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Your scent control methods, thoughts or list?

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
I did a mediocre job tonight. I’ll be very clean later but I will pay very close attention to wind.
I’m not PERFECT but I’m also not “smoking 12 cigarettes with wind going who knows where in same clothes I wore for 3 days straight”. I’d say on better end of control. Wind still trumps any of this. IMO.

This helps if u reduce your mistake areas, like…. touching smelly things, old detergent, getting really sweaty on way to stand, etc etc. I think it helps. Doesn’t hurt. Then play wind. But that’s me. What all u guys do?
 

BearCreek

New Member
I wash my gear in July/August with a garden hose and let it air dry in the hot sun for couple days. I just don't trust the washing machine with my outer garments given that my wife uses scented detergent with regular laundry. Outer layers are put on at the stand or at least in the field, which I do mostly to prevent sweating. I will spray my boots occasionally and walk through my pond when possible. All that being said, I'm in the camp that a downwind deer will smell me regardless of my scent control methods. Hunt the right stands on the right days, stay out of the woods when conditions are wrong. Although, I never seem to have that much success in the field so maybe I'm doing it wrong!
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
I do basically the exact same thing. I'll hang up my clothing to be in the outdoors/wind for a few days. I store it, including during the season, in a tote that I'll put leaves and sticks in. I change at the hunting location putting on my hunting clothes, I don't wear there in the house, vehicle, store etc. If I have a farther walk I put on the outer garments on at the stand.

Biggest thing that drives me nuts is even wearing the base layers only walking in I usually still sweat and I know some of that gets on the jacket etc and also the fact that then I can get cold. It could be 20 degrees out and i'll still sweat walking in in just my base layers. Then I sometimes get cold after sitting for a bit because I sweat. Primarily my back, it just sweats.
 

showstopper

PMA Member
I am by far not an expert but I do have some success with deer that sneak down wind of stands from time to time. I really feel like nothing is 100% but reactions are minimal with curiosity being piqued more than deer spooking out of the area most of the time when deer get down wind.

One disclaimer I will throw out there is my wife and I have sensitivities to fragrances so we use free and clear detergent on all of our clothing year round (bonus that definitely helps). Starting in September, I use the green hunter specialties (green colored) shampoo and body wash on my hair until after hunting seasons close. I also use Dove sensitive skin bar soap year round (since I have skin reactions to scented soaps). Also, during Sept thru January, I also exclusively use Arm and Hammer unscented deodorant and anti-perspirant. Absolutely no fragrance used on my body from September through January.

As far as clothes go, I wash them in camo shampoo with no UV and hang them outside to dry. I have an old scent-lok plastic storage container with a good rubber seal that I use for storage of accessories, extra socks, gloves, facemasks, and extra camo. I had an ozone duffle bag that finally just wore out so I took the ozone unit to that and attached it to the scent lok container to make a second ozone storage unit. I bought a new duffle bag and use that on my way to hunt (it's about 30 min).

You may think this is overthinking it but it really does work well for me. I will wake up in the morning (or about 30 min before leaving for PM hunt) and turn on my duffle bag that has the socks, sock liners, glove, facemask and my base layers (first lite mismatched camo that I bought for cheap at end of season sale 6+ yrs ago). I also have a full set of uninsulated coveralls in with this stuff. I will put on sock liner, socks, base layers, coveralls and boots for the drive to where I hunt. On the way there I will have the outer gear I am wearing that day in the duffle to get a 15 minute cycle of ozone treatment. Once I arrive to hunt, I put on my safety harness, attach my outer layers to my backpack and head to hunt. I do not put on any outer layers until I am up in the tree and hooked into my harness. There are some mornings that I am really cold walking to the stand, but rarely am I ever sweating after my walk to the stand (if hot, I will tie my coveralls around my waist and/or walk with my shirt up to stay cool).

Once I am done hunting, I put the outer gear and any hats or gloves used in the dufflebag for a 15 min cycle on the drive home. Once I'm home the outer layers get put into the storage container. I then remove my coveralls, base layers and anything else I used for the hunt (base layers inside out) and run them for a 15 min cycle in the duffle bag.

I will add that when I'm walking to the stand, I also use ever calm deer herd in a stick on the toes of my boots at the start of my walk and then reapply about 100 yds or so from the stand I'm sitting in. Even if I rub against something that scent typically chills them out.

I don't typically post on here but I like reading everyone's posts! I hope you can take something from here that helps you and possibly allows you to have more success in the field. Best of luck this season!!!
 

