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Deer Memory.....

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Plank Road Farm, Dec 21, 2011.

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  1. Plank Road Farm

    Plank Road Farm Member

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    How long does a deer remember where he was shot at (& missed)?
    Buddy of mine said that deer not only remember but communicate that experience to other deer. Not sure I believe that.

    But the question is: Once you've shot at and missed a deer from your tree stand is there any chance he'll come back and if so how soon?

    Would this also apply with once the deer has picked up you scent and fled?

    And finally, if you kill a deer from your stand how soon could you retrun to hunt successfully?

    Any experience with this happing to you?
    TIA (Thanks In Advace)
     
  2. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    There are NO exact answers to your questions... I've shot a deer, retrived it, and 5 minutes later had more deer come out. There are MANY cases of a guy shooting at a deer, and it comeing right back in, just as there are cases of the buck leaveing the area...

    There are NO set answers to your questions for this reason, as it all depends on the weather/area/deer and many other things...

    Can a deer leave an area, then tell another deer what happened? I doubt that too, BUT a smart buck may not come back, and that "could" affect other deer, so ?

    DM
     
  3. solvability

    solvability Member

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    Pigs are supposed to be really smart - the other day I shot a hog and while I was walking over to it another hog walked up to within 6 feet of me - smoke from my revolver was still hanging in the air.

    I think there is a lot of randomness to hunting.


    (I did not shoot the other hog - saved for another day)
     
  4. NOLAEMT

    NOLAEMT Member

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    Ive shot a deer right before dark, and had a friend shoot a deer from the same stand, the next morning. the two deer fell where they were shot, not even 5 feet from one another.
     
  5. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    A deer may remember forever where somebody tried to kill it. However, that does not mean that the deer will avoid that location in the future. To my knowledge, I know of no studies that indicate that deer communicate the locations of danger outside of snorting and other alarm responses at the particular location when danger is sensed.

    Consider the world from the deer's perspective. The continually evaluate their local surroundings. If they sense no danger in their surroundings, then they feel safe. It does not matter what has happened there in the past. If they suspect danger, they may either stay and be wary or they may leave. If they sense danger they will often give warnings and maybe leave or stay, determining if the danger is real or not. If they think the danger is real, they leave.

    Once again, consider from the deer's perspective. You take a shot at the deer and miss and it runs off. What does the deer understand about what happened? All the deer knows is that while he was in that location, that there was a really loud sound that occurred that scared it. The deer does not know that the sound signified a bullet sent toward him. If you are well disguised, the deer likely won't even know that it came from a gun for the purpose of killing it.

    They may be scared off for a while, a day or so, but like humans at a gun show where there has been an ND, some will return minutes later and mill about, thinking the really loud noise was simply that, and hence there is no further danger to them.
     
  6. solvability

    solvability Member

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    I have had deer freeze at the sound of shot and wait to be shot again. Deer are not very smart or good communicators.
     
  7. Zombiphobia

    Zombiphobia Member

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    This has been known to happen with people in combat, too. No rhyme or reason to it, it seems.
     
  8. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 Member

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    My admittedly unscientific theory after 25 years of deer hunting is that they will do this most often if it seems like they can't locate the direction of the noise. Maybe it's an evolutionary adaptation. In other words, if you froze you were less likely to reveal your position to other predators who might not have anything to do with the original noise.

    I've seen other species I've hunted such as rabbits appear to do the same thing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  9. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Wow, just like people at gun shows who maintain high situational awareness.
     
  10. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

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    I can't say enough how important it is to never, ever. let what ever it is that you're hunting know that you are "there". This is how animals get educated and why sometimes they become totally nocturnal.
     
  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I have read commentary from the bug'n'bunny guys that the attention span of a deer is around twenty minutes. If nothing happens during that time, he's pretty well forgotten what spooked him.

    If a deer runs away from some sort of "problem", but really wanted to be wherever that problem occurred, odds are that there is a good maybe of a return. Then again, something else might have become more attractive elsewhere. No way to know.

