Scent Control


October 8, 2010, 10:51 AM
Im making a serious push for deer this year (mainly hunt waterfowl) and am buying into the scent control to helpfully maximize my hunts. Clothes, boots, soap, the whole 9 yards but does anyone address possible scent given off by new treestands? It might be OCD but is it a valid concern? How do you mitigate?

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October 8, 2010, 10:59 AM
I use the wind. I've found that going to all the effort to cover, conceal, or control my scent, isn't worth it. I simply try and control the direction that my scent travels. I use the wind.

My experience is that they can smell me when I'm clean, covered, and concealed. Just a couple weeks ago, I was set up at sunset at the edge of some dark woods, and a bull elk came out to graze for the evening. He was too close for me to move at all, and he made his way to a spot that was directly down my wind stream. Once he hit my scent, he jumped and flailed about as if he'd peed on an electric fence. He then made his way out of the area, but not too quickly. The smell spooked him, but he didn't have any other sensory data (sight, hearing) associated with the smell, so he wasn't outrageously panicked. He was just uncomfortable.

But I've also stood directly upwind of an animal that was staring directly at me, not 40 feet away. I stood perfectly still, and he craned his neck from side to side, trying to get a look around me, to see what it was that he could smell. He then just slowly continued doing what he was doing. He wasn't really spooked at all.

October 8, 2010, 11:07 AM
If the stand is going to be out in the weather for a while before I use it I normally won't use a scent remover. If it's coming out of the box and directly on a hunt then I'll usually spray a scent remover on it the night prior, let it sit outside on my lanai, then use a dirt scent cover on it in the morning.

I sprayed my hub blind down when I first set it up the same way.

October 8, 2010, 01:27 PM
Interestingly enough Mythbusters most recent episode had them using some pretty extreme scent blocking techniques and products to fool a bloodhound..None of which worked in the slightest and by all indications I've read a deer can smell darn near as well as a dog

if downwind deer can ALWAYS smell you, the deciding factor is how pressured they are and if they perceive you as a threat. IME some deer are just plain curious too and will actually check you and your smell out.

My advice is to spend the $$$ you would have wasted on scent concealment on delicious beef jerky and more ammo for target practice

October 8, 2010, 02:43 PM
Yes, deer can always smell you. As long as you are exhaling you'll never be scent free.

However, my equipment doesn't breathe. And most equipment fresh out of the package usually has a chemical smell of one sort or another that will spook game. I don't think spraying down equipment is a bad idea or a waste of money.

Using it on myself is another story. I use it, but I don't buy into the 99% effective crap. I think it can buy you a little extra time when the wind isn't perfect but it still comes down to hunting the wind being the most important.

I don't buy into, nor will I ever purchase scent lok or carbon activated clothing and I have a proposal for anyone that does. I'm going to eat at Taco Bell, put on Scent Lok clothing and we're going to spend the night in a closet together. You'll quickly find that those clothes aren't holding ANYTHING in.

And I'm almost positive that a bloodhounds sense of smell is far beyond a deer. I think it may even be beyond a hog but I'm not sure. They're impressive animals when it comes to scent.

October 8, 2010, 02:54 PM
I know people that smoke in their treestand and always get nicer deer than I do. It is more about location, and wind. I usually think more about masking than hiding. Fox urine seems to present an image of something different than a big ugly mean guy.

October 8, 2010, 03:21 PM
It depends on what the deer have been conditioned to. Deer will wind you most of the time that they are downwind no matter what you do to fool them. You are constantly giving off scent. Treestand smell isn't going to make a lick of difference. I like to play the wind, and if I'm feeling really techy I grind up some juniper berries and smear them on my clothes.

October 8, 2010, 04:26 PM
Another one that I've heard of is people making tea from hickory or mesquite trees. They basically turn it into saw dust then boil it in water, wait for the water to cool and then put it in a spray bottle.

I sprayed my blind down when I first put it out because it had a very heavy plasticy-chemical smell. Basically, that new tent smell. If I could smell it even a retarded deer upwind could.

October 8, 2010, 08:17 PM
Scent control is overrated. No real reason to use it, just a money making industry. Treestand hunting, which I can't even do, makes it less of a concern, so I wouldn't worry about it.

October 9, 2010, 02:38 PM
I've tried the scentlock when it first came out and scent killing soaps and potions, never really made a difference if the wind is blowing the wrong direction. There is some merit to cover scents I believe, some cedar oil (crushed cedar berris mixed with water) in a spray bottle seems to do the trick. ( I hunt lower to the ground 4' box blind). About 4-5 days before season, I take my hunting clothes and put them in a plastic bag with fresh cedar branches.

