Deer Hunting Scent Control
I am often asked: “What do you do for deer hunting scent control”? I thought I would post a quick article on what I do.
The first step of my scent control regimen is to make sure my clothes don’t stink out in the woods. I buy a scent free laundry soap before the season. I don’t have a brand preference among the major brands, but I do make sure it is from a reputable hunting products supplier. You can get unscented detergent from other places, but many of them also contain UV brighteners, increasing the possibility deer will see your “UV glow”. I also wash a load or two of normal clothes in the scent free detergent before my hunting clothes to eliminate the smell from the washer and dryer itself. Hot water kills bacteria and is a must. Once my clothes are dry, they go in an unscented garbage bag (lawn bags are great) and into the Rubbermaid container. Don’t forget to wash your gloves and especially your hat!
After awaking for my hunt, I also shower using scent free products. Again, I have no preference on the brand. Make sure anything with hair is thoroughly cleaned. Then I use a scent free antiperspirant. No scented products at all. I do use a regular toothpaste, but follow with a hydrogen peroxide and water rinse. Carry some of this mixture to use while in the field. I then dress in my light base layer and head out. I gassed up and did everything else the night before. Could I pick up some odor on the way? Sure, but I do try to minimize it.
Once at my hunting land, things get more complicated. I first spray my base layer with Whitetail Alchemy Scent Eradicator. This is an advance formula that will remove odors when sprayed, and help eliminate new odors all day. It leaves no residue on your clothes or equipment. Then I put on my outer layer and spray it down. Again, don’t forget your hair and hat! In warmer weather, I always use rubber muck boots and spray them with Scent Eliminator.
My stand is a short 40 yard walk. I leave my zippers undone to not overheat. I place a little. Lucky 7 Synthescent Whitetail Deer TRAX on my boot heel, creating a scent trail deer will follow and covering any odors I leave behind. This new scent mimics the interdigital gland with a touch of deer urine and is 100% synthetic.
Once near my stand, and if it early in the season, I use Lucky 7 Synthescent Deer Herd CALM as a lure, placing some on scent wicks or on brush. This scent makes your stand area smell like an area deer commonly frequent. It attracts them, makes them feel safe, and calms them down. It is great all season long. As the rut approaches, I make mock scrapes. Just before the rut, I use Lucky 7 Synthescent Buck-In-Rut MAX in the scrape and Lucky 7 Synthescent Preobital/ Licking Branch GEL about it on a branch. As the rut stars, I add Lucky 7 Doe-In-Heat PLUS to the mix (don’t do this too early; before the rut, doe in heat scents can spook does out of the area). A drop of Whitetail Deer TRAX can maximize the effect.
At this point I am ready to climb into my ladder stand after one last item: cover scent. I mainly use Lucky 7 Just Plain Dirt. I switch to Lucky 7 Dirty Squirrel Nutz (resembles the smell of acorns being freshly buried by squirrels) when the acorns are falling and animals are feeding on them. It can really add some attraction for the deer! I spray myself with some cover scent and I head into my stand.
Does it work? It certainly does. I shoot most of my deer, bow and gun, at under 10 yards. I have had deer surrounding me for long periods of time, never knowing I am there. Have I ever been busted by deer? I’d be lying if I said no. But it is quite rare. The last time I remember two years ago, it was over 80°F out. Probably was too warm to be out, but hey, time spent in a tree is tome well spent any way you look at it.
That is my regimen in a nutshell. Yes, I shamelessly promoted our products. BECAUSE THEY WORK. We use everything we make on our own hunts and we demand the best. We measure success in trophies harvested, not in sales dollars.
Something close to this regimen should also work for you. Modify your deer hunting scent control to fit your situation. However, pay attention to the details and don’t skip steps. It could cost you the trophy of your lifetime.