Scent Control

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RE: Scent Control

Postby buckfarmdude » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:32 am

This is the first year I am really being a scent freak, but here's the routine I am planning to use:

1. Wash clothes with Scent-a-way detergent the night before
2. Dry with scent-a-way dryer sheets
3. Store immediately after drying in scent safe plastic bag
4. Store rubber boots in garbage bag full of fresh pine and hemlock limbs
5. Scent-a-way shower before leaving for the hunt
6. Wear different clothes on the way to the hunting site
7. Change into hunting clothes, spraying down each layer with Primos Silver XP
8. Gargle doe urine for 5-10 seconds
9. Haha!!! Just kidding about the urine!!!

I'm not going to bother with activated carbon clothing. It's just waaaay too expensive, and I have a hard time believing that it's going to eradicate my scent much more the the Primos spray. That stuff works so good it might as well have magic pixie dust in it!!  Image
Psalm 42:1 "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee O God."

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RE: Scent Control

Postby TFin04 » Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:19 am

Call me crazy, but I just play the wind and hunt. I'm careful, but don't go out of my way for scent control.
Clothing gets washed in a non-scented detergent, and hangs out back in a screened in porch we have. It gets transported in a rubbermaid bin with a baking soda box in it.
I put it on in the morning, and take it off when I get back. It airs out overnight.
None of it is ultra high tech fancy clothing, mostly wool and fleece. Heck, some of it isn't even camo.
I still see a ton of deer.

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RE: Scent Control

Postby Wanderer » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:26 am

Sometimes while hunting we just have to give up a little to the deer . I know that we all practice good scent control habits and hopefully we all hunt the wind properly. While sitting in the ladder stand last Sunday, the wind shifted just a bit and I worried about deer to my left front winding me. However, I was still good for hunting directly to the front and to my right front. What I wonder about is how far and wide a person's scent cloud disperses. If you were sitting in the exact middle of a 40 acre square plot, you'd have 220 yards in all directions from your stand to the property line. On the downwind side of you, your scent would be noticeable to deer but for what width? Does the scent cloud continually expand over a distance in an ever increasing cone shape or do you just leave a "swath" of scent a few feet wide? I've been doing some reading on the subject on the internet but most of the articles deal with dogs that are used to find either survivors under rubble or cadavers. There was even one article by the CIA on human scent. As near as I can determine, our scent stream disperses at about 1.42 mph around us. My thought would be that the farther it disperses, the more diluted and faint it becomes. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this subject?
By the way, right before sunset, an 8 pointer stepped out into the stubblefield to my left front.

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RE: Scent Control

Postby roebu001 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 4:39 am

I used to be a scent control freak.  I used to wash all my clothes with non-scent detergent before every hunt and use earth tone dryer sheets, take showers using non-scent soap, spray down with scent killer, etc.  All I was doing was waisting money and wearing out all my camouflage from washing it all the time and was still getting winded.  I believe this is a marketing trap that hunters fall in to due to watching hunting shows and reading magazines.  You are not going to be able to hide your human odor from a deer that is down wind from you unless you are sitting in a much higher or much lower elevation than the deer.  If you don't believe me, next time you walk to your stand and get settled down, take your cap off and smell the inside of it.  You will be able to smell your odor.  Also, put your hand in front of your mouth and exhale into it and smell.  You know if you can smell it a deer will be able to smell it that is down wind.

That being said...I don't condone going in the woods smelling like a smoking terd and still practice good scent control but I am not nearly as fanatical about it as I used to be.  My main method of scent control is sitting 30 ft + up in a pine tree in my summit viper.  They can't smell you up there.
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
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RE: Scent Control

Postby MoDeer » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:24 pm

   Wanderer  I have wondered the same thing . I think it would depend on how fast the wind is blowing . The slower the wind the wider it would disperse . The faster the wind the narrower the scent trail . I also think it would depend on what you had down wind that might cause the wind to swirl ( creek , hill , levee , ect. ) but that is just my guess I am no expert on the subject .
   As part of my scent control I wash my hats with the rest of my hunting clothes . Boonies , beenies , watch caps and stoking caps work great for this . You can wash them without messing them up and keep them as scent free as the rest of your clothes . 
   I also wear a bandana heavily sprayed with scent killer that I pull up to cover my nose and mouth anytime a deer is getting close to being down wind of me . Maybe I am going overboard but I like it when a deer gets down wind and dosnt seem to alamed .

