• The SH Membership has gone live. Only SH Members have access to post in the classifieds. All members can view the classifieds. Starting in 2020 only SH Members will be admitted to the annual hunting contest. Current members will need to follow these steps to upgrade: 1. Click on your username 2. Click on Account upgrades 3. Choose SH Member and purchase.
  • We've been working hard the past few weeks to come up with some big changes to our vendor policies to meet the changing needs of our community. Please see the new vendor rules here: Vendor Access Area Rules

Being mobile and ground scent

Weldabeast

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
5,166
Location
Northeast Florida
U been scout hunt all day and come into an area... .... Walk over and see a rub, ease up and notice a heavy trail intersection, head over to the oak and see acorns and poo all over... Look 4 a good tree, walk to pick 1, no good, walk over to pick 2, climb up, and ur hunting..

Didn't u just essentially stink up the whole area of the freshest sign? Contesting with 90 degree heat is hard to practice scent control.

What is u guys process when u come into an area to try to spot the sign without walking all over? Or am I just over thinking it? Keep in mind our southern woods are thick and hard to see more than 30yds
 

#TradLife

New Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
28
Location
S.E. Michigan
I try to move as slow and calculated as possible for a spot I've never hunted. Especially travel corridors, I wouldn't worry about my ground scent. As long as you don't spook or blow out the area, hunt it for a couple days. Even if you do spook or blow it out, get out quick and quiet and come back in a couple days.

Get on it while its hot sign. Hunt it as smart as possible, don't over hunt it. Give it a short time to cool down, and get back on it before the deer move on.
 

OspreyZB

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2019
Messages
264
Location
New Jersey
Once I think there's a chance I might climb a tree in the area, I'm really careful about where I walk. I'll use my binoculars to look at sign even if it's 10 yards away if it could save me from walking over there. I think about the different scenarios that could happen and which ones are most likely, then try to make sure I choose the right tree before I walk to it. Sometimes I end up tromping all over an area before I realize I should have just set up, but it's too late at that point. If I don't think I can shoot the deer before they hit my ground scent I'm not setting up there. I'd either follow the sign back a little closer to where I think the deer is coming from and set up, or keep scouting.
 

gameflogger

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2014
Messages
1,258
Location
Texas
I have found that rubber boots, hiking boots, hunting shoes, moccasins, etc. all leave scent on the ground. From my experience does and hogs will bust you from your walking trail every time. Believe it or not, bucks by themselves seem to be less cautious about ground scent. Maybe the bucks are usually concerned about other odorific stimulation at the times I have observed them. I walk in until I find good sign, then methodically back pedal until I find a good set ( while still in shooting range of course). After I set up if I need to relocate I dont think twice about it mid hunt if I see multiple deer following the same path during a hunt
 

Allegheny Tom

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2018
Messages
4,425
Location
Western Pennsylvania
It isn't just ground odor that can screw you. Any weeds or foliage that you brush up against may hold your odor. I always carry hand pruners and clip stuff out of my may when I'm close to stands. And you don't always have to actually prune stuff, you can use the pruners to push stuff out of your way. I often use them them as "pliers"to move small branches and stuff that's in my path for a quieter approach. Sometimes there is just no place to quietly put your foot down without snapping twigs. I'll grab a tangle of twigs with the pruners like pliers and clear a spot to step. I'm not worried about leaf noise as much as I am worried about the snap of a twig under my boots. Utilizing pruners helps slow me down, too which cuts down on the typical cadence of a human walking. Noise is not necessarily bad, it's the type of noise that can be alarming to deer.

I also use the pruners to bace and balance myself against trees while I'm walking. I never touch stuff with my hands (even with gloves) if I can avoid doing so. An old doe once taught me about the amount of odor contained in one single thump print, and that was from a hand that cam out of the shower 30 minutes earlier.

The residual odor we leave behind is much more complicated than just our boot soles touching the ground. I'm having tremendous success with a more extensive odor reduction regimen. I used to avoid walking on, or crossing deer trails, but I am fully convinced that my system is effective.

Another thing that's seldom mentioned is moisture and humidity. Dry ground, low humidity, and a breeze will allow you to get away with ground odor that you could not get away with during damp and calm conditions. Contrary to popular belief, a little rain does not wash away odor. Ask anyone who runs bird dogs or hounds when the best days are for working their dogs...damp and calm. We used to have a beagle that could run rabbits in a downpour.
The worst time to work dogs (which would equate to deer having difficulty detecting our odor) are the dry, breezy days.
 

woodsdog2

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2019
Messages
1,639
U been scout hunt all day and come into an area... .... Walk over and see a rub, ease up and notice a heavy trail intersection, head over to the oak and see acorns and poo all over... Look 4 a good tree, walk to pick 1, no good, walk over to pick 2, climb up, and ur hunting..

Didn't u just essentially stink up the whole area of the freshest sign? Contesting with 90 degree heat is hard to practice scent control.

