Don't Back Up

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I have been finding out the hard way "not to back up."  By backing up we leave behind, however small, a bit of scent.  This scent lingers perhaps the most along the ground.  On a couple occasions I have advanced still hunting, cross or up wind, looking for a good ambush position, and have "backed up" to what I thought was the best place.  Well, the places were good, except that I left infinitesimally small amounts of scent ahead of me. 

Twice in a row the creatures I wanted to put in my freezer hung up where I had been.  We too easily forget (at least I do) the incredible sense of smell these (big game) creatures have.  They may not smell enough to bolt, but they may smell enough to get uncomfortable, raise their alert level, or stop (hang up), and not give you that picture perfect shot you were hoping for.  And remember, a big game animal spends a fair amount of time with nose along the ground.  While the wind may have taken most of my scent away - some got left between the blades of grass and pine needles.


jim boyd's picture

I could not agree more! I

I could not agree more!
I primarily hunt deer and they will often do what I call "hit a brick wall" and then they simply will go no further... and then they are just as likely to bolt when that happens.

The best way to combat this, I think, is:

* rubber boots
* touch nothing
* try not to let brush or vegetation rub against you and your clothing
* try not to lay things down - leaving your scent
* try to plan your route to minimize scent exposure

Also - and this goes without saying... hunt the wind....

I will say this also - I have always hunted in the south but I went to Illinois this year to hunt - the deer there seemed to be far more tolerant of scent than their southern brethren.

I was forced to scout on the fly and ended up "backing up" several times - and then had deer come in and cross where I had walked... I expected them to "blow up" and for the most part, they did not!

Good tip!

cscott711's picture

Agree 100%.  I focus not only

Agree 100%.  I focus not only on keeping my body, clothing, and gear scent free, but also focus on how I enter and leave my stands.  In AG country where I hunt, I am able to walk through the middle of open fields which is about as far away as I'm going to get from the deer that I'm hunting.  I know many hunters that will create scent drags and actually walk down the path that they want the deer to follow on the way to their stand.  However, I am of the opinion that this could easily do more harm than good if you aren't a maniac about your scent control.  I would much rather do everything I can to keep any chance of my scent from entering a deer's nose than to try and lay more scent on the ground to "reel them in" so to speak.  Thanks for posting!

Critter done's picture

Great Tip

Great Tip

ManOfTheFall's picture

Good tip.

Good tip.