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Human Scent

Old 09-12-2009, 10:21 AM
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I was thinking about how almost all the hunters feel that you shouldn't scout the area you plan to hunt too much because you will leave human scent there and might spook the deer if you keep coming there.

If the deer do get spooked and smell you in this area but dont get threatened wouldn't it make them not as spooked of human scent and make it an advantage for you. If they realize that even though they smell human scent they are not in danger.


Or will they leave and not come back even if nothing happened to them when they encountered human scent?
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:23 PM
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No I don't think the scent is going to spook 'em. At least I don't think they can associate the smell unless they are actually being shot at. Go to any national park where deer (or other game) are not being hunted and you can see them go right up to people.
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Old 09-12-2009, 02:37 PM
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Thats what I am saying so if they get used to you coming in and out and they arnt getting shot they wont spook and not come back to that spot.
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Old 09-12-2009, 05:49 PM
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I would rather have a deer see me and run off rather than have him smell me and run off. Unless you are talking about deer that have never experienced a hunting season where there is alot of human traffic and scent than maybe there wouldn't be much to worry about. However this example is unheard of and almost every deer where hunters have access have learned to associate human scent with danger.
The sense of smell has a much clearer association with an experience as compared to sight. There are many times we see things which are familiar but we don't put much thought to it but when we smell a specific odor we are taken almost instantly to the place, time, and experience associated with that smell. A deer's sense of smell is greater than our vision in many regards and they rely on their memory of scent experiences to survive and determine what is a threat and what is not. Whether they have been shot at or not is nor more relevant than if they have heard thunder, they don't associate gunshots as a threat (unless they have been poorly shot and survived) but rather the influx of human scent with the increased disturbance of their home gives them reason to be alarmed by any human scent. So trying to reduce your odor as much as possible is something that cannot be overdone if you have any hopes of shooting a mature buck by anything other than luck.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by GreatHunterWannabe View Post
No I don't think the scent is going to spook 'em. At least I don't think they can associate the smell unless they are actually being shot at. Go to any national park where deer (or other game) are not being hunted and you can see them go right up to people.

As far as the association of threat idea I addressed that in the above post. As far as "any national park where deer (or other game) are not being hunted going right up to people" you are equating two separate scenarios as being the same. They are not. I have never seen deer just walk up to people unless they have learned that those people are a source of food. This then creates an unnatural scenario where deer are not behaving like deer. Deer are cautious and elusive by nature unless they have had experiences that would dictate otherwise. The idea that deer will not be alarmed by human scent if they haven't experienced "being shot at" is false. Deer are a prey animal and they act as such and do this from birth and not just when they learn a human is a danger, anything foreign to them will be one of 2 things -1 something of curiousity or 2 a danger, even something that they are curious about is still approached with caution in the event that it may be a danger. I will bet anyone $10 to every $1 of theirs that anyone who pays no attention to scent precaution will never consistently harvest mature deer unless they buy them. They may get lucky once and awhile but thats all it will ever be. And those who contribute their success to luck do so because they know very little about the whitetail deer. I find the work involved in the off season and learning everything about the whitetail deer I can is 3/4 of the enjoyment behind why I do what I do.
Good Luck This Season!
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:29 PM
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Those were both great responses 4everhth. Thanks. I am just trying to figure out if I am disturbing my hunting ground by putting out my trail cam out and going to check it every week. I guess the more I do this the less my chances are of the deer coming back to this spot.
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:51 PM
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I try to let my cameras out for 3 weeks at a time and only check them when I think the batteries or the memory card are about out of juice or room or I just can't wait any more. I spray down and wear rubber MUCK boots when I go into the area I plan to hunt. I think the #1 thing guys do wrong is not being patient and always wanting to check out their spot. You'll have plenty of time to see whats going on there when the season opens until then let the cameras do their job by watching your area 24/7 .
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:16 PM
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I personally scout for deer in the same manner I hunt; with camo and scent free. If you think about it......why go all out when you hunt and not when you scout? Deer know human scent as danger. You can minimize this by scouting like you deer hunt...IMO
I even hang my stands out for a month before I hang them along with spraying a good scent eliminator.
All my opinion, but I try to increase my odds of seeing that wall hanger.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:54 AM
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I have some trail cameras that I move throughout my farm. Every time I move it to a place where I think there will be deer. And, every time you can start seeing the pictures of the deer within 12 hours. I honestly don't think they care this time of year.

Heck, this last week a deer walked right by the trail cam within 3 hours of me being there. I don't bother with scent control until I hunt.

You raise an interesting question though. I wonder how much human scent is left on that trail cam. A got a nice 10 point on camera actually smelling the camera. So, perhaps I am wrong for not worrying about scent.

Then again, I don't subscribe to the thinking you need to be 20' in the air either. No more than 10' for me and I fill my tags every year.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:57 AM
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I agree you can kill a deer but exactly what type of deer are you killing every year? Are they consistently mature deer or do you hunt solely for meat and not from a management standpoint?
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