Tips & Tactics

Say Yes to a ‘Big No-No’

Say Yes to a ‘Big No-No’

By Gregory Taylor

Photo: Gregory Taylor has been an avid and successful bowhunter for more than 30 years. His tip is one of the more unusual tactics we’ve seen in recent memory. It might just be crazy enough to work!

I’ve been an avid and successful bowhunter for more than 30 years. The tip I’d like to share with Buckmasters fans might seem a bit unconventional. In fact, what I do is typically thought of as a big no-no in the hunting world.

It’s considered one of our greatest taboos, but I use human scent — yes, human scent — to my advantage when hunting in treestands.

I begin the approach to my stand as any experienced hunter does from the backside of the treestand. I try to leave as little scent as possible downwind from my stand.

My bow stands are a typical setup, 20 to 30 yards from a major trail, upwind, with shooting lanes ahead.

Now here is where I defy conventional wisdom.

I walk past my stand, straight up the shooting lane, then step in the main trail at the exact spot where I want deer to stop and sniff. Then I immediately return to climb my treestand and settle in.

I don’t want to leave a ton of my scent there, just a hint, which is all it takes to cause a whitetail to pause.

When a deer stops to check out the odor, I assess whether or not it’s a deer I want to take home, and I always get time for a shot.

You can even wear rubber boots and scent-eliminating clothing when doing this. Remember, you just want to leave a hint of scent.

The earlier you arrive at your stand, the better. If deer discover your scent right away, it might cause them alarm. But when they discover an odor that has dissipated over a couple of hours, deer usually sniff curiously and continue on without spooking.

I realize this defies typical hunting protocol, and I hope I won’t upset a lot of old school hunters, but this technique really has worked for me for many years. I challenge you to try it.

— Editor’s Note by Tim H. Martin

As unconventional as Greg’s tip is, I’ve learned to never say never when it comes to tactics that work for the white-tailed deer. I’ve certainly seen stranger things that are surprisingly effective.

When this tip appears on Buckmasters’ Facebook page, let us know your opinion about purposefully leaving human scent:

— Photo Courtesy of Gregory Taylor

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