Ken T. from North Carolina writes to ask about being scent free. “It seems to me that these scent product companies are going overboard on all this stuff. I know you can’t be totally scent free, but just how much do I need to pay attention to my scent when I’m deer hunting.”
Short answer: you can never do enough. Imagine how different whitetail hunting would be, especially with the bow where you need to be close, if deer had no sense of smell. It would change everything. Since that isn’t possible, and since deer have a super sense of smell, you need to do as much as possible.
Think about it for a moment. If you reduce your odor by 90 percent, the amount of human odor that buck gets when he stands 20 yards from your tree stand is a lot less than if you used nothing to reduce odor. Thus, he won’t get as alarmed, because he may well think you are a long way off. So, I suggest treating — meaning washing everything you hunt with plus yourself — in scent free soap. Also, spray yourself, your clothes, and all your gear, including the bow, arrows, release aid, gun, safety harness, backpack, boots, etc., with some type of scent-inhibiting spray.
Another tip is to then store those clean clothes in scent free containers, and change into and out of your hunting clothes outside, away from potential odors, etc.
Do all these things, and more, and you will increase your hunting odds.
Keep up with the latest tips from Guide Outdoors and visit Sportsman’s Guide for the latest Scents and Scent Eliminators.
Dr. Dave writes a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for more than 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 31 years.