Ask The Biologist

They’re Not Squeamish

They’re Not Squeamish

By Bob Humphrey

It’s okay to keep hunting an area where someone else has taken a deer.

QUESTION: I’m a pretty new hunter and hear and read lots about deer and their fantastic noses. Will blood from a wounded deer keep other deer away from that area? If so, how long will they avoid the blooded area? – Bill F.

ANSWER: The short answer is probably no, blood or a gut pile won’t in itself scare away other deer. I base this answer largely on personal experience, as I have witnessed countless interactions of deer with blood trails, gut piles and even dead deer. The most common reactions are indifference or curiosity. Perhaps they identify the odor as that of another deer.

Encounters with recently fallen deer sometimes elicit a more dramatic response, like foot stomping and snorting, but I’ve seen deer walk up to, or by, a fallen comrade with little more than a casual look before continuing on their way. As for gut piles, they typically ignore those as well, but gut piles draw scavengers and predators, which can cause other deer to steer a wider birth for a day or two – although I’ve also killed deer over a fresh gut pile.

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Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd