To Pee, or Not to Pee?

by
posted on November 22, 2013
bs_2015_fs.jpg (17)

The Myth: Does Human Urine Spook Deer?

The Smelly Background
Many hunters believe that peeing near your deer stand is the worst possible thing a hunter could do if he wishes to kill a buck. The theory goes like this: Deer use their noses for survival, and deer are conditioned to fear humans, therefore if deer smell human urine they will go the other way. The theory assumes that deer can distinguish human urine from animal urine. Hunters who believe this routinely carry a pee bottle to the deer stand, use it (carefully, no doubt!) then empty it only after they’ve removed themselves from the hunting area.

Of course, we all know that the best way to draw in a trophy buck is to set your bow or rifle down, pull down your pants to take a pee, but I want to know: Does human urine scare deer?

Anecdotal Observations
A few years ago I invited a guest to hunt with me, but he only had a doe tag and not a buck tag, as he was simply interested in filling his freezer. When I walked to his stand in the late morning to pick him up for lunch, his eyes where as big as pie plates. “Oh my lord,” he said as he climbed down. “You won’t believe the size of the giant buck I saw! He had 13 points and was as wide as a yardstick!”

Calmly, I asked for the details, because I had an unfilled buck tag.

“Well,” he said, “I had just finished peeing when …”

“You did what?” I interrupted. "Where?”

“Right off the deer stand, where else?” He asked. "Anyway, I just finished peeing and I heard a noise and looked up and there was this monster buck bee-lining right for my tree! He stopped right there,” he said, as he pointed to a wet spot in the dirt, directly under his stand, “and looked around. Then he walked off!”

I looked down to the wet spot—my friends urine that was directly under my treestand, and sure enough there was a deer track in the middle of it. The track was three inches long—the longest I’d ever seen. I couldn’t believe it. The wind was blowing from the stand to the direction from which he indicated the buck had come. The facts supported the notion that the buck was actually drawn to the scent of human urine.

The Expert Opinion
Dr. James Kroll, aka Dr. Deer, is a wildlife professor at Stephen F. Austin University. He's made a career studying whitetails. His extensive research on both penned and live deer in various parts of the country corroborate the fact that deer are curious animals, and may come to investigate any new smell that’s in their territory, even human urine.

The Answer
Dr. Kroll, and other experts say that in general, human urine by itself does not spook deer.

Please comment if you have any evidence one way or another, because it’s hunting season, and I’ve gotta go!

Latest

Top 5 Long Range Hunting Scopes Lead
Top 5 Long Range Hunting Scopes Lead

Top 5 Long-Range Hunting Scopes

Here’s a look at some of the best long-range hunting scopes on the market.

Hunter Prep 101: Stand Safety, Herd Health and Minerals

Contributor Mike Roux highlights some important summertime practices for deer hunters looking for a successful fall season.

Wyoming Receives $6 Million for Elk Habitat, Research, Public Access

The RMEF and its partners allocated $6,046,939 in 2022 grant funding to conserve and improve wildlife habitat, enhance public access and assist scientific research in Wyoming.

Hardware: Maven CRS.1 3-12x40 SFP

Weighing in at just 14.2 ounces, the CRS.1 offers a clear, sharp, high contrast image and promises to do just what hunters need—put bullets on target.

First Look: Galco's High Ready Chest Holster for Smith & Wesson M&P

Now available for the Smith & Wesson M&P with or without red dot sights, Galco's High Ready chest holster system is the latest in the company's expanding line of torso-worn hunting holsters.

Idaho Redemption: Success in the Scree Slides

Our man returns to the rugged stretch of Idaho that his hunting party narrowly escaped last season in search of success on a mountain muley.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.