What does it mean when a deer blows?

It’s an interesting scenario for new hunters or visitors to see a deer blowing at them. Sometimes, they get confused to see them blowing even after staying far away from them. Their curious minds then get thirsty to know- what does it mean when a deer blows?

The blow of a deer indicates both their dominance and secret alarm. Being skeptical animals, deers are naturally influenced to blow in any suspicious situation. They can also use the blow trick for clearing their nostrils and for communicating with their friends. 

People sometimes misunderstand that the hunt is over if a deer blows. But, your tricky movement and position can restart the hunting game. Until you’re quiet and waiting to reassemble the situation, your hunting session will never end. 

Relevant: Best Time of Day to Hunt Deer

What other reasons do deer have to blow? 

Deers blow as a part of their protection as well as communication. There might be some more reasons to blow a deer without showing their dominance. Let’s know about them one by one. 

What does it mean when a deer blows?

For better smelling

Deers can smell 500-1000 times stronger than humans. As they have thousands of sensitive receptors in their nostrils, they’re experts at smell receiving. A deer has 297 million olfactory receptors which are greater than that of dogs. 

Unfortunately, their high-spec nostrils get confused to identify the exact smell. Therefore, they blow to get a better whiff of the air. Blowing deers don’t always indicate their dominating character.  

Identify predators

Despite having a superb smelling capability, deers make mistakes to identify predators. Along with their smelling capability, the sense of hearing and sight protect them from dangerous animals. It could also be something like natural disasters, obstruction, and so on. 

By blowing, they clear their nostrils. This process allows them to smell more efficiently. Also, they’re used to blowing to alert the predators about their position. This purpose is implemented by deers only when they’re roaming around with their team. 

Providing signal

When deers find something fishy near their position, they start to blow quickly. They can send alarming signals to their friends. Deers are red-green colorblind and have great visual power. They can observe an area 50 times better than humans during nighttime. 

Related: Can Deer See At Night Or Not?

However, their sensitive parts get alerted when they feel threatened. The behavior of deers is to warn others to clarify their position. This signal also helps to get together with their nearby species and protect them from enemies. 

Will a doe come back after blowing?

The return of a doe depends on how much the intrusion frightened them. In most cases, it was found that a doe came back after blowing. The returning interval could be from hours to weeks.  Deers are by birth curious. Their curious nature never disappears even after achieving their maturity. So, it’s sure that a doe will come back sooner or later after blowing to discover the real fact. 

What to do if a deer blows at you? 

If you’re sure that the deer is blowing at you, there is no chance to catch the deer. You have to understand that every blow doesn’t mean they’ve found your location. That could be their nostrils cleaning part or dominance showing phase. In case you doubt that the deer has blown you, there are a few things you can do. 

Get covered yourself

First thing first: get a proper cover behind something. You’ll find trees, big stones, or something relevant to hide. Deers have sharp eyes to detect you from a very far distance.  Your first and foremost duty is to hide from the deer’s sight. If it’s impossible to hide behind anything, then lay down on the ground. Probably, you’ll barely be seen by the deer. 

Stay calm and quiet

The best decision is not to make a single movement after being identified by the deer. Your movement will produce tiny noises which are easily findable by deers. So, try to stay calm and quiet as much as possible. If you breathe deeply and the deer is almost near to you, it’ll surely flee away. 

Wait for changing airflow

The flow of air is the best assistant for a deer to understand a predator’s presence. But, the good news is it doesn’t take long to change the flow of air. Air can carry your smell to the deer and it can surely identify your position. Calmly wait until the airflow is changed and the deer stops doubting your presence. 


Deer blows aren’t always alarming for you. If you follow proper hunting regulations, you’ll barely get caught in the deer’s sight. The problem arises when you can’t decode the purpose of the blow. Sometimes, deers dominate each other to acquire a piece of land by blowing. 

Also, they blow to clear their nostrils and receive a proper smell. The only reason you should get tense is when it finds your position. If the deer flee away, change your target or change your position. Better, try to confuse the deer and take a strategic position to disappear the deer’s doubt of your presence.

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