Obsessed

Well-Known Member
Like others, I'm just a big sweaty dude. If the wind isn't blowing, I like to cut and split firewood in a T-shirt when it's 30-40 degrees outside. Otherwise I'm a sweating, stinking mess within a couple of minutes. With that being said, I've found sweating to be realistically unavoidable in the field. I'll still wash my gear frequently, but I know that playing the wind is always my best bet. I've walked miles in 80 degree temps and shot deer within 15 yards on the ground, only because the wind wasn't blowing my stank into their nostrils. I've also gone to great lengths to get into a stand without working up a sweat and have a slight wind swirl have every deer within 200 yards of me blowing and heading for the hills.

Something that I have found is that deer in BFE, that are rarely around people, are UBER spooky to human scent. They may not know it belongs to a human, but they know it's something different and they don't like it at all. It doesn't matter how much or little of it you're wafting in the air for them to smell. You're busted.

Deer that have frequent interactions with people or are at least are near people and their smells, are WAY LESS spooky to human scent. They're MUCH more forgiving, even if they are directly down wind.

My 2 cents.
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Pretty similar process with a few things different.

  • Dedicated washer & dryer
  • If it touches my skin (socks, boxers, undershirt) it goes in my dirty pile after every hunt to be washed. I have enough to limit in-season washing to once a week if I’m going hard. Couple weeks if just hunting sporadically.
  • Also like to hang outside. From there it goes to my hunting room which is basically sealed off. Everything is on hangers. In there I have commercial ozone
  • Whatever I am going to use for the hunt goes from the hunting room to a tote into the back of my truck. Always change in the field. (Late season I am far less carful as I am playing the wind and back up away from them)
  • Boots- Wash extremely well. Try not to ever wear but in the field
  • Shower before every single hunt. Make sure to pre-wash a scent free towel. If I’m hunting morning and afternoon but not all day I am taking two showers a day.
  • Some might laugh, but when I went to a buzz cut it was for scent reasons. Now my hair is just like that all the time…. Haha.
  • I don’t use any of the sprays
  • I don’t use any in-field ozone
  • I don’t use any in-field scents/attractants of any kind
  • Ozone in vehicle
  • PLAY THE WIND
 

loewmd

Member
I wash my clothes in scent free detergent and dry with HS dryer sheets occasionally. Other than that I don't do much. I have stopped using sprays. I have an ozone bag which I think is worthless as I can smell the ozone and the deer certainly can as well plus it doesn't take long before the clothes are sweaty and stinky again. I used to be a lot more of a scent control freak but I realized it became more work and took the fun out of hunting. I haven't noticed much if any difference in my sightings. To me yes a scent control freak can minimize their scent but a deer will still smell you. How that deer reacts I believe varies by an individual deer's personalities and experiences. Most of the downwind deer people claim never smell them are doing so due to thermals. At the end of the day do what gives you the most confidence while still enjoying the outdoors. I would also add I know a guy who's stomach was giving him fits so he climbed out of his stand and took a dump and climbed back in the stand. 20 min later he rattles in the largest buck he's ever harvested which I believe grossed 178 so who knows.
 

DMarley83

DMARLEY83
I wash my clothes in scent free detergent and dry with HS dryer sheets occasionally. Other than that I don't do much. I have stopped using sprays. I have an ozone bag which I think is worthless as I can smell the ozone and the deer certainly can as well plus it doesn't take long before the clothes are sweaty and stinky again. I used to be a lot more of a scent control freak but I realized it became more work and took the fun out of hunting. I haven't noticed much if any difference in my sightings. To me yes a scent control freak can minimize their scent but a deer will still smell you. How that deer reacts I believe varies by an individual deer's personalities and experiences. Most of the downwind deer people claim never smell them are doing so due to thermals. At the end of the day do what gives you the most confidence while still enjoying the outdoors. I would also add I know a guy who's stomach was giving him fits so he climbed out of his stand and took a dump and climbed back in the stand. 20 min later he rattles in the largest buck he's ever harvested which I believe grossed 178 so who knows.
I can relate to most of this. Have archery hunted roughly 30 yrs now. Have been way overboard about controll, now pretty close to sligh method. Wash, hang/ store outside under covered porch more or less all season and that typically erodes throughout the season. Shower prehunt when possible but now being dad of 3 more importantly hunt when possible!

Have fun!, Play the wind, don't be completely ignorant to scent controll but no need to obsess either.

Most scents have proven to be a gimic to me however others swear by them.

If I feel I am getting busted to often then I would probably take a closer look at my scent controll/ stand selection methods.
 
I have a friend who is a chemist in a federal crime lab and a hunter. He claims scent eliminating clothing is the biggest scam in the hunting industry in a long time. The tech is based on a carbon layer that absorbs scent. Carbon absorption is used in crime labs whereby a carbon strip is placed in a sealed container of usually explosive or arson type evidence, it’s heated , off gases and the product is absorbed by the strip. The carbon is then placed in a gas chromatograph that hopefully identifies the chemical compounds present.
Scent Lok etc is based on that tech.

