Scent Control

With the 2016 hunting season in full-swing now, at least for those of us out west, I thought this might be a good time to discuss one extremely critical component to any successful harvest….and that is scent control.

If you are like me, at one time or another in your life, you have probably been asked by a relative, family friend, or even a buddy, to take them (a novice hunter) hunting. Some of the most aggravating moments I have ever had have centered on having someone ‘tag along’ who hasn’t the slightest clue how important scent control is to a successful hunt, yet refuses to join the scent-free party. Have ya ever tried arguing with a smoker who just has to have “one more”, after you have methodically kept all of your gear scent-free?

Fortunately, science has advanced far enough to make the critical task of scent control an easily manageable and painless process.

Here are some no-nonsense, easy to follow tips:

  1. Scentless Detergent – Washing your gear in scentless detergent is easy and effective. There are numerous products available.
  2. Storage – After washing with scentless detergent, many hunters will opt to store their gear in plastic bags or plastic bins. This is to prevent standard household odors from permeating your gear before the hunt.
  3. Scentless Soap – When showering before or during a hunt, use scentless soap. Again this is cheap and readily available.
  4. Awareness – Be aware of scent contamination the day of the hunt. It’s the little things we often forget that can ruin a hunt: gassing your ATVs or truck, campfire smoke (gotta have that morning coffee), stepping in anything that will adhere to your boots, or strong smells associated with cooking breakfast-think bacon (while it tastes great, it can ruin the best laid plans). Wait until the last possible minute to throw on your gear, and then maintain hyper-awareness.
  5. Scent Control Gear – Many brands are now offering camo utilizing scent-control technology. I would recommend looking for gear with this technology, because when you start sweating, the gear will help contain that body odor.
  6. Scent Control Sprays – Lastly, I would recommend utilizing one of the many scent sprays currently on the market. (I have personally used Scent-Away and am happy with the results) Products like these are relatively cheap and fairly effective. The moment you step out of your vehicle, spray yourself from head to the soles of your boots.

While there are a multitude of ways for deer to bust you, those who employ common sense scent control will have one less dynamic to worry about. As my grandpa used to say, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.