Saturday afternoon, fellow school teacher Doak Harbison and I went deer hunting in Botetourt County. We were afield in a blind that features an expansive field to the south and another field to the north of the blind. To the west lies a bedding area and to the east a hedgerow.
The wind was coming out of the east and about 5:00 P.M., we saw a mature doe leaving the bedding area and heading toward us. But at a distance of about 125 yards, the doe began acting extremely nervously and then began staring at our blind.
The doe's agitation continued for well over a minute when she seemed to settle down and resumed her course toward us. She did so, we believed, because the wind temporarily died down at that moment.
But soon the wind increased to what it had been - about 15 mph -, the doe immediately stopped, resumed staring at the blind, then suddenly turned and fled.
I have observed the keen sense of smell of a whitetail many times before - and will no likely witness it again. We hunters can cover ourselves with various scent prevention concoctions, but when the wind is not in our favor, I would speculate that most of the time our chances for success are doomed.