About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the South Dakota Bowhunter Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Online Course Completion Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

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, 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.
Bowhunters rattling antlers and wearing face coverings

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.