If I cant make a good shot please let me have a clean miss

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RE: Scent Control

Postby Goose » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:21 pm

Wanderer, you bring up some good questions and I think that they are all but impossible to answer. There would be so many variables from obstacles to thermals that all would play into this.
I don't believe that a person can eliminate their odor. But, I do believe that you can reduce it enough to reduce the odds of a deer spooking. When I go through all of this, I am not kidding myself in any way, all I can hope for is that if a deer does come out down of me, they think that I am either farther away than what I am or that it is an old scent and there is no danger present.
I can tell you that deer still smell me, but they do not seem to turn inside out like they used to. It may just buy me enough time to get that shot and thats all I am looking for.
To answer you question with some guesses, I would say that on a calm variable day with high humidity, your scent is like a big cloud of smoke all around you just lingering around getting "thinner" the farther away you are.
On a steady wind your scent would be cone shaped going away from you.
On windy days your scent stream would be the narrowest.
Your scent also is a lot easier to detect with high humidity like after a rain or during early season when the air is more humid.
On those cold still mornings a deer has a harder time smelling you than on a warm day with moisture in the air.
This probably does not answer your question in any way...just me rambling.

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

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RE: Scent Control

Postby dmcianfa » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:16 am

Okay, here's my routine, but I must tell you I'm cutting back on some because of some changes, specifically after I bought some scent-lok base layers and did some experimentation.

1. Wash all of my hunting clothes before season starts  (hats, gloves, bibs, jackets, undergarments, facemasks, chucks, boot liners, shirts, pants, daypack, etc.... everything) in odor eliminating laundry detergent scent killer or bit o' baking soda or both, whichever I feel like that day.
2. Activate carbon items every three to four hunts = gloves, facemask, base layers, bow jacket and pants.
3.  Spray down before walking to stand, still hunt, or stalk. 
7.  After hunt store all of my hunting clothes I use in a Tink's carbon sack.  Rewash clothes if they become soiled, but not until they do to keep colors from fading.  Also Use cold water when washing for this reason.  Repeat process when necessary.

That's it.  Not much to it. 4-6 are the most important. Don't worry about getting into truck with clothes on or running an ATV, that's all bull if you spray down seat and mats with baking soda and water and wash the things you touch before the season and throughout.  Besides, it's damn cold in the UP and getting into a truck or riding an ATV in 10 degree or less weather without any darn clothes on is just plain deadly and stupid.  Also, walking out to my area 5 miles+ is not an option, so a vehicle of some form is needed for part of the way for some seasons anway.  Takes too much time to undress regular clothes and redress with hunting clothes with all the necessary layers in cold climates.  Just wash your dang seats and mats.  Since I've bought my base layers scent lok I havn't been winded the last couple years.  Unbelievable stuff, but nothings 100% effective IMO.  I would go through a vigorous routine as GOOSE does and still get winded by a bruiser every now and then as they would sneak around me to take a whiff without ever presenting a shot, no more with base layers and keeping outer wear reasonably scent free, but you don't have to go overboard people.  Spending all that time and money is a waste.  My old man used to wear his dang loggin boots with wool that reeked of a mix of chainsaw oil, 2-stroke gas, gun solvent, and sometimes manure and kill bigger bucks than I could ever hope to get.  More times then not, he would have a marlboro hanging out of his mouth when a buck popped out and would have me hold it before he took a shot whether it be bow, rifle, or muzzeloader season.  But, he always did one thing no matter what!!!! PLAYED THE WIND.  If you don't your screwed, plain and simple.  Yes, all this hoopla surrounding scent lok, scent killer, scent away helps some, but it isn't the most important thing in the woods when it comes to scoring on a big buck.  Most of the time I got winded was poor stand or spot selection with swirling wind conditions.  Scent lok helps, but its not fool proof in my opinion either I know that.  Just lets you hunt more when the wind isn't always steady in one direction and is varying 90 degrees or so and it may not be as potent to a deer if he catches some scent as others stated not immediately a threat.  Play the wind folks and you won't have to worry about being smelled, plain and simple.  Take the long way to the stand if you have to.  Don't put yourself in a losing situation by going to your favorite stand on an unfavorable day.  Do your homework and you won't have to waste as much time and money.  Yes, I do own some "scent" products because I think it does help to some degree, but to be OCD about it is wasteful and unnecessary if more folks would just pay attention to their surroundings when hunting.  Even though I believe somewhat in my scent lok garments and I took a gamble on them cause they had a deal on them in Cabelas I don't think I could just hunt in a completely wrong wind situation and expect to get away with it.  I also climb as high as I can into a tree up to 30 ft. if I can depending on the terrain, landscape, tree, shooting lanes, etc...  when I'm hunting out of a treestand.  This also helps in my experience. 
"I enjoy and become completely immersed in the challenge and the increased opportunity to become for a time a part of nature. Deer hunting is a classical exercise in freedom. It�s a return to fundamentals that I distinctly feel are basic and right"-F.B.

