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Scent dissipation


PMA Member
I have a question for the knowledgeable IW'ers here...

We all know that deer will scent you when they are downwind of you, etc. But how far downwind do you concern yourself with "protecting" your flank?

Based upon some MRI, I am considering doing a hang and hunt in an area that I would describe like this...

10 yards directly in front of me, to my north, would be a farm lane that the deer have been using to get to a food plot that lies about 100 yards to my left, to the west. The deer are traveling east to west down this lane. Assuming a wind direction from the east...If I hang a set, to the south, off that lane I know the deer will go right on by the stand no problem.

BUT, once they pass on by they will eventually work out into a food plot that is directly west of me, or downwind assuming an east wind. Between this set and the open food plot though would be fairly heavy brush/timber and this area is pretty close to level, no real peaks or valleys. Probably 75-100 yards of brush/timber in between the set and the field then.

Assuming my scent is traveling east to west, will deer spook once they reach the field and start milling around feeding and get into my scent stream? (I know the answer is yes, but what is the distance that you feel like you could get away with? 100 yards, 1/4 mile, 2 miles? :D)

The problem with this spot is that the does and small bucks come out first and then 20-30 minutes later the bigger bucks make their appearance. In that time frame, the first deer are well past the stand and out to the field. I know we can hunt this on a north wind, but I am trying to make it work in my mind for an east wind too.
Good question! I would just wait for a N or NW wind but I will be interested to hear the response on this.
My only experience is 30 years, not sure if that qualifies. Most of that time has been spent in thicker areas where it isn't feasible to gauge deer's reaction (you can't see). But, for a 5 year period about a decade ago I hunted an extremely wide open farm and I remember being surprised at how far away some of the deer were that would catch me. I think it was around 1/4 mile and they would look my direction and get a little nervy. BUT, thicker areas and I think your scent cone is dispersed more. BTW, since that stint on that open ground I've now looked at anything 1/4 mile downwind as being wrecked on the walk in or on stand and have been extra cautious especially on the way in. You can bugger up a lot of ground easily and those big boys aren't dumb about what's going on...and where not to move to that evening.
I beleive it would depend on how hard the wind is blowing if it a strong (15-25) I think they would have a hard time getting your scent. but with a lighter wind I feel it is easier. I my exp. the lay of trees and brush ect. all have an effect on wind with less wind it has more of a chance to swirl JMO.
I am fairly crazy about scent control, shower cloths stored outside in rubebr containers, not dressed until int he woods, brush teeth with baking soda, etc. i have had several time I have had deer all around me and not get winded. Last week I could see into a field and got busted (with all the scent control above) by three different deer from a couple hundred yards. So even with soem scent control and the right conditions i could see geting winded at 1/4 as a real possibility.
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