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Can you smell the deer?

12124 Views 41 Replies 38 Participants Last post by  Jeff K in IL
I often hunt on the ground (without blind or stand) by creeping through the woods very slowly. I always try to hunt into the wind. Sometimes, when I'm approaching an area where deer are, I can smell them. One buddy says I'm crazy, he can't ever smell them unless he is right next to a dead one. Another buddy says he can smell them too.

I often smell things others can't. When I was younger, I could sometimes smell game birds in the brush ahead when it was damp when I was hunting into the wind. So I'm wondering if I have an unusually sensitive sense of smell. When I have hunted pigs, I can really smell them if they are up wind of me, but I can't imagine anyone not smelling them.

What are your experiences with this?

Ray
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I can't remember smelling one before I saw it, but I am sure that I have smelled a deer that I was close to before. I would imagine that I am so keyed up and intent on paying attention to the deer that I don't even notice a smell.

A rutting buck and and estrous doe both have a strong smell, and I know that they could be smelled from downwind at close range.

Strange question, but a unique one!
 

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I often hunt on the ground (without blind or stand) by creeping through the woods very slowly. I always try to hunt into the wind. Sometimes, when I'm approaching an area where deer are, I can smell them. One buddy says I'm crazy, he can't ever smell them unless he is right next to a dead one. Another buddy says he can smell them too.

I often smell things others can't. When I was younger, I could sometimes smell game birds in the brush ahead when it was damp when I was hunting into the wind. So I'm wondering if I have an unusually sensitive sense of smell. When I have hunted pigs, I can really smell them if they are up wind of me, but I can't imagine anyone not smelling them.

What are your experiences with this?

Ray
i can but up till now never told anyone, thanks for helping me come out.
 

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I have in the past when a buck in full rut has been close by or is moving somewhere close. On days when there is a light rain or misty morning I think there scent hugs the ground and flows with the air current.
I have to add that on bright sunny days unless I am standing right over ones carcass I have yet to smell one coming.
 

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Not me, I never smell anything until its close. Goes with hearing them too. Seems unless they are really moving I always see them before I hear them. Maybe my wife has a point when she tells me I am deaf and don't listen.
 

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I seem to have an acute sense of smell as well as my hunting partner. We have both smelled deer several times before seeing them. Their scent is much stronger during the rut also. I think quite a few people smell them and don't realize what they are smelling.
 

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Absolutely. I don't think its an uncommon ability at all. Many just don't pay close enough attention to their surroundings to pick up on these things. I spend a lot of time hunting deer by tracking them, which engages more of your senses than stationary "sit and wait" hunting. I frequently smell deer, especially bucks. Sometimes its the buck itself, sometimes its from a spot where he bedded and his urine saturated tarsal glands dampened the ground. Its helped me find deer in the big woods, its also helped me find down deer that I have shot with the bow. When the scent is strong its as clear to me as someone slapped me in the face and I know a buck is close. Sometimes its more subtle like from an old bed, or many times scent will hang in moist, stagnant air, or in a valley and you can smell where a buck has moved through.


Funny story, I had a buddy who refused to believe that I could smell a buck as well as I could (we would often hunt the big woods together). Well, one day hunting in the Adirondacks I was rattling for him over a big beaver meadow. The wind was in our face, and I suddenly got a strong whiff of buck. I told him I smelled a buck and to keep his eyes open. He laughed, and then a few minutes later shot a nice 8 point that popped out of the swale 50 yards from us. Nice buck and a hunt I will never forget.

Know every time I go see him he introduces me to his buddies as "the guy who can smell deer". :confused:I suppose that's better than the guy who smells like deer. :wink:
 

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Yep

I had a downed buck in a thicket once I could not find. I got down wind of the area and found him in 5 minutes. I stalked a bedded buck that way once and made the shot. If you smoke or are around smokers often, chances are you won't be able to smell them. :darkbeer:

BW
 

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You bet'cha, I can smell them but not every time, only some times. I think alot of it has to do with where you are set up but you "still hunting" are more likely to cross a scrape or bedding area so you should be able to smell their presence when your on top of them or near bedding areas.
 

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You bet I can .They are even stronger smelling when the wind is low and it is wet or damp out .I would say about 40 or 50 yards is about it though for the distance. I have found scrapes as well by thier odor.:)
 

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I do smell them also. I have always had an unusually keen sense of smell. I smelled the small doe that came in on me yesterday long before I saw her. She was only around 45 lbs probably not even 2 years old. She walked! I have such a strong sense of smell that I can sometimes tell when a woman in ovulating. Not all women but some. May be that is too much info !!!!!
 

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I've smelled elk, and pigs, but not deer.
After i've shot him and he's taking a nap right there, yea, but not live on the hoof.
Last year in Missouri guy liver shot a deer, they went back tracking after dark and my buddy went with them.
Blood trail petered out, and they all kept walking ahead trying to pick it up again.
My bud hung back, stopped and said he could smell guts. They went in that direction and found his buck.
He said the other guys were 100 yards ahead of him and never smelled anything.
 
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