What is u guys process when u come into an area to try to spot the sign without walking all over? Or am I just over thinking it? Keep in mind our southern woods are thick and hard to see more than 30yds
Set up brother!!! Try to pick a spot downwind or if there is some elevation, set up for the thermals as best you can and hunt!!!
 

raisins

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
2,280
U been scout hunt all day and come into an area... .... Walk over and see a rub, ease up and notice a heavy trail intersection, head over to the oak and see acorns and poo all over... Look 4 a good tree, walk to pick 1, no good, walk over to pick 2, climb up, and ur hunting..

Didn't u just essentially stink up the whole area of the freshest sign? Contesting with 90 degree heat is hard to practice scent control.

What is u guys process when u come into an area to try to spot the sign without walking all over? Or am I just over thinking it? Keep in mind our southern woods are thick and hard to see more than 30yds
I've had the same issue. What I do now is if I am walking in to scout/hunt same day (haven't pre-scouted), then I set up on the first sign that "speaks to me". I mean I don't keep thinking the grass is greener and I have to find the perfect spot for that day. Because you do stink it up and have to backtrack after you walk out of the sign.

Once you find some sign, you can sometimes use binoculars to scan close cover to see if any rubs pop out and sometimes you can see scrapes and trails if the angle is right. Also, I'm getting better at standing back and figuring out what trees will work from a distance and then planning how I'll walk to that tree with less impact. I used to walk to each tree and check it out and booger up my location.
 
Last edited:

Loopwing

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
527
Location
Virginia
This is why I carry dirt smell spray and wear scentloc. I know this is a bone of contention on this site. Everyone says play the wind. In your case, which we all have been there.
Now that I have walked all over my hunting area how do I play the wind??? Anything I have touched gets sprayed, my boots get sprayed throughout the day of walking, and I always wear some scentloc type gloves as soon as I leave my truck. With a that being said you should play the wind too. As soon as I get to height or in my ground set up, I once again spray everything down, including taking my hat off spraying my hair, beard, pack, saddle, and all my ropes. Milk weed and smoke have taught me that the wind never blows in one direction for very long. So playing the "wind" will only get you so far. It is a multi step process. When was the last time you had a deer walk in completely up wind and stay up wind, and never cross your scent trail?
 

SnakeEater

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2020
Messages
1,043
Soon as sign looks hot I start glassing forward with binos, checking out potential trails, browsing, leaves, basically looking for sign and where trails or areas they are moving through come into that area. If I find I’m already in it I just set up and hope for the best but I will try and find a way to cut off my ground scent if I can and move in closer towards the bedding. That doesn’t always work out though. I figure if I’m there and realize I stunk up the area where the deer are going to be, wether I hunt it or back out they’re still gonna know I was there, and the first sit in a spot is the best so set up and maybe they’ll bust or maybe you’ll score big. Better than backing out and coming back for big hank to have realized you were there and has found a new route. I don’t worry to much about this because I rarely hunt the same tree twice in a season, new tree every sit this evening, and usually move from area to area frequently to minimize pressure in the areas I’m interested in and hunting.
 

Hall17

New Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
22
Came across this today and wanted to bring something up that happened to me this past year in January looking to fill my last doe tag. I picked a spot on OnX that I wanted to hunt (never been in that area before). While walking a road in I was on a mission to get to that spot and completely overlooked major sign in the open oak flat. As I exited that area and was walking across a field something inside me said turn around and check out the oak flat before heading over there. When I returned to the oak flat it was TORN UP! Can't believe I didn't see it but I was so fixated on going elsewhere. I decided to sit right in the middle of all the feeding sign. That evening I shot a doe. She was with 5 others that walked over the road/trail I walked in on and the all fed around my stand for 10 minutes before I was able to get a shot. I was always downwind from them however but they were feeding where I walked and moseyed around. I am a big scent guy or try to be. No Ozonic BS or anything like that but making sure my clothing and boots are good and of course trying to play the wind in the sense that if I know/think deer are coming from a certain way. Trying to never touch branches etc. However, there are times that it simply happens. For me this was not a thick area so the only thing that I touched was my boots on the ground and the tree I climbed. But, they did not smell my boot tracks, etc. We all have had different experiences with scent and I think it all comes down to being careful and doing what we can. We will NEVER be 100% scent free
 

HuntNorthEast

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
773
Location
Southern Maine
I climbed 3 different trees completely last year in 75 degree heat before I found one that I liked. I shot my 7 point feeding around the base of an oak I climbed an hour later. If the sign is good and you're already there, there is no point in leaving. Can't kill em from the couch. Wait it out, worse thing that will happen is you learn some more.
 

kyler1945

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
3,896
Location
Baton Rouge, La.
U been scout hunt all day and come into an area... .... Walk over and see a rub, ease up and notice a heavy trail intersection, head over to the oak and see acorns and poo all over... Look 4 a good tree, walk to pick 1, no good, walk over to pick 2, climb up, and ur hunting..

Didn't u just essentially stink up the whole area of the freshest sign? Contesting with 90 degree heat is hard to practice scent control.

