A whitetail deer has legendary sense of that is equally underestimated as it is overestimated.
It is believed that a whitetail deer has an estimated 297 million olfactory receptors (the stuff responsible for the sense of smell). By comparison a bloodhound dog has an estimated 200 million and we humans have only 5 million receptors.
What does this mean?
Well deer can smell 60 times better than we can and in the right conditions a deer could be able to detect the scent of a human from more than 300 yards away. Not only can deer detect ultra small traces of odor but they can also decipher many different scents simultaneously. They are wired to be sniffing out food and potential predators at the same time. So how does a one overcome this somewhat impenetrable defense mechanism?
- Scent Eliminators sold in spray bottles, powder, sticks, and a dozen other formats that are sold as the best solution. While some of these do work it’s important to remember that they can never remove 100% of your scent, leaving traces for a deer to detect.
- Cover scents are another option that can be used to mask your human scent in favor of a natural scent (raccoon urine for example). This option is will work well if it is natural scent, but if the deer detects something else it will spook them or put them on high alert.
- Using the wind is the tried and true method of hunting the wind and attempting to staying downwind of your target at all times.
A combination of a cover or scent eliminator combined with a constant awareness of the wind, will maximize your opportunity for success.