Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

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shaman
 
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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby shaman » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:53 pm

I do it. I take my body washing, clothes washing, equipment cleaning and storage as seriously as I can.
My investment: $25 a year in spray, $10 in sodium bicarb, $7 in soap/detergent, and some plastic storage bins that I already own.
The chance to get in the woods and my feelings that I am invisible to deer..........priceless.
I still enter and leave my stands as discreetly as possible, I hunt stands that I think the wind is in my favor, and if my regime makes me even 5% more invisible, i'll take it. The investment is worth the outcome.


A little of this kind of stuff goes a long way. If you look back over the past 5 years or so, you can find the posts here where I seriously started to question the efficacy of being over-the-top on scent control. At the time, we had a major supplier of scent-control clothing getting told by the courts they had to stop telling people their stuff was effective. I was out of work at the time, and money was tight. So I wanted to see exactly how much scent control was effective.

The bottom line was that from an elevated stand, I could not tell a difference between a full blown scent regimen such as what I'd been doing for 25 years and a more simplified regimen of washing my clothes and myself in sodium bicarb and letting all the anal-retentive stuff hang. The deer still treated me like I was not there.

To me the lesson was fairly simple:

1) As stated earlier, you can't fool their nose completely any time any where, period.
2) The trick is not to fool a deer's nose, but to cut your scent signature enough that it stops being a problem.
3) Things as simple as bathing, eschewing stinky stuff like cologne, and using unscented laundry products go a long way.

Let me repeat that for clarity: Things as simple as bathing, eschewing stinky stuff like cologne, and using unscented laundry products go a long way.

Beyond that, I started to see behaviors among the deer that really got me to question a lot more than just the catechisms on scent. I don't think we know enough about what goes on in a deer's head to make the kind of assumptions we do. For instance:
1) I don't think they view death and predation the way we envision.
2) I do not think they fully understand what we're doing in our blinds and stands.
3) Even when they are exposed to real life-and-death experience, I do not think they learn the lessons we would.

I realize I'm getting pretty far out there, but what the heck! I am the shaman, right? Suffice it to say, for this conversation, that deer do not need ozone machines to make them happy.
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Retranger
 
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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby Retranger » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:36 pm

I think we are missing something. I have been in the woods and have deer wind me, as we say, and take off grunting and snorting. I have also been in my yard doing something and have deer walk out and feed on my lawn 20 yards away like I wasn't even there. Why???
Doug

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shaman
 
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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby shaman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:28 am

That is a VERY good question.

I'm not sure myself. However, I can further muddy the waters here and say that I too see these different modes of behavior, I see them at times out of the same deer herds, and even out of the same individuals.

The deer I see in-town have this un-alerted reaction to me a lot. Y'all may remember my story about the night I had a herd browsing on the neighbor's plantings as I came home from work. I approached them as I came down to check my mailbox.

"You have no idea who you're dealing with." I said, as I opened the mailbox. Inside was my latest issue of D&DH. "Here!" I said. "This will show you!" I brandished the magazine at them. They looked up, eyed me for a bit and then went back to eating.

With the deer at camp, I have had nice bucks come up and watch Angus, KYHillChick and myself erect a tree stand-- just walk right up. I think part of it is that we get out at the farm quite a bit in the off-season, and they just get habituated to seeing us and the dogs. Since we only hunt them a couple months out of the year, they have learned to disregard our presence for the most part.

And you have to remember that out of these same deer, I have seen the normal Run-for-your-lives! kind of reaction you would normally see out of a deer in the wild-- both the in-town deer and the ones at camp.

Deer leave me scratching my head. How this relates to scent and scent control is this: I do not know why deer, who seem to have me busted treat me like I'm part of the landscape anymore than why deer that have no reason to be worried about me get a whiff some times and treat me like I'm the worst-smelling fiend alive.

But wait! There's more! Why would some times these deer, having winded me, run away, while other times these deer will catch onto my scent and follow me? Yes, that's right. Once in a while down at the farm, I get a doe or a herd of doe. They'll wind me on my way out to the back of the property where I hunt. They follow me and I have several instances on the way and after I get where I'm going, where the deer run up, snort and run off. It's like a freaking game to them, that I am the butt of some deer joke.

Look, I'm not trying to suggest I can solve the mystery, but I am saying there is a LOT more going on here than what can be solved with sodium bicarb or an ozone machine.
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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby Sailfish » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:26 am

Reading this makes me think that with everything stated so far (and the items we haven't even touched on) it might be the primary reason we all get and stay in this deer hunting game.
The challenge, the journey, the methods, the learning and the final destination, no matter how we all arrive with one common goal.
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther."

