For most big game animals, their number one line of defense is their nose. Their sense of smell often warns them of danger well before their eyes or ears ever do, and well before the hunter ever has a chance to see them. If you are a big game hunter hoping to close the deal on a mature animal, understanding scent control is crucial and will make you a more successful hunter. If you are serious about fooling the nose of a mature animal, you must first understand scent control and the difference between scent elimination and cover scent.
First I want to explain cover scent and why I feel most cover scents do not help. In years past, I was one that always had an earth scent wafer on my hat every time I went in the woods, but not anymore, after studying the science behind the nose of a whitetail, it has completely changed my perception of scent control. A whitetail has a nose that works very similar to that of a dog. For example, take a cheeseburger with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato and bacon. A dog and a whitetail alike with smell each of the items(the bun, burger, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard, ketchup and bacon) as individual smells, while we as humans on the other hand will most likely smell the strongest odor, as we do not have the ability to single out individual scents. So, if you use a scent to try to cover yours, the only thing you are doing is adding another smell to your surroundings. Sure that big buck is going to smell that earth scent wafer, but guess what? If you do not take all precautions to control your human odor; he is going to smell you as well.
Scent elimination is the process of doing everything in your power to eliminate as much human odor as possible. On numerous occasions I have seen hunters at gas stations pumping gas while wearing their ScentBlocker Camo prior to hunting. When you put your hunting clothes on in your home, then get in your vehicle, then stop to get gas, etc., you are then taking scents from all these locations in the woods with you. The technology behind ScentBlocker is amazing, but we must understand the steps needed to utilize this technology properly. ScentBlocker apparel is designed to keep your human odor from escaping the suit, from the inside out, when you are not taking precautions to keep odors from getting on the outside layer of your suit, you are defeating the purpose. Yes scent elimination spray can help decrease the odors on the outside of the garment, but face it, unless you completely soak your hunting clothes when you enter the woods, the molecules from the spray is not going to reach every piece of fabric containing odors from the human environment.
Can we completely eliminate human odor and 100% beat the nose of a mature big game animal? My answer is, I do not think so, but I feel we can use up-to-date technology and take precautions to greatly minimize human odor. I look at it like this, I may have a mature buck come in downwind from my stand, but if I am wearing my ScentBlocker apparel and I have taken every precaution necessary, I may minimize my scent just enough that the buck does not see me as an immediate threat, and maybe thinks I’m 400 yards away instead of 30. This may be just the time I need to get my bow to full draw and release an arrow.
My Scent Control Process:
- My clothes are washed using ScentBlocker Trinity laundry detergent, I wash my hands and put on gloves when removing from the washer, I place directly in a sealed bag, then take outside and hang to dry when possible (I try not to use a dryer as a home dryer pulls air from inside the home to circulate and dry your clothes). When the clothes are dry I again wash my hands and put on gloves so the outside of my garments do not come in contact with my skin. I then place my hunting clothes directly in a sealed bag. If weather forces me to use my dryer, I make sure I spray the garments thoroughly with scent elimination spray prior to putting in a sealed bag.
- I always shower using ScentBlocker liquid body soap and shampoo prior to hunting
- I drive to my hunting location with my hunting clothes in a sealed bag. After exiting the vehicle, I spray my hands with Trinity Blast and put on gloves prior to taking my hunting clothes out of the bag. I then put on ScentBlocker base layers and suit, spray down with Trinity Blast as an extra precaution and I am ready to hunt.
- When I come out of the woods, I undress and put my hunting clothes back in a sealed bag prior to entering the vehicle.
I hunt in a lot highly pressured areas where the big boys are and I can tell you, they don’t get big by being stupid. In the Appalachian Mountains where I spend most of my time hunting, there are big bucks but they are few and far in between. My success in the hunting TV industry with Whitetail Fenzy and being able to consistently harvest multiple Pope and Young whitetail each year in the Appalachian Mountains is a direct result of intelligent, proven scent control. In these mountains you can’t hunt the wind as it constantly changes direction and swirls and face it, these deer are not as easily patterned as deer in the Midwest and you never know where they are going to come from.
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