Should You Dump From A Stump? - October 2009

Question: You explained about peeing from a treestand in one of your articles but how about number 2? I had a Illinois deer guide tell me last year to just carry a small shovel and dig a hole -- or hold it until I got back to camp. What do you think? -- Larry Gealy, Transfer, Pa.

Who would imagine that I could actually get paid to write this crap — literally and figuratively? I once wrote an article for a deer-hunting magazine that I tabbed as "Should You Pee from a Tree?" The editor changed it to "How Do You Spell Relief?" I liked my name better. He then joked that I could come back with a sequel called "Should You Dump from a Stump." See, we are all very mature in this business. So here it is — the much-anticipated sequel.

I'll keep the answer to your question short and simple. I would not dump from a stump. I doubt deer would be afraid of the actual odor, but I can't be sure of that. Also, I am certain they would not like the toilet paper. If I felt there was no possible way that I could get through my stand session without dumping from a stump, I would carry a small garden trowel in my pack, a dab of TP and do what the guide suggested — bury it.

When it comes to Peeing From a Tree, however, I am all in favor of just watering the forest from the stand platform. Let it rip! I have done this for many years and have had hundreds of deer come by my stands at close range. I have never seen a single one of them react to my puddles of relief.

Biologists tell me that urine breaks down into common organic compounds very quickly. Besides, there is no evidence that deer can tell human urine from animal urine even when it is fresh. From my own experiences, I would say that deer are more curious than alarmed when they do encounter fresh human urine — which is very rare.

Pee from a Tree all you want but I would avoid Dumping from a Stump or carrying a disagreeable Porta-Potty.

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