Understanding Scent Control for Deer Hunting
Scent control is a big topic of conversation amongst hunters these days. When I was a kid no one ever talked about scent control other than someone running a trap line. Back then the most I did for scent control was wash my hunting clothes without detergent or dryer sheets. Over the years my scent control efforts have changed considerably, now, everything I do as a hunter is taking my scent in consideration.
As a bow hunter, I have to pay a great deal of attention to reducing my scent in the woods given my required closer to deer. But all hunters stand to benefit from a persistent scent control strategy.
Old School Scent Control
This is an area where you can significantly reduce your scent. Detergents such as Tide, Gain and so on, clean your clothes but add fragrances that are definitely not found in nature. Using scent-free detergents will keep your clothes clean without smelling like a perfume shop.
Scent Killer, Scent-a-Way, Primos, and Dead Down Wind are a few of the many manufacturers of hunting-specific scent-free detergent. I’m big on using baking soda and borax to make my own detergent. I use baking soda a lot with my scent control efforts.
After washing your clothing, consider drying your clothes outside, on a clothesline, to avoid picking up odors from inside your dryer. When my clothes are dry I place my clothing in a plastic tote with open boxes of baking soda to take scent removal one step further.
Scent Control Sprays
Scent Killer, Scent-a-Way, Primos, and Dead Down Wind are a few of the many manufacturers that produce these scent control sprays that kill bacteria which helps reduce human scent. Spray yourself liberally from head to toe after getting dressed to restrict any remaining scent on your clothing.
Many, Many years ago I noticed the benefit of using scent control spray on old pair gym shoes in HS. I would spray them with my scent control spray and it bought my a day or two before they needed to be spared again.
Scent Control Clothing
On episode 09 of the 207 Outdoors podcast we talked with John Eberhart of ScentLok Blog and He is a strong believer of using activated carbon clothing. There has been a lot of controversy around these products in the past but when it comes down to it the facts support that they do work when cared for properly.
Activated carbon clothing eliminates enough scent to make it worthwhile. Activated carbon clothing is touted to absorb scent to reduce your chances of detection. Scent-Lok and Scent Blocker are two popular manufacturers of these clothes. I use this type of clothing from head to toe, and I believe that it helps eliminate scent. In particular, I always use activated carbon headgear to reduce scent from sweating or my breath.
John has a great article on caring for activated carbon clothing here.
Ozone Scent Control
Ozone is a naturally occurring cleansing agent that is colorless gas and powerful oxidizing agent, ozone is also commonly used commercially to kill bacteria as well as to purify and sanitize. It can be used to purify drinking water, sterilize hospital rooms, remove the smell of smoke and mold from buildings and purify the air in restaurants and hotels.
These ozone products produces ozone by introducing electricity to oxygen. Electricity temporarily changes oxygen molecules into ozone molecules which are characteristically unstable. This means they will bond with other available molecules, like human scent. This strong tendency to bond with other molecules is what results in purification in general and scent control for the hunter.
Although the use on ozone has been around for a while it’s relatively new to hunting and I’m very excited to see how much it benefits hunters.
Scent Control Video
Every hunter has their own way of doing things when it comes to scent control. What works for one hunter may not work for another. Staying completely odor free in the woods is almost an impossible task, and we can only control what we can control. Taking precautions in trying to keep your hunter gear odor free as you can will help you become a more successful hunter.
If you have any questions, comments feel free to email me at Jeff@207outdoors.com
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