October 9, 2010, 05:54 PM
I use the wind. I've found that going to all the effort to cover, conceal, or control my scent, isn't worth it. I simply try and control the direction that my scent travels. I use the wind.

This is the real deal. Wind will make you or break you no matter how many layers of scent lok you have on. Don't get me wrong, I don't think scent lok can "hurt" your chances and might even improve scent control, but if your directly down wind you're pretty much toast for a mature bull/buck. It wouldn't surprise me if I have spooked a lot of game I never even saw due to random changes in wind direction.

October 9, 2010, 09:58 PM
I Hunt ALOT....and I never use scent control, ever. During skin freezing winter and summer because of misquitos, basic hygene is a challenge. Often 3 days is my limit, but circumstance can interfere a few days more .......

Use the wind, as many have suggested, and you will do fine.

October 10, 2010, 07:52 AM
On a previous hunt say 4 years ago I did not wash my clothes in a scent blocker or baking soda. Mistake you learn from which you knew to do in the first place. I was hunting from a tree stand with my bow in archery season and a nice mature doe walks up so I decide to draw on her.

Once I am up in full draw with my Martin, whoop there goes the white flag and she caught on to me and took off. Ruined the hunt and she was a goner. It is always the mature doe who ruins the hunt they can pick you out! Anyways like i said you learn from stupid mistakes. Use scent blocker if you are out in the open.

October 10, 2010, 07:56 AM
By the way store your dedicated hunting clothes in a air tight container of trash bags. I sometimes keep my camo in a trash bag with leaves from around my hunting location if I am not in a box blind. I wash my hunting clothes in baking soda...eliminates odor. I see no need to buy scentlok or those several hundred dollar systems. I do use the simple/cheap spray that blocks scent from walmart or cabelas.

timney t
October 10, 2010, 11:24 AM
so far i have yet to really worry about the wind .... cause it's raining cats and dogs every weekend i go out, lol.

October 10, 2010, 11:26 AM
Like a lot of you folks here I've always maintained that scent control this that and the other has always been way over rated. But as the saying goes fools and there money always part.:)

October 10, 2010, 12:56 PM
last year the only deer that gave me a shot was on the day that I forgot my scent stuff, my hunting clothes and most importantly my hunting boots. im sure my feet were putting off quite a fragrance because i was wearing my every day shoes. I have to agree with everyone else here... the wind is the biggest factor, but that doesn't mean you can't be smart and control the scent you broadcast as much as possible.

October 17, 2010, 10:29 PM
Scent control does help but it's not magic. It only works for a couple hours and only if done right. If you make mistakes like oiling your rifle, or otherwise spook the deer it won't help at all. Unless your are willing to put in the effort
of going whole hog and work with it's limitations it won't help. But it can and does work. I've successfully used scent control it many times but have also failed to fool deer. It doesn't make you invisible or quiet or scentfree. It just very temporarily can greatly reduce your scent if done completely.

Lou McGopher
October 18, 2010, 10:54 AM
I can't speak for the efficacy of scent control solution.
But if a deer's sense of smell is anything like a dog's simply masking the scent with a stronger scent won't work. The animal will simply smell both scents.

October 18, 2010, 11:35 AM
You're never going to be entirely scentless; so go the other route: Leave some dirty laundry in your blind.

But i wouldn't start this technique in the week before opening day...

October 18, 2010, 11:49 AM
My advice is to spend the $$$ you would have wasted on scent concealment on delicious beef jerky and more ammo for target practice
Uh-huh. Playing the wind is your best bet. The scent control products may help a little (though I doubt very much) but I wouldn't waste the money.

October 18, 2010, 03:43 PM
Scent Lock Suit-$275... Scent Lock Gloves-$24.99...Scent Lock Face Mask-$37.99...The art of not wasting your money and learning to hunt with the wind-PRICELESS

October 18, 2010, 08:52 PM
I don't buy into the scent free clothes(scentblocker charcoal suits), but I do control my scent. Baking soda when washing clothes, scent free soap for showers, careful storage of hunting clothes with local cover scent (juniper branches), not filling gas tank in hunting clothes, etc. I bow hunt and have known when I'm busted on scent. I also play the wind...every bit helps. We have a 3.5 month deer season and can get some very wary animals.

October 19, 2010, 12:05 AM
I've never used scent control, but I have a question about it. Is the scent control everyone on this thread is talking about things that mask human scent? What about the products that claim to make you smell like doe or cow urine? Does that work?

