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Certain species of game have a highly developed sense of smell. Because bowhunting is done at close range, it’s essential to learn which species are sensitive to human odor.

  • Big game animals are very sensitive to scent and quickly leave any area that contains the wind-borne or residual ground scent of humans.
  • White-tailed deer, Sitka black-tailed deer, foxes, and coyotes can detect the scent of hidden hunters.
  • Squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, and waterfowl are not sensitive to scent and rarely spook when they pick up human odor.

Minimizing Your Scent

  • Wear rubber-soled boots that are less likely to absorb odors.
  • Store hunting clothes in plastic bags with boughs of cedar, pine, or other natural materials from your hunting area.
Bowhunters rattling antlers and wearing face coverings
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