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crimson n' camo
08-27-2010, 12:55 PM
I have a small piece of property (25 acres) that I live on. It is a very good area for deer and there is no shortage of them on my land. It is also in an area where I am on the fringe of human civilization. However, since I live here I am always doing something on my property from cutting firewood to doing habitat improvements, etc. In order to not spread my scent all over the place I would have to never walk around and use my property. To me this just isn't feasible.

My question is can the deer get used to my scent over time and lose fear of it or will they always see me as a predator no matter what?

HabitatMaker
08-27-2010, 01:08 PM
I dunno about all deer. But I do know I have seen deer 1 hour after I've been running tractor, spilled diesel, sweated, peed, run chainsaw, spilled gas.....walk all around sniffin and seemingly at complete ease.


Now if I was selling some super duper scent killing marvel, Id say you better get some of my scent killing stuff or you will never see a deer again in your life.

criggster
08-27-2010, 01:24 PM
Some folks on this forum say they have been successful at "training" deer to their scent. I don't doubt them, but do not think for one minute it can be done with a buck of 2.5 or older.

bruiser73
08-27-2010, 02:01 PM
IMO they can get used to anything. They are very curious animals and will investigate anything new or unusual, and not necessarily be scared off. They may just wait until you are gone and they feel comfortable. They will always see you as a predator, it's their instinct. Heck, some of our horses think we are going to eat them most of the time and I see them every day.

MDuffy
08-27-2010, 02:35 PM
Some folks on this forum say they have been successful at "training" deer to their scent. I don't doubt them, but do not think for one minute it can be done with a buck of 2.5 or older.

Deer can get accustomed to ANYTHING. What they won't put up with very long is getting shot at by the same person that is "supposed to be their friend"....

I don't see how age has anything to do with this. If all of a deers experiences with a certain scent or sound have been very positive, they will let their guard down somewhat. I'm sure Trent will chime in with his "deer whisperer" theory. There is some validity to it, even though I don't think someone should really be hunting a deer they are "buddies" with(not saying he does).

dixie306
08-27-2010, 02:35 PM
I used to hunt with a guy that'd start taking cigarette butts to his stand 1-2 months before the season opened to get them used to the smell, it musta worked he always got his limit

criggster
08-27-2010, 03:09 PM
I don't see how age has anything to do with this. If all of a deers experiences with a certain scent or sound have been very positive, they will let their guard down somewhat.

In that case, I guess a buck of any age would be as easy to kill as a 1.5 year old buck?? See the point? And, most of the bucks on my property are only part time residents from Oct. thru Jan. There is no way I can get them accustomed to my scent.

MDuffy
08-27-2010, 04:09 PM
In that case, I guess a buck of any age would be as easy to kill as a 1.5 year old buck?? See the point? And, most of the bucks on my property are only part time residents from Oct. thru Jan. There is no way I can get them accustomed to my scent.

ok, so which scenario do you think it would be "easier" to kill a mature buck:

1. everytime you go to the farm you walk around leaving your scent everywhere while also shooting everything that moves 12 months out of the year.

2. every time you go to the farm you walk around leaving your scent everywhere while leaving piles of corn everywhere.

CurtisP
08-27-2010, 04:24 PM
All deer are "accustomed" to all sorts of scents, sights and sounds.
Dont ask me how they do it because I do not know - at some point, somehow they associate some sight/sound/scent with danger and then they are on alert. They are not rocket scientists. They are masters of survival though!!

Deer across most of this country are accustomed to smelling human related scents.
Deer in the area of farm lands gets accustomed to seeing, smelling and hearing Farmer Brown on his John Deere. This does not alarm them. They do not panic. This is something they areaccustomed to seeing, hearing and smelling, and they do not associate any of this with danger.
Deer in areas where there is a high human density also get accustomed to human related sights, sounds and scents. They smell scents related to restaurants, factories, vehicle emmissions and a variety of other things. They hear people talking, singing, shouting ... LOUD stuff. They see human beings -close. And yet they hold tight, very tight, and manage to slip by MOST humans undetected.
Everywhere deer lives, humans come in close contact with them to some degree. There is a "level" that would seem "normal" to a deer, but once that "level" is breached, they are on alert and flight is soon to follow.
The first time in an area is when your potential for a kill is the highest. As you continue to hunt the same area, your potential for a kill goes down - the deer, somehow, someway, detect the hunter in the vicinity and associate it with danger. This time period becomes smaller if a deer, or multiple deer, are killed in a short period of time - the rest of the deer "learn".

