Deer Smelling – The Scent of Popcorn
Dr. John Woods 12.26.19
Ever notice how the smell of just-popped popcorn wafts all over the house? The smell permeates the entire house. How? It is transferred everywhere by invisible air currents. The ceiling fan blows it around as does the furnace or air conditioner when it cycles on.
Now, just imagine then how all kinds of scents are carried around the woods, or wide open spaces out in the environment. Every so often we get the distinct smell of a paper pulp mill at our house which is more than fifty miles from the mill. If the winds are right, we get the scent from that far away. It is the very same phenomenon in the deer woods.
Of all the senses of the white-tailed deer, their ability to detect smells is their strongest trait. You’ve seen it in the woods. The deer sticks its nose in the air and you can usually see his or her nostrils flare out. They catch even the slightest whiff of something foreign on their nose. If they don’t like it, then a quick exit is usually the net reaction.
Note too that when a deer, doe or buck smells something in the woods it doesn’t like, it may snort, pound the turf, and snort again. This is an alarm system to all the other deer in the area. It alerts all the deer nearby that something is not right. Again, this usually results in a hasty exit from the area. Often such reactions spells the end to hunting that immediate area at least for several hours or maybe the entire day.
How can hunters fight back against this keenest of all senses? First of all, when you leave the hunting camp or your pickup truck to enter the woods, do not smell like fried bacon, gasoline, or cigarette smoke. Killer smells alert every deer in the woods that the mean old human being is about to enter their domain.
Be virtually scentless, and I qualify this by saying virtually because there is no way you can be 100 percent scent free. But you certainly can greatly reduce your offensive smells. And despite what some scent control hunting clothing makers might say, they cannot make you entirely scent free. If any part of your body or skin is exposed, it will emit some scent.
So, take a good bath with scentless soap, wear fresh camo clothing washed in scentless washing soaps, and liberally spray down with scent killing products. This will help greatly to reduce human scent, but don’t be shocked if you still hear a snort once in a while.