Most hunters plan on being in your tree stand for three to four hours and, in some situations, can even consider pulling an all-dayer. Few people can go that long without having to relieve themselves… but what are you supposed to do 20 feet off the ground?
To be frank, I just pee out of the stand. I know—nothing is going to have my fellow hunters throwing their hands up more because few things are as controversial in the hunting community. It’s a long-held belief among hunters that human urine will scare off deer faster than a foghorn, while there’s also a camp that claims it can actually work as a deer attractant.
I’m here to set the record straight. Human urine does not scare off deer. Whether you pee out of your stand is a personal decision based on your own scruples.
Does Peeing Out of a Tree Stand Scare Away Deer?
Peeing out of a tree stand will not scare away deer. A specific study on the issue found that, if anything, deer are more drawn to human urine than other buck urine, though the most attractive is the urine of a doe in estrus.
Deer experts like Dr. Jame Kroll from Stephen F. Austin University agree. Your pee won’t scare away deer and may even attract them if they’re curious about it.
Is It Legal to Pee Out of a Tree Stand?
Okay, so we’ve cleared up that you’re not going to spook any deer… but does that mean you can just whip it out in the middle of the woods to take a leak?
From a legal standpoint, there don’t appear to be any laws (That I can find) prohibiting the act in the U.S. However, local regulations or specific land rules might address such behavior, especially if it’s on public land or a hunting lease. Always check local guidelines and prioritize ethical hunting practices.
To be clear, I’m not a lawyer, and laws vary from state to state and county to county, but generally speaking, it’s perfectly legal to pee in the woods if no one can see you. If someone can see you, they could complain, and you could be charged with public indecency. Additionally, if you’re hunting on someone else’s land, they may not appreciate you peeing on certain plants.
Otherwise, you’re probably good to go.
If you aren’t comfortable peeing in the great outdoors, or I didn’t convince you that you won’t spook any game, there are plenty of ways to relieve yourself without peeing out of your tree stand:
- Extra bottles: Bring water in a few small bottles instead of one big one. Once you’ve finished one, you can pee into it. Then, throw it in a dumpster on your way home.
- Between hunts: If you follow my guidelines for when and how long to hunt, you’ll likely have a break between your morning, midday, and evening hunts. Go into town and take a leak.
- Dedicated urinal products: You can actually buy portable urinals. I’m dead serious. These are basically plastic bottles with designs that make them easy to pee in and seal. Many are even scent-proof.
Finally, if none of these options work for you, you can always just hold it. Just know it’s going to be hard to aim a bow if you’re trying to hold your bladder at the same time!
For more, check out How to Bowhunt From a Tree Stand | All You Need to Know.
Christian grew up in the Ozarks where he spent much of his childhood on his grandparents’ homestead learning about guns, hunting, and the great outdoors.
An avid traditional bowhunter, much of his writing covers this and other similar topics, but he also covers just about everything from history and economics to motorcycles.
See more of his work at ChristianMonson.com.