While scent is the deer's biggest defense, I look at all 3 (sight, sound, scent) to see what will a deer tolerate or not.
If you breach just one of these scenses, the deer might stand still, looking, twitching it's ears, lifting it's nose in the air .... testing .... testing ... snorting, stomping it's foot .... trying to see if "the danger" will give up it's position .... to see if there is a danger, what the danger is, where the danger is (so they can flee in the opposite direction).
But, if and when 2 of these scenses are breached, the deer will be in warp drive in 1.1 seconds.

I also think each deer is different - will tolerate different levels of sights, sounds and scents - kinda like difference in "personality".
One buck might tolerate higher levels of human scent then the next buck, and allow you to get closer. Maybe he learned that human will walk on by and so he sits closer, tighter.
Another buck might catch .000000000000000001 % of the scent of a human from 1/2 a mile away and he panics and bolts like lightening!

Point is - there is no cut and dry absolute answer.There are alot of different variables that go into this issue, and should be considered from different angles.

Just my opinion.

Runnin Rebel
08-27-2010, 04:58 PM
Deer are creatures of habit-opportunity-experience and most IMPORTANTLY SURVIVAL ADAPTATION! The more sites.sounds & smells they experience THE BETTER. We have 4 wheelers run trails in summer & snow mobiles in winter,Tractors mowing and fruit pickers/pruners around regularly. Deer put a threat/comfort level on this experience. Over the YEARS they tend to bed closer to the mowers and people. And do not run as fast & far from human contact. Try that on some private hunting land with no distruption for 8 months a year.Very hard to "sneek" into a spot with rubber boots on and not touch anything. Just my own personal experience is all.

JERRY

HabitatMD
08-27-2010, 06:22 PM
I hunt suburban deer. I walk through the place on a regular basis checking plots/cams and what not. They still run when I get scented. They know when you are hunting.

ky_madman
08-27-2010, 07:36 PM
Yes they will, when they aren't scared or feel threatened. This is proven at any park and/or refuge that has frequent visitors and doesn't allow hunting.

HawgNSonsTV
08-28-2010, 03:47 AM
I have a small piece of property (25 acres) that I live on. It is a very good area for deer and there is no shortage of them on my land. It is also in an area where I am on the fringe of human civilization. However, since I live here I am always doing something on my property from cutting firewood to doing habitat improvements, etc. In order to not spread my scent all over the place I would have to never walk around and use my property. To me this just isn't feasible.

My question is can the deer get used to my scent over time and lose fear of it or will they always see me as a predator no matter what?

YES! absolutely! I suggest you look no further than MOST of my threads for PROOF!

On a 6.5 acre piece of land, that is bowhunted emediately to the East by others OR bigger tracks of land such as out back of where I live.

1. From Does to Young bucks to Mature Bucks that have been coming up to the Super Feeder out back here. They have learned that I am NO threat and will ALMOST eat out of my hand.

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32818


2. Does use my scent as protection from Coyotes on the 6.5 acre project. And have brought their fawns over for safty this summer. Also bedded directly downwind in my scent stream within 20 yards and were unalarmed and stayed bedded when I got down out of my tree and walked over and talked to her.

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33013

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33992

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33742

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32800

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33257

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32820

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33413

http://www.qdma.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35532

THINGS TO REMEMBER!

1. Them deer are NOT going to forget over night that humans are DANGER ...and it will take some time for them to realize you are not a threat ...That WILL NOT happen ...IF you KILL a deer in front of another. They WILL communicate that YOU are DANGER. I also suggest when you do take an animal, don't gut them until you get him out of the property.

