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The Scent Debate: Why Natural Scents are King

Science and reason show why you should go for natural if you want success in the field.

One of the most contested debates when it comes to whitetail deer hunting is which type of scents to use. Some opt for synthetic scents, as they can be cheaper and are claimed to be just as effective at taking deer, while others stick with the real thing for the obvious “all natural” appeal. But which is better? Although deer have been taken with both over the decades that scents have been available, in this article we’re going to outline 3 reasons why going natural is the much better option when it comes filling that whitetail deer tag. Here’s why:

1. YOU KNOW WHAT’S IN IT. With synthetic scents there is really no way to know exactly what is in your “scent.” All you know is that it is something not natural, that will hopefully trigger the same effect as natural scents do. This is a gamble. Synthetic scent makers do not disclose their “secret sauce” for just that reason, to keep you and their competitors in the dark. It’s really just a big marketing ploy, and the mysterious nature of it should leave us wondering if what’s in it will actually do what it says. With such lack of transparency, and therefore doubt, it isn’t much of a stretch to make the savvy hunter grab for the real deal. Something they KNOW is from a deer, and therefore something which deer DO respond to on a regular basis.

2. YOU CAN’T FOOL A DEER’S NOSE. According to research at Mississippi State University, whitetail deer can smell 500 to 1000 times better than humans. They have around 300 million olfactory (scent) receptors (more than a bloodhound) vs. our meager 5 million. So the smell test of authenticity definitely goes to a deer. Most synthetic scents smell “ok” to us as hunters, but when it comes down to the real thing, a deer has a huge edge when determining whether a scent is real or not. Seeing how they live or die by their nose, and the vast greater acuity they have compared to humans, it should make a hunter think long and hard about putting their hunting season on the line by attempting to “fool” a wary whitetail with the imposter. Again, it’s a big gamble, and when natural scents are available, is a gamble most hunters just should not take.

3. IT JUST ADDS UP. As alluded to above if you look at your chances on taking a good whitetail, it really boils down to gambling and putting the odds in your favor. With 100% pure natural scents (and some supposed “natural scents” aren’t as natural as claimed so beware), you are putting the odds in your favor since there is no way that the deer will smell something that they do not agree with. Barring contamination with your own scent, the natural urine scents take away the “gamble” that a whitetail will detect a chemical odor they don’t agree with. Do you trust a scientist, or unnamed businessman from company X to be 100% right and not cut corners when putting chemicals in a bottle, or will you trust the other option - a real whitetail deer to get it right? When it comes to trusting a hunt, and a season to something in a bottle, savvy hunters put the odds in their favor and go with all natural scents, and you should too!


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