Using deer calls is an excellent hunting tactic for hunting whitetail deer (and mule deer). Each of the primary deer calls including the popular buck grunt, snort call, adult blat and fawn bleat have several different sounds (tones) with each vocalization communicating specific meanings to other deer.
One of the most under used and misunderstood deer calls is the snort. In fact, all the different tones of the snort are extremely effective deer calls. Each call communicates particular meanings to deer.
The snort is my favorite deer call over all other deer calls. The alarm-distress cadence is very versatile. It can be used all season long in scenarios when still-hunting, tracking, during deer drives and when posting. It is purposely used to frighten deer from cover like standing corn fields, patches of laurel or briars, blowdowns, pine thickets, bogs, or any other heavy cover that deer tend to hide in. It is the best way to naturally spook deer from their hiding places by using a sound that instinctively forces a deer to react to it by trying to quickly leave the area.
It is also the absolute best way to leave a treestand or blind when deer are milling around it in the woods, and especially in a field. This often happens to hunters when they want to leave a stand at the end of the day. Many times, they remain in their stand until the deer leave the area or risk spooking them when they leave. No one wants to remain on a stand on a cold, frigid night any longer than they have to.
Here's the solution to the problem. To avoid spooking deer to your presence when leaving a stand, blow an alarm-distress snort vocalization to indicate there is immediate danger. The alarm-distress will quickly frighten off deer so you can leave the stand undetected. In so doing, you eliminate the probability that deer will associate human presence to the stand as you leave it. Deer that are frightened off by an alarm-distress call, do not treat the area as one to keep away from. On the other hand, if they were frightened off by human presence, they could mark the stand as an area to avoid. By blowing the alarm-distress call, deer believe just another deer was spooked and vocalized an alarm-distress call. It allows a hunter to leave the stand without deer relating human presence to it.
To make the alarm-distress call, blow two loud snorts “Phew! . . . . Phew!” Quickly follow them with several shorter and softer snorts that progressively become quieter. So, the sequence sounds like this, “Phew! . . . Phew! . . . phew, phew, phew, phew, phew.”
So the next time you are sitting in a blind or tree stand, and you want to leave, but can’t because there are deer nearby, blow the cadence of the alarm-distress snort.
Although, this is just one way to use the snort call, by far, it is not the only way as the snort call is the most versatile and effective deer call. Unlike the grunt call, which has a short window of use, the snort can be used all season long.
For instance, the primary snort is called the Alarm snort. It is the deer vocalization most heard by deer hunters. Another snort sound is the one described above: the Alarm-Distress Snort. It, too, is often heard by deer hunters. A third snort call vocalization is called the Social-Snort. The fourth snort noise is referred to as the Snort-Grunt and the fifth snort sound is called the Snort-Grunt-Wheeze.
Each of the vocalizations are covered in depth on our DVD Tactics for Talking to Deer. You can also go to this link on YouTube https://youtu.be/14NucAEvZBc to see and hear how to use each deer call effectively to attract, stop, agitate, relax, and intentionally spook deer from cover.
Of all the snort cadences, I can promise you that the most effective and useful snort sounds is the Alarm-Distress call. It not only can be used to get out of your tree stand without deer being alerted to your presence, but it also can be quite successfully used to roust deer from cover including blow-downs, standing corn fields, thickets, and other similar cover deer hide in.
There you have it. The Alarm-Distress snort is an easy and effective way to get out of a tree stand when deer are lurking nearby and an excellent way to spook deer into revealing themselves from blowdowns, and so on.
My next blog will be about how to use to Alarm snort. This is a vocalization that almost every hunter has heard, particularly as they move to their stand in the dark in the morning.