2. Vocalization is KEY in giving an animal an idea of what/how you are feeling!
That means YOU and your vocalization. Talking softly and in a friendly manner will inable the deer to better gauge your intentions.


3. The sixth sense. Deer know how to use it. If you're a KILLER/BAD person :mad: They WILL know!


FOR THE RECORD... 1 MORE TIME!!!!


If I get attached to the deer I don't/won't hunt them!!!!!!!!!!

If they trust me enough to get close...I won't hunt them!

John Brown Jr.
08-28-2010, 06:04 AM
I hunt suburban deer. I walk through the place on a regular basis checking plots/cams and what not. They still run when I get scented. They know when you are hunting.

I tried hunting those suburban deer for a while. Finally gave up. Way too smart for me. I'm telling you, I'd never seen anything like it. They KNEW when I was in the stand, regardless of wind direction. :o

ureyes
08-28-2010, 10:06 AM
The idea is to not just get them used to human scent but YOUR scent should be what they know.

It takes year long effort to build relationships with your deer and as always it can take a lifetime to build trust and only an instant to destroy it....thats the challenge.

Criggster made a good point about bucks moving into an area during the rut. You need to know where your property lays in the grand scheme of things before making any decisions on anything concerning deer management.

I saw the Hawg on page 131 of this months NAW......you might listen to alittle bit of what he has to say....way to go Hawg!.......... Almost to the pinnacle my friend!

I'm 2 full years into scent training my deer and I have seen a difference in thier reaction to my ground scent and visual encounters with them. Last week I walked up on a feeding doe at mid-day in my plots. It was a mature doe and she just stood and watched me a scant 50 yards away. I didn't stop and stare at her I simply said a short greeting and turned around and proceeded the other way stopping a few times to look back at her and reassure her I meant her no harm even though I knew she was there. She had her head down feeding again before I had moved out of sight. 2 years ago this would have never happened....I can garuntee that.

Although I do feel that the changing of the seasons puts deer on high alert in general. They know when fall rolls around..... the game is on, if they have a few years on them.

Deer ain't dumb.

crimson n' camo
08-28-2010, 11:27 AM
Those are some cool vidoes Hawg! What you all are saying makes sense.

Before I asked this question, I had already began and experiment behind my house to see how much effect (if any) my scent was having. I have a bait spot where I always set up my trail cam this time of year and see what is lurking in the dark. Before anyone reminds me of my states baiting laws let me say that I stop before season gets here to adhere to the law.

This was how I am conducting my experiment (advice welcome). I am pouring out small amounts of corn on a daily basis. For the first two weeks I am walking all around the bait station in flip flops so that my scent will definetly be noticeable. After that time period is up, I am going to do the same daily rotuine for another two weeks but this time wear rubber boots and remain as scent free as possible. I think I will then do a third run in which I put out enough feed to last 2 weeks and do not enter the area at all. I want to see if I can tell any noticeable difference in their patterns of use and the maturity of the deer that choose to use it. I think these three variables should give me enough data to draw some kind of conclusion.

bowhuntinfool32
08-28-2010, 09:49 PM
Deer can get used to anything, for example the deer living in the vicinity of a large city, and the same goes for subdivision and city deer. I believe they get use to particular sounds and smells.
If a deer's home range is on a farm, miles away from any residence then they will be used to the natural sounds of the woods. Deer in subdivisions get used to the sounds a car starting, children playing, or dogs barking.
But both of these kinds of deer can tell the difference in a sound that does belong, and one that doesn't belong. I would bet the same goes with scent. Deer used to being around humans in subdivisions obviously scent humans and pets everyday, but has no effect on their daily routines.

outdoorstom
08-29-2010, 06:39 PM
It's amazing how tame they can get when they know they're not being hunted. I was golfing last year and had a doe browsing 10 yards from me as I made my shot. I thought for sure she would run off as I approached, but she stayed put. In the picture below, my daughter worked at a lodge in the Adirondacks for a couple summers. There was no hunting on this 2 or 3 thousand acres and it was pretty obvious the deer knew it. It's hard to see in the pic, but this buck was taking a saltine cracker she was holding with her lips.
http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb49/outdoorstom/Pic00031.jpg

