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Do Hawks Scare Deer Away?

do hawks scare deer away

You might not think of a hawk and immediately assume that they could be a predator, but these large birds shouldn’t be underestimated. With deer being such common prey for so many animals, you might wonder, do hawks scare deer away?

Hawks in and of themselves don’t scare deer, but the noises they make can definitely have deer scurrying away from the area. It’s not likely that hawks are going to hunt deer or try to attack them, but the ability of a hawk to target unsuspecting animals might surprise you. While deer are fast, hawks are faster, and can sneak up on animals with expert precision and astuteness. 

As such, trying to keep hawks away from where you might be trying to either observe or hunt deer is important. 

Are Deer Scared Of Hawks?

Hawks are known for making a lot of loud, shrill sounds in an effort to communicate with other hawks. They might also try to warn each other of certain impending predators, or send out warnings that something about the environment is off. Deer could pick up on these noises and run away out of fear that something in the area could pose a threat to them. 

It can also be tough for deer to be aware of a nearby hawk, since they tend to quietly lurk in trees until they figure out a way to target their intended prey. While deer do have some really fine-tuned senses, they might not be able to detect a hawk coming their way in time. 

Can Hawks Harm Deer?

Some types of hawks are able to attack deer, and have done so, along with other animals similar to their stature. They are not a known source of prey for the hawk, but it’s not unheard of that some kinds of hawks have been able to go after deer and other animals much larger than them.

A hawk can’t do much to a deer that is full grown. They can only lift so much weight, and they are known to lift their prey and fly away with them to find somewhere to feast on them. As such, unless they encounter a very small fawn, all they can do is really peck at them or cause them to flee. 

How to Avoid Having Hawks Scare Away Deer

The best way to keep hawks away is to find ways to make them think a predator is nearby. If you can trick them into thinking this, they will stay far away from the vicinity, as they don’t want to be caught off guard. 

If you have a certain area where you like to go because you know deer are nearby, consider setting up some owl decoys when you’re planning on venturing out for your hunt. Hawks don’t like owls, but you have to make these decoys look somewhat realistic to outsmart the hawks, even temporarily. 

These shouldn’t be permanent fixtures in one location. It’s not going to take hawks very long to figure out that your decoys aren’t real owls that pose a threat. Take them down when you leave the area. Otherwise, you’ll have to move them every couple of days or so, or the hawks will catch on. 

How to Attract Deer When Hawks Are Nearby 

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You can use typical lures that tend to draw in deer, such as using their scent or trying to attract them with salt blocks or other foods.

As you do this, have your decoy on standby to try and keep hawks away. If you can play into scent-based luring strategies that are known to attract deer, it’s likely to be effective without attracting hawks to the area as well. 

If a hawk just happens to be in the same vicinity as deer, it shouldn’t be a big deal. The only time you’ll have a problem, as mentioned, is if the hawks are especially noisy. Other hawk deterrents, such as reflective surfaces and loud noises, are going to scare deer off just as much as they scare the hawks. 

We recommend using a deer attractant like this one from Amazon. There’s no mixing required with this formula. Simply place it on the ground to help attract deer.

Final Thoughts

So do hawks scare deer away, or do these two animals coexist with each other without a second thought? These two animals do tend to ignore each other, though hawks have attacked small deer in the past. This is not a common thing to see, however. 

One of the most important things to remember is that you should never do anything that could potentially harm a hawk in an effort to keep them away from deer. These are protected animals in many areas, and so you could get into a lot of trouble should you hurt one, even if it’s unintentional. 

If hawks are getting in the way of your interactions with deer, there are safe ways to keep them out of your way that aren’t going to harm them in any way.

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