I was once at an art show, and a guy there had tons of close up shots of elk, wolves, deer, etc. I asked him how he got so close to the animals. His answer: "cow elk urine."

October 19, 2010, 12:23 AM
What about the products that claim to make you smell like doe or cow urine? Does that work?

Good question. I never went that route. I imagine, mature wild animals can tell a distinct difference between chemically induced products and real wild animal passings. I could be wrong though. You just need to put in for unit 12 A every year avs. Your lucky to live in Arizona.

October 19, 2010, 10:01 AM
Yes, doe urine, especially doe in heat, works well. I'm sure there are people who will say it doesn't but I've watched buck stop to lick the spots where I've put it.

To their undoing I might add.

While we're on the subject of scents and lures, another product everyone swears by is C'Mere Deer. Stuff doesn't seem to work for my deer. I had a pile of it in front of a camera and have pictures of deer walking right by it.

October 19, 2010, 12:43 PM
lmao, yeah the guys that push that C'mere deer also push that junky "Thwacker" broadhead. Some deer may respond to it but like anything take what they advertise with not a grain, but a couple of pounds, of salt

October 20, 2010, 07:32 PM
They can sometimes attract deer but they also attrack attention to you. 2 years ago I used Golden Estrus deer scent, a 14 pt buck came in and I got him. Used the same stuff last year and nada. IMHO they might work once in an area. But deer hard hard to fool twice with the same trick.

October 20, 2010, 09:54 PM
Never owned, nor do I plan to own any scent-blocking clothing. I use the wind. I use unscented soap and such just because ocean breeze or whatever else my wife has in the shower is probably a little more scent than I'd like.

Hunting clothes get thrown in a barn, or buried in the back yard for a few weeks. I have yet to try the "tea" method, but I may give it a shot this year for some of my new gear.

October 20, 2010, 11:12 PM
I am not going to spend the coin on scent blocking clothing. I do take a shower and spray my clothes with silver scent. i don't know how much it helps its just my routine. Main concerns for me is sudden movements and wind. You can move around in your stand get up stretch reach just do it slow. Pay attention to the wind and your golden. Heck i have urinated out of my stand i don't know how many times, smoked, drank coffee. All of my stands are 15' up or less. With all of my lack of scent controll I still arrow 2 or 3 deer a year. Most of my shots on deer have been well within 20 yards.

Camo in my opinion is another money trap. I have been able to spot and stalk within 30 yards of animals including turkey wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt. Uncle sams BDU's are just as effective as real-tree, mossy-oak, and seculsion asphalt 4-f. Which is the mall ninja's prefered pattern.:neener:

October 20, 2010, 11:38 PM
Camo in my opinion is another money trap.

Back when I first started hunting (I know I know back in the dark ages hush!!!) I dont know how many deer I killed wearing blue Jeans and flannel shirts and you know what??? I don't think I ever heard a deer complain about my wardrobe when I was killing it!!! While camo does aid in lots of situations, common sense is your best tool. Leafy camo really does help hide you though just by breaking up your outline if you do goof up so it's not TOTALLY useless.

October 21, 2010, 07:17 AM
For deer camo isn't needed. For turkey wearing camo was a safety thing because if you walked into the woods wearing anything red or blue you were pretty much a goner.

Uncle Mike
October 21, 2010, 02:21 PM
When we where young(er), we used to do the 'scent free' efforts, oh yeah, the special soaps, cover scents, hunting clothes in a sealed plastic bag with pine branches, pee into a bottle, spit chew into another bottle, wearing the latest in camouflage clothing, only to watch the old guys hit the woods in blue jeans, stinking of old spice and camel non-filters drag out deer time and time again!

Watch the air currents and spend your cash on ammo and UV blocker and non phosphorescent laundry detergent that tones down your clothing's 'glow'.

October 21, 2010, 03:16 PM
UV blocker and non phosphorescent laundry detergent that tones down your clothing's 'glow'

Excellent point Mike. Deer see in a totally different "spectrum" than we do. They see the Phosphorescent glow from laundry detergents (most have them added for "color safe" washing).

October 21, 2010, 09:28 PM
Pee in a bottle or doe estrus is another huge waste of money IMHO. So what we are saying is wind is more important that gadgets. I don't care what ole Jim Shockey trusts his life to this week. Its probably overhyped crap that will not make you a better hunter.

October 21, 2010, 10:10 PM
In all actuality, the only thing that makes them "better hunters" is the money to get into the good spots and the money to be able to dedicate full time to hunting. That money comes primarily from sponsorship of all these products that the makers try to make us believe we so desperately need. Plain and simple marketing.

