I was glassing a beach for brown bear and noticed a "rock" that didn't look quite right. Pretty soon the "rock" starts moving and now I know it's a bear. I wouldn't swear the distance in a court of law but I'll bet it was close to half a mile. The wind was blowing from me to the bear. As I'm sitting there watching it it goes up on its hind legs and tests the wind, drops and beats feet towards the alders. I imagine deer have just as good a nose.
this is a tricky topic but the answer is never the same for two areas. i will explain. i have witnessed this many times. on a flat praire with no trees and a steady consistent breeze an animal can smell you out to 8 or 9 hundred yards depending on consistency of the wind and speed. but in the thick woods the trees and bushes help break up your scent molecules and you can not be smelled as far away. in thick thick woods i would be safe to say sometimes 100 yards away they cant smell you. other times maybe 300 yards. too many variables that differ to give an exact answer. if your on the edge of a 200 yard field and the wind is blowing consistently across the field i would say a deer can smell you at the other end. but who knows if the wind is blowing exactly the same that far away. understand. i have seen deer 30 yards away dead down wind and never give any hints the smelled me. maybe between me and the deer there was a swirl or slight change of direction. i hope this helps and you can apply it to whatever the terrain your hunting in. experience is the only way to learn this one.
My nearest neighbor to the north is at least a half mile away and over a hill. When the wind is from that direction and his female dog is in heat, I can count on my numbskull dogs to make a beeline for his house. Are deer noses as good? Don't know...but if they're even close, then its a wonder we ever kill any of them.
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