Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent control

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Maxie Bordeaux
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby Maxie Bordeaux » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:56 am

Yes you can have a sane discussion on sent control, however there's only one way to control your sent and that is with the wind. I challenge anyone to use any product known to man kind, wash your cloths in the latest and greatest, pack them in sent lock bags, wear rubber boots sprayed with sent killer and let a deer cross your trail or be down wind of you and the deer will smell you no matter what you use I promise you that. Always hunt with one thing in mind you have to give up at least one direction unless the wind is swirling, or completely calm. I do everything in my power to control my sent, but I realize I will not fool a deers nose.

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shaman
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby shaman » Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:24 am

Sure, we can have a sane discussion, but there is a lot, and I mean A LOT, of insane thinking going on with this subject.

Last year after the Scent-Lok decision came down, I was really hoping we would all stand back a bit and start thinking of the broader implications. Here we'd had nearly an entire generation of hunters running around in glorified rain suits thinking they were invisible to deer and lo and behold we found out the technology was fraudulent. What that meant to me was that if scent moderation technology was fraudulent and nobody noticed-- that scent control really did not make all THAT much difference.

Y'all can jump on me and say that just because Scent-Lok was a fraud, it doesn't mean the other stuff is. Sure, but I think a saner approach should be this: look at all the goofy stuff we've done to control an invisible problem. Maybe, just Maaaaaybe it didn't make all that much difference in the first place.

Y'all have probably read my baking soda rants. Y'all have probably read my UV rants, and my Anti-Telepathy rants. In 30 years of deer hunting, I've taken deer from every conceivable direction -- upwind, downwind, crosswind. I've done it with all reasonable technologies. I've done it from the ground, from blinds, from trees. In that 30 years, I've been busted a lot. Usually its been because I moved at an inappropriate time. Sure scent played a part, but once I started bathing regularly and using baking soda most of the scent busting went away-- that was 25 years ago.

I reached the height of my scent-consciousness obsession over a decade ago. After that, I decided it was just too much trouble and started to gradually slacken my ritual, looking for what really works and what is just superstition.

What I've found that works:

1) A daily shower with unscented products and a baking soda rinse.
2) A twice-daily change of clothing
3) Washing all clothes in baking soda, air drying outdoors, and packing them in baking soda
4) Packing dry clean-only clothing in baking soda between hunts.

There's a lot more subtlety to it. If you're interested, here's something from my weblog that explains it in more detail:

Baking Soda: The shamanic Method


No commercial preparation I've tried has given me any better results. Some products like cover scents have been downright counter-productive.

My outermost layer is a matched quad-parka and bibs with a Remington label that I got on sale at Walmart in 2002. They have never seen the inside of a washing machine. They have never been cleaned. They have never been treated with anything except baking soda. Deer regularly walk under my stand all season and seem to be oblivious to me.

But please don't get me wrong. I'm not going to say all this fuss I go through with the baking soda is all that effective. It's just the last remnant of what I used to do to stay scent-free that seems to make sense. I just can't fully let go. An 80 lb bag of sodium bicarbonate lasts me for a few years and it is far cheaper than any laundry detergent or personal hygiene product I can find. I can do my clothes, my hair, my pits, and all the rest for probably under $.25 a day -- I can even brush my teeth with it. If nothing else, baking soda is cheap.

The fact of the matter is that I've gone further in my experimentation. I've worn my dirty Carharts, the ones I use for chores, out hunting. They seem to work nearly as well, except I'm a little quicker to get a bust on the downwind side. I can still get a deer in them. I wouldn't recommend it for bow hunting, but I'm just saying. The biggest thing seems to be keeping down the pit stink, and eschewing all scented toiletry products.

We can all be so blind to what is largely superstition here. On the one hand, we'll go out and buy a $300 scent suit. And yet not really think about how we can smell the scent suit ourselves. We go and buy an $80 pair of rubber boots so we can be invisible to deer and never seem to notice they reek of naptha. I got news for you: I have had my current pair of LaCrosse Bowhunter boots for over 20 years: that naptha stink never goes away. Some of us put on our whole scent-reduced kit and then ride out on our $8000 ATV's. Yikes! I don't know about you, but I can smell an ATV. I got to thinking about that 25 years ago, when i was up in my stand and I had my leather shooting glove and leather arm protector, and wondered: I can smell the leather, why not the deer?