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Sailfish
 
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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby Sailfish » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:28 am

Reading this makes me think that with everything stated so far (and the items we haven't even touched on) it might be the primary reason we all get and stay in this deer hunting game.
The challenge, the journey, the methods, the learning and the final destination, no matter how we get there, we all have the same common goal.
"Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see farther."

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rthomas4
 
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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby rthomas4 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:16 pm

What everyone is overlooking is obvious! Deer read the game regs, and know when the season is open and when it isn't. They were taught how to read by the turkeys, who then taught rabbits and finally squirrels. I know this, because my yard gets over run by all of the above when they are out of season; but from opening day til the last day, they stay out of the yard........or at least stay hidden when I'm home and have access to a gun during daylight hours. There can't be any other reason for their actions, especially during the off season when I'm mowing the yard and have to stop to shoo the very same critters out of the way so I can continue cutting the damn grass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On a serious note, I really do believe that doing some things such as running the tractor, putting up stands, etc, don't alarm the deer because they haven't been harassed by other things in the same way they are bothered during hunting season. Research at the University of Georgia has shown that deer become conditioned and it's this conditioning that teaches them "learned behavior". I honestly believe that part of this "learned behavior" is the association during hunting season to the noises and the smells that become more intrusive into their habitat. That's the reason I'm particular about scent control, hunting the wind, and the use of cover scents such as the EverCalm. Also, hunting the rut is a form of baiting the bucks, so the use of doe in heat scents such as VS-1 are basically another form of bait, just as rattlin' antlers and hunting food and water sources. Like I stated in my previous post, today's deer have become conditioned (those learned responses) to what goes on around them during the hunting season as compared to the non season time of the year. City deer don't necessarily learn those same responses and because of that may not react in the same way as deer out in the woods......which is one of the reasons that archery hunting has become popular inside the city limits of many towns these days. Perhaps the best attractant for those urban hunters is kid's smelly sneakers and toys scattered around!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Homunculi
 
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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby Homunculi » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:04 pm

kellory wrote:gentleman, I am not suggesting that scent control is useless.I am saying that it is not the absolute that some people seem to think it is.
I am saying that learning how to hunt is more important than what you wear.



money market ... is all it is .. coworkers father takes a cigar with him to the stand or blind with a coffee every morning ...
mostly depends on what deer have learned to be afraid of ...

while i was turkey hunting i had a coffee with me every day i was out .. at first .. they would blow ,, but soon after since i was not hunting them it did not matter i have had the, withing 15 feet of my turkey blind and me with a loaded shotgun ... some would look and stomp .. then go about their foraging .. others did not care that i was there ,,,

do as you wish i just avoid cologne deodorants .. and fabric softeners ... still bring a coffee ...

as kellroy said the old guys smoked .. camp fires ... did not bathe ... no camo ... they just hunted :)
If I ain't huntin i ain't livin!!

hunting is not only skill but, being in the right place at the right time ...

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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby newbiehunter290 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:08 am

This is what I did this year as I hunt from a ground blind. My clothes were washed with regular detergent and hung up in my closet. I bought a box of baking soda and put some in a sock and gently patted my clothes. I leave them in my truck until the morning of the hunt and change right before I set out. I do not wear deoderant, and shower the night before. When I get out of my truck I again pat down my whole body with the sock including my bow, I then walk to my blind. As soon as I sit down I do it again and hang the sock in the blind and repeat every hour or so depending on the deer action. I do very little to promote gear or anything but I bought a bag of corn and a bag of Swamp Donkey and set out the 40 lbs of corn and sprinkled half the bag on top. I then put the rest of the bag of SD in the blind with me with the bag opened. I had a doe walk towards the blind and thought she may join me. I only got to hunt one day so far, but I was able to grab a 8 pt buck from 25 yards. It was the first time to ever use supplements and the first time to ever just put a whole bag of corn on the ground with no other help from a feeder (I live in OK where it's legal). I spent a dollar for the box of baking soda and the sock was a dress sock where the match is MIA, so it was free. In all that day I had 6 doe and the one buck eating the corn and SD that had never been there and were not on high alert at all.
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kellory
 
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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby kellory » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:27 pm

Nice Buck there Newbiehunter 290! congrats, and welcome to the forum.
The only real difference between a good tracker and a bad tracker is observation. All the same data is present for both. The rest is understanding what you are seeing.

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Re: Scent Control vs. Cover Scents

Postby rthomas4 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:00 pm

Nice buck. The scent of the corn helped cover your scent. On top of that, corn is to a deer, like cocaine is to a coke whore, especially if there aren't any acorns, crop fields, or food plots nearby.
NRA LM, NAHC LM, Buckmasters LM, The Second Amendment Foundation, GOA, NAGR, Palmetto Gun Rights, QDMA, DU, NWTF, ASAdisabled sportsmens' alliance, EDH, and Proud SC redneck REBEL for life.

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