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Scent control

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Rivenoak, Oct 10, 2019 at 8:55 AM.

  1. Rivenoak

    Rivenoak Member

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    I've been using scent controlling shampoo/body wash for like 5 years with pretty good results. I shower right before changing into my hunting clothes and then go straight to the stand. I keep my clothes in the garage and keep them out of the house where my wife always has some type of season appropriate candles or whatever. Recently I've switched jobs and now get off at 5pm which gets me in the stand and settled by like 630 due to drive time and traffic. Been debating taking my clothes in a pack and leaving them in my truck and changing in the field to save time. Thoughts on if this would wreck my hunting? I understand that you should hunt based off wind but I've only got two stands and very limited places to put them so scent control is something I've been a little crazy over.
     
  2. GAF

    GAF Member

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    You could put you hunting clothes in a plastic bin with dried leaves and pine needles.

    I have never use scent control, but the above idea might work for you.
     
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  3. beeenbag
    • Contributing Member

    beeenbag Contributing Member

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    just my personal experience, if you are up wind, there is very little you are going to do to stop a strange scent from making it to the nostrils of a downwind deer. If you are downwind, nothing short of being covered in the latest bottle of polo will cause you problems. Marketing will tell you otherwise though.
     
  4. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I try to keep it simple- I wash my hunting clothes in that scent free detergent separate from everything else and keep them in a rubbermaid plastic bin. I also use hunter's soap and deodorant.
     
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  5. hq

    hq Member

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    Hypoallergenic shampoo & soap for showering, much cheaper and just as effective as "scent control" products. I often hang my hunting clothes on the balcony the night before. Otherwise... never noticed a difference as long as you don't reek of aftershave. I smoke cigars on treestand too and the deer don't seem to mind the smell at all.
     
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  6. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    That's because cigars smell amazing.
    The hypo allergenic idea is something I'll try this year. Ideas like this are why I like this forum.
     
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  7. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    The leaves in a bag work good, I hunted a farm so I just left my stuff in the barn or helped out with farm chores with them on. I used to step in a few cow patties on the walk out.
     
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  8. hq

    hq Member

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    Oh, almost forgot one thing. If you prefer to shave during hunting trips (deer camp dress codes, anyone?), forget aftershave. Use regular wound disinfectant like Johnson & Johnson Band Aid instead. It evaporates completely and you won't smell like mexican brothel the whole day. :)
     
  9. rdnktrkr

    rdnktrkr Member

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    I've heard of people spraying apple juice on their boots and pants before walking to their stands as an attractant, I wash my hunting clothes in baking soda and store in a plastic tote with pine cones that I leave in the garage.
     
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  10. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I don’t use any scent control. I don’t use attractants either. I play the wind as best as I can and hope for the best.

    I am satisfied with my results.
     
  11. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    The place I hunt deer is about a half mile from a small hog operation...and the guy who rents the farm spreads pig poogoo on the cornstalks, in the field we are on the edge of.

    We hunt out of a homemade boxblind mounted on a boat trailer.

    We ride into the area on my buddies four wheeler.

    EVERY year we see deer, not a huge number, as the tract we hunt is tiny and nothing more than a pass through for the deer.

    We dont worry about scent control...the deer there are accustomed to seeing people and vehicles.

    We used to hunt sitting at bases of trees at this location, wearing blaze orange with a blanket over my legs, and had a small buck walk less then 10 feet from me, he was actually close enough I put down my phone ( was planning to snap a pic) and got my 44 ready...just in case he spooked and "attacked" in a panic
     
  12. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    No shampoo will prevent the constant emission of your stinky breath.
     
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  13. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    I was taught to roll around in leaves and stuff some in pockets. Worked for my grandpa and his parents.
     
  14. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Deer musk scent will bring deer to you and cover up your body odor. The problem is finding the 1 musk scent that works.
    The scent i used years ago would bring Pa. deer in to close in archery season. I started putting the lure on a 2"x2" cloth patch clipped to my jacket with a safety pin. When on stand, i placed scented patch up , 7 feet high, on a tree 20 yards away. 1 time , 3 buck come to patch. The 1 buck stood on hind legs to sniff the scented patch.

    Musk scent works in rifle season also. A small amount can be placed on boots and pants .

    Use Arrid Extra Dry antiperspirant unscented to help with body odor.

    Finding the correct scent is the hard part. https://www.fieldandstream.com/how-to-use-attractor-scents-lure-whitetail-bucks/ use doe "estrus".
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 8:58 AM
  15. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Like some of the others have said, I wash my gear in scentless soap and stow in in large plastic totes with white cedar boughs from the area I hunt. I do it a week or two before opening day and put everything back in the totes with fresh cedar boughs each night after hunting. Not sure it helps, but it don't hurt lol!

