View Full Version : Do Dead Animals Scare Off Deer?

10-27-2011, 02:51 PM
This may sound like a weird question but am curious. Where I have a small lease to hunt the adjoining neighbor frequently shoots coons and possums and drives over to the boundary and throws the kills from his side to mine. The kill are usually about 40-50 yards from my blind and feeder. I have looked around and seen a lot of skeletons so this isn't something he just started doing to ruin my hunt. I have permission from the neighbor to go on his property to recover a deer so I don't want to raise a stink, but it makes me wonder if there is a chance that it is hurting my hunting location?

10-27-2011, 05:15 PM
from what i have seen and i have seen it a few times with elk.if a guy gets a elk in a very elky area and guts,skins,ect, then the elk will stay away from that spot for a few weeks or longer.i dont know if it the sent of death or the bears,cougar around picking up the mess but the elk move on for a time.i have also seen a mojor lack of deer in the same area as the kill when they are usualy everyware

10-27-2011, 09:26 PM
I have no idea how deer react, but I can tell you that horses do not like anything dead, either roadkill or anything we come across when we are off road. They will spook badly and stare at the corpse, and even if you can't see it, and can only smell it, they get very spooky until we are well past the spot.

10-28-2011, 04:02 AM
Thanks guys, I was a afraid of this. I'll have to look into relocating my setup or asking the neighbor if we can find a new graveyard during hunting season.

10-28-2011, 09:18 AM
Im going to have to agree. Dead critters and guts spook deer. My freind had a dead possum in his burn barrel, and days after he burned it, the deer started coming into his yard every night.

10-28-2011, 10:09 AM
I guess I am going to start carrying a bag and a shovel with me. If I see dead things I will remove them. If that don't work I will talk to the neighbor.

10-28-2011, 05:12 PM
I have killed whitetails and left the guts near my stand and returned that evening and killed another.Other hunters that I have talked with have had the same results. One train of thought is deer smell dead critters in the woods all the time and are used to it.I don't know,but the smell keeps me away.lol:cool:

10-28-2011, 06:03 PM
I friend of mine said he saw a study on this and deer were attracted to the deer gut piles. They it made them curious to the smell. At least they were initially until they got really rancid. I left my kids gut pile and it was gone a day later. The dead racoons don't seem to draw the coyotes and whatever like gut piles.

11-03-2011, 10:55 AM
alright,heres an observation from 2 consecutive days hunting 2 different areas. i found a spot along the river to hunt Monday afternoon. i stumbled across a small 6pt that had been gut shot. probably that morning or the evening before. within 75yds of this smelly deer i counted 13 scrapes,all with fresh tracks,and one with a fresh puddle of urine that hadn't soaked in completely yet.

i shot another deer the night before last deep in the swamp. it took 10min to find it and 2hrs to drag it out. my nephew and i got totally disoriented in the swamp and were all over the place. i was there again from 11-1:30 today and saw deer moving and feeding all through the area totally calm.

they didnt seem spooked by the gut pile or our scent that was undoubtedly spread through most of the bedding area.

11-03-2011, 11:06 AM
Maybe because it is a naturally occurring scent in the great out doors. Old Spice on the other hand........

Don B
11-03-2011, 11:47 AM
A good friend of mine shot a nice forky about 20 yards from the gut pile out of my deer from the day before on one hunt. I thought my horses would spook one year when they had to pack out a bear and buck I shot on a pack trip. I guess rodeo horses don't worry about stuff after a few years. All they did was look at me like...at least we don't have to haul your fat butt out this time....LOL

11-05-2011, 04:55 PM
I have hunted the same areas for 20 years, and other than dead cattle, have never had a deer spook, or avoid anything dead. Shot a bobcat early one morning, and shot a deer within 10 yards of the bobcat about 30 minutes later. The bobcat was still laying there. I do think in areas with alot of predators (coyotes, bobcat, etc.), deer will avoid gut piles and dead things for a day or two, just to stay away from the predators. Just makes good survival sense. One thing I like to do after a deer harvest is to go back the next morning and hunt coyotes over the gut pile. Taken several coyotes with my bow that way. Always good to keep the predators thinned out.

11-05-2011, 05:14 PM
You must be pretty crafty to get the jump on a coyote!

11-11-2011, 06:17 AM
You must be pretty crafty to get the jump on a coyote!

Good camo and NO movement, will, most times, get you a shot at a songdog! Just make that shot count! :cool: