Scents: Take odor out of the equation

By Tresa Erickson

You’ve been looking forward to the start of deer season for months, and now that the time has finally come, you’re all set. You’ve got the equipment and the place, and tomorrow morning, you’re heading off to bag the big one. In your rush, don’t forget to do something about your scent.

Deer have a keen sense of smell and can detect the odor of humans long before seeing them. Just one small whiff of a hunter is all it takes to send a deer flying in the opposite direction. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, you need to take steps to cover up your scent.

As you are getting ready in the morning, use scent-free products. Shower with scent-free soap and shampoo made specifically for hunters. Dry off with towels that have been washed in scent-free detergent. Brush your teeth with baking soda. Wear clothes that have been washed in scent-free detergent and dried outside or in the dryer with scent-free fabric softener. Try to leave your house as scent free as possible.

Once you get into the field, you have two options for dealing with odor. You may continue to eradicate it using scent-absorbing sprays and powders, or you may conceal it using cover scents. If you go this route, use scents that would be found in the area. Deer are intelligent. If they detect an odor in the area they aren’t familiar with, they won’t stick around to find out what it is.

Whatever your choice, make sure you apply the products to yourself and your equipment and gear often. If you are using a tree stand, you will want to cover it as well. Chances are you will perspire when out and about. To control this, use odor block anywhere on your body where you might perspire, including your armpits, backs of your knees and your feet.

Leave no stone unturned when it comes to human odor. Cover everything you come into contact with and reapply products often, especially to your hands. Be wary of eating in the woods. You don’t want the whiff of a chip to scare off a deer. Once it detects an unfamiliar scent, it won’t come back to the area for a long, long time.

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