What We Can Learn About Hunting Scents From Dogs

scent control
Certain products, such as a Scentblocker duffle bag shown here, seek to contain odors rather than to cover or eliminate them. Hunter shown wearing Mathews Lost Camo.

A dog can separate human odors well enough to pick their target out of a crowded auditorium based that person's individual odor. They can also trail a person through a maze of competing human odors.

We can assume that deer have similar potential. This suggests that deer can tell us apart, leading one to believe they may grow accustomed to certain human odors and accept them while reacting to others.

Deer dislike new things, and that includes odors. Once they have gotten used to the farmer's odor on the trails that he often walks to check fence, they barely react to this discovery. They may show some caution, but not to the degree that they will when a new odor shows up. Again, we can use this knowledge.

For example, if you have a set route that you walk each day to stay in shape, there is a pretty good chance that deer have learned to accept your odor there. If you walk that same route when hunting you can likely get away with more than you otherwise would. By the same token, when hunting near urban areas, deer are forced to contend with a lot of human odors. They have learned to distinguish which ones are threatening and which ones are only normal. We think they do this by strength.

A strong odor is presumed to be close, therefore dangerous. However, if you can cut your human scent substantially, you may well be able to completely eliminate reaction from the deer because they assume you are farther away than you are. Some hunters have seen this to be true. So, it makes sense to use the best possible scent elimination strategies wherever you hunt, but you are likely to notice better results in places where the deer have to deal with humans more often.

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