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saskie's picture
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Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
rookie question

Ok - this is one of those questions that I probably should have asked someone years ago, but never did and can't figure out the answer. After getting skunked this year - it's really burning my feeble little brain. It relates to deer's sense of smell and wind direction:
I had been told and led to believe that deer travel into the wind, and will button-hook back every so often to sniff if anything is creeping up behind them. And they alway come out into a field with the wind in their face - usually milling about just inside the timber sniffing to see if the coast was clear before heading into the open. This makes sense to me.

If that is so - how do you set up so that you're upwind of them. I've always tried to set-up crosswind of where their trail connected to a feeding area because in my mind there was no way possible to get "downwind" of them without them smelling you first (since they're always facing/moving into the wind).

Does anyone know what the practical range of a deer's sense of smell is? I've read that in theory they can detect odours almost half a mile away. So can I if a certain someone has been eating chili, but obviously my sense of smell is more accurately measured in feet.

'Little help?

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
rookie question

If the deer are downwind..any distance (huntable deer) they will smell you. Deer don't always walk into the wind. If they did all the deer in my area would be in Pennsylvania as the wind is usulally blowing out of the west. You do need to play the wind as best you can but, I would not rule out a spot compleately because the wind is wrong. You could try it another day, set up on the other side of the trail or use the wind to your advantage and let a good deer scent/lure drift to the animals. If you do that you better be sure that you are as scent free as you can be! Use the non-scented soaps and shampoos they help, wash your clothes (all of them) in scent free (hunters) detergent and you can even use a cover scent but, I would be carefull as deer will eventually relate a cover scent with danger too if they walk into a area with hunters useing that scent and then they get shot at. I like to use the scent wafers (fresh earth scent) I have had the best luck with that one.
Change spots and hunt where the freshest sign is. Don't overhunt the same spot. Give it a break and try somewhere else. I like to leave a spot sit for a week between visits.
Anyway stick with it and you will score. Good luck.

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Location: williamstown vt
Joined: 08/30/2003
Posts: 293
rookie question

i agree, try to be as scent free as possible for starters, then just be patient, youll get lucky..Good luk an happy hunting.

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Joined: 01/27/2004
Posts: 9
rookie question

Hunt high and remember you can hunt cross wind if you know where and when the deer will appear, Ie, moving to feeding or bedding areas. Mosly do everything u can to be scent free and climb high as u safely can.

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Location: Boise
Joined: 10/10/2003
Posts: 4
rookie question

Wind isn't a big problem if you know how to play it and use it to benefit you. Deer don't always walk into the wind, but they will use it to their advantage if they can, but they won't take the long way around if they have a direct route to a food source and the wind is at their backs. Using scent killing sprays and laundry detergents can help, and being higher than them is always good, but that is only if you stand hunt, which is where wind plays more of a factor than if you're on a stalk I think. Most of the time the wind is coming out of the west somwehere(SW, NW, W, whatever) so if you are going to set up on a trail that is going north/south you probably want to set up on the east side of that trail, depending on how that trail curves through the area, but that was kind of a simple example, not as complicated as the real thing.

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Joined: 01/08/2004
Posts: 29
rookie question

A lot of people say get up in the air but I don't know how much that really helps. First of all I'm a smoker so I know That my clothes aren't always sent free, plus I hunt from a ground blind so my sent is right there on the ground. I do two main things. The first thing is I found this cover scent that smell like dirt and so I spray that on me once I get out of my truck. The second is that once I get to my stand I put a bottle of tinks inbetween myself and where I think the deer are going to come from. If a buck gets a wiff of #69 they get stupid. If a buck thinks there is a hot doe in the area there is only one thing on his mind and I think he dismisses any scent except for the doe.

Personally I don't pay much attention to wind.

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Location: Wisconsin
Joined: 12/08/2003
Posts: 134
rookie question

It doesn't hurt to play the wind, it can really help you, but if you don't do it, it doesn't mean you won't have success. I've had deer come in directly downwind of me and not smell me until they were within knife range! The way I see it, I'll take ANY advantage I can get.

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Joined: 03/27/2004
Posts: 3
rookie question

Like Bushnell Boy I am a smoker that prefers ground blinds, so smell is a constant enemy. In my experience with tree stands in flatter areas, being high in the air helps a lot. I've always thought the shampoos and such were like pissin' in the wind since I was ultimately going to become a chimney. But when I'm hunkered down in a blind, like Hunter777, I have become accustomed to Earth Scent Wafers. I feel like the pile of logs and earth do just fine. In WV I like to sit at the tops of large basins, some that act like wind tunels, pulling the wind in one direction so it's easy to get above it and judge where I'll sit, others that cause the wind to swirl multidirectional (the deer like these cause smells come from everywhere) so here I'll try not to smoke often. No one has ever confirmed this stuff, I just figured.

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