There are many misconceptions about deer and deer hunting throughout the country. Everyone believes that one crazy thing that an uncle or grandfather told them, and you probably never thought twice to question it. Don’t worry, after some research, I sadly realized I was also one of these gullible young hunters. Here are five quite popular deer hunting myths and the truth behind them.
1 | Peeing in the Woods
If you’re like me, you probably thought that peeing in the woods was a giant cardinal sin. However, according to research peeing in the woods is absolutely fine and has zero negative effects. All urine is over 90% water, and what is left are things like ammonia, urea, sodium chloride, potassium, and creatinine, along with other inorganic and organic compounds. Deer use these compounds to tell deer and possibly animals apart.
“To deer, humans are predators, so it’s possible that deer can tell the difference between predator and non-predator urine,” said Brian Murphy, biologist and executive director of the Quality Deer Management Association. “But it’s unlikely deer associate human urine with humans, unless a human leaves their scent behind along with the urine.”
After the University of Georgia conducted a test, putting buck urine, human urine, and new car smell in 3 different mock scrapes, they discovered that deer did not treat any of the three differently. They concluded that since the deer find the urine and do not physically see a predator, their curiosity drives them to still investigate the site.
Some hunters even pee in their own mock scrapes. This sounded crazy to me but hey now I don’t need to carry a pee bottle or hold it during all-day hunts.
2 | Scent Control Is Super Complicated
For some hunters, scent control is a challenge but if you understand scent control it can be simple to take care of in just a few steps. Taking care of your scent is a vital part of the hunt and can defently change the way your hunt goes.
First, you should start off by washing in scent-free soap and drying off with a towel that was also washed in scent-free washing detergent. The natural odors we emit are an immediate red flag to whitetails and you want to limit those as much as possible. You also want to make sure that you wash your hunting clothes in scent-free detergent and before the walk in, spray your boots, and unwashed items in a scent-free spray.
Then you want to play the wind. Most of the time if you wash yourself and your gear correctly you do not even need to worry about the wind. However, playing the wind certainly would not hurt. Professional hunters have many different stand locations depending on the weather and wind direction. So, if the wind is blowing north on a particular day, try picking a stand that is pointing south.
3 | Bucks Always Bed Downwind of Does
There is a big misconception about bucks bedding downwind from does. While this may happen on the off chance bucks do not outgoingly try to do this. Imagine you’re a buck and you bed down and the wind changes every little while. are you really going to get up just to be behind the does? No, you would not, neither will the bucks. If anything they will get up and move along.
RELATED POST: HOW TO FIND PUBLIC LAND BUCK BEDS
4 | Some Does Go “Dry”
Many people define a dry doe as a doe that hasn’t produced fawns this year. So many management hunts choose to take out these does not think about why she does not have does. According to wildlife biologists, a doe will always have fawns unless she is very unhealthy and dying. Although some does may have had fawns still, but they got lost or eaten. There are many reasons why a doe doesn’t have fawns around her so next time try not to judge your does so quickly.
5 | Dew Claws In Tracks
So many nieve hunters say that when you can see the dewclaws in a track that it is automatically a huge buck. Any deer can leave dewclaw prints depending on how it stands, how fast they are going, or if they are scraping. There are many ways to tell the story of a track but remember all deer have dew claws, not just the giants!
Sister Post | Why Do Bucks Rub Trees?
Now that you know the answers to these questions, find out the answer to another question new hunters ask, “Why Do Bucks Rub Trees?“. Here is a sample of the post,
When roaming through your neck of the woods, you have probably seen a tree with the bark rubbed off of one side. Depending on where you live, this is likely to be a type of deer. Have you ever stopped to think why bucks rub trees, or how you could use rubs to your advantage as a hunter?
Why Would Deer Make Rubs?
Whitetails rub trees for two main reasons. After new antlers harden, bucks do this to remove the velvet from their antlers around early September. The second reason is… Keep Reading
How to Tell the Difference Between New and Old Rubs?
A common mistake for novice hunters is to mistake a year old rub for a new one. While it could prove useful to see old rubs, we are generally interested in the recent ones that tell us where the deer are this year. Older rubs will be… Keep Reading
Thank you for reading my article about deer hunting myths. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something you didn’t already know. If you like my content, subscribe to my weekly update. If you have any other questions about these deer hunting myths or just want to connect, feel free to email me at Patrick.Long@omegaoutdoors.net.
The content created by Omega Outdoors is strictly the opinion of the author.