This isn’t one of those articles about why scent control is or isn’t a big deal. If you have ever had a good buck or an old doe coming in to your shooting lane and suddenly lock up, twitch his/her ears and leave town, you know scent control is a real thing. Most deer hunters today understand the importance of keeping your stink down and getting into your stand while leaving as little smell as possible. However, even with today’s advanced tools and gadgets like ozone bags and bacteria eliminating soaps and powders (I use them all!), many hunters are taking most of the precautions and steps to be odor free only to trip over the last few. Here is our list of scent control blunders made by the smelly few:
1. Traveling Clothes.
Most of us go to great lengths to wash our hunting clothes in scent free, non-UV brightening detergent. We then carefully remove the clothes from the dryer and place them directly into a scent eliminating bag or tub. There is no doubt our wives and girlfriends have grown ever tired of the separation of laundry and the added responsibility of keeping those clothes separate from our “real” clothes. What about the clothes you wear to your lease or hunting property? Are you washing your traveling clothes in the same way? If not, you aren’t nearly as scent free as you could be. If you get out of the shower on the morning of your hunt and put on a pair of jeans and a hoodie from your closet, chances are that detergent/fabric softener aroma is all over you now. Make it easy on your bride (or yourself) and just wash everything you own in scent free soap for a couple of months. No harm in keeping it simple and we all know the KISS principle works for just about everything.
*side note . . . if you aren’t traveling to your hunting area in a different set of clothes, you might consider it. Nothing makes me shake my head more than seeing someone at a gas station on their way to hunt in their camo and rubber boots. All that smell can stay right where it belongs!
2. The Towel
Here is a question for you. What is the point of the scent free soap, shampoo and deodorant if you step out of the shower only to use a towel that was washed with the rest of the towels? I am fairly certain this is an issue for some of you. . . ok, some of us . . . it’s my most forgotten or missed step. I routinely get up early to shower only to look at the towel hanging on the rack or shower door and remember it’s the same towel I have used for a day or two and I know it’s not scent free. But, I tell myself it’s not that big of a deal and press on. Sadly, I think it can be a big deal. “Mostly” scent free just doesn’t cut it when you are upwind of a mature buck. Fortunately, this can be remedied with the same idea from above. Just start washing everything in scent free detergent throughout the season. It will make you a better hunter AND a better husband.
3. Breakfast (and/or lunch)
What now? I have to eat scent free?! Of course not, but you should consider what you are eating and where. A bowl of oatmeal at home or a couple pieces of toast aren’t going to be a problem. Heck, even some scrambled eggs and pancakes aren’t going to blow your cover. On the other hand, if you are stopping for an egg Mcmuffin on your way to hunt or throwing some bacon on a plate and eating it with our hands? Well, let me just break the news to you. . . YOU SMELL LIKE BACON! It’s now on your hands so everything you touch smells like bacon now. For the record, I am not anti-bacon, I am very pro-bacon. But what you handle and what you drip on your clothes lingers. The same goes for lunch and those fries!
4. Bed Sheets
So, you are not an early riser. You like to save time in the morning by showering at night and then getting up and heading straight to your hunting lease. I am going to go out on a limb here and say your sheets are not washed in anything that resembles scent free detergent and those of us with wives can rest assured they never will be. So, taking your shower at night and then “rolling around” in the hay so to speak, isn’t the game plan you are trying to follow. Hey, a good shower at night makes a sleep better and makes a lot possible, but as a replacement to a morning shower? Not so much. Get up 10 minutes earlier and force yourself to step into the shower first thing. It might be a shock to your system, but your scent control game just went to a new level.
The following list includes just a few things that might be ruining your goal of hunting 100% scent free. I couldn’t really separate them, so I just included them all. Which of these pertains to you?
Truck seats – Did you spill food on them? Do you work out and then get them sweaty by sitting down?
Dogs – Do you like to say good bye to your dogs (or cats) before you leave the house? Do they jump
up on you? Animals smell and any scent not native to a deer can be an alarm.
Gloves – I have a habit of either wearing gloves whenever I am in the woods, which includes walking in.
To me, every time I touch a sapling for balance or move a limb out of my way, I am leaving scent
from my hands. If I don’t’ have gloves, I do my best to keep my hands in my pockets.
Boots – This one really should be obvious, but it really isn’t. The accelerator pedal in your car or truck
maybe the smelliest thing you touch all day. That’s why it is imperative to NOT wear your
hunting boots when you drive to your hunting property. To get the smell of gasoline or
anything else that comes into contact with the bottom of your shoes is a death sentence.
Wear some old shoes or even shoe covers for the drive and change into your boots at the truck.