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Scent Control

By Richard Johnson

Scent control is an extremely important hunting tactic. It can make or break your hunting experience. This is especially important for us bowhunters, but also very important when rifle season comes around. As most of us know, whitetails have a very acute sense of smell. If you don't take the necessary precautions, 99 times out of 100 you'll be busted before you even see the deer. As serious hunters, we want to be invisible in the woods. Follow these steps to help be undetectable!

Step 1

Before you even load up the truck or head out of camp, you can be taking precautions to control your scent. Wash your hunting clothes using scent-free/scent-eliminator detergent. This is available at most hunting retail stores. Your pants, jacket, long-underwear, gloves, hat, facemask, wool socks, etc. All of your hunting clothing should be washed using this type of detergent. After washing, I prefer to hang my clothes to air dry. Once dry, store the clothes in a clean plastic container or scent free duffle bag. However, before putting your clothes in the container, spray the container with a cover scent. A cover scent is available at most hunting retail stores as well. A cover scent will usually smell like dirt, leaves, etc. Spray the entire inside of the contaier and bottom of the lid. As I take my clothes off the line, I also spray them with a cover scent before I fold them and place them in a container. Also, don't forget about your boots. Since boots don't get washed with your other clothes, make sure you store them away from household products that could leave a scent on them.

Step 2

Once you are ready to enter the woods, take a few seconds before you enter and spray yourself down with the same cover scent mentioned above. This will ensure that you mask any scent that has gotten on your clothes since you put them on. Be especially diligent in spraying your boots and gloves, as these frequently make contact with leaves, branches, and everything else as you're walking through the woods.

Step 3

Step 3 also occurs before you enter the woods. Take a second and think about the weather and how far you have to walk. Is it warm outside? Do you have a long walk? Walking through the woods while carrying all of your gear can get pretty hot. This causes us to sweat, which causes us to give off even more scent for a whitetail to pick up. When I walk into the woods, I usually don't wear my outer jacket. I like to tie it to my treestand that I carry on my back. This helps me to be cooler as I get to my stand. Then once I get to my stand, I put on my outer jacket before I climb up the tree. Also before I climb up the tree, I like to spray myself and my gear with a little more cover scent just to be safe. A quick spray at the bottom of the tree and a quick spray after climbing is always a good idea. Seem like overkill? It's really not...you would be surprised how easy it is to be detected by these whitetails we love pursuing...especially the trophy whitetails who are smart enough to know to run when something isn't quite right!

Follow the above steps to help in your pursuit of that trophy and give yourself the best chance possible!






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