I'm not going to throw stone. You want to talk insanity? I was out the first few years, smoking cherry Cavendish tobacco in a pipe on the stand, thinking that was the way to attract deer. I had my Jon-E hand-warmer with the special scent reservoir that got loaded up with Jon-E scent ( I think it was just Anise Oil), and all this stuff had been scientriffically tested and I knew it worked. It was all right there in the Ad in the magazine. I had skunk pee, fox pee, apple stink, grape stink and acorn stink all in my kit. I even had something that smelled like an old Indian-- said so right on the bottle.
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JPH
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby JPH » Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:00 am

Sane discussion? SANE DISCUSSION!?! Why would anyone come to an internet forum for sane discussion?

The internet is a place where people come to confirm their own opinions and shout down others. It's where people come to spout "facts" gleaned from their 30+ years of hunting, thus making them scientific and proof that all other ideas are folly. It's where people come to pound on a keyboard and type things that would get them knocked out in a saloon. Just look at the previous posts on this thread. Many of them go something like this, "Sure we can have a sane discussion, so long as it accepts my method (or lack thereof) to be absolute gospel." Next thing you know someone is calling someone else a Nazi. It's all downhill from there. There is very little room for reason on an internet forum re. scent control.

That being said. If a person can keep an open mind, while still taking everything with a grain of salt, you can learn something. I listen closely to hunters who seem to consistently post photos of dead deer, along with honest assessments of their hunting experiences. It takes a while to figure out who those guys are, but there are plenty of them here. I quickly discount hunters who criticize products or techniques that they have never used, but I also do likewise with hunters who swear that a given product or technique is 100% effective. I gravitate toward hunters who are constantly willing to try new things and who are equally willing to admit when something they thought would work didn't.

Personally I believe that while total scent elimination is a practical impossibility, scent reduction can be attained. I believe that all things being equal, the hunter who does a better job reducing scent will have more success. I also believe that until they build a 100% encapsulating Tyvek suit with an exhaled breath scrubber, that is warm, comfortable, quiet, and affordable we will always have to have equal parts favorable air currents and luck on our side. Until then, I'm willing to sort through the crazy talk in order to tweak my scent reduction efforts. I'll try anything within reason, and I'll be honest about the results...unless you're a Nazi.

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shaman
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby shaman » Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:17 am

I was giving this some more thought, and I thought I'd fill you in on the developments. I keep trying to resolve the great disparity I see between our experiences as hunters. Some folks see scent control as a thing that a hunter can't have enough of. Some folks feel the only solution is to play the wind. I seem to occupy a niche that questions the whole issue of scent control and its efficacy.

I think there is more going on here than just the deer's nose. I'm fairly convinced that deer have superior olfactories and that if they are paying attention, their nose is going to ferret a hunter out no matter how hard he tries. The key variable in this is the deer's motivation.
Look at that picture I posted over in General Discussions. That deer was right up to the house munchin' on KYHillChick's plantings. It had to contend with not just the human stinks of my family and those of my immediate neighbor, but also our dogs, and din of both houses' air conditioner compressors. That deer just did not care.

Now I know for a fact that deer are not universally like that. I bow hunted a WMA up in Michigan years ago, and I saw deer nearly every time I went out. However, I'd probably never gotten shot in a million years. Those deer ran from place to place and I never once saw a deer standing still in a week of hunting. They were permanently spooked. They never really winded me, and there probably was not another hunter in a mile of me in any direction, but they were alert at all times and the slightest provocation sent them scurrying away. I don't think anything, not a Scent_Lok suit, not carbon-flavored chewing gum or chlorophyll suppositories could have helped that situation. There were bait piles everywhere too. I had to walk past half a dozen piles to get out to my stand every day. Obviously hunting pressure was at a maximum.

Now we come to my current experience: I hunt my own 200 acre farm in Kentucky. I have 4 hunters on the property. We hike, camp and that sort of thing in the off-season, but we don't ride ATV's. Our closest neighbor has 8 hunters on 100 acres. All our neighbors use ATV's. When the ATV's crank up, the deer all run over to my place. Our end of the county is probably one of the heaviest hunted in area. Opening Morning of rifle season has three times the number of shots/hour that I've heard anywhere else in 30 years of hunting. However, in relative terms, our farm is a deer sanctuary. When deer come to our stands, they are usually calm. A lot of them look up into the stands, but could care less about what they see. None of us use any fancy store-bought scent suits or commercial scent remediation whatsover. I'm the scent-fiend of the bunch. I've got my sodium bicarb regimen, but Moose and SuperCore hardly do any that sort of stuff and both smoke cigarettes. Their luck is about the same as mine.