    Happy hunting folks
     
  16. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    The idea that you can eliminate your scent is moot. Reduce, yes, but not eliminate, regardless of those scent control products that advertise "hunt dead downwind" .

    Last week after doing all I could do to reduce my scent......including the washing of clothes in a odor eliminating soap and hanging them outside, taking a shower with odor eliminating soap immediately before going to stand and wearing rubber boots that sat outside the door for a week, my wife accidentally let my bird dog out of the cabin and I watched her follow my scent trail for 400 yards to the base of my tree and up three steps of the ladder. I figured if I stayed still and she didn't see me, she would leave. She didn't see me, nor did she know exactly where I was(probably because my immediate scent was in the air above her), but she knew I hadn't left, so she laid down at the base of the tree. My experience tells me that a deer's nose is as good as any bird dog's. So while I may have reduced the scent in my clothes, I could not control the scent my body produces or the secondary smells that accompanied me out to my stand. For a wary deer, they don't have to smell you, just something that ain't right. While I agree one should do all they can to reduce their scent and be aggressive about leaving as little of a scent trail as possible, you still need to play the wind and access your stand in a direction that won't alarm a wary deer. I've shot deer in the past where I hadn't taken a shower in a day, and in clothes I had slept in the night before, while having bad gas from an Italian sausage pizza. Sometimes the wind and luck are your friend.
     
  17. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    If the scent control products marketed to hunters worked, illegal drug traffickers would use them to avoid detection by dogs.
     
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  18. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    When I hear people talk about all the amazing things that they have done over their life or that their grandparents did or that Native Americans did in order to deal with scent control issues really indicates to me that either 1) almost anything works, or 2) it really doesn't matter. The information on scent control is so all over the board that I have to wonder what is reality and what is just wishful thinking overlaid on reality.
     
  19. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I wonder what scent control combined with rally caps would do?
    Probably wouldn't give the deer a sporting chance.
    September_RallyCap_700x400.jpg
     
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  20. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I don't necessarily think, "1) almost anything works", but that there are things that one can do to reduce or maybe confuse their scent. Similarly, a cover scent that may work in one area, may actively alarm deer in another. Back when we had horses on the property, I used to make a point of walking thru the meadow muffins to cover my scent. Worked great on the deer down there. Iffin I would wear the same boots to the north in the big swamp country, you could see any deer crossing my trail spook. Deer learn what the smells are in their area so even a natural scent, iffin it's outta place, can alarm them. Put gas in your car on the way to hunt and the smell of gas will probably alert or alarm any deer downwind of you, later when you're on stand. Mix it with some two stoke oil and hunt an area that has just been clearcut and it will not alarm even the wariest of bucks. Seems the "scent" business really took off in the mid to late seventies. I remember when the very first "Original Rut" scent came out. Bucks of all sizes, even on heavily pressured public land would come running in....now, by the time rut comes around, most bucks have smelled it to the popint that they are now leery of it. Anyone else remember when "skunk scent" was the big craze? Had to keep the bottle out in the back shed......even the stores around here would store it outside. You had to ask for it and they would go get you a bottle...after they placed it in a ziplock bag.

    as for "2) it really doesn't matter.", I have to agree that sometimes it don't. Like I said before with the right wind and stand position you can smell like a boy's High School Locker room. With a rifle that reaches out past your active scent cone, or at those distances where a running shot is high percentage, taking precautions is probably in vain. But for an archery or handgun hunter, every little bit can and will help. Still, the wind needs to be right or the deer very stupid. As I said before, deer associate certain smells with danger. Used to be around here when all the deer were in the big woods and swamps, any human scent put them on alert or gone. Nowadays with deer associating humans with food, either because of ag crops, food plots or feeders, I don't think scent, especially your foot scent, is as alarming to deer anymore. I have friends who, when and where it is legal to feed deer, will bang on the pail on the way out to the feeding area. At first it spooks the deer, but after a while they come out of the woods at a run to the feeding area as soon as they hear the pail getting hit, even it they don't get fed. If you have a pail in your hand, the deer will let you walk right up to them. Try it without a pail and they are gone.

    IOWs, one needs to be observant and know what is natural in their area. They also have to experiment and see what works and what doesn't for them in any given area. While one can reduce their scent and maybe camoflage it a little, there is not such thing as complete elimination or completely covering it up by just using hygiene and cover/attractant scents. For me, the majority of the time, I use clean clothes hung out in the area I will hunt and non-scented soaps. If I use some form of attractant, I use it sparingly. Last night I picked a coupla apples from a tree the deer prefer on my way to stand. Iate one and then rubbed the core over my clothes on the way into stand. I also stomped on one and crushed the apple into the treads of my boots because I have to cross a deer trail to get to that stand. Had a doe put her nose down to the trail I took in and follow it right to my tree and then smelled the rungs on my ladder. I'm gonna guess that wasn't a coincidence.
     
