use a deer call in its proper context, which can range from a grunt to a bleat and from a bark to a snort.

Animal sounds abound in the natural world, creating a true cacophony. Only those with a trained ear can tell when a buck or doe might be nearby.

What Sounds Does a Deer Make When Scared Or Nervous?

Deer have survived for such a long time in part due to their herd mentality. They take care of each other. They do this, among other things, by alerting one another to impending danger. There are a few specific sounds you should be aware of because if you hear them, a deer has likely just informed the rest of the herd that you are nearby.


A deer may begin to make sniffing noises if it starts to suspect something is wrong. They’re not only attempting to detect you more easily by improving their sense of smell, but they are also alarming the rest of the herd. The sniff sounds very similar to a human sniff; it’s just louder and deeper. Consider how a deer’s broad nose would draw in the air.


Along with sniffing, suspicious deer may begin lightly stomping their hooves. When they first sense danger, they experience this because they are unsure of its location or nature.

Since the deer are otherwise as quiet as mice, the noise, which resembles a wood block hitting the ground, is usually audible. The stomping wakes up the rest of the herd so they can better identify the danger.


The snort happens when a deer is positive there’s danger around. It implies that you have not been successful in concealing your body using noises and scents. Nothing is more demoralizing than hearing the snort off in the distance just when you’ve decided to start making your way out of the woods after giving up for the day and sounding like a human sneeze. Snorting, raising its tail, and bolting, the deer will. Other deer will be alerted by the noise and will follow suit.

What Sounds Does a Deer Make When Angry?

When they’re in the rut, male deer shed some of their usual cautiousness in order to chase the does. This definitely holds true for their sounds, and a buck in the rut will be much louder than usual. As a matter of fact, he will make a variety of noises to frighten away rival bucks or alert them to his presence, and he will react if he hears something that makes him believe another male is nearby. Additionally, he will make noises in an effort to entice the does.

Buck Grunt

Bucks make a loud grunting sound to show their dominance. All deer grunt softly and for a long time to communicate with one another, but the buck’s deep, short grunt signals that he is the dominant male and that the does in the area belong to him. When he has chosen a specific doe to pursue, he will typically start making grunts, and he will keep doing so as he pursues her. Women find the sounds to be appealing as well.

A buck grunt is one of the sounds that can be mimicked to attract a deer. Here is a list of some examples from our compilation of the top deer calls.

Rattling Antlers / the Buck Rattle

A deer’s vocalizations are not the buck rattle. It’s the sound of two bucks fighting. They fight each other by rattling their antlers against one another. When the does are in estrus, this can turn into serious fighting to establish dominance, but it can also be light sparring before the rut starts.

If other bucks hear the sounds of antlers rattling, they know two males are fighting and will usually come to watch, especially the dominant buck of the area because he’ll want to know who’s fighting in his territory. This is why imitating this sound can attract them.

There are some excellent examples in this roundup of the best rattling antlers. Hunters or naturalists trying to attract deer frequently use man-made materials to mimic these sounds.


The snort-wheeze is an especially aggressive sound used to intimidate rivals. The sound is exactly what the name suggests: a snort followed by a raspy wheeze. When competing for territory, two bucks and does may make these noises to show who is in charge. However, the more aggressive males typically make this noise right before they engage in combat. If one buck is smaller or timider, the noise may cause him to flee. This noise will entice curious and dominant bucks to the area by creating the illusion of a fight when combined with the sound of rattling antlers.

Our list of the top deer calls includes some products that, for instance, let you create rattling antlers and wheeze-snort noises.

Other Deer Sounds

Deer are herd animals, so they require a means of communication, and sound is one of them. They don’t just make noises to show fear or anger, but they also make different sounds when they’re excited, happy, or even bored. Particularly does use a variety of vocalizations to communicate with one another and their fawns.

Doe Grunt

Due to the females’ smaller bodies, which, like in humans, cause their airways to be shorter, the grunt of a doe is much louder than that of a buck. They do, however, not grunt to assert their dominance. Basically, they just do it to talk to one another. A grunt is a deer’s way of letting others know that it is nearby and ready to mingle since deer are extremely social and will group together when they can. When it’s time for feeding or when they’re moving to a new location, the mothers also grunt to signal the fawns.

Doe Bleat

Does also bleat in social situations. The bleat is a higher-pitched, vibrating noise akin to a goat’s. They primarily do it to show contentment when they are gathered together or with their fawns.

