Ask The Biologist

Bugger Off

Bugger Off

By Bob Humphrey

Mosquitoes and flies can ruin a hunt, but so can bug sprays.

QUESTION: This is my first season bowhunting, and the bugs are driving me crazy. Will deer smell mosquito repellents and devices?

ANSWER: Deer have a very keen sense of smell, so they will almost certainly smell any odor in the environment. More important is how they respond. Conventional repellents like those containing DEET have a strong chemical odor that is quite foreign and could put deer on alert.

Devices like the ThermaCELL use a synthetic extract that simulates Chrysanthemum oil, a natural repellent. While it’s still not a common odor in the woods, deer don’t seem to be bothered by it. I’ve used them extensively while hunting the early bow season, and while bear hunting and never had a negative reaction.

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Copyright 2019 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

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