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Hunting Myth Buster: Do ATVs Spook Deer?

do atvs spook deer

We all have that one buddy who loves his ATV during deer season. 

If you’re like me, though, you have to ask yourself if an ATV is really that great of a tool for deer hunting. In my opinion, an ATV is pretty much the best way to spook deer humanly possible. As you would guess, many hunters don’t share that same opinion. However, many do. After trolling countless hunting chatrooms and websites, here’s what the Internet has to say about this oft-discussed and controversial topic.

Not to anyone’s surprise, the answers are largely mixed. Thousands of hunters use ATVs all season long with great success. Some are more strategic than others. What it all comes down to is conditioning your deer to the use of your ATV.

spook deer

We all know deer get used to tractors in the field. That is just not case for ATVs. With that being said, there are some exceptions. If a hunter were to use an ATV to check cameras once a week, or drive around the property several times a month, deer would eventually become accustomed to these sights and sounds and not run two counties away when one approaches in the dark the morning of opening gun season.

Do not believe a single person when they tell you an ATV allows a hunter to sneak into the woods by not allowing a scent trail. Deer use other senses than smell, too. For example, they can hear thing pretty good also. Just imagine yourself sleeping in your bed and somebody drives an ATV across your living room. Would you hear it? Well, deer have better hearing than you, too.

If you are one of those people who loves your ATV, do yourself a favor and make sure the deer on your property have heard it a time or two before opening morning. Otherwise, your neighbors will thank you for pushing all your deer their way.


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Hunting Myth Buster: Do ATVs Spook Deer?