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Evaluations : Jon E. Silks
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Field Evaluation: Elimitrax
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Dec 24, 2005, 08:52

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To Field Evaluations by Jon Silks

Many of the products we see on the shelves of stores, whether it is a mega store or small specialty shop, are born from dissatisfaction. The inventor, in the course of their everyday life or while enjoying a hobby, encounters something that seems out of place, burdensome or lacking in some way. Eventually they reach a level of frustration that drives them to do something about it. There are basically three choices; complain about it but continue on without changing, buy from another company or create something better.

Scott Whitlock chose to create something better. Throughout the years as a bowhunter Scott experienced frustration with keeping his footwear scent-free. He explains, “In my experience of nearly three decades of hunting deer, I have always been disappointed in the “scent free” hunting boots available. I have always been extremely scent conscious and no matter how hard I tried to make my “scent free” boots scent free, I couldn’t do it.” He continues, “As careful as I am with scent control, ground scent has still ruined more hunts, and even entire areas, than I care to remember. I’m not alone in experiencing failed hunts, I’ve heard from too many others who relate their hunting failures to residual ground scent. Ground scent is the primary factor that educates big bucks of areas to avoid.”

During a hunt in October of 1998 Scott’s frustration was peaked as the trophy whitetail he had patterned crossed his trail, picked up his scent, and bolted. It was at that very moment that he decided to do something about it, and in its very basic form, Elimitrax was born.

The first step for Scott was education. “I first set out to learn everything I could about animal’s olfactory systems, I was primarily interested in how they receive odors and how they interpret them. Wild deer, or any game animal for that matter, with a sophisticated olfactory system, associate human and human related scents such as the material odors of rubber and leather with danger. Smell actually evokes memory more so than any other sense that humans or animals have. This is an unconscious event, which explains why a mature whitetail can cut your trail and immediately become cautious, change direction or explode in another direction. It’s an immediate recognition that doesn’t need to be thought through.”

The journey to a marketable product, however, would be an uphill battle. An initial idea many times overlooks some of the more difficult details. For some, those details present an insurmountable obstacle, but for others they are just one of the challenges on the road to success. “I commissioned laboratories to engineer a material that was above all else, totally and completely scent free. This was an incredibly long process; several labs worked on the project only to give up months later saying that it couldn’t be done.” Scott admits, “I was about to throw in the towel myself but proceeded to interview different companies until I found one that seemed to be very intrigued and challenged by the project.” After years of effort they finally came up with a material, named Elimiscent, which seemed to be up to the high standards that Scott had set.  “The final analysis was extremely thorough and technical and in easier words to grasp, basically said that the material does produce a minimal out-gas (typically what animals smell) but the minimal out-gas Elimiscent produces doesn’t consist of any recognizable odors.  In other words, the out-gas from Elimiscent smells like the air in any given environment which can not be detected or identified by humans or any other animal”, Scott explained.

Obstacles were not a thing of the past however, as pliability became an issue. The new material was brittle and actually cracked at low temperatures. The lab’s scientists re-engineered and tweaked the material successfully and it now remains flexible well below freezing temperatures.

 
Elimitrax Over Boots

The material finalized, Scott moved on to designing of the Elimitrax Over-Boot System. They immediately started to test the system all over the world and on every animal they could find. Scott tells of their efforts, “We filmed all of our hunts and actually tried to leave scent where we knew our quarry would either cross, feed or water. This hunting was done in fair chase situations but also semi controlled environments such as around water holes in Africa where all of the plains game are extremely wary just because everything out there is trying to eat them. We also tested our products extensively on whitetail deer and black bear. In Africa I literally did laps around the water holes, in Canada I walked all over the bait piles and down the natural trails where the bears were expected to enter the bait stations. For the whitetails, I walked all over the area that our stands were hung. The end result was that not a single animal slowed down or even took notice to my presence. By the end of the year we had taken over a dozen mature trophy class animals by bow and had witnessed hundreds of non-trophy game carry on as normal despite all attempts to contaminate the areas that we were hunting.”

The system consists of two rubber-like sandals, which have nylon straps sewn into them, and two large stocking uppers, for lack of a better term, that also have nylon straps attached. The sandals are a dark gray and the uppers are available in Realtree Hardwoods Green or Mossy Oak Breakup. A new plastics technology is used to create the sandal and leaves absolutely no material odors behind. The uppers are oversized for easy on/off but have two mid-leg cinch straps to neatly tuck away the excess. Once you have pulled the uppers over your regular boots they are then secured with the cinch straps attached to the sandals. The cinch straps have a unique feature in that the end of the strap has a plastic pull-fixture attached to it for easy tightening. A simple item, but one that is a big help! The mid-leg cinch straps have the same feature. Attached to the top of the uppers, in the front, are belt straps. These attachments employ an elastic cord and cord locks. The cord runs around the top hem of the uppers and is used as a draw cord for snug fitting on your thighs. One of the cord locks is sewn into the hem of the upper to secure the draw cord feature. The cord then continues to and through the other cord lock, which is attached to the belt loop. This cord lock allows you to pick the height that the Elimitrax on your leg. The actual belt strap has a snap closure for placement without having to remove your belt.

In 2003 I received my first pair of Elimitrax. Unfortunately my season was all but over when they arrived so no testing was done that fall. During the 2004 Ohio bow-hunting season I was able to personally put the Elimitrax to the test. At first it was a little difficult to get familiar with, however, after a few times using the product in the field it became second nature and took minimal time to put on over my boots. More than 100 deer and two coyotes crossed my entry routes throughout the year and at no time did any of them show signs of detecting my presence. On one occasion when my son accompanied me for a video taped hunt he wore the Elimitrax and I used my rubber boots. The first deer to cross our path, a yearling, became spooky and caused the whole herd to become nervous. When the lead mature doe hit our trail she busted out and exited the area taking the gang with her. On subsequent hunts when my son joined me I wore the Elimitrax and carried him on my back for the last 50 – 75 yards. It worked and all was back to normal – clueless deer. In fact, the first deer of my son’s life fell to his arrow after it and three others crossed directly over the path we took to our stands.

 
Elimiscent Gloves

Elimitrax, still a relatively new company, has experienced fantastic growth – over 200% per year. The foundation of that growth is an excellent product and Scott’s driving force, “It’s important to me to provide them with the very best gear on the planet, gear that I wouldn’t think of hunting without, gear that I know will make them more successful. We have very high expectations for the future and will be bringing out several new products soon. My goal is to maintain our high standards of ethics, morals, values and principles while making available tools that break the mold of typical thinking, tools that will make hunters success in big game hunting skyrocket.”

For more information on the Elimitrax Over-Boot System, or the new Elimiscent Gloves, visit them on the web at www.elimitrax.com

 

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