Is It Just Me Or Have You Had Deer In Michigan Gasp At You Too?
Honestly, at least it's relatable...There's probably plenty of us out there who wish we could do the same to people but, sadly, we are not deer and that's not "socially acceptable" for humans.
What Brings Us To This Question
I'll just start this off by saying, I had no idea deer could make noises like the one they've made at me a few times now.
I mean, thanks to a viral video, I knew they could make noises like this:
However, in the past few months I have had three encounters in my own backyard in Jackson, Michigan where deer have made this crazy "GASP" noise as they run away.
What makes it even weirder is they will stand in the yard and stare at us as we pull into the driveway, get out of the car and stare back at them from the patio. It's almost as if they don't realize what is staring back at them right away and when they do they are shocked and run away.
The situation looks (and sounds) a lot like this video:
Is it screaming? Is it startled? Is it feeling threatened by us? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!?
Michigan's White-Tailed Deer
According to the Michigan DNR, our state's native deer species is the White-tailed deer, of course, many of you probably knew that but that is integral to understanding this whole thing.
Now, to start getting a basic understanding of White-tailed deer behaviors, I looked to one place I figured wouldn't get too technical with me, "BioKids: Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species" which is sponsored in part by University of Michigan.
Hey, I'm a curious cat, not a scientist.
Anyways, they say that "White-tailed deer are very nervous and shy; they wave their tails from side to side when they are startled and fleeing."
BioKids also says they communicate through various scent glands, secretions as well as vocalizations...and that's where we get to solving this mystery!
White-Tailed Deer Vocalizations
"White-tailed deer produce several types of vocalizations such as grunts, wheezes, and bleats," BioKids says.
Those "vocalizations" include, according to Realtree, noises like a "social grunt", "snort wheeze", "Doe Grunt" and "Fawn in Distress."
Based on the research, I believe that the noises we heard were some form of a "Snort Wheeze."
That, my friends is as close as I think I'm going to get here...unless any of you who maybe know deer a bit better than I do have any other suggestions!
I just want the dang deer to stop screaming at me in my own yard.
While there is no shortage of deer in Michigan, here are some other animals that are on our state's endangered species list:
SEE MORE: Animals That Are on Michigan's Endangered Species List
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Michigan's Deadliest Animals & Critters