Despite this ingrained hunter/gatherer heritage; man has become a civilized creature. Many of us have lost these once vital senses. Many humans no possess a natural sense of direction, a keen sense of hearing or smell. Some have purposely 'tuned out' these senses to block the bombardment of sensory overload that prevails in the modern world. However, through the long, evolutionary process, our senses have also atrophied from the lack of use. The keen senses that once protected humans from danger and insured our survival are no longer necessary because modern man gathers more and hunts less. Few of us use our senses strictly for hunting purposes anymore.
However, the most successful hunters concentrate on utilizing their natural senses. In the natural environment, our senses are stimulated and exercised. As a result, senses become sharper and keener and we begin to hear, taste and smell better. This may even explain why food always tastes better in camp.
For deer hunters, a constant awareness of scents, sounds and sights is key to success. Despite the fact that 'scent, scent free and no-scent' products have become a mini-industry within the hunting products industry; hunters spend little time concentrating on their own sensory awareness skills.
Try a few simple exercises to illustrate the point. Shut your eyes and listen to the wind. Take a few deep breaths and smell the air to see if you can taste it. Crumple a leaf and listen closely to the sound.
When one sense shuts down, others will compensate for the loss. When you can't see, you'll hear better; you'll feel the wind on your cheek and smell the mustiness of autumn's decay.
In the blackness of an early morning's watch, a hunter may hear every twig snap. But once the sun is is up, the sensory concentration focuses on what we can see rather than what we hear or smell.