The weekend of the opener we saw a few deer, at one point Jason and Fred were stalking a three point muley.? It was a good 20-30 minutes of slow quiet steps staying downwind as they approached.? Afterwards we talked about deer and how they are aware of us being there.? Fred made a good point and I think that his assessment is true for muley deer.? If you’ve ever hunted muley’s you’ve probably noticed they sense three things, sight, sound, and smell.? Now you would think that just one of them might bust you and all you’ll see is a tail bouncing away but our experience isn’t that.? Generally if you break a twig the deer will perk up, ears go tall and he listens, he looks straight towards where he heard the sound.? A broken twig doesn’t send him running.? Also I’ve stood next to grazing deer and I could hear people talking at the bottom of the hill, a ways off but could hear them and the deer didn’t seem to notice, definitely didn’t care as you could tell they knew it was too far off to worry about.? It’s when they hear something and then are able to see something, mainly a movement, that they bolt.? I’ve been pretty close to game in my camo and am confident in the ASAT camo’s ability to hide me as long as I don’t move!! The same with smell, a smell will alert their senses however that normally isn’t what sends them off, it just puts them on alert and then as soon as there is movement they go.? Our conclusion in talking about it is that even if you get busted on sound or smell be very careful about movement and you might still get a chance.? Fred got a shot off on this buck they were stalking however his peep was twisted and he was shooting blind!! It would have been a short yardage shot however having a limb break the week before the opener and getting it all set back up he was still struggling with his peep staying consistantly in the right place.

My experience with elk is similar however I’ve seen them bolt off of a scent and no movement, then again I walked through a lot of dead timber where I was making considerable noise and had a spike elk jump up and bolt only when I got within 25 yards, I didn’t even know he was there and doubted any game would be since a group of people and horses loudly passed by a few minutes earlier with in 30 yards.

Let us know if you are having the same experience and how other game may be similar or different.

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  1. I would agree with you except for as it applies to big bucks. With them, in my experience, it only takes one sound, movement or smell and they’re gone.

  2. I think this is especially true with elk. I’ve come up on elk while making lots of noise – but I’ve always been in the timber, where I believe the elk just consider the noises to be another elk feeding along. But give an elk the advantage of seeing movement that isn’t elk like to go along with noise and see you later. If they wind you, gigs up – no matter from how far or if noise or movement is detected.

  3. I tend to agree with you on the movement thing, but I also think that Whitetails will split on scent alone. I have had many deer who got a good whiff of me and didn’t think twice about ditching the place, even though I didn’t move a muscle.

  4. I have never hunted white tail, not many out here in Utah but I’ve heard that about them. We did spot one white tail buck this year and word around town is that there is a couple herds that came in last year, maybe I’ll get to one day!! I hear they reproduce like rabbits so we may quickly have some out here.

  5. There are no big, dumb bucks and I believe the older they are, the more apt that one of the three senses is all it takes to send them the other direction. I also think that because sight & sound are the only two the hunter can correct immediately, leaving smell the most likely to bust you.

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