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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's the question. What distance does it take for your scent to dissipate to the point a deer can't smell you?

As most of you know I am not a believer in cover scents, attractants and the like. I do go rather extreme in managing my scent. I use the hunter body wash before going in the woods, I wash all my hunting gear in unscented soaps after every hunt and store in plastic containers to keep out smells, I wear rubber knee high boots and so on. It's a rare occasion I get busted by a deer.

The reason for the question is on my last hunt I was sitting on the ground on a small hill watching this tree line on the other side of the clear cut. The wind was not in my favor at all. It was blowing 5-10 mph from behind me to the tree line about 200 yards away.

I had what looked like a 2.5 year old 8 point come down the tree line and over the course of about 30 minutes work his way through the area I was sure he would scent me. He never did. I got the impression he was trying to pick up the scent of a hot doe the way he would stop and smell the air.

It got me thinking about what was actually happening to my scent. Obviously it would be the strongest at the source and as it moves away it fans out wider and wider until it gets to a point that the deer can not smell it. So that is the question, how far is that? What impact could the weather conditions have as far as temp, humidity and wind speed?
 
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they can smell where you walked for days. i think they can also tell how far away something is by the scent in the air. its a very small amount they can detect. i heard the number but can't remember it but 3 parts per million rings a bell. that may not be correct though. good qustion
 

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if you got on rubber boots,,,and you step into a mud puddle,,what would be left for the deer to smell??? i have had trouble with the deer not liking some of the deer scent i put out this year....last few hunts i havent used any and the deer are more relaxed.
 

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i read an article that said penned deer could smell a hot doe in the wild walking the tree line at 485yards away:surprised:i think thermals and humidity definitely play into this the more humid the better the scent lingers.thermals may blow scent up and away from the primary wind direction.one of my favorite tools in the bag is a corn starch filled wind checker ,i squeeze that all day ,you'd be amazed at what the thermals are doing as the day goes on
 

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The furthest distance I have experienced is about 300 yards. Like Joel said I think a lot plays into it. Don't believe all this stuff about clothes and rubber boots. All of it works but only to a point not nearly as well as the claims. All you can do is take as many steps as you can to minimize your scent and impact on your hunting area. Your breath is the biggest cause of odor so what can we do stop breathing? When deer get close or down wind I make sure I breath through my nose and believe it or not it does help. OH YEA, Joel was right about the 485 yards that is the furthest I have heard as well. Out west I have heard about elk catching scent over 1000 yards away. Do the best we can and hope the deer gods smile on us that day.
 
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if they can tell how far away something is that they smell their reaction is different. like slip away in another direction or bolting. ya know what i mean? ever hear of a wind push. its using the wind to gently push deer. its not as crude/rough as a deer drive.
 

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Bowhunters need to go to the extreem to be as scent free as possible. As I have said in the past I use scent free clothes wash then plastic bag them, use spray scent killer, use a steam sauna everynight and most times carry my heavy jacket to my stand not to over heat. I am one who uses estrus scent wicks during the rut, it works. I cannot tell you the last time I have been busted?? My ladder stands are only 16' high. I wash every night in the steam sauna with a quality scent free soap. All outer clothes are kept outside. Is this extreem? It works very well. I don't use rubber boots or gloves. This past PA hunt I had 11 bucks at 1-20 yds and none knew I was there. I slack up a bit when rifle hunting. I think their noses are very good and if you have small hills around you can be a wind drift problem. They have breath cover stuff out now, chloroform(spelling) in it.
 

