Can Deer Smell Thermacell?

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Deer is among the animals that spook easily and can turn and head in the opposite direction if it catches your whiff. Therefore, I am sure deer can smell thermacell fumes, but that will not spook them. If you have tried hunting deer, you know how challenging it is to keep calm amidst all the buzz of mosquitoes and pesky bugs. How can you even concentrate on hunting when mosquitoes are all over, biting you to sharp pain and the itchiness that follows? 

It is a calculated risk and, in this instance, thermacell tramps spooking deer. And the results are appealing as I am yet to record an incident where deer walks away because of the scent of thermacell. Perhaps they turn and leave before I see them. 

This article will show how thermacell is a necessary gear that every hunter should have if they want to wade away the mosquitoes and hunt deer successfully. 

Will Thermacell Spook Bucks?

The reason thermacell fumes do not scare deer away is that deer is a curious animal. Bucks may smell the thermacell fumes and instead investigate rather than spook. What you should avoid is letting deer associate thermacell with the human odor. The same applies to anything new that deer do not know as it will never link that smell with the human presence. 

To understand how deer reacts to thermacell, take the example of hunting using cover scents. There are many types of cover scents, and some even smell like vanilla. Most hunters who have tried using cover scents know how curious deer gets with a foreign smell. And this is what you want the buck to come and investigate when it is at ease. 

The human odor spooks the deer, and its body language will become scared and not curious.  One thing you should note is that the thermacell scent is not a masking scent. It is not as strong as the cover scent, and therefore you must remain downwind from where the buck is coming from. 

What Makes Thermacell Successful?

Thermacells has three significant parts that function together as a unit. There is the thermacell unit, repellant pads, and the butane cartridge. The process starts when you turn on the unit. Next, you fit the butane fuel cartridge, followed by the repellant. Once the unit heats the repellant pads, you will have up to 15-feet of cover fumes to protect you from the mosquitoes. 

There is no need for extra bugs and mosquito lotions or sprays. The thermacell fumes are enough to fend off the mosquitoes that would be buzzing on top of your head. Besides being potent to mosquitoes, thermacell fumes are not harmful to the hunter. It instead creates an invisible barrier that shields mosquitoes and bugs away from you. 

Over the years, there have been many improvements to the thermacell mosquito repellant. The concept remains the same, and the only difference is that the butane fuel heats the pads, as new models use a lithium-ion battery. The battery charges the internal element, which burns the pads, thereby releasing a protective odor. 

The repellant pads for both lithium-ion battery and butane fuel models do not have DEET and use different repellants. The lithium-ion uses metofluthrin, while the butane fuel model uses allethrin, respectively. However, both repellants act as the natural-occurring bugs and insect repellant flower, chrysanthemum. I have used both models, and in all instances, I was covered, and the thermacell fumes kept mosquitoes and bugs at bay. None was over my head or on my face buzzing annoyingly. 

Using Thermacell for Hunting Deer

When you put on the thermacell, it takes around 10-15 minutes before the pads heat up to optimum levels. Therefore, before climbing your tree stand, put on the thermacell, and carry it as you climb. 

One thermacell pad will give you protection for up to four hours. If you plan on taking more time, remember to keep time and replace it with a new pad. Remember to keep the thermacell upwind from where you are positioned. Always keep the fumes away from your face so that you may not inhale them. Because of the fifteen-foot radius of protection, you don’t need to position the thermacell next to you. If you are using a blind, you can attach it outside the window, and you will still be safe from bugs and mosquitoes. 

The thermacell should not make you feel invincible. Deer can still spook if it catches your human scent. Remain downwind from the deer and avoid unnecessary movements that may spook deer. 

Thermacell is a compact hunting gear that gives you extra protection while keeping your hands free and maintaining calm and steady hands. It makes the perfect addition to all outdoor and recreational activities besides hunting.


In my experience, you will spook more deer swatting away mosquitoes than if you use a thermacell. If deer smells the thermacell fumes and spooks, it may be because it has also caught your whiff. Thermacell fumes have a wide range of protection, including peace, to make hunting enjoyable instead of frustrating. 

Besides flies, wild flies and other crawling insects will not breach your 15-foot radius of invisible barrier. You can prepare for long day hunts without having to move stands as you wait for deer near its food or trail routes.   

There are many thermacell models in the market. Some are bulky while others compact. If you fancy traveling light, you can pick the most compact, and the results will still be the same. Even though the product is safe for human use, you must keep away the fumes from your face. You can hang it or place it beside you when on a tree stand. 

Deer will not spook because of thermacell, but it still makes sense to keep downwind from deer. Having used both the lithium-ion battery and butane fuel models, I see no comparative difference. But for aesthetic value and appeal, I prefer the lithium-ion battery-powered unit over the butane fuel model.  

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