Everyone thinks that dogs have the upper hand when it comes to their sense of smell but most veteran hunters know that isn’t true. The nose of a common whitetail deer has up to 297 million olfactory receptors whereas dogs have only around 220 millions of them.
If you take deer hunting seriously, then you will need to make sure you understand deer’s characteristics and behaviours really well. Otherwise, no matter how advance your gear is, your chances are slim (you don’t really need expensive, advance gears for a good deer hunting experience).
Images speak a thousand words, so we created an Infographic, Deer Senses 101 – detailing important facts you need to know.
Hunting is a common activity amongst a wide variety of people. As such, no two people do it exactly the same way. There’s a fine art to it. Deer hunting, especially for whitetails, is a popular sport that a lot of hunters love doing expertly. They’re easy to find in most hunting zones, but this presents a serious challenge when it comes to hunting them successfully. In order to properly hunt a whitetail, you need to understand that their senses work differently than our own. It’s not necessarily that their senses are better than ours, just that they are different and need to be kept in mind when you go out hunting them. Their specialized senses allow them to escape human “predators” much easier than we’d like to think.
The two senses that you need to be aware of–and to prepare yourself to tackle–are a deer’s sense of smell and hearing. These are the two prioritized ones within a deer that will give you away. Its sense of eyesight should also be kept in mind, too.
Let’s start off with understanding a deer’s sense of smell. The basic fact that you have to keep in mind is that a deer can smell over 1 000 times better than both you and I, combined. Like dogs, deer have the capacity to smell anything between 500-1 000 times more than us. To put that in perspective, you should think about the idea of what a smell could mean to a deer. So, a deer will be able to smell you, in the sense of where you are now–making it easy to avoid you–but it can also smell where you’ve been in the past and even how long ago you were there.