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if they can tell how far away something is that they smell their reaction is different. like slip away in another direction or bolting. ya know what i mean? ever hear of a wind push. its using the wind to gently push deer. its not as crude/rough as a deer drive.
Ronn is right, Just because a deer does not blow at you does not mean he did not smell you. More than any hunter realizes deer just simply change their travel slightly to avoid you without any hunter being any wiser. This happens most of the time with the older wiser animals. On my properties there is one other guy that hunts there, I have killed 11 trophy bucks there non of which he even knew existed even though I had been patterning them for years. Think about it for a minute do you think for one moment this is by accident? He is retired and hunts 4-5 days a week compared to my once or twice. I can even tell if he or someone else has been there before me just in how the deer travel the property. Ronn has hunted there with me and knows I am being straight with you on this. Bottom line is play the wind, take every precaution with your scent control, and plan your entrance and exit to avoid at all costs to alerting deer you are or have been there. If you do these things I promise your deer sightings will go WAY up from what you have seen in the past. Do this and your trophy buck will just magically appear even though you never knew he lived there. I believe that most areas have a mature buck that uses them it is just he has done a better job of patterning you than you did of him.-------- My finger is tired now so I'm going hunting.:biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't believe all this stuff about clothes and rubber boots. All of it works but only to a point not nearly as well as the claims.

Off topic but:
I am not sure what you mean by that. I don't think there is any doubt about the benifit of wearing rubber boots verses other types of boots. I have seen numerous deer walk down the trail I have just come in on and not alert. I have also seen deer alert on a trail hours after I got on stand from wearing leather boots that have only been worn in the woods. What is there not to believe?
 

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WMI, I agree with you on the mature buck potential of a given area, however, he may not be a trophy buck as most hunters would judge him. In our area in PA a 125-135 class is about the best we have. Yes its a mature buck and for the area one to be proud of but trophy? Hunting mature bucks and trophy hunting is pretty similar in how you attack them. Scent control, knowlegde of the area and wind direction and travel patterns including bedding areas. The final things I look for are rub and scrape lines to hone in on an active buck. Only actual sighting will tell me to spend any more time on him. Sometimes i get a bit put off by the term trophy hunter and the idea that trophy hunters are the eliete of the hunter's world. Sorry wmi on this one. I think you are fortunate to hunt an area that produces trophy bucks therefor you have an oppertunity to go after them and have honed your skills in doing so. I wish the term trophy hunter never would have come about, instead mature buck hunter would have fit better. I'm sure to get fired at now!:ph34r: Remember this is a family site.
 
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we have already come to the general consensus that a "trophy" is in the eye deer holder. I'm with you hm a mature buck hunter would be a better term for a given area. a 5.5 year old buck is a 5.5 year old buck, accounting for pressure, regardless of head gear. as i've said before here nothing is 100% but every little bit helps when it comes to scent control. be it for the day or for the season. rubber boots, soaps, sprays, clothes, wind, burning up a stand, or to many trips in and out, all must be taken seriously if you want that mature buck. besides why take a chance? yes guys shoot 4, 5, 6, deer from a stand a year but i'll bet at best they are 2.5 and for sure they are not ALL mature. not to mention they are hunting areas with higher deer densities.

back to the question at hand. the guys at the qdma are always studying the deer inside and out. they, i'm sure, can give some kind of number in parts per million that a deer can smell.
 

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I think they have figured that deer have something like 10X the smell detection that humans have, it may be greater, I don't remember the exact #. Of the deer that I've seen 200 yds was the farthest that I thought they were adversly affected. Scent control is something to take seriously if you want to be successful year after year especially as a bowhunter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have seen everything from 1000X to 4000X better than we can smell, I don't think anybody knows for sure. What I know for sure is that buck last Sunday didn't smell me at 200 yards with the wind blowing right at him.
 
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is that where you shot him? what were the winds doing between you and him? only real way to tell is smoke. if he did smell you maybe he wasn't that alarmed cause it was 200 yards away. he's what 2.5? not that it maters cause he's got a terminal case of freezer wrap. just raising the question for something to think about. saw a thing one time about the tolerance level of deer and the radius in which you would get different reactions. but it was probably an opinion like everything else. I think its like everything we do in life. do your best. doing just enough is a bad approach to things.
 

