John's Journal...

How to Hunt White-tailed Deer When the Heat’s On

Day 3: Tactics to Use to Eliminate Human Odor When Hunting Deer

Editor’s Note: Deer do strange and unpredictable things when the hunting pressure builds-up over their range. But you can modify your hunting tactics to adjust to the situation and take deer.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewFrom the scientific information deer researchers Dr. Keith Causey and Dr. Larry Marchinton (see Day 2) have learned, outdoorsmen must realize that there are two options to take trophy deer. A hunter either can use the fear response of human odor and human sight to drive the deer to another hunter, or he can eliminate human odor and the sight of a human from the deer’s senses. Let’s take a look at how to accomplish these two tasks.

To eliminate human odor, some hunters prefer to utilize masking scents, often taken from the glands of whitetails, that aren’t lures or attractants but rather actually attempt to mask human odor with an odor that’s common to deer. However, I believe masking scents are most effective when put on the bottoms of shoes or boots to enter the woods and used in conjunction with a favorable wind. The best way to eliminate human odor from the deer’s nostrils is to hunt with the wind in your face, so that the deer approaches your stand from downwind. To do that, you must know which direction the deer should be walking on the day you plan to hunt. If the wind is wrong for the stand you’ve picked, choose not to hunt from the stand that day, rather than allowing the wind to pick-up your odor in that area, which possibly may prevent the animal from coming into the region. Hunting with a favorable wind may be one of the most-overlooked keys to taking trophy buck deer.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewThe second requirement for taking older, bigger deer is to disguise the human form. I believe that’s one of the reasons that tree stands are so effective – the hunter is above the eye level of the deer. However if you are hunting in a region where outdoorsmen historically have hunted from tree stands, then the deer may have been trained to look into the trees for outdoorsmen. Back cover is critical, and the type of tree selected to hunt from will be all important. Again, if the hunter is conscious of not allowing the deer to make visual contact with him, he’ll be more likely to bag an older, bigger buck than the sportsman the deer can see moving through the woods or standing in the woods.

For more deer-hunting tips, get 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,” or to prepare venison, get “Deer & Fixings.” Click here on each, or 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.


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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: Where Deer Hide to Avoid Hunting Pressure

Check back each day this week for more about How to Hunt White-tailed Deer When the Heat’s On"

Day 1: Know the Wind Direction to Successfully Hunt Deer
Day 2: Human Odor – What Deer Fear Most about Hunters
Day 3: Tactics to Use to Eliminate Human Odor When Hunting Deer
Day 4: Where Deer Hide to Avoid Hunting Pressure
Day 5: More Unlikely Hideouts for Deer to Use to Escape from Hunter Pressure

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Entry 745, Day 3