When you're a first-time deer hunter, one of the many things that you'll need to understand to avoid learning the hard way is how to deal with your prey's sense of smell. Deer are acutely aware of what is around them because of their noses, which means that the wrong approach on your behalf can leave you struggling through a long day of never coming close to your prey. In terms of scent-related topics, how you prepare should begin well in advance of your hunting outing. Here are three scent-related topics that you should keep in mind when you're whitetail deer hunting.
Keep Your Own Odor Neutral
Deer have an uncanny ability to smell unnatural smells, even when there's a considerable distance between you and them. You don't want your smell to alert them, so give careful thought to keeping your own odor neutral. Many hunters wash their hunting gear with unscented laundry detergent, as scented detergent can be easy for deer to pick up. Additionally, you want to skip the use of aftershave or other similar grooming products. Some hunters go without deodorant, while others opt for unscented deodorant instead.
Make The Wind Your Ally
Every seasoned hunter is always aware of the current wind conditions and common wind patterns in the areas in which he or she hunts. The goal for hunters is to hunt with the wind blowing toward them. This means that if your prey is ahead of you in the woods, your smell will be carried away from the deer, rather than toward it. Talk to your hunting partners to get informed about how the wind typically behaves where you'll be hunting; you don't want to find yourself in the wrong position if there are typically strong north winds in the area, for example.
Be Smart After Cooking
One of the fun things about a hunting outing with friends is setting up a camp or going to a cabin and cooking at the end of a long day of hunting. You need to keep in mind, however, that cooking can cause your attire to smell strongly, and if you wear these items the next day, they could alert the deer in the area if the wind blows in a certain direction. Some hunters will take their hunting clothes off, set them in a secure location, and then don other attire for cooking and eating. You can leave these items at the campsite as your cooking clothes, thus keeping your hunting clothing smelling neutrally.