CurtisP
08-29-2010, 07:46 PM
These deer were killed not 50 yards from "The Tennis Court" in the X-Galfriend's back yard. On the other side of the place where the deer were killed is a very well traveled state highway. LOTS of human-being and LOTS of human activity in this area.
We see deer in this area ALL the time. I saw 17 deer in one morning worth of sitting. The biggest of these doe deer was 144 lb - a heavy weight for SC.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/CPiper/HPIM0669.jpg?t=1283124485

Ever Heard of a place in the Great Smokey National Park - Cades Cove??
Talk about deer getting used to and accustomed to human scents, sights and sound!!
I got to within 10 feet of this deer. It was never alarmed at my presense.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/CPiper/Scan0001_001.jpg?t=1283125207

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/CPiper/0365760-R1-009-3.jpg?t=1283125282

I think this old doe wanted a sip of Coke!!
At one point she actually stuck her head inside my truck!!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/CPiper/DeerintheTruck.jpg?t=1283125335

I have a home video of this deer eating clover between my feet - literally!!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/CPiper/Buck_II.jpg?t=1283125426

I got to within 20 or so feet of this doe deer
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/CPiper/Pic_of_Doe_1.jpg?t=1283125466

I did not even know these deer were there until I was within 15-20 feet of them. See the buck in velvet between the trees?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v207/CPiper/Deer_in_Woods.jpg?t=1283125546

John Brown Jr.
08-29-2010, 09:38 PM
On a serious note, we often tape deer at Cade's Cove. Those deer are free ranging and will tolerate you coming within several yards of them. No hunting pressure.

crimson n' camo
08-29-2010, 09:56 PM
Cades Cove is one of my favorite places in the world. It was only a 5 hour drive from where I grew so it became a common vacation spot. Some of my ancestors are actually buried in some of the cemetaries there. It was kind of neat to look them up and find the tombstones. Apparently my ancestors settles in that area long ago before coming to Bama. One of my great grandmothers was a Cherokee Indian but you wouldn't know it by looking at me.

For anyone on this site who has never been there....I would suggest planning a vacation there in the middle of December. For a deer enthusiast it doesn't get much better. It is very common to see over 100 deer in the 11 mile loop with rutting action right in front of your car hood. I can spend all day there.

fiveyear
08-30-2010, 08:22 AM
On a serious note, we often tape deer at Cade's Cove. Those deer are free ranging and will tolerate you coming within several yards of them. No hunting pressure.

I agree with Curtis P about how they can become accostumed to anything. I have also been to Cades Cove a few times it is amazing how they stay there with lines of cars and 50-100 people at a moments notice jumping out of their cars and running up to get a picture. I have had 8-10 mature bucks at a time very close to people and aline of cars with people milling all around. Bears are the same. Very neat place.

crimson n' camo
08-30-2010, 09:05 AM
I agree with Curtis P about how they can become accostumed to anything. I have also been to Cades Cove a few times it is amazing how they stay there with lines of cars and 50-100 people at a moments notice jumping out of their cars and running up to get a picture. I have had 8-10 mature bucks at a time very close to people and aline of cars with people milling all around. Bears are the same. Very neat place.

I have been 10 yards from a group of 7 longbeards at Cades Cove and them act the same way. That is what amazed me more than the deer. I couldn't believe a wild turkey would ever lose their fear like they had.

BSK_
08-30-2010, 06:00 PM
Whitetailed deer display an amazing ability to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening human activity. The can do this seasonally as well as "spatially" (knowing where human activity is and is not a danger to them). They even have the ability to recognize threatening versus non-threatening behavior from the same individual person.

To answer the orgininal question, yes deer can learn to get accustomed to human scent (and even a specific person's individual scent), but they can also differentiate between that person's scent in non-threatening context and threatening context (hunting versus non-hunting activities).