Deer have a great sense of smell, and they don’t put taboos on sensitive topics like we humans do. Therefore, asking yourself if a deer can smell a woman’s period blood is not as strange of a question as you might think.
In general, most deer species are able to smell human period blood or other human body odors from at least 0.25 miles away. When wind and weather conditions are right, deer can pick up the scent of blood much further away. Despite this, there is no scientific evidence that deer are attracted to menstrual blood.
During the rutting season, the senses of the male buck are heightened. One should always remember that human menstrual blood is not a natural scent that males would encounter in the wild. Therefore, it is unlikely to significantly affect the behavior of fertile bucks. Other factors, such as deer vocalizations, hormonal changes, and physical cues play a much bigger role here.
Deer Can Pick Up On Blood Scent
The sense of smell of a lot of common deer species (including the well-known white-tailed deer) is extraordinarily strong. On average, deer are able to smell 20 times better than humans, based on the number of olfactory receptors in their noses. This allows the animals to detect a wide range of odors, including blood-related scents.
Since deer rely on their sense of smell for their survival, detecting potential predators with their noses is not uncommon. One can imagine that the nearby scent of blood would give off a clear warning signal to a deer, and would rather deter than attract the animals.
That being said, it must be noted that human menstrual blood is distinctly different from the blood of a wounded animal in the local area. Therefore, it can be seen as a foreign scent that would not commonly be seen as dangerous or interesting to a deer. Their refined sense of smell also means they are able to detect the difference between the blood of different animals (and therefore also humans).
The Distinct Smell Of Menstrual Blood
Menstrual blood contains a combination of different compounds, including iron, which can produce a distinct metallic odor (similar to the scent of a copper coin). Since deer possess a keen sense of smell, it is likely they are capable of picking up on human menstrual smells, including the period blood of a woman.
However, it’s important to note that deer are generally more attracted to other types of smells. They are able to distinguish between human smells and deer-related smells. Furthermore, their sensory capabilities are more geared towards sniffing out food sources, such as vegetation, and their behavior is primarily driven by factors like hunger and the need for survival.
In other words, the nose of the deer will simply go where the instinct of the animal takes it. Human period smells are of low interest to these animals. If anything, it could warn the animal that humans are nearby. Which in turn could make a deer more cautious: it is likely that the animal would move in the other direction, away from the source of the woman’s period scent.
Precautions To Take While On Your Period
If you’re trying to encounter deer in the wild, it is unlikely they’ll be deterred (or conversely, attracted by) the smell of a woman’s period blood. There is no conclusive scientific evidence or research on this specific topic. However, on the off chance that the menstrual cycle might impact the behavior of wild deer, there are some precautions one might take to hide or mask the scent to the best of your abilities.
Women that are concerned about attracting or deterring deer while menstruating, could consider the following precautions to avoid disturbing the animals too much:
- Properly wrap used sanitary products: Used menstrual items should be extensively wrapped with paper towels and preferably kept inside a sealed plastic bag. This will avoid any odors from accidentally leaking out while on the road.
- Regularly practice good hygiene: Replace female sanitary products way more often than usual, in order to avoid deer from potentially smelling any menstrual blood while walking or hunting in the woods.
- Avoid leaving any strong scents or waste materials: Dispose of menstrual products without leaving them around in the local area, so as to not disturb the animals that can pick up on the scent. This usually goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how wasteful and careless humans can be in nature.
Do NOT Use Period Scent To Attract Deer
If you’re out hunting or spotting deer in the wild, it would be a very dumb and silly idea to use your period scent to attract bucks. Not only is it an ineffective way to attract deer to wherever you are in nature, but it also is simply unsanitary and will mainly attract the wrong crowd. And it’s not the crowd you’d probably expect…
You will be a thousand times more likely to attract a whole cloud of biting insects than to attract any deer in nature with menstrual blood.
Therefore, we would suggest using a whole range of more effective deer attractants you’ll find around the house. We might suggest some alternatives here that can be super effective to attract deer. What about using some peanut butter, an apple or two, or perhaps pumpkin seed oil? All of these options are way better (and more sanitary) than using period blood to attract deer.
How Long Can Deer Smell Human Scent?
It is extremely difficult to determine how long a scent might linger in nature. Deer are likely to be able to smell human scents immediately, up to several hours or even days. This will depend on a range of factors, including but not limited to environmental conditions, the intensity of the scent, as well as how sensitive the sense of smell of the individual deer is.
In general, deer have evolved to be cautious of any foreign smell that might indicate a potential predator. Any smell coming off of a human (including the smells coming off of a hunter’s gun) might trigger an animal to go the other way. At the very least, wild deer will become a lot more alert and cautious when detecting humans nearby.
Some human smells are stronger than others. The menstrual scents discussed in this overview are likely to leave a stronger odor in the immediate area for prolonged periods of time. This is definitely true if sanitary products have not properly been disposed of. But as explained, the cautious nature of a prey animal such as a buck is to avoid rather than seek out such scents.
Deer (Probably) Don’t Care About Your Period
It might be somewhat of a taboo topic to talk about a woman’s menstrual cycle and the natural scents that come with something like that. However, please know that this is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of. This cannot be emphasized enough.
If you’re a woman that likes to be active in nature (whether that is hunting or spotting wild animals), do not feel impacted by your monthly cycle whatsoever. As long as you take good precautions (bring sealable plastic bags for sanitary products), there should be no problem at all.
However, do be wary of other uninvited guests that might come after you, such as potential insects that are more likely to bite you. This is simply a fact of nature, something to be aware of. In any case, deer (including the male bucks in rutting season) will more likely avoid your period scent than be attracted by it. Stay safe out there, and enjoy your time nature!