, Port Arthur, Texas

September 8, 2012

CHESTER MOORE: Research gives unique deer insight

Chester Moore
The Port Arthur News


    The whitetail deer is without question the most studied game animal in North America.

    Each year, researchers reveal interesting tidbits about the behavior and biology of deer. Recently, I found a couple of studies deer hunters might be very interested to see.

    Hear is an interesting tidbit on deer hearing from the University of Georgia via Tink’s.

    “ A couple of years ago, David Osborn and Larry Marchinton here at the University of Georgia discovered an unpublished study by Mr. Arthur Stattelman who researched the hearing capability of deer confined to a sound-proof room. They compiled the data from this research and reported some interesting results.”

   “They described the study as follows: “The deer was conditioned to seek and accept food whenever it heard a sound. A machine called an audiometer was used to create a wide range of sounds varying in intensity (loudness as measured in Decibels) and frequency (tone as measured in Hertz). The intensity at each frequency was increased until it produced a positive response from the deer. When repeated over time this procedure provided some understanding of what sound the deer was able to hear.”

    “The results of the experiment are presented and are compared to some common sounds and the minimum hearing capability of humans and the domestic cat. Deer and humans apparently can detect sounds of low-to-moderate frequency at approximately the same intensity. A cat can hear much fainter sounds than either the deer tested or humans across a wide range of frequencies. Deer probably detect high frequency sounds slightly better than humans. These findings may shock many hunters who have formed opinions about the hearing ability of deer based on personal experiences”.         

    The sense of smell of deer is legendary. There are hundreds of products on the market and homegrown remedies for eliminating human scent and appealing to hunger and sexual urges through smell. Did you know however deer actually have two noses?

    According to a fascinating article put out by Dr. Karl V. Miller from the University of Georgia, few hunters realize that a deer actually has two 'noses'.

    “The second nose is technically not a nose, but it serves some of the same purpose. If you look on the roof of the deer's mouth you will see a diamond shaped structure with a small passage leading into the palate. This additional nose, called the vomeronasal organ (VNO), is similar to the Jacobson's organ that snakes use to 'taste' the air. Deer use the VNO exclusively to analyze urine. When a buck sees a doe urinate, he will often take some of this urine into his mouth and perform a behavior called flehmen, or lip-curl.”

   ”This flehmen helps to introduce urine into the VNO. It is interesting that this organ is not connected to the same part of the brain that the nose is connected to. Instead it is connected to the part of the brain that controls the reproductive condition of the deer. What type of information the deer is getting is unknown, but it is likely that odors analyzed in the VNO help get the hormones pumping in the buck and bring him into rutting condition.”

    Look for more fascinating deer facts along with some mind-blowing information on the visual capabilities of ducks next week.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on the radios Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at