    Deer can learn. Over time, a blind may become a place to avoid, if it's used very often.
     
  12. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    I have read these comments as well, but as you point out, we know that deer can and do learn. The 20 minutes isn't how long it takes them to forget so much as it is that they consider their area to be safe. They generally don't react to incidents as being necessarily geography-based. It isn't the area that is a threat, but animals in that area, in contrast to people that often associate areas with danger.
     
  13. matrem

    matrem Member

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    I've seen "old" does come around a corner looking up at my tree stand.After moving several trees over, watched them look into same tree several months later.
    Don't know if it's memory or survival instinct, but some of them are very good at it.
     
  14. ants

    ants Member

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    How does a deer know what a gun is?

    I don't think they know what a gun is.
    It's a manufactured human tool.
    Deer don't have that concept.

    "Oh, sure they do!" you say. OK, I'll let you believe it.

    Many deer hear Boom sounds all through their lives.
    Thunder. Car backfire. Fireworks.
    Target shooting. Bird shooting. Flat tire blowouts.
    Lots of different kinds of Booms.

    I don't believe that deer have a concept of projectile,
    fired at supersonic speed from a manufactured firearm,
    shot directly at them in attempt to take their lives, but narrowly missed.
    How can they possibly know that, just because you and I know it.

    At least I don't believe that they have a concept of firearm.
    Just because we know what a firearm is,
    and that we attempt to use it to kill a deer,
    doesn't mean the deer knows.
     
  15. gspn

    gspn Member

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    I killed two doe from the same stand in 10 minutes one time. First shot killed a doe and dropped her right in the food plot. The remaining deer took off for the woods. A few minutes later they all came back. They looked at the deer laying down in the field for a minute...then went right back to eating. BOOM...I took another one.

    Deer are simple animals. They are geared toward survival...not problem solving.

    Many times I've had a dead deer laying in a field and had other deer come right back out and eat around it.
     
  16. Pacsd

    Pacsd Member

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    Maybe not along the same vein but I really wonder if a spooked deer has determined route and location that they are going to run to. Kind of like a cop chasing someone on foot with the crook thinking....I'll go thru the alley, then between the Smith & Jones yard to the corner by the store and disappear on Elm street. Anyway, I've seen deer look in the direction of rifle reports then put thier heads down and continue eating or walking along. No telling what goes thru thier minds.
     
  17. me&my2boys

    me&my2boys Member

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    Opening day of youth season my boys each shot does not thirty seconds apart. My youngest one droped his with one shot and let out an excited yelp. All that did was get the other doe to stop and look at us at which time my older boy put it on the ground. I had a nice buck spook when he heard the safety click off on my rifle and I never saw him again. So there is no telling what they think, or how they think
     
  18. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    Ill chime in. On Tuesday I was lucky enough to get a single shot on the buck below, watch him run 20 yards and pile up, then turn and shoot the doe watch her run 40 yards, trip over the downed buck and pile up beside him. Elapsed time between shots 10 seconds. Now this was 2 deer in a field of 14 deer at the time of shots. I dragged them out of the woods, had the land owner chit chat, field dressed both, walked to the truck and drove back to pick them up. 35 minutes-ish----and the deer were back in the same spot my 2 were laying hanging out. They stayed close even when I was loading them up, no further than 30 yards in some brush even though they had 18 acres of hardwood forest that is protected to hide in. Deer do wierd things. I think its not so much memory as much as it is associated danger. With that said I wont hunt there for another 3 weeks in case they do remember ;)

    meat.jpg
     
  19. Pacsd

    Pacsd Member

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    My buddy stalked a herd of antelope, picked out a nice doe and dropped her. The herd took off. Two kids stopped, turned around and trotted back towards the dead doe. He gutted it, we loaded it in the pick-up bed and took off. Looking behind us we saw the kids following the truck. They continued doing so for about 200 yards before they gave up and trotted way.
     
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