He says the problem is the carbon layer in the clothing is saturated with scent by the time it leaves the factory. The act of regenerating the carbon with heat is true, however placing a garment in a dryer doesn’t cut it as the temps are not high enough. The carbon is not purged. Oh well. Gotta love capitalism.

Play the wind, period. The American Indian nearly decimated many big game animals in North America. How’d they ever do it without scent lok and sprays. Their bathing practicing certainly weren’t a factor. Lol. Play the wind.
 
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Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Don’t be
I have a friend who is a chemist in a federal crime lab and a hunter. He claims scent eliminating clothing is the biggest scam in the hunting industry in a long time. The tech is based on a carbon layer that absorbs scent. Carbon absorption is used in crime labs whereby a carbon strip is placed in a sealed container of usually explosive or arson type evidence, it’s heated , off gases and the product is absorbed by the strip. The carbon is then placed in a gas chromatograph that hopefully identifies the chemical compounds present.
Scent Lok etc is based on that tech.

He says the problem is the carbon layer in the clothing is saturated with scent by the time it leaves the factory. The act of regenerating the carbon with heat is true, however placing a garment in a dryer doesn’t cut it as the temps are not high enough. The carbon is not purged. Oh well. Gotta love capitalism.

Play the wind, period. The American Indian nearly decimated many big game animals in North America. How’d they ever do it without scent lok and sprays. Their bathing practicing certainly weren’t a factor. Lol. Play the wind.
2 quick things on that ….
1) using things with no scent or that reduce scent & thus not adding scent, by definition is beneficial & surely not harmful. There are “chemicals/materials” which at a very basic level do “help” with scent. For example: baking soda…. Again, not a miracle solution but it is one example of something that reduces scent.

2) Indians did lots of things for scent…. SMOKE for example. Strong smelling plants, mud, crap, etc.
Absolutely agree nothing is 100%. But- when I arrive clean & little/no sweat, no doubt I have better odds of getting away with things on average over the long run. I will guarantee I’d get picked off more often if I did zero scent control…. Got to my stand as a stinky sweaty pig…. For sure be worse. Nothing wrong with minimizing scent. I play the wind but there will be deer that get downwind. I will get busted sometimes. Try to reduce that amount is my preference. & reducing any trace of my scent after I leave.

BTW- agree on above…. I love dressing down when going to stand. Getting to stand “pretty cold”! I wear one thin base layer to stand. Cold! Walk slow or stop if I start getting warm. I agree- sucks to be sweaty in stand!!
 
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JNRBRONC

Moderator
A person sheds MANY skin cells a day. Bloodhounds use them to track people down. So shower in your favorite scent killing soap, get into your NASA space walk suit that you stored outside and get in your stand. I hope you’ve practiced drawing your bow with that bulky suit on.

Hunt the stand that is favorable for the wind that day. You get busted, the deer wins that chess match and you try another set another day. That’s the beauty of hang and hunt instead of spending a season in the same blind.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
I'm in the school of - minimize as much scent as you can reasonably. There's a fine line between being reasonable / careful and taking the fun out of the outdoors if it becomes too rigorous, so this is where I've settled:.

- Scent free shower
- Scent free clothes wash for clothing + Hang dry
- Change to separate set of clothes for being in vehicle (this way I don't do all the scent free stuff in my truck).

The above has worked well for me. And don't hit the smelly McDonald's drive thru! Then play the wind and thermals. No substitutions for this.

For years I always sprayed the hell out of my rubber boots going in and out of the stand, checking cameras, etc. Back when I wasn't as smart about access - Every time a deer would go across my path they would raise the tail, some partially some fully alerted.. sniff where I walked and sometimes it bothered them, sometimes not.. I always thought - Dang, I didn't use enough spray. Well, one time I forgot to spray down my boots. I didn't realize until I was in the stand and I saw a buck walking toward my path - Immediately I thought "I'm screwed!" Then the oddest thing happened.. nothing. He didn't skip a beat.

Then I did it again, and again, and again.. I never used it after that point. It taught a powerful lesson. They may not have smelled the human scent but they sure as hell smelled the chemicals the scent spray had in it, and it was very obviously foreign to their environment. Didn't matter the brand, I always had a similar reaction. I don't use anymore and zero issues since. Besides, what's the difference between a rubber boot and a rubber tractor tire?? Sure doesn't affect them here..

FTR - I do use scent free sprays on my body and equipment as I feel they help neutralize/minimize human odors. I just don't put them in direct contact with anything in their environment.
 
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