How to Read Deer Body Language (Video)

Whitetail deer are the most common large mammal species in North America, with over 30 million of these cloven-hoofed ungulates roaming the continent’s forests, wetlands, prairies and suburban backyards. Known to be shy and hyper-alert to the nearest danger, it’s little wonder that rifle and bow -hunters alike devote lifetimes to tracking, observing and understanding their elusive quarry.

Check out the video above from the hunting pros at Realtree for some helpful tips on what to look for in deer body language. In short, these guys recommend focusing on a deer’s ears and tail to indicate the animal’s immediate state of mind, as follows:

The more alert that a deer’s ears are, the more on edge it is.

A deer that is calm is constantly flicking its tail. That’s kind of like signaling to all the other deer, “All clear.”

If you see a deer that’s not moving its tail, that’s a sign that deer’s not relaxed.

Of course, as much as the art of hunting lies in taking the shot, it’s also an art form in patience and perseverance—and practice. Check out some of our articles below for more tips and resources on getting ready for your next deer hunt!

Have other deer hunting tips to share? Tell us in the comments section.


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