Whitetail Blow vs. Snort

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posted on March 7, 2014
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Q: Is there a difference between the terms "blowing" and "snorting" as they apply to whitetail deer, or are they interchangeable? When is each of the sounds used by a deer?

A: Indeed, the terms "blowing" and "snorting" are commonly used by hunters to describe the same vocalization, though the latter is probably the favored terminology and certainly appears more often in writing about whitetails. The sound is produced by the forceful expulsion of air through the nasal passages and most often indicates alarm or distress. In fact most hunters have been hailed by this sound when they've been winded or otherwise discovered by deer, and it often immediately precedes the animal's abrupt exit.

The whitetail’s snort vocalization almost always signals alarm or distress. When hunters hear that shrill sound in the woods, it usually means their presence has been detected.

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