They do things a little differently in the South, and that includes gutting deer.
QUESTION: I am from the Northeast and went down South last year to hunt for the first time. The guys I hunted with told me if I shoot a deer I should drag it out whole and not gut it in the woods. I thought they were pulling my leg at first, but they were serious. They said it would attract predators and scare deer away. Is that true?
ANSWER: I had much the same reaction on my first trip to the deep South as well, and still don’t really understand the logic of hauling an extra 25-30 pounds of guts out of the woods. While there have been no real scientific studies to my knowledge, there is considerable anecdotal evidence that leaving gut piles has little or no negative effect. And I have shot several deer within site of fresh gut piles.
Having said that, there’s also no question gut piles attract scavengers and predators. The presence of foxes, coyotes, ravens, crows and vultures, or even the smell of predators could discourage deer from the immediate vicinity for a short time. — Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
Saltaholic: Just like us, deer love salt, but it’s not really beneficial.
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