1. Home
  2. >>
  3. News
  4. >>
  5. Do Cover Scents Work...

Do Cover Scents Work for Whitetail Deer?

The whitetail deer has an absolutely incredible nose. They can smell things that are present in tiny amounts and from great distances. They can detect odors from food sources, mineral sources, predators and other whitetails we simply cannot perceive. However, some people seem to believe they have a chemistry set attached to their nose, which they simply do not when it comes to odors.

When it comes to pure sense of smell, deer are like us in many ways. If it smells like grape, they think it is grape. If it smells like a coyote, they think it is a coyote. It does not matter if the chemicals are exactly the same or not. Their brains cannot sort real from artificial or do any analysis of the chemicals. It simply does not work this way. They cannot break down the individual odor parts and catalog the ingredients. While powerful, the sense of smell does not work like that.

Since they cannot distinguish chemicals using their sense of smell, cover scents can be effective. You can fool their noses by covering up bad smells. While they have a more sensitive nose, trying to pick out a faint scent behind a stronger one is as difficult for them as it is for us. You do need to reduce your background odor to a reasonable level using scent control methods and scent eliminators, either chemically or with ozone. The more you reduce the background bad odors, the less likely it is that you will be detected.

There are exception to this, but they generally aren’t a true sense of smell and are very dependent on the source. One example are Trace Amine Associated Receptors. These receptors are tuned to specific chemicals. TAAR4, for instance, it tuned to the chemical trimethylamine. This chemical is found in higher concentrations in predator urine, including humans. These receptors can pick out trimethylamine even if very heavy odors are present. Because these receptors are so specific, you cannot block them using odors. This is the main reason you should not urinate out of your deer stand. Whatever reaction the deer may have, you should know they can tell you are a predator. Don’t give yourself away.

Cover scents can be effective. You just need to choose the correct one for your setup and hunting style. You can use a food odor, which can double as an attractant. You can use a spray that smell like the background, like dirt or cedar. Or you can use a natural scent from another animal present in the area, like skunk odor or raccoon urine. All can be equally effective in the right circumstances.

I hope this puts to rest some of the nonsensical stuff you hear from armchair chemists. While whitetail deer do have an amazing ability to detect odors, it is not foolproof. Odor control and cover scents should be a useful part of your deer hunting arsenal. Check out our STORE for our various options!

Cover Scents

Cover Scents for Whitetail Deer