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How to Have Deer within Range Day 4: Use Human Scent to Take Deer

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Editor’s Note: Nationally-known deer seminar speaker, avid deer hunter and my longtime friend, Ronnie Groom of Panama City, Florida, owned C&G Sporting Goods for 60 years. He’s faced this problem of how to get a buck within range often in the areas he hunts. He uses these tactics, which work well for bowhunters and/or gun hunters, to funnel deer into their stand sites.

Most deer bowhunters realize that human scent spooks deer worse than anything in the forest. To be an effective hunter, the elimination of human scent is essential through using Scent-A-Way and Nose Jammer. However, Groom utilizes human scent to funnel deer. “You can use human odor to cancel-out areas and cause deer to move into the regions you want to hunt,” Groom observes. “Using human scent to funnel deer is most effective in places of high-hunter pressure, because the deer have learned what human odor is and that it represents danger. Therefore the animals will quickly leave an area that has human odor and go to another region.

“When I was hunting St. Vincent’s Island in Florida, a heavily-hunted public area, I would walk down one side of a ridge and leave a lot of human scent on that particular side of the ridge all the way to the top of the ridge. Then I would go downwind and slip up the other side of the ridge. By my leaving a great deal of human scent on one side of the ridge, when the deer reached that particular point where they smelled human odor, they usually would cross the ridge and walk on the side where I had my stand. Once the deer detected that human odor on one side of the ridge, they generally turned, crossed the ridge and headed for the thickest cover available.

“The best way to set-up this funneling technique is to know where the thick cover is, lay down the human scent on the opposite side of the ridge from the thick cover and then take a stand close to the thicket. When the deer hit that scent trail, the trail acts like a brick wall, turning the deer, funneling them to the cover.

“I’ve found that the best way to leave this scent trail is to go in the day before I plan to hunt and lay down the scent trail by just walking back and forth on one side of the ridge. Then I set-up close to heavy cover and plan to be in that stand at daylight on the following morning. The deer, which generally feed at night in areas of high-hunter pressure, will smell that human odor. For the next day or two, they will avoid that particular area, which means they will funnel in toward that thick cover where I’ve set-up my tree stand.”

You can note this information in your hunting apps, your GPS and/or your hunting journal.

Groom employed this human-scent tactic to bag a big buck on St. Vincent’s Island some years ago. “I spotted a nice buck moving down one side of a ridge the day I was scouting before the hunt,” Groom remembers. “Since the deer was about 75-yards away, there was no way I could take a shot at him. But later I laid my scent trail across the edge of the woods that he was traveling. The next day, as soon as that buck hit my scent trail, he stopped, looked both ways, turned and walked straight to me. When the deer was at 25 yards, I drew and shot the buck.

“I firmly believe that using human odor to cancel-out areas that you won’t be hunting is an effective deer-hunting technique – particularly in regions where hunter pressure is high. However, at the first of the season before there have been many hunters in the woods, this method is not nearly as effective. When the deer smell the human odor at the first of the season, they usually will blow, snort and stomp. But they won’t funnel away from human scent nearly as readily as they will in the late season.”

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Using a black magic marker and a gray work jumpsuit, Jim Crumley of Buchanan, Virginia, drastically changed the nature and purpose of hunting camouflage when he created the first sportsman’s camouflage – Trebark. Crumley’s love of bowhunting and his desire to be more invisible changed hunting clothing forever. 

In this hunting guide, he shares the wisdom that he’s learned throughout his lifetime about how to be a hunter, how to find a deer lease, how to scout for deer, and more.

Special features include how to:

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How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro
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In the chapter, “How to find Bucks at Scrape,” Dr. Keith Causey, retired professor of Wildlife Science at Auburn University, describes the best way to hunt a scrape.

Brad Harrison of Neosho, Missouri, is a nationally-known videographer, professional deer hunter and master at calling deer. Another master is Will Primos of Primos Game Calls. These two experts will tell the best deer calls and when to use them in this book.

And for over 20 years, Bo Pitman, lodge manager of White Oak Plantation, has been studying deer movement patterns. He explains what types of conditions are best for predicting deer movement.


How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro: Volume II
Deer hunting and deer hunters are drastically changing each year. To learn new techniques for hunting deer and have more places to hunt, I’ve interviewed some of the best deer hunters in the nation and share their tactics in How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro: Volume II.

In Chapter 10, Jacob Lamar tells you his tactics for consistently taking older-age-class bucks on public lands in several states. Chapter 11, Bob Walker explains how to find places on public lands where you can hunt that 99 percent of the other hunters never have considered hunting. The Bonus Chapter with David Ramey tells you how, where, when and with what equipment to take big Kansas bucks on public lands by hunting in 100-degree weather when others won’t hunt.

Chapter 13, Mark Drury, his family and his guests take mature bucks every season by having more small places to hunt rather than one large property. Drury explains the strategy of having satellite farms to hunt that only may be 50-150 acres each or less. Chapter 15, Pat Reeve, who hunts far-northern states and Canada, says, “I don’t like hunting for mature bucks until the weather is 20 degrees or less.” Chapter 4, Dr. Larry Marchinton says that funnels are the most-reliable stand sites to hunt for big bucks and tells why. 


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