I see these experiences as three points on a continuum. In one case, I could probably walk up to a deer around my house in the city and knock it on the head with a ball peen hammer (hmmmmmm!-- the shaman strokes his beard and utters and evil laugh) In the second instance, I don't believe any amount scent-related product would have helped me there, but if there was any place I'd want to be careful about scent it would have been there.

In the third case, my farm, I'm not so sure scent reduction does all that much. In the big picture, it probably holds down my impact on the deer, but after a day or two of Rifle Season, those deer are getting edgy no matter what. We're blessed here in Kentucky that the Rifle Opener coincides with the rut, so the bucks are not thinking straight to begin with. I'm sure they smell something strange and sometimes the wires get crossed and a buck will be attracted to a hunter's stink rather than repelled. I've even seen deer follow my scent trail deliberately. That is certainly the exception, but still worth noting. Most importantly, I have seen all manner of deer come from all points of the compass on my place-- upwind and downwind. The point is they are not all that worried about us, because they see us as mostly harmless intruders. Deer come up to the house with their fawns. Deer in the field, don't seem to mind our dogs. If we're out in the truck rolling around the pasture, I can stop, roll down the window and carry on a nice (albeit one-sided) conversation.
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loneranger
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby loneranger » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:22 am

I have posted this before,but I really had my eyes opened when I paid for ahunt in S Dakota. Was on a 3,ooo acre cattle ranch. Little human intrusion, except for cowboys and cows. I was first bow hunter they ever booked. Only 5 or 6 rifle hunter each yr, and they hunted from trucks. So the deer had little human contact. First the Rancher sat me on a pail with some frsh cut pine boughs around my knees,,presumably this was a blind. Deer did not care. Many does /fawns strolled out 2 hrs before dark hardly noticing me only 20 yrds away. Some nice bucks too, but they hung out in some acorn trees. First eve at pickup time I asked cow hands if they had a tree stand. Put me up a tree in those acorns! So next day at 1;pm we put stand up. Drove pick-up to tree. They cut fresh pine limbs out of the way. Left them on ground all over. I told them I could not hunt there for wks, until deer got used to disturbance and stink. They laughed.Even left ladder on ground once I got up in tree. They said deer would never pay no-mind. Could not believe my stories of spooky whitetails from my home state. Rancher was right. Deer stepped right over limbs and even ladder with mild curiosity. Would not have believed it! Have told this story many times. I learned number one influence on good or bad hunting is how much human disturbance or presssure your local deer recieve. They will tolerate alot of human scent, if they associate it with farming or ranching, and not hunting. If you have alot of acres, and leave the deer alone most of the year,,,,,,tame deer,,,Great Hunting. If you own small acreage, and you or neighbors, push them around alot,,,,spooky deer. And that,,,is,,a, FACT. Unfortunately,,,where I live,,I have the latter.

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JPH
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby JPH » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:22 am

[quote="loneranger"If you have alot of acres, and leave the deer alone most of the year,,,,,,tame deer,,,Great Hunting. If you own small acreage, and you or neighbors, push them around alot,,,,spooky deer. And that,,,is,,a, FACT. Unfortunately,,,where I live,,I have the latter.[/quote]

I don't think I'd go so far as to say that deer in low pressure areas are "tame" but I get your point.

I hunt one small acreage on the edge of the small city I live in. It is largely subdivided and bow hunting only. It holds a large deer population and some really nice bucks. It is common to have your hunt interrupted by children's voices in the air, back-up alarms, and the occasional power walker. The deer there are very used to human interaction. The landowner, who is not a hunter, can almost set his clocks by the movement of the neighborhood deer. One might say that those deer are tame. In fact, every time I walk out without a dead deer, the landowner looks at me like I'm an idiot.

But those deer are some of the most "street smart" deer I've ever tangled with. Early season is almost guaranteed freezer meat. But one one of those old suburban does pick you out, the entire situation changes. They smell humans every day, but they are very keen to pick out human scent in the wrong place. They will approach your stand, look up and skirt around you in order to get into the 10 acre crop filed they use. They have an amazing sense of just how far I can reach with my bow and they stay just beyond. The bucks always come out about 10 min before dark, and they follow the does. I would not call these deer super spooky. They'll stand and watch me walk out of the field. But they are wise.

