About Whitetail Deer Danger Scent

Do you realize an ammonia-like odor is released from tarsal glands of alarmed whitetails that can act as a deer repellent up to four days?

Take a look at the erect tufts of dark hair on the insides of the bounding doe’s hind legs in my accompanying photograph. Whenever a whitetail becomes alarmed enough to raise its tail, snort and/or bound away, the tufts of hair overlying its tarsal glands become erect. While erect, the underlying glands release an ammonia-like odor into the air. While airborne, this odor silently warns all downwind deer (up to 200 yards away) something very dangerous is upwind. It also creates an easily followed (easily smelled) scent trail for less fleet accompanying fawns and other deer to follow. Wherever emitted, the odor persists up to four days (or until it rains or snows), meaning anytime a whitetail bounds from or past your stand site, the persisting odor acts as an effective deer repellent for four days.

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