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When a Hunter Farts in the Woods...

Are there consequences for hunters with a leaky posterior valve?

Flatulate, toot, step on a duck, break wind, let toothless one speak, fart.. We’ve all had the experience of the internal pressure building to the point where we have to let a real rip snorter while we’re out deer hunting. Sometimes maybe they’re the sophisticated snobby ones that we think don’t stink, while others are real nose hair singe’ers that would peel the paint off the bathroom wall. Either way, what’s the affect of letting the ole fog horn roar when we’re chasing some of the most wary creatures in the woods, whitetail deer? Well, just like Harry in Dumb & Dumber, hold onto your toilet seat! We’re about to dive in and discuss the intricacies of the bain of the bowels - farts.

At deer camp many hunters see the ability to rip a rancid one (that make their friends writhe and gasp for air) as the true measure of manliness. In fact, competitions have been known to ensue over who can stank up the confined space of the cabin the most. There’s also the foghorn effect, where the loudest flatulence wins the prize and causes ore freighters to steer clear of the immediate vicinity. But lets look at the effect in the woods in these two realms of rear end raunch: stench and volume.

Stench: When it comes to smell, we know deer have extremely good sniffers. In fact, some studies show 500 to 1000 times better than humans, possibly more. The science is still out as to how much better, but it seems their capabilities are greater than previously thought. This may be hard to quantify, but let's try. Let’s imagine the smell of your trash in your kitchen (when you need to dump it and it is stinking up the house) as comparable to a hunter when we are relatively “clean.” Strong, pungent, just nasty. On this scale, if we are in the woods and attempt to slip a particularly unpleasant zephyr (unpleasant to our inadequate noses) past the nose of a deer (very fine tuned and highly sensitive nostrils), this would smell 500-1000 times stronger at a minimum. I can’t imagine how bad that would smell.. maybe comparable to a whole landfill of stench, or falling face first on a hot August day into a steaming pile of manure? Definitely something you don’t want filling the air at your hunting spot. Consequences? You bet! This is just a comparison obviously, but should bring pause to those whose mantra is “better to rip it and feel the shame, then hold it and bear the pain.”

Volume: Some might think that deer hearing is not a big deal. Well think again. Deer have 3 ways that their hearing is better than humans - their pinnae, their “sweet spot,” and the fact they hear ultrasonic frequencies. Their pinnae, or rotating ears, allow them to pinpoint the slightest noise, or pesky squeaker that happens to slip out. This will direct their eyes directly to you, the origin of the invasive vibration. BUSTED! They also hear best in certain frequencies where hunter noises (crunching leaves, breaking branches, etc.) typically fall. Now, I don’t know of any frequency tests of flatulence, but if we assume they fall in this same frequency range, then deer will pick up the slightest flapping of the ole gluteus maximus and be giving you the stinkeye as you pucker for the next 20 minutes. My guess, you’ll cave and rip another. GAME OVER! Last is the ultrasonic (or higher than humans can detect) hearing of deer. Are any of our vibrations from the land downunder ultrasonic (meaning you’re flapping at over 20,000 Hz and you can’t even hear this high as a dog whistle escapee)? More testing needs to be done, but if they are, you can bet deer will be honing in shortly on the source of this putrid sonic disturbance with great scrutiny. Again, not good for your chances when you’re trying to fool this wary creature of the woods. (for more on deer hearing CLICK HERE)

Sight: its’ a good thing whitetail can’t see our plumes of decadent bowel perfume, but if you’re close enough to make their eyes start watering then I guess you’re a pretty good hunter (and should give your diet a once over).

Comedic “relief” mixed with a little truth that may hurt more than a fart stuck sideways, but hopefully it makes us all consider the consequences of having a leaky posterior valve while hunting whitetail deer.