  21. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    I think scent control, or rather the need fir it will largely depend on where you are hunting.

    Around here, central Nebraska, the deer have seen farmers and ranchers their entire lives, along with the scents of their equipment and livestock, in other words, people scent is not out of the ordinary
     
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  22. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    Maybe I should have clarified with, "people will believe almost anything works." There seems to be such a constant and ongoing need by hunters to eek out whatever possible advantage they could have in order to have a successful hunt that they will believe, and often self deceive, almost anything. On numerous occasions I have heard hunters proclaim a successful hunt based on some new product or method they have tried. Never mind all of the other successful hunts they had without said product or method at the very same hunting spot.

    A buddy of mine went to wash his hunting clothes with his special, scent free detergent and could not find any in the cupboard. He (thought) had had been having his clothes washed in it for the last 7 or 8 years and had produced excellent results. He asked his wife (who usually did his laundry for me) where it was. There was a discussion because she was confused about exactly what he was talking about. Apparently, for the last 3 years, she had used the regular laundry detergent. They had run out of the scent free stuff and she never replaced it. He never knew the difference and the success of his hunting wasn't affected. However, he thought he was employing scent control and it gave him confidence in his hunting, LOL. This is an anecdotal story, true, but just a singular example, but I have to wonder if hunters were pitted against blind studies just exactly what they would discover was truly affecting the success of their hunts.
     
  23. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

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    My idea of scent control involves not eating beans the night before a hunt! I am a hunter in the Pacific Northwest and feel that a lot of products geared toward hunters are overrated at best. Where I hunt there have only been a couple of deer that have smelled me before they heard me coming. Most of the time they hear you a mile away, long before smell becomes a factor. Gotta love whitetail deer.
     
  24. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    You can NOT 'mask' human scent from any animal with an advanced Olfactory system (I.E. Hog, Deer, Canines, Elk, Bear, etc).

    You can 'REDUCE' your scent and that might prove important for you in many situations. Below I have cut and pasted my thoughts on scent control. It was in response to a question about Hog Hunting in another thread...but applies to the above as well:

    "I will give you my thoughts on Human Scent and how hogs may or may not react to it.

    I think it goes without saying that much of the stimuli hogs react to will vary with the amount of hunting pressure they receive and any 'previous' experiences from which they might have learned.

    But in terms of scent (human) alone: Most hogs in most environments have run across human scent. Hogs that live in close proximity to humans, encounter their scent and sounds almost daily.

    So the mere 'scent' of a human (whether yours or someone else's) is not what is alarming. How strong/fresh that scent is.... is the key to how they might react to it.

    ^^^^^ Here is my reasoning for the above 'theory' and I believe it holds true for any animal that regards human scent as a potential threat:

    1. A strong/fresh scent encountered will be interpreted as a 'threat' being close by (NOW) or having passed through very recently. In either case... the animal will be on high alert or choose to leave the area.

    2. A lesser scent (Old/Faint) will generally be ignored as the animal interprets this to mean the source of the scent is distant or has long ago passed through. Or the animal will want to first 'confirm' the presence of a threat with one of it's other senses (sight, hearing) before running away.


    This is why I always shower before going hunting, regardless the wind direction. I want to leave the least amount of scent 'possible' in the area.

    Hogs pretty much have the best nose in the business, capable of picking out a few Parts Per Million of scent (one from another). You AREN'T going to ever be scent free from a hog (unless downwind) and you certainly can NOT 'cover up' your scent with any product. This holds true for deer as well.

    A hog (or deer) might hear or see something...yet not be too concerned with it. But let it SMELL you and it requires no other confirmation.

    So you always want to minimize your scent and play to their natural reactions (not fearing a faint scent) and use that to your advantage.

    Of course, when possible... always stay downwind of your quarry. But that is not always possible and in some situations where there is no wind current, there are still 'thermals' at play....(either rising or falling air)."
     
  25. Ole Joe Clark

    Ole Joe Clark Member

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    We were at the rifle range last year, and I was shooting my ole .243, when I saw movement about the time I touched off a shot. It turned out to be a flock of turkeys. Evidently they had heard gunshots from the day they hatched, and thought nothing about it. They allowed us to walk to within about 20 feet of them when we checked our target. Noise and scent conditioning sometimes works.

    Have a blessed day,

    Leon
     
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