John's Journal...

Calling All Deer with Dr. Larry Marchinton

Calling Deer

Stan PottsEditor’s Note: What is a hunter saying to a deer when the woodsman blows a call? What cClick to enlargealls are the most effective? What actually is meant by the sound that the hunter is trying to imitate? Although every hunter and each call manufacturer has his own notion, at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, the sounds that whitetail deer make and what they mean by these sounds have been scrutinized carefully by a team of scientists that included Dr. Larry Marchinton, the former head of the University of Georgia’s Deer Research Project, who’s now retired. This week Dr. Marchinton shares his research on deer vocalization.

“First of all we have to define deer vocalization as sounds that deer make to communicate with one another,” Marchinton explained. “But we’re just in the infant stages of learning how deer communicate. So at this point, we’re trying to learn what questions to ask about deer communications rather than coming up with some hard-formed conclusions. Although deer may very well have a language, we don’t know this for sure. Remember that deer vocalization is a relatively-new area of investigation. The first papers containing scientific data on deer vocalization were published in 1981 – one at University of MichClick to enlargeigan by a gentleman named Richardson and the other at about the same time by Tom Atkinson for his PhD Stan Pottsdissertation at the University of Georgia. From these two papers and the resulting ongoing research, biologists now know that deer do communicate a lot of information through the sounds they make, including alarm, aggression, the desire to mate, and the wish to make contact as well as calls between the mothers and fawns and many more calls we don’t know about at this time.”

Tomorrow: Types of Deer Calls



Check back each day this week for more about "Calling All Deer with Dr. Larry Marchinton"

Day 1: Calling Deer
Day 2: Types of Deer Calls
Day 3: More Kinds of Deer Calls
Day 4: Techniques for Calling Deer
Day 5: Rattling Antlers


Entry 377, Day 1