Hunting Tips: Using Scents When You Hunt Deer

If you are successful, the deer will not notice the hunter. However, smells can make both easier and harder.

Keep in mind that you must be deeply committed to be a successful deer hunter. Preparing for bagging a trophy buck is a never-ending endeavor that can take a lifetime. However, using a little common sense and a few tricks, the amount of time invested in harvesting that trophy can be shortened significantly. Think about scent. We have all seen the buck of our dreams standing just out of range raising its nose toward the clouds. It snorts defiantly before bounding off, and disappears behind nature's wall of safety. The snort may mean that you stink!

Depending on the type of hunting you do, will dictate to what extreme you will need to hide your scent. Think about distance. If you use a high-powered rifle, you might measure your kill range in hundreds of yards. Scent is not an overwhelming problem and can be almost completely ignored.

If you hunt with a shotgun and slugs, you might measure your kill range in one hundred yards or less. At this distance, you can be certain that your bouquet of fragrances can make a big difference in the outcome of the hunt.



If you hunt with a bow, you can measure your kill range in feet. You can also measure your odor by your degree of success or failure.

Do you remember that I mentioned commitment? If your wife or girlfriend thinks you smell good, a deer might snort at you. I am referring to after-shave, cologne, mouthwash, toothpaste, deodorant and soap. All the things that make you more attractive to the opposite sex also repel deer.

However, there is a quick easy fix. Think scent again. There is one scent that all farmland deer are used to and disregard-diesel fuel. Start at least one month before hunting season and take your hunting clothes outside. Be sure to include your lucky cap, your boots and socks, your gloves, and anything else that you wear while hunting. Soak a rag in diesel fuel and carefully wipe it over your entire wardrobe. Leave your clothes unattended in a shed or some other out-building until needed for the hunt. This will allow the diesel fuel to dry and age so that your hunting clothes will have the distinct odor of old farm machinery.

Now let's think about you. The night before season opens, don't shower, shave, use deodorant, or do anything that makes you more pleasant to be around. Continue this anti-social behavior for the duration of the deer-hunting season. That's the commitment I suggested you might need.

OK, so you don't repel deer, but how do you attract deer?

When I was a boy of 13, my grandfather gave me six old steel traps, a pat on the head, and a hardy "good luck". I then set out to make my fortune in furs. At that time in my area, raccoons were plentiful, so they were my main focus. After trying every method I could find in trapping magazines with no success, I resorted to trying different baits. Of the numerous things I tried, only one bait continuously disappeared but yielded nothing, a piece of a Snickers candy bar. It wasn't until after the first snowfall that I learned the culprit was a deer.

When I started deer hunting, I used this bit of knowledge to gain an edge on the competition. There is an odor in the Snickers candy that attracts deer and draws them into the open where the only other scent is that of old farm machinery. (BANG)

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