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Years ago I was in a stand on the edge of a woods and the wind was blowing straight from behind me out into the field. I had a doe and 2 yearlings walk across the field and about 20 yards in front of me. When she came to my scent in the wind she about turned inside out.....she flipped backwards and then cautiously eased up to my scent and stretched her neck out to smell. She wouldn't cross where she could smell me. Finally she walked back a bit, went into the woods and circled around behind me and came back out to the field on the other side of me......... 20 minutes later I happened to look at the woods edge where she had first come from and there was a buck, then another, and then another. The last one I guessed to be 31/2. They walked as she did and came right to where the old gal freaked, and walked right on by..... never gave it a second thought. The wind hadn't changed. I would have been baffled at it but I waited and shot 3 times at the last buck (20-25 yards) barely missing him, and he never spooked at that either. He even jumped a bit at one shot whizzing by his belly...grins. I was out of arrows and they walked off into the sunset. I wrote it off as really stupid deer and a really louzy shot. But the scent thing? Who knows how one will react, better safe than sorry.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
is that where you shot him? what were the winds doing between you and him? only real way to tell is smoke. if he did smell you maybe he wasn't that alarmed cause it was 200 yards away. he's what 2.5? not that it maters cause he's got a terminal case of freezer wrap. just raising the question for something to think about. saw a thing one time about the tolerance level of deer and the radius in which you would get different reactions. but it was probably an opinion like everything else. I think its like everything we do in life. do your best. doing just enough is a bad approach to things.
I passed on that deer and that is what got me thinking about how far away they can smell you because he passed through what should have been my scent zone.
 

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Just so you know I had to laugh on my way to the woods because I knew there had to be something that I would get fired back at. I guess it is just the way it is. If you want to have a play on words trophy or mature whatever, get over it. My bottom line is if I help one hunter be more successful then I have met my goal. You don't have to agree with me at all but if you sit back down and think about it and maybe say what the heck I'll try it then you might just be surprized. Hunting has a lot of trial and error. Lord knows I have had a lot of errors. Also got news for you 125-135 bucks ARE trophy bucks here but bigger bucks do exist here in this state. These are the animals that I spend so much time and effort trying to locate. It maybe that a certain farm I hunt this year does not have one. More often than not I might find a bigger buck on possibly 1 out of 5 great farms. There have been times hunting the way I do that I see one all season. To me it is just as important the quest as it is to get close enough for the harvest of such an animal. I am here to help. If you don't need it or want it that is fine but just maybe my input will help someone be more successful. I'm not here to hurt feelings.
 

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My bottom line is if I help one hunter be more successful then I have met my goal.
Consider your goal met. But then you know that in my case. I hope there's more.........
 

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all right

Just so you know I had to laugh on my way to the woods because I knew there had to be something that I would get fired back at. I guess it is just the way it is. If you want to have a play on words trophy or mature whatever, get over it. My bottom line is if I help one hunter be more successful then I have met my goal. You don't have to agree with me at all but if you sit back down and think about it and maybe say what the heck I'll try it then you might just be surprized. Hunting has a lot of trial and error. Lord knows I have had a lot of errors. Also got news for you 125-135 bucks ARE trophy bucks here but bigger bucks do exist here in this state. These are the animals that I spend so much time and effort trying to locate. It maybe that a certain farm I hunt this year does not have one. More often than not I might find a bigger buck on possibly 1 out of 5 great farms. There have been times hunting the way I do that I see one all season. To me it is just as important the quest as it is to get close enough for the harvest of such an animal. I am here to help. If you don't need it or want it that is fine but just maybe my input will help someone be more successful. I'm not here to hurt feelings.
I value everyone's opinions here.We are all here to share stories,tips,experiences .Meat hunter,Trophy hunter ,weekend warrior,etc,etc.....Bottom line we are all HUNTERS.not for nothing but every deer i kill is a TROPHY,how bout you?
 
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