October 26, 2010, 10:50 AM
I will say this. If your going to use a permanent stand, you will have a tougher time shooting mature trophy deer if thats what you want. For younger deer you will be fine but trophies are not stupid and will change their pattern if they see or sense a permanent stand. Dont use any oil on the stand if its squealing unless its odor free oil. Stay away from urine like fox urine for cover scents because you never know what kind of experience that particular deer has had with foxes, skunks, etc. Hunt the wind even if it means staying home that day. Your best bet is to set up along a drainage if you can, finding a trail that leads to and or from a feeding spot. I only use scent free laundry detergent all year long so my dryer is not contaminated with perfume. Use scent free soap and deodorant a month before the season starts. Be careful what you eat as you will sweat out things like onions. Be aware of the gun oils you use as they can stink. I keep all my clothing in heavy duty trash bags with fresh cut foliage in the bag with the clothes. I too use scent lock clothing but the wind is the key. Wear rubber boots. Wear gloves while climbing the stand to keep your skin oil off the ladder. Dont wear your hunting clothes in the house or to go to walmart. Spray the bottoms of your boots with scent killing spray. If you dont mind heights, consider hunting higher if you can do so safely with harnesses attached. I make it a point to walk through mud on my way to my hunting spots if I can.

October 26, 2010, 11:46 AM
Brettrow, you have fallen under the spell of the "market" my friend. I was killing "trophy" deer before 3/4 of the stuff you said was out on the market with a Hand made longbow, wearing blue jeans and a flannel shirt. Just hunting the wind and using some common sense. I have hunted from permanent stands for many moons. Deer will avoid it for a short time, but once they see no danger for a couple of weeks they will fall back to that trail. Just build it a couple of months at least before season and it is fine. As far as the washing and drying, I line dry my hunting clothes. While cammo does help, the high dollar stuff is not as necessary as the "market" wants you to think. Anything that will break up your outline and help "meld" you in with your surroundings works just fine. As far as that fox urine statement, that may have some merit to it.

October 26, 2010, 12:27 PM
I never got anto all the clothing or aftermarket scent control prducts except body soaps. I have used plan oll Arm & Hammer as my scent control and cleaner / cloths wash. Add dry to your camo helps and mixed well then put in a spray bottle for basic scent control spray when hot or on the hunting gear. Even the unscented roll=on for you with the powder. To much junk on the market. I do use a little doe pee and tarsel when the rut comes time around the stand and on a drag BUT watch behind you as you walk. Put clothing in a bag with different leaves for natural scent on camo. Don't wash with the rest of your clothing useing regular cloth detergents. I know this works . I have had deer sleep with in 20 feet of my stands and woke myself up snorring to see several deer look'n at me but not jumpy way to many times. Even played with old does and younger bucks to see how much you can get away with when well como'd and have your scent controlled. I do cover my hands and face but all may camo as Old stuff.

October 27, 2010, 02:07 PM
Lol, perhaps I have but I dont see anything wrong with using modern technology to hunt. Yes, the wind is your best friend or worst enemy. But I guess you could say buying camo and hunting gear to me is like shoes and purses to a woman, Im addicted to everything hunting. I have had good luck with carbon clothing and if whether I hunt on my farm or spend a few grand on a hunt I want to do all I can to raise my chances of success. Especially if Im bow hunting.

November 1, 2010, 04:00 PM
You know your scent control is working when the trophy deer that has eluded everyone for years, trails you up more than once. Even made a scrape and peed in it right beside the tree where I hung my scent pads that I wore into the woods. Deer season was still weeks away on this encounter.

Like others have said, I try to eliminate any unnatural odors that could spook the wild life. That family of squirrels that plays all around my treestand can't find me unless they join me in the same tree. I'm generally more than 15 feet up and could get to 25 feet in an older tree climbing stand. I hunt the largest hill in the area (breeding hill). The thermals travel uphill in the mornings so my scent would not be a factor from how close I get to the top of the hill plus the height of my stand.

It was a 30 minute hike from the truck to the hill so I was covering a large area. I used rubber boots and had wool pads with just a general deer scent on them. Most of my clothes would be in my back pack so I would not work up a sweat on the hike in. Just before I walked into the area I could cover from my stand, I would spray more scent control on my clothes. I never noticed any deer getting spooked as they crossed my trail to the hill. In fact, that's how I got the trophy buck. He stopped on my trail and turn towards me. He was shot just outside the thicket I was in about 15 yards away. Several deer hungout in that thicket with me and never knew I was there. You could see the whole area from inside the thicket. Then the deer would ease out into the whiteoak trees to feed.

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