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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
How far does human scent travel???

This question is perhaps as basic and old as it is unanswerable: How far does human scent travel and how long does it last (linger)? Obviously it is in the context of WT deer hunting. Thoughts? Advice? I am essentially new to WT hunting. On one WT hunt my buddy gave me doe (heat/urine) scent ... at which time I gulped, recalling recent articles of cougar attacks on hunters. I have been hunting mule deer - but the environment is different. Certainly out mule deer hunting I've experienced my `scent' travleing hundreds of yards (downwind) ... Oh, yes, one of the environmental differences is that the mule deer like to habit steep terrain and deep canyons, after which one climbs up and down, he/she does indeed have quite a `scent'.

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Location: Alabama
Joined: 08/25/2003
Posts: 634
How far does human scent travel???

WT's are weird sometimes it like they don't care. I've watched doe sniff me out look straight at me, blow at me and then go back to what she was doing. Then I've had one get a sniff and run like a freight train without even looking around.

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
How far does human scent travel???

If you are downwind...they will smell you. Probobly very similar to mule deer. I think they can wind you even if your practicing scent control under 70-80 yds. but if your smoking maybe a mile or more. If you just go out with out the shower and clean unscented clothes 200-300 yds. I can't see any further than that around here so I don't know the effect past that.
By the way if they come in downwind of me. I can smeel THEM at about 75-80 yds out.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
How far does human scent travel???

Update ... just got in from a hunt after work. Our archery season opened yesterday. I have tag for WT does only, as my buck tag is for mule deer in another unit, later this fall, controlled. A beautiful 4 x 4 WT walked up to within about 3 yards of me - I think that's the closest I've ever been to a live adult deer. Face to face. I was walking down a road. He came walking along beside the road. We were basically on opposite sides of a single bush. I was downwind - he gave me a good look, `blew-whistled' at me (I'm assuming to clear his nostrils for a whiff, and to scare me off???), and jumped back and then paced and blew around for about 20 minutes. Gosh - for a buck tag. He obviously couldn't smell me. But neither could I smell him - I'll have to work on that. I think the camo face paint paid off - he sure couldn't figure me out. Now to get that close to something legal!!!

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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
How far does human scent travel???
Serious Hunter wrote:
he gave me a good look, `blew-whistled' at me (I'm assuming to clear his nostrils for a whiff, and to scare me off???), and jumped back and then paced and blew around for about 20 minutes. Gosh - for a buck tag. He obviously couldn't smell me. But neither could I smell him - I'll have to work on that. I think the camo face paint paid off - he sure couldn't figure me out. Now to get that close to something legal!!!

They do that when they haven't quite made you out as a threat to see if you flinch so they can identify you - move a muscle and they'll bolt. Another one they're known for is to pretend to be "satisfied", drop their head as if to graze meanwhile they're watching you for any trace of movement...if they're still not sure they'll jerk their head up and snort/stamp - anything to try and catch you off guard and flinch.

In theory deer are capable of scenting you at unbelievably long ranges. A lot of factors come into play though on how they react to human scent. In most areas where deer are hunted a trace human scent on the breeze is normal (from farmers/loggers etc) and not automatically a cause for alarm. The sudden strong scent of a human in the immediate area, or where humans "shouldn't be", in their "safe zone" whatever - different story and they'll sneak away, probably without you knowing they were there.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
How far does human scent travel???

... fascinating! Yeah, that's what this buck did ... at first he blew and bolted back ... then he paced back and forth, blowing occasionally, then he pretended to graze his way over the small hill, but then over the hill turned back - I could see his antlers and sometimes ears above the skyline - following me as I endeavored to sneak out of the area without getting it too stirred up.

I went out again this morning, hoping to ambush deer coming in from the pea fields ... alas a wind change and one deer smelled me and made a hasty detour ... and a few minutes later - at the one instant I shouldn't have moved, I did, and another chance bounded away with white tail in the air ... arghhh ... and, yes, even a third chance was busted as I tried to `head off' two deer that were going to slip by just out of range. My guess is that they had picked up my scent already, and were kind of leery - and when I stepped on that branch - that was all it took - and they were off.

Learn by doing ... gotta laugh .... otherwise I'd cry.

TOMORROW!!!!

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Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 11/02/2005
Posts: 58
How far does human scent travel???

I don't know how much different coyotes and wt's are but I bet that wt's are just about as good.

My brother was setting on a hill watching this coyote up wind from him trotting through the pasture a couple hundred yards away. There was another hunter down wind from the coyote when the the coyote got about 500 yds from the hunter he stopped dead in his tracks stuck his nose in the air, turned around and took off and the wind wasn't blowing very hard at all

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