United States (and more, specifically, NY state -- though that shouldn't matter at all) here.
I am brand new to hunting, and in a few weeks I will be going out into the woods and hunting public land for the first time. Just to be clear, I have taken the NYS Hunter's Safety course and have purchased my hunting license and I have my tags. I am doing everything by the book.
I have read from several credible source now that:
- Deer are very keen to the smells of different areas of the forest
- Hence, unless you attempt to manage your scent (minding the wind direction as you stalk, experimenting with various scent blockers, etc.) once they smell you, they will realize that "something is wrong", meaning, they have detected a smell in that area of the woods that ordinarily is not there -- and they "bump" or run away
So this gave me an idea, and I wanted to share it here in the form of a question to see if any experienced/skilled hunters think its a viable idea or sheer rubbish!
I should also say that this idea would also be used in addition to the common, popular forms of scent management (making sure I am downwind of them, using scent blocker, etc.).
What if I went into the woods to my "spots" (the general areas where I plan to hunt) and carefully placed a few old, dirty shirts with my scent on them down on the ground and left them there for the next 3 - 4 weeks.
Disclaimer: DEC states in their manual that it is unlawful to use public land as "storage" and that any hunting accessories such as stands, mineral blocks, trail cams or other hunting equipment must be removed within a certain number of days of the close of the season. I would absolutely remember where I put these shirts and remove them in keeping with state law at the end of the season. I am one of the biggest critics of litterbugs and would never be one myself!
So the thinking here is:
- Deer get used to my smell radiating through sections of the forest where I intend to hunt
- If, while on a hunt, my scent management fails and my scent "leaks" into the air, I would think they might not spook as easily as if they would if they were totally foreign to that smell being there
Is this a crazy idea or valid?
I'm thinking it's either a great idea and will work wonders, or, its the polar opposite and will instead drive all the deer out of my "spots" for the entirety of the season :-/
Any thoughts/comments/concerns/input here?