Doe in Heat Call – Estrus Bleat

When they do go into heat and are ready to mate, they make their own sound to seduce the bucks. The estrus bleat is higher in pitch than the bucks’ calls. It has a kazoo-like quality to it. A doe will pause and bleat to signal a buck that she is ready to mate when she is ready. One of the most audible and recognizable sounds made by deer, this one can be quite loud.

What Sounds Does a Baby Deer Make?

Fawns, or baby deer, communicate with their mothers by making a variety of noises. Strong maternal instincts enable the does to react quickly to their young’s cries. As a result, if you’re hunting a doe, imitating a fawn’s sounds might be the best way to draw her attention.

Nursing Whine

The fawns cry out while nursing or attempting to nurse. It’s a rising and falling pitch that actually sounds a lot like a rusty screen door blowing in the wind, but the fawns make it to bond with their mothers. It cannot be heard very far away, like the majority of social communication between deer.

what does a deer sound like

Fawn Bleat

Fawns also make a goat-like bleating sound similar to the does when they are happy. The pitch is higher for them than for adults due to their smaller frames, but it accomplishes the same thing essentially. When the fawns play or interact with their mothers, they bleat, which helps the herd form social bonds. While their mothers feed, you might hear young deer bleating and playing around.

Fawn Distress Call

If a fawn is in danger, it will call for its mother’s help. The sound of the call is like a loud, continuous cry that occasionally sounds uncannily human. Imagine how it sounds to a mother deer if it’s enough to make you feel the need to investigate what’s wrong. Even if their own babies are secure by their side, does will typically move quickly to locate the crying fawn. As you might expect, the noise gets louder as the fawn feels more threatened. When a fawn is lost and searching for the herd, it may make quiet, rhythmic noises, but if a predator is pursuing it, it may make loud panicked noises. Although it can be successfully imitated year-round, you’ll have the best success doing so at the beginning of the season when fawns are still young and reliant on their mothers.

What Are the Noises Specific to Does?

A female deer makes what kind of sound? Let’s examine in more detail some of the sounds that women frequently make.

Doe Bleat

When interacting with other deer, bleating is a sound that does occasionally occur. The vibration and pitch of this sound are audible. It’s been compared by some to the noise a goat makes.

When does are gathered together in a group, they frequently bleat. To their fawns, they may also bleat.

Doe Grunt

Although a doe’s grunt has a noticeably higher pitch than a buck’s, they sound similar. The reason for a doe’s grunt is distinct from that of a buck. They use it in social situations when they are around other deer in groups.

The doe will also make this noise to signal to her fawns when it is time to feed or move to a different location.

Estrus Bleat

The bleat a doe emits during estrus is known as the estrus bleat. It is intended to draw bucks during the mating season.

Noises Specific to Fawns

There are some sounds that fawns can only make. Fawns are baby deer.

Fawn Bleat

Fawns bleat like a doe, which is somewhat reminiscent of a goat. They demonstrate their happiness and contentment by acting in this way. A doe bleat is lower pitched than a fawn bleat.

In a variety of situations, fawns bleat, including when they interact with their mothers, other fawns, and deer in the herd.

Fawn Distress Call

When in need of assistance from its mother, a fawn will make a distress call. It can sound somewhat like a human crying.

The mother’s attention and help will be quickly attracted by the fawn’s distress call. A fawn’s distress call will vary in volume depending on how scared it is.

Nursing Whine

When nursing, fawns make this noise, and experts theorize that this noise helps to strengthen the bond between the mother and the fawn. This is a quiet noise, so if you’re far away, you probably won’t hear it. The nursing whine has a similar sound to it. A whining sound that alternates between quiet and slightly louder pitches can be heard.

Why Do Hunters Need to Know Deer Sounds?

Knowing deer sounds is advantageous for hunters for two main reasons.

  1. One is that it helps them detect the animals in the woods, and
  2. The other is that hunters can learn to imitate the sounds in an effort to entice their prey.

Making vocalizations that will pique a buck’s interest and draw them close is a good strategy if you’re a deer hunter looking for a clear shot. For instance, you might lead the target to believe that there is a rival nearby that they ought to investigate. Deer can be attracted using doe calls as well.

Some hunters bring some shed antlers to rattle in order to mimic the sound that bucks make when they are fighting.

Once more, this will lead bucks to believe that there are rival male deer vying for his territory and the females there.


Deer aren’t the silent creatures you thought they were, obviously. The many different species of deer found worldwide, including whitetail and mule deer, all produce a wide variety of sounds.

When hunting or just spending time in the woods, you can make use of this knowledge.