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A question on human scent...

Old 04-01-2009, 09:36 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Default A question on human scent...

There may be no way to get an accurate answer, but here goes:

If you're hunting a very remote piece of woods where all the deer have never seen/smelled a human, what would the
reaction by when they got a wiff of human scent?

Curosity? Alarm? A different smell that signals an alert or maybe no alert?

I would think that since it is not a natural scent in the woods the deer have always lived, they would react the same way deer elsewhere do when
they pick up the scent of man.

Just my .02...
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:21 AM
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Default RE: A question on human scent...

you still would want to approach it just like every other area you hunt,the alien scent will be a sign of threat even though they may not know what it is there smelling ,they would just know it wasnt there b4
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:45 AM
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Default RE: A question on human scent...

I have some friends from school years doing very well financially and they get to hunt areas that are incredibly remote and secluded. I've had this discussion with them and it's boiled down to this according to their observations over the years:

1) A young, uneducated fawn or young of the year deer of either s#x in it's first year may very well approach you out of curiosity, if it's never smelled human scent of any kind prior to that point. That could be food, body scent/sweat, man-made components (gas, gunpowder, gum, cig smoke, etc..).

2) By the time that animal is 5 or 6 months old, whether it's male or female...it will know that if "IT" does not smell like another deer, a tree, dirt, or food source...it's probably a source for alarm and as such will either make an effort to locate the danger, or get the heck out of dodge.

I'd be willing to bet that animals that are used to being around humans have a nose for it, maybe even a tolerance to it. Animals that are in far away places, seeing or getting no human interaction, are probably more cautious, more aware, and just plain harder to hunt.

Just my 2 pennies.
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:38 PM
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Default RE: A question on human scent...

Great question!!! The answer is that even know a deer or a deer herd has never seen or smelled humans before they will still be scared to death of them. The reason for this is because a deer doesnt smell a human an think human, or smell a cow etc. and think cow, they smell a human etc. and think oh crap!! MEAT EATER!! and when they smell a cow they think no problem non MEAT EATER!! This is why Havent eaten red meat during hunting season since I was like 19 year old. For years my friends thought I was nuts!! until some of them went on a Caribou hunt and since they couldnt hunt th same day they flew in they sighted in their guns and discussed the up comming hunt and what to expect with the guide, He told them the caribou they would be hunting have never seen humans before, one of my friends got upset hearing this and asked if this hunt was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel? The guide responded far from it, another friend then asked well how do the caribou know to be scared of us if they never saw a human before and the guide replied because you are a meat eater. Needless to say my friends did not look forward to returning home an telling me what the guide said. Pike
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:46 PM
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Default RE: A question on human scent...

All predators give off a scent Deer will run from it,not eating meat? dunno but bears eat berries and stuff and deer are afraid of them. Instinct is bred into animals
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Old 04-01-2009, 12:55 PM
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Default RE: A question on human scent...

Redclub bears eat meat as well, infact here in PA. more fawns are killed by bears than coyotes.
All red meat eaters produce bacteria, that bacteria (like all bateria) produces a strong scent, that particular scent is what alarms the whitetail deer.
Since non meaters dont produce the bacteria, they dont produce the scent of the bacteria thus the whitetail deer isnt alarmed by them. Pike
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: A question on human scent...

if the deer asks,you DON'T EAT DEER MEAT!!

any mature animal has already learned to be careful with strange odor of any kind.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:08 AM
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Default RE: A question on human scent...

All animals have a signature chemical scent, ours is a compound called L-Serine, it's what givesour species it's unique smell. Nearly all species react negatively to L-Serine, usually a fear response, nobody has discovered why this is. If you introduce any foreign smell into an environment and a deer winds it their instinctive reaction is alarm until they can assess the threat value. Threat value is based on instinct with most animals, but partly from experience. As noted above any animal that eats meat will also exude an odor unique to carnivores, I know guys who go vegan weeks before the season opener hoping to improve their odds.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: A question on human scent...

I guess I would have to say curiosity. If they have never smelled something before, I don't think there first instinct would be to retreat unless there were signs of harm.
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:56 AM
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Default RE: A question on human scent...

Deer are like humans, I think they all have different personalities.....

Some deer will check out of the county when they smell a human and others simply run until they feel comfortable.
At this point they might continue to slowly walk away or just stand far enough away and watch this "strange thing" until it passes.
You might not see them, but they might be there???
I firmly believe that we walk bye or bump more than 80% of the deer we physically see,
deer are certainly masters of disguise when blending into the foliage surrounding their bodies!

A small story, from this past hunting season, has given me an appreciation of the elusive deer we hunt (even though it wasn't a remote area)..
Sitting in my tree stand on a small tract of state forest land, I watched a small 4 pointer walk bye in which I decided to let him live for another couple of years.
A few minutes later I hear voices on the foot path about 75 yards away, it was two elderly gentlemen in blaze orange out for their daily walk.
So, I turn around to see them walking and drinking a coffee, as this little buck runs back towards me and stands 10 yards from me under a hanging hemlock branch.
As the deer patiently peeked out from the hemlock branch, he stood waiting and watching for the gentleman to pass.
At this point it was a real life experience of how elusive these deer can be.[&:]
The little buck watched them pass and quickly ran back to where he came from.
I can only imagine how many deer I've walked bye and never even knew it!

Another story (remote area)...
I was about 2 1/2 miles into the big woods of NH working my way through a large swamp.
As I tried to cross a big beaver damn I found the water getting close to the top of my rubber boots,
so I decided to turn around and continue down the edge of the swamp looking for a new place to cross.
When I quietly proceeded another 40 yards, I suddenly heard a suction noise behind me.
I turn around to see a nice mature 8 pointer walking off the beaver damn just as I did.
I believe I bumped him into the swamp, or he was trying to get to my side of the swamp and just watched me walk bye.
Needless to say, I clicked my safety off and I needed him to walk 3 more steps, to give me a broadside shot without brush in between us.
The elusive buck walked 2 steps and got behind a larger diameter tree, then walked directly away from me.
I did run to an opening, to try and cut him off, but he was never to be seen again, SOB!
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