GET SERIOUS ABOUT SCENT ELIMINATION
Although I’m a big fan of commercial deer scents, I limit my usage to the basics: scent-killing soaps and sprays, and — during rut-time hunts — doe-in-estrous urines and synthetic lures. Scents are not magi- cal. They simply provide the hunter with one more tool for outsmarting a deer. Reducing human odor is the No. 1 key to any successful hunt. That’s why a serious scent-elimination plan is often the difference between goodness and great- ness. It’s even more important when hunting bucks.
My program is simple but rigid. I shower before every hunt, using a commercial product such as Scent Killer liquid soap from Wildlife Research Center. I then dress in non-hunting clothes (usually a
long-sleeve T-shirt and sweatpants) and pull on a pair of spare rubber boots that I use just for driving. I sometimes even go so far as to place a clean bed sheet on the seat of my car, because
the leather seat is a sure trap for foreign odors. My hunting clothes and boots stay sealed in
a zippered Hunters Specialties scent-proof bag or my Scent Crusher ozone gear bag until I’m at my hunting area. I usually park by some evergreens or a thick fence line and use them as my “dressing room.”
This approach might sound over the top. I’ve had many people laugh at me for “being a weirdo.” No skin off my nose. Ever since adopting this program, I’ve seldom been winded by deer while hunting. In fact, I can count those instances on one hand, and in all of the cases, I attribute sloppy preparation on my part as the reason why they smelled me.
I should note that my total-control program coincided with my use of activated-carbon suits. I’ve used suits from Scent-Lok and Robinson Labs, and found both to be very effective in reducing human scent. Admittedly, a recent scientific study concluded that activated-carbon suits didn’t do much to hinder the tracking ability of trained dogs. In my opinion, that study was inconclusive, because free- ranging deer are complete opposites. They do not walk the woods seeking human scent; they react to it.
I believe activated-carbon suits greatly diminish the amount of scent that’s emitted into the air. I also attribute many of my successful hunts for mature deer to the luxury of wearing a Scent-Lok activated-carbon suit while hunting stands placed upwind of preferred travel corridors.