Grunt-Snort-Wheeze: How and When to Use This Deer Call

Grunt-Snort-Wheeze: How and When to Use This CallWhat does a grunt-snort-wheeze sound like? Our founder Joe Hamilton spent years as a wildlife biologist researching and closely observing whitetails. Here, he teaches you how to imitate this call and explains when and why to use it in a hunting scenario. #RutRollCall

Posted by The Quality Deer Management Association on Wednesday, November 1, 2017


As a wildlife biologist in South Carolina, QDMA founder Joe Hamilton spent a number of years working with whitetails in research enclosures, and on many occasions he witnessed the most aggressive vocalization in the whitetail’s vocabulary: the grunt-snort-wheeze. This call is given by dominant bucks when encountering competitors for estrus does, and it is often the prelude to a physical fight.

“I’ve heard this sound repeatedly,” said Joe, who practiced imitating the call so that he could use it in hunting situations. “It’s really difficult to emulate because the grunt, and the snort and the wheeze happen so quickly back-to-back. But it’s just a regular grunt, followed quickly by a snort, and then a long, drawn-out wheeze the buck makes by inhaling and crimping its nostrils.”

In the video on this page, you can hear Joe’s imitation of a grunt-snort-wheeze. He also explains when you might want to use this call in a hunting scenario, and when not to.

“If you have a mature buck that’s almost in range or maybe moving a little faster than you want him to, you can use that sound to stop him in his tracks,” said Joe. “If it’s a young buck and you try a grunt-snort-wheeze, that young deer is going to be repelled by a sound that he only associates with a mature, dominant buck. On the other hand, if you have the buck of your dreams walking along and he’s moving too quickly, look ahead of him, pick a window for your shot, and use the grunt-short-wheeze to stop him in his tracks. If he’s out of range, you can use that grunt-snort-wheeze to entice him to come just a little bit closer and find out who else is dominant in that neighborhood.”