What is u guys process when u come into an area to try to spot the sign without walking all over? Or am I just over thinking it? Keep in mind our southern woods are thick and hard to see more than 30yds
sometimes you bumble onto a set, and cover it with scent. Sometimes you just can’t help it.

two things have improved my success immensely - one general and one specific.

generally now, I scout from start of season to end of season. I only set hunt when I’ve got really good odds of killing a deer. (Usually, sometimes though I am weak and hunt when I shouldn’t). I basically walk all over. The first time I set foot on a property this is pretty random. Once I learn it I become much more precise in my routes, and what I’m looking for. But generally, because I am spending most of my time in the field scouting, I have become pretty good at knowing when I am in or about to be in “good bow hunting set” locations. And I generally slow down in these types of areas so I’m not backtracking or missing details. I’ll typically use maps and knowledge of terrain to plan sections of the walk with hunting in back of my mind. This mindset generally keeps me from just bumbling. But I do try to randomly bumble around early, and get more precise as season(s) go on.

the more precise thing I do, is how I operate once I get on sign. Because I’m already moving slower(because I’m not panicking about having a place to sit that evening, I don’t care if I hunt or not), stumbling into hot sign usually isn’t a surprise. I generally know where it is gonna be, and then as I get into it I’m moving slow. Then I go into “plan every step, don’t backtrack” mode. I immediately look within 50 yards of me in every direction for a set(ground or tree). I’m looking ahead to see where trails or funnels lead. I’m looking for feed trees, or blow downs or bedding cover. I’m looking for anything that tells me the fresh sign I’m seeing is close to the deer that made it. Most times I’m accessing from the wrong direction, and no matter what I do, ground scent or my scent from walking(that’s blowing to the deer where they are)is going to be my downfall. That’s the nature of hunting, and why there’s millions of deer.

but sometimes I get it right going in, and that’s the sets I make on the spot. If I don’t get it right the first time, I typically will move on and hunt somewhere else or continue scouting. I’ll note the spot, and better ways to access it for future hunts this season or next.


Go fast when you’re generally assessing a whole property. go slow when you’re scouting specific locations. Go even slower when you’re scouting a specific set. Having a constant scouting mindset has done wonders for me.

note - if you hunt the same property year in and out, you’ll obviously not be doing as much scouting. I like new dirt, if ya couldn’t tell.
 

raisins

Well-Known Member
SH Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
2,280
When the sign starts to get hot as Im walking.. I slow way down and start glassing short distances. 30 to 50 yards out and set up without necessarily walking over the hot sign
Yep, I used to think "the sign here is good, but right over there it will probably be better". Then you walk out of the sign and have boogered it up.

Grass isn't always greener. Set up on the first sign that speaks to you where it makes sense and you have a good tree and shooting lanes.
 

Weldabeast

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
5,166
Location
Northeast Florida
@kyler1945 I think u and I hunt a lot alike.

I've seen plenty of deer walk over my ground scent so I don't worry about it much but I was curious to hear more experienced hunters thoughts on it....I try to use water as much as I can walking into new areas, either access walking up a creek or utilize standing flood water. I can usually move quieter and I think in my mind I'm leaving less scent... Not sure if it's true but it sounds good.

I have a handful of spots I know that if I'm on time and no vehicles in the parking area I can go in early and set up and be confident but realistically I haven't sat in any of those in 3 seasons...I much more enjoy the new adventure hunts were I have no idea where I'm headed and just take off in the gray light with the map and a compass bearing.... I've been much more successful since I've started hunting this way also.. since our quota hunts are so short (3day) I would get so stressed and bummed out if I wasn't set up before sun up in the past. I'm a very punctual person but u all know it never fails some crap comes up and u can't leave when u want to...Now if I'm 4 hours late I just go with the flow and like I mentioned...seeing animals much more consistent and having much more shot opportunities. U learn much more about the woods walking thru it then just sitting still somewhere....then ur brain starts to but 2 and 2 together and u understand why the animals move across the land the way they do...I am new hunter and I had no mentor or buddy or anyone. I wasted 4 hunting seasons hunting "spots". I pick a good looking spot and I hunt the heck out of it. I never learned anything other than that was a good looking spot and it had deer sign. I never seen any deer up in a tree. All of my encounters were on the ground and I'd always blow it...haha

I got a couple hundred miles of walking and a couple notches on the belt now... I'm glad I learned by myself because from reading SH I realize a mentor would have definitely helped with just general knowledge a new guy doesn't know like field dressing etc but I wouldn't have "understood" the the woods.... The mentor will teach the way he interrupts the woods and his way of hunting them... With a mentor u will know the where but not the why...but learning on ur own u will know the why before the where.... If that makes any sense.

Lots of different ways to hunt, so much info online, it pretty overwhelming...hard to pick thru the tidbits on real info/knowledge...and to top it all off, at least for me in my personal experience, all that info u have been adsorbing probably doesn't mean squat because of the region u live... Sure they all whitetail deer but ohio deer and florida deer are 2 different animals pretty much.

Sorry fellas... I'm rambling a little and kinda off track
 
Top