Effective Ways to Use Natural Smells to Attract Big Deer

It is no secret that animals in the wild have a far sharper set of senses than your average hunter. Deer are especially well adjusted to their environment and are put on high alert the very moment they detect anything out of the ordinary in the world around them. An odd twig snap or some suddenly startled birds is the only catalyst needed to turn a potential target animal into nothing more than a distant memory.

One of the key elements that can cause a deer to stay far from your area is any odd smell they detect regarding you and your presence in the woods. There are certainly some things you can attempt to do to minimize your smell, but there are also other smells you can incorporate that can help to improve your chances of bagging a deer.


What You’ll Need

You may need a couple things to help with odor control:

  • Odor eliminator soap/shampoo
  • Odor eliminator spray
  • Buck Lure
  • Doe Lure

Your Own Smell

So first off, you should do all you can to minimize your own smell before you even enter the woods. Think about all the things your put on your body each day and what their potential aromas could be. Everything from your deodorant to your shampoo can act as an alarm to all the potential game animals in the area.

Use Natural Smells

There are a number of odor eliminator soaps and shampoos you can use to help decrease your smell from the start. Take advantage of these if you are able to, but if not you should definitely do your best to limit the amount of aromas you add to your body.

Your hunting gear can be another possible source of alarming aromas for deer. If you are able to, take all of your hunting clothing and air them out for a day or more before you step out into the woods. This will help to rid your clothing of any lingering odors they may have from next year and can help to hide you a little better while in the woods.

Once you are all set to step out into the woods, do yourself one more kindness and invest in an odor eliminating spray. Carry it with you and have it ready. Spray yourself when you get out of your vehicle and again when you are finally in your preferred hunting spot.

There are certain other things you should consider avoiding as they can also be alarming scents that could tip an animal off to your presence in their world. Smoke from cigarettes is one of the biggest indicators of humans in the woods, so do what you can to avoid smoking while you are out hunting.

Better Your Chances

Depending on the time of year, there are certain smells you can add to your repertoire that will assist you in attracting big deer to your area. Deer are social animals given the correct time of year, so what better advantage to add to your bag of tricks than a way to mimic scents that will make deer notice and feel drawn to your presence.

Using a Buck Scent

If you are hunting in October, you may want to consider adding the scent of a male deer to your hunting area. This is the time of year when many males will begin making scrape marks on trees in order to mark their territory and alert any potential challengers of their presence in the area.

Attract Big Deer

If you are able to add a challenging scent to the area, you will do well to increase your chances of scoring a buck deer. Once a potential buck detects your challenging aroma, he may be inclined to come investigate and run off this supposed challenger to his realm. If you add this to your other calling methods, if might just be enough to get the deer you want to come within range for you to take him.

Using a Doe Scent

If November is your preferred time of year to hunt, you will do well to adjust your scent marking strategy. Instead of a buck scent, you may want to use a doe based scent. November is the usual time of year when many does will go into heat and the rut begins to set in.

In order to take advantage of this change in season, get a rag soaked with some female deer urine. This is a product commonly available at most hunting stores. To do this accurately, follow these steps.First, find a rag you will never want to use again. Once it has doe urine on it, you will never be able to remove that scent. Before you apply the urine, tie a thick piece of twine around the rag.

Next, apply the urine to the rag. There is no real method to this step. You just pour it on until the rag is thoroughly soaked. It may help to do this in a jar, though you want to avoid soaking the twine in the urine as well. That is all that is needed to prepare the rag for the woods.

Once you are prepared to head to your hunting zone, tie the twine around your waste and begin walking. What you want is to let the rag drag behind you. This is what gives this technique its name, a drag line.

With hopes what you will do with this method is convince a local buck that you are a doe in heat. The idea is that the buck will follow the scent and will walk directly up to your position.

Check this video out for more information regarding using a drag line effectively.


Getting a firm control on your scent is one of the best things you can do to improve your hunting potential. Remember that deer are accustomed to all the natural scents in their surroundings, so anything that is out of the ordinary will make them extremely wary.

If you have found this advice to be of help to you in your pursuits then let us know! If you have a further question or have better advice, feel free to let us know that too. And as always, if you know someone who would benefit from this piece of knowledge, feel free to share this article with them.

You can read about ​How to Find the Best Spots to Hunt Whitetails here! Happy Hunting!

Joseph Gleason

With a dedicated respect to the environment, I understand the importance of being an informed hunter who learns as he goes. I truly recognize the value in how things were done before and how things are done today. Born and raised in upstate New York, I grew up exposed to skilled hunters who taught me the importance of what responsible hunting can provide both to myself, my family, and to the environment. I continue today to work towards refining my craft and finding new ways to practice the time honored traditions that were passed down to me from those who came before.

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