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jonny5buck
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby jonny5buck » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:54 pm

I agree that intrusion is one of the largest impacts on deer movement.The term...''tame deer'' doesnt apply in either situation though..

Small or large acreage deer seem to have an ability to determine what is a threat and what is tolerable..You could take 20acres and have a farmer ride his tractor on a field edge,,,and the deer may get acustomed to it and have no fear of it...this happened at a park i hunted and watched the deer a mere 20yds from the tractor almost unfazed...they ''tolerated'' it and must have deemed it not a threat..

You take the same set of woods and walk thru it and the deer immediately leave...they scatter and will not return that day.
One of the best chunks of property i hunt ,i am at my wits end with land intrusion...it happens with the guy i hunt it with,he hunted it long before me and used to help farm it...Now someone else does the farming....the problem i face is the now completely retired other hunter is so bored he cant keep himself out that chunk of land...setting trail cams...mowing and planting food plots that dont take....all this what i call negative impact...it bares a negative result on the hunting ground...the impact is several times a week than nothing for a week than repeated....this intrusion and foot time near prime bedding area will just leave the deer with the option of moving to the next set of woods or marshes ...they have this option and will win every time.

This area has produced tons of deer and some huge bucks ...who were used to the occasional farming equipment and tolerated it....because of the plentiful crop fields [on all 3 sides ] of the area we hunt...the food plots are not nesc. and provide no real advantage..there is plenty of travel corridors and food ...the hunter mows down waste high switch grass and throws seed down y hand and is amazed that it does not take!!...so he goes back and spends an entire day farting around all day because he has nothing to do...his impact is un-needed and negative....since his antics i noticed less and less deer in this area and his frequent rides thru the cornfield after a hunt are frustrating and negative,,,he does this after each evening hunt...and simply replies ''the deer dont mind that''

During season he is constantly driving across the downed cornfield to simply walk around and look try to find where my stand are,again bored guy has too much time on his hands and his negative impact has pushed the deer out and nocturnal,and has left me scouting new areas and hunting ground further away...its senseless to have someone working against you and the deer ...when he helped farm it was a different type of intrusion...he cannot understand that.

Its nothing for him to walk the entire marsh area and than report back on all the deer he seen ...pushing deer off their beds repeatedly because your bored can have no good effect...it doesnt and i witness it first hand.....the way i look at it is like this...i try to reduce each negative thing working against me...wash in scent free soap,use the wind in your favor..etc etc....each negative thing you do could result in your hunt being a failure....too much un-needed intrusion into core areas can be as bad as no scent reduction or a stand in the wrong spot...

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charlie 01
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby charlie 01 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:27 pm

I've got something similar in one place I hunt Joe. I do not shoot does there, and each time they pass by me some will look up at me, but will just go along their way. Since I do not harass them, they know I'm there, they seem to tolerate me. I know they are more afraid of coyotes than they are of me.

There was friend of a Uncle of mine in Mich.. He went out to his woodlot to cut some wood and jumped a buck out of it. The next day, the same thing. This went on for a few more times till the buck did not leave his woodlot. In a few more weeks gun season opened. He walked out to his woods and shot that buck, that had gotten used to him being there.
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charlie 01
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby charlie 01 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:57 pm

I don't know what your whole situation is jonny, but (some times) it could advantageous to have someone moving deer around. I sometimes like to hunt public areas. Some hunters get bored and either walk around or just get down and leave. I usually stay a little longer in the A.M. knowing that they could push something (and it has) by me. It's apparent your going to have to live with the fact that he is the way he is. Maybe by him getting older he won't be coming out so much. I would bet that he doen't come out much on rainy days. Those are good times to be out, especially during the rut. I'm sure cold nasty weather slows him down too. You should try to capitolize on the deer that are leaving when he is around. Your going to have to find a way to "use him" Jon.
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loneranger
 
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Re: Do you think there can be a sane discussion on scent con

Postby loneranger » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:45 pm

OK,, I will not say "Tame" deer, but they tolerate alot of new things in their environment. The ranch in S.D. did not have alot if any hunting pressure. The more people you have trying to kill you, the more wary you will become. My point,,if you can afford alot of acreage, and keep hunting and intrusions to a minimum, you will experience extraordinary hunting. As seen on the many hunting videos. I saw it first hand on the SD ranch, I would not have believed it in a story myself, had I not seen it!

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