John's Journal...

A Fun Quiz for Deer Hunters

Day 2: Sex Scents of the Deer, Human Scents of the Hunter and Choosing the Right Weather Conditions for Taking Deer

Editor’s Note: To consistently bag the white-tailed deer, there are questions the hunter must learn the answers to, including the behavior patterns of the animal, the effects of the weather and the signs a buck leaves behind after he’s passed through an area. And, the more questions a deer hunter can answer about the animal he hunts, the more likely he is to unravel the riddle of where to find a deer on a particular day. Sometimes the deer hunter hears and believes wrong information. Then because he’s misinformed, he may miss his rendezvous with a buck. Take the deer-hunting quiz, and see whether you pass or fail.

Click for Larger View4) Question: Sex scents will lure a buck to where the hunter is. Researchers have discovered a pheromone (a chemical substance produced by an animal that serves as a stimulus to other individuals of the same species for one or more behavioral responses) which indicates to the buck that the doe is in estrus and ready to be bred. True or False.

Answer: False. At the present time, deer researchers across the country are trying to discover what ingredient carries the pheromone or message that indicates that the doe is in estrus. Many biologists believe that the pheromone is carried in the doe’s urine. But this theory has not been proven. Nor does anyone know how long that pheromone will stay active enough to lure-in a buck.

Click for Larger ViewIf in fact sex scents are effective ways to lure-in bucks looking for does to breed, the reason may be that the buck picks-up the scent of another deer in his area and comes in to find what the deer is doing there. Or, a buck that may be bristling for a fight anyway may be drawn to a sex scent, because it’s a strange odor that he needs to investigate to determine whether it is friend or foe. This is not to say that sex scents don’t work. Many times they may work. But if they do, scientific researchers have not been able to prove why at this time.

5) Question: Most hunters agree that when a buck smells human scent that the chances of bagging the deer become extremely difficult. Therefore knowing when the scenting conditions are in the buck’s favor are critical to success. All things being equal, is a buck more likely to smell a hunter in a tree stand in the morning or in the afternoon, and why?

Click for Larger ViewAnswer: The buck is probably more likely to smell the hunter in the afternoon, because of the thermals, which force air and scent down in the afternoons. “On a still day with no wind, I don’t hunt from a tree stand,” noted deer expert, Dr. Robert Sheppard of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, says. “Because of the thermals, my scent goes down the tree and spreads-out from the base of the tree in all directions. Unless I have a wind to blow that scent out of my hunting area, the place I plan to hunt will be covered with my scent. In the morning, however, when the thermals cause the air to move upward, I’ve had bucks walk right up under my tree, although they were downwind of me. Since the air movement was upward, and there was a slight breeze, my scent from 10-12 feet up in a tree was carried over a buck’s head before the scent finally came to the ground.”

6) Question: If you knew where to find a buck, the time of day he was most likely to appear, had a favorable wind and the opportunity to hunt, what weather conditions would provide the optimum chance of your seeing that deer on the day you plan to take him? Hunting:

(a) just ahead of a front;
(b) during a drizzling rain;
(c) right after a fresh snow;
(d) on a bluebird day;
(e) during stable weather conditions.

Click for Larger ViewAnswer: (a) Hunting just ahead of a front is the correct answer. Evidently the Good Lord built into most animals a weather device that lets them know when bad weather is about to occur. During this period, deer feed and move a great deal, knowing that they may have to hole-up for a day or more until the weather settles down. So, the hunter who can be in the woods in his stand, 12 – 24 hours before the front hits, often will have the best chance of bagging his buck.

For more deer-hunting tips, click on each of John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows” and “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property.” Too, you can go to, type in the name of the book and download it to your Kindle and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Tomorrow: Selecting the Right Stand Sites, Knowing the Habits of Dominant Bucks During the Rut and Finding Bucks in High Pressure Hunting Areas

Check back each day this week for more about "A Fun Quiz for Deer Hunters"

Day 1: Learning the Behavior Patterns of Deer, the Signs They Leave Behind and Correct Bullet Placement
Day 2: Sex Scents of the Deer, Human Scents of the Hunter and Choosing the Right Weather Conditions for Taking Deer
Day 3: Selecting the Right Stand Sites, Knowing the Habits of Dominant Bucks During the Rut and Finding Bucks in High Pressure Hunting Areas
Day 4: To Take Spike Bucks or Not and Does This Practice Help Control Deer Population
Day 5: Tactics for Improving Your Odds for Taking Deer

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Entry 737, Day 2