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Odors, What Spooks Deer

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#1 Spirithawk


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Posted 30 August 2009 - 11:50 AM

With all the hype about scent control you have to really wonder, if you've hunted long at all, about just what spooks deer. I've had deer walk up within a few yards of me while smoking a cigarette back when I smoked. Had the same thing happen while eating a sandwitch or a snack that I'm sure they could smell. At the same time I've sprayed down with scent killer and had deer suddenly spook, obviously catching wind of me, when I was convinced I was scent free. From over 30 years of hunting exsperience I figure it like this. I think it's all about where you hunt, what the deer are use to smelling and how much hunting pressure they've had. In some areas they are quite use to human scent and scents such as automobile exhaust, gas fumes, smoke ect. It doesn't tend to spook them unless they realise they are being hunted. I'm convinced that some odd smells even attract deer. If not spooked they tend to be curiouse and will come right in to investigate. Why else would a deer practicly walk right up to someone smoking a cigarette, eating a snack or drinking fruit juice? I'm also convinced that even a food source you might put out can spook deer if the smell is foreign to that area. Some deer will be curiouse and come to check it out while others will give it a wide berth and not come anywhere close. I think it just depends on that particular deer. Just like us, some are more suspicious and others more curiouse. I'm not saying scent control isn't necessary, far from it, but I firmly believe that it helps to know the deer in the area you are hunting and what tends to spook them and what don't. And I also believe that just when you think you've figured them out they'll go and change their habits on you. Posted Image

#2 irinman2424


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Posted 30 August 2009 - 12:50 PM

in My experience I have had the same thing happen to me smoking a cig and have a buck 10 yards behind me (downwind) crunching on some acorns I wasnt looking that way as thought "no deer will come from that way as thats where the smoke is going" to me this is how I see it when I go hunting I try and smell like the area Im hunting IE I get there and they have a dog I pet it play with it and get its scent on me as that dog goes out in the woods its a common scent to the deer they also smoke so thats a common scent to the deer. I go out and walk around my hunting area weekly to keep my scent out there so nothing changes when its time to hunt. when I walk out there I urinate in the woods so if I am hunting and mother nature calls guess what its something that they have smelt before and they wont freak out the thing IMO is getting the deer in your area used to your scents I feel in doing this the only thing you have to worry about is noise when you go out and movement again this is just my oppinion

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 08:20 PM

I believe we all have had the odd deer come from a downwind direction. I am not much of a believer in the carbon scent lock suits keeping you scent free. There just isn't enough carbon to do that. That carbon will fill up very quickly with odors and will become ineffective . Normal wash and dry is not hot enough to cleanse them either. I do try to remain as sweat free as possible and have even rubbed my clothes with any pungent tree that is in the area. By that I mean if there are pine trees in my hunting area I grab a fistfull of needles and rub them on me but most of all try to hunt with the wind in my face. What has always wondered me is How can a deer discriminate smells in the woods. It is claimed that a deer can smell hundreds of times better than we can. Does that mean that the odors that we can smell in the woods are hundreds of times more powerful to a deer. If so how can they smell anything as faint as a human trail through the woods. I know they can smell it but it sure wonders me how they can.
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#4 mudduck


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Posted 31 August 2009 - 09:35 AM

Norm, you just asked the multi-million dollar question,lol. If you could get a diffinitive answer on what spooks deer, and how to eliminate those scents, you would be rich!! Wind currents are much the same as river currents, only a little harder to see. As a rock or point will deflect a river current, so will tree lines and hills deflect the wind. I was 20 ft up in a tree in a corner of a field, and the wind was coming from the north, but at ground level the wind was coming from the south. I surmised that after coming over the tops of the trees, the wind was "rolling" back underneath, much like water does when it flows over a rock in a stream. Ones scent footprint is very small as it leaves a person, but grows wider the farther it gets downwind, in effect, its harder for a deer to detect you when its close than when it is farther away downwind. Living in the city, I have deer in my yard all the time. A freeway is nearby. They smell eveything, see everything, hear everything, yet none seem to be neurotic from fear or fright, and none seem intent on leaving. So one could conclude that none of the scents associated with man scares them too bad. However, one still can't walk up and pet them, even after generations of them being born into an evironment where they arn't hunted. So, I fall back to my proximity theory. City deer tolerate us at 10-20 yds, deer in our rural areas, which are still quite heavily populated, 30-60yds. And our northern forest deer, could be a 100yds+. It seems that these deer always try to maintain their safe zones. Our jobs as hunters is to try to make the deer think we are farther away from them than we actually are, i.e scent elimination, scent blockers, masking scents, or the old reliable clean non perfumed clothing. So how well does any of this work? We have all had deer come in from downwind, the only problem is "we can't see what oders the deer are detecting" , is our scent blowing over the top of them or what? Are they coming in because they couldn't smell us, or because, they didn't smell us? The old adage " keep the wind in your face" is most likely the best advice, yet a multi million dollar industry has sprung up trying to keep me invisible from deer, coming in from a direction that I can't see, if I keep the wind in my face, my "backside" lol

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