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RE: Scent Control

Postby bwhntr » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:36 am

I begin by running a box of table salt through the washing machine, then I put a cap full of ScentaWay laundry soap through a wash and rinse cycle, then I wash my hunting clothes through the washing machine with the unscented soap. After drying, they go into a ScentaWay bag. I keep them in the bag year round, and they get washed, after use, before going back into the bag. I also take everything and pre-wash before each season. I shower with ScentaWay soap, and use their Deodorant. I have a set of clothes that I wear to the woods, after getting to where I am going to hunt, I rub down with Scent free towelettes, and then I change into another set of clothes along with rubber boots. I also have another ScentaWay bag that I keep just my ScentLoc clothing in. I use a drag rag attached to my boots with doe pee on it. I also have 3 scent containers with screw on caps that I put a doe pee  scent in. After getting up in my stand, I open each one and hang it around me on small limbs. Whatever is left in the containers drops to the ground. I enter and exit as quitely as possible to the stand that I am going to hunt, making as little noise as possible. It does not matter what scent free soap and deodorant that is used, I think, as long as it is used. One of my most scent control objectives is to check the wind from several websites, and always use the wind to my favor. I have been busted a few times, although they don't blow out, they just becomed alarmed enough to stay on edge even using the above scent control. I can't beat their nose, but I just try to do as much to my favor as possible.

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RE: Scent Control

Postby boxcallkid » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:02 am

Since my first bow season in 1972, I learned the hard way that it's the little things that mattered. It's as important today as it was then, learning from ones mistakes. Adapt, overcome and outwit! These three words for the most part sum up a huge majority of the deer hunting equation = success.
Most of what I've read in all the post prior to mine, is known today as common knowledge among serious deer hunters. 30 or even 20 years ago this wasn't the case. These rituals were only practiced by the truely hardcore, and most knowledgable in the deer hunting world.
I'm glad to see there are so many out there, willing to go that extra mile to increase there odds of connecting with that elusive mature whitetail buck! It's still true that effort equals success.
Like many of you that have already written, the steps you go through, I too still practice to this day.But, my ultimate goal is to smell of nothing! No sprays on the outside of my clothing, no cover scents or sprays on the outside of my rubber boots, this is unnessasry if there only used to hunt and kept in a box or bag. I do use, what I consider to be the ultimate tool available to deer hunters today... The scent lok suit! Don't let anyone kid you, this is the best thing to come down the pipe in 20 years! The last great thing before this was the compound bow and that was 30 +years ago. I was reading earlier that others recommended washing those suits, this is a no no. I've had mine all these years and never washed it once, and it still works as advertised to this day. Short of rolling in a mud puddle there is nothing more to do than reactivate it in the dryer and store it with your other hunting clothes.
As far as other scent free tips I see most of them have been covered with the exception of a few small details. May sound silly... but I wash the steering wheel and shifter knob on my truck (stick shift) plus the seat. This is a huge source of human scent. When I practice with my bow there is a bottle of scent killer in the case and a pair of jersey gloves. I never touch my archery eqpt. with bare hands and always practice wearing gloves. Also spray your face with the spray so if your bowstring comes into contact with it it won't become contaminated! If you use a kisser button wash it and spray it, this to is a source of scent. Eyeglasses, if you wear these like I do make sure to wash them and pay particular attention to the bridges, this is also a huge source of scent. Last I believe would be your utility rope. Never ever touch this with your bare hands, always use gloves. You don't want to have a 20 ft scent wick hanging to the ground! Oh, one more. Your grunt tube. Don't spend a hunt blowing into this thing and then leave it hanging outside of your clothing, this to is a scource of scent. Just tuck it inside of your coat when your not using it.
I know some will tell you even these steps may be unnessary if you just keep the wind in your face, but after 35 years I know that this is impossible. If your anything like me you hunt when you can and not only when the wind is perfect. Here in west Mi. this would limit a persons hunting to 3 or 4 days a month if that.
Like gramps used to say, "Why is it there's never time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over?"

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RE: Scent Control

Postby Goose » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:47 am

Good post and good tips.

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....


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