Scent Free or Not? It’s Up To You - By Scott Cole
Scent elimination has been a topic for hunters for years now. Does it work or does it not? Common sense sometimes gets thrown out the window when all we do is throw on our camo and hose down in scent elimination spray. What I mean by that, is hunting the areas on your property that you are hunting that day that is favorable to you. Growing up hunting as a kid, we never used scent control, we just played the wind. This leads to the topic, do scent eliminators work or not?
In my experience as a hunter, I do feel they help. I use them every time I go into the woods. I have seen them work and I have seen them not work. I am a big whitetail deer hunter and their nose is a very keen nose. Their nose is a big part of their communication with each other as they leave their own scents to communicate. I have had deer walk right under me and the wind change direction and be blowing right at them and they never knew I was there. But, I also have had the wind blowing right in my face and a deer stop within 40 yards from me and spook and go the other way. This is why I say , they work sometimes and sometimes they don’t. Below are some ways that have worked for me to make scent eliminators more effective.
Washing your hunting clothes in scent free detergent is one step I use. There are several brands out there to use. I have used Carbon Skin, Dead Down Wind, Scent Away, and Scent Killer Gold. There are many other brands but these are the ones I have used. After washing them, let them hang to dry, preferably outside. If you cannot or don’t have time to let them hang to dry, use a scent free dryer sheet. Run the scent free dryer sheet in your dryer by itself first to try and eliminate any fragrances in the dryer from your normal clothes you have washed. Next, store them in a scent free bag, whether it be a big Ziploc bag or a bag that is specifically made for storing hunting clothes.
I take a shower every night before I go hunting the next day in scent free body wash. Once you get out of the shower have a towel designated for drying off. Just don’t grab any towel you have in your linens closet because these towels have been washed with regular detergents and you could get those fragrances on you. This would defeat the whole purpose of taking a scent free shower. After you are completely bathed and dried off, have some clothes you put on that are designated scent free clothes. Just don’t put on a tee and pair of sweatpants out of your closet as these will have fragrances on them that have been washed in regular detergents. This again defeats the purpose of what you have done in the previous steps taken.
When ready for the hunt the next morning and you are suiting all up in your scent free clothes, you want to be sure not to contaminate them. What I mean by contamination, you don’t want to eat breakfast in them or drink coffee in them. The good smelling odors of breakfast and coffee will attach their selves to your clothes. This again, defeats the purpose of the steps taken to wash your clothes in scent free detergent. Eat your breakfast and drink your coffee before you suit up. Scent free wipes come in handy in this situation. After eating breakfast, I usually wipe down with these as odors from breakfast could get on your skin.
And last, once at your destination, spray down with scent elimination spray. I try and spray everything I can on me and my gear. I will even spray it in my hands and rub it all over my face and hair. Hair can hold lots of scent. I wear a beard and have hair, so I rub down a lot with it. Scent eliminating lotions can come in handy to. Once I get to my tree stand, I will even spray down my stand with it. Spraying down my stand with it is just a thing that makes me feel better. I look at it as why go through all these steps and not do one last simple thing like this as the stand could have odors in it from the last time you hunted it.
In conclusion, taking these steps will help out but cannot guarantee that you won’t get winded. As I mentioned earlier, it works sometimes and sometimes it may not. I definitely think it helps with eliminating as much odor as possible and always remember to hunt with the wind in your favor. There are many good products out there and it all depends on which ones you think work best for you. I have my favorite ones and ones I feel comfortable with. My advice would be to try them and if you think it’s working for you, then find one you like and use it. If you think they don’t work and not for you, then play the wind, in your favor!