What Exactly Is Deer Dander Cover Scent, and Does It Work?

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Did you know that deer have about 297 million olfactory scent receptors in that little nose of theirs? To put it in context, humans only have 5 million, and dogs have 220 million. So, yeah! You can say that the deer you are hunting has an outstanding sense of smell. Successful hunts often come down to how well you can keep the deer from sniffing you out. That’s why most people use deer dander.

So, what is deer danger cover scent, and does it work as well as people say it does?

What Is Deer Dander?

What Is Deer Dander

Deer dander is a cover scent that you can use as a hunter when out in the woods hunting. Cover scents often referred to as “masking scents,” are aromas designed to disguise “fear smells” on you so that you can remain undetected by the whitetail deer or other big game that you might be hunting.

As you have seen, deer have an incredibly awesome sense of smell. Not only are they alert to any new scents in their territory, but they are particularly attentive to human scents. This could be anything from your sweat to your onion and garlic tainted breath, even to the kind of smell your gear has on it.

While there are ways to minimize this and pretty much hide your scent with scentless:

  • Showering
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Clothing detergent
  • Field spray

And the most effective way is to try as much as you can to stay downwind of the target. However, no matter how much you try, you can’t hide every single one of your scents, and the deer will probably pick it up and high-tail it out of there. That is unless you find the right ways to use deer dander and pretty much make yourself invisible to the deer.

Is Deer Dander Necessary?

You might be thinking that you don’t need deer dander. After all, you could stay downwind and shower really well. While that may very well be, you can’t mask every single one of your scents. Not only will you sweat, but your gear will also pick up other scents like dust on your way to your favorite hunting ground, the metal broadhead, soles of your shoes, the rubber grip on your bow, and so on.

There’s very little chance that you can hide all these scents from the 297 million olfactory scent receptors on the deer you are hunting. Besides, even if you could do your best to eliminate all the possible scents you are giving off, what are the chances you are the best person to sense if that has successfully occurred? The human sense of smell is so much more inferior to that of a deer that you shouldn’t be the SI Unit for picking up scents.

Yes, deer dander is a necessary part of your hunting repertoire. Not only is it a good way to cover your scent, but it’s also the best way to attract deer to you.

Deer in Forest

What Is Deer Dander Made of?

Most manufacturers have the ingredients listed on the bottle, but the simple truth is that deer dander is made out of boiled deer carcass. It is the only thing that smells like deer. However, there are many other cover scents on the market today, and these are made of an assortment of ingredients.

The best of them are made of odors that you will commonly find within the deer’s domain. These include scents from other animals such as raccoon urine, random odors from things like acorns and apples, or replication of common smells within the territory such as Earth, pine, and cedar.

Deer dander, however, is made out of boiled deer carcass. Since it smells like deer, that buck won’t think twice before following that scent to see what he might find at the end of it.

  • Pro Tip: Make sure the deer dander you buy isn’t expired because that will achieve the exact opposite of what you want and send the deer scurrying into the woods. Fresh deer dander has a soft odor that smells kind of like a fresh deer bed. On the other hand, the expired deer dander smells like dead deer, and there are very few things quite as scary to a deer as the scent of another dead deer. You’ll know you are using expired deer dander if the smell is pungent and putrid instead of soft and smelling like a fresh deer bed.

How to Use Deer Dander

Unlike most other attractants, deer dander comes in a spray bottle. For the most part, you are advised to use a scent drag for most other attractants. However, when using Team Fitzgerald Deer Dander, the best course of action is to avoid using a scent drag and do this instead:

  • Spray the deer dander onto the soles of your shoes so that you drag it along wherever you are walking.
  • If you are going to be deer hunting in a long thicket, where the underbrush comes up to your waist or mid-thigh, you might want to spray some of it on your clothes as well.

Here is a video giving you tips on how to use the Team Fitzgerald Deer Dander:

Does deer dander work? The simple answer is yes; deer dander works very well. While it might not be entirely necessary to use this kind of cover scent, the truth is that you are never going to be able to completely mask your scent from that whitetail deer you are hunting.

Deer have an incredible sense of smell; their lives and social set up depends on it, and that’s why a large portion of their brains are evolved to interpret all the different kinds of smells they pick up in their domain. Since they are so much better than us, using high-quality, fresh deer dander is one way to even that playing field.