Early season bow hunting presents advantages and disadvantages to hunters like you. One advantage is that it is during the early season when young whitetail bucks begin to form bachelor groups or herds that stay together to some extent. But hunting early season means getting sweaty, which can cause you to emit an odor that will make deer smell you and cause them to run away.
The amazing sense of scent of deer makes them difficult to pin down. Did you know that deer have close to 300 million olfactory scent receptors? In comparison, we humans only have 5 million while dogs have close to 200 million.
In short, scent control is vital to early deer hunting success. Below are some ways to control your scent and enhance your chances of hunting deer successfully.
Your hygiene plays a big role in scent control and elimination during the early season. Let’s face it: you are not always fresh smelling if you stay in a camp during deer hunting season. When you wake up in the morning, you’d eat your breakfast and drink your coffee. And when you get into the stand, the hot humid weather will cause you to sweat in buckets.
So, how do you eliminate your human scent and make deer miss your smell? There are several ways to do so. One is to brush your teeth using non-scented toothpaste. You can also chew chlorophyll gum or pills to further reduce bad breath. Some hunters even go to the extent of bringing a portable mouthwash container and hydrogen peroxide, then swishing their mouth to keep their breath fresh.
When you shower, do so using a scent-eliminating body wash and shampoo. Give yourself more time for rinsing—at least 5 minutes should do. After a shower, dry yourself using only towels that were laundered the same as your hunting clothes. Then use a scent-free antiperspirant.
You may also bring scent-eliminating wipes with you. This can help you stay cool and clean while waiting for your prey. Scent-eliminating wipes can kill bacteria and cool you down.
There are other scent-elimination techniques that you can do even before going to the hunting site. Dense areas of hair are notorious breeding grounds for excess odor and bacteria. It is recommended that you shave your beards, armpit hair, and cut your hair during the hunting season. You may also make some changes in your diet by avoiding pungent foods that may contain strong spices, hot peppers, onions, and garlic as these can cause bad breath. These foods can also lower the chances of you making unwanted odors.
Clothing is another area where you would want to reduce your scent. Sure, regular detergents clean your clothes, but these have fragrances that can alert deer when in the woods. Instead of using regular detergents, you’d rather utilize scent-free detergents that can keep your clothes clean and at the same time, prevent deer from smelling you.
There are several brands of scent-free detergent. You may also use a combination of borax and baking soda to create your detergent. To avoid picking up scents from inside your dryer, you may want to dry your clothes outside.
Clothing storage is equally important. After washing and drying your hunting clothes, place them in a Zip-Loc bag and put it in a plastic container. This should keep your gear sealed away from contaminants.
Avoiding unnatural odors
Avoiding foreign odors also goes a long way towards achieving 100% scent elimination. Avoid odors like cigarette smoke, air fresheners, and scented toothpaste. If you are to have breakfast first, make sure your coffee won’t spill on your gear. Avoid gassing up your tank before hunting as the smell of the gasoline may counteract measures you have already undertaken to eliminate scents.
Are you the type of hunter who likes to pass time with a cigarette? Your habit may prove to be detrimental to your aim of pinning down a deer. One cigarette smoked before your hunt will surely cause deer to run fast.
As has been implied here before, you don’t want to work up a sweat as the deer would certainly smell you. Thus, don’t rush your way to the stand. Leave early and give yourself extra time so you will not be sweating by the time you arrive at the stand.
Another way to minimize sweating is to wear only the necessary clothing. It may also be a good idea to carry your hunting gear and then dress once you have reached the stand.
While at the stand, be wary of the wind’s direction. You would want to keep any human scent from blowing towards your hunt. One way to determine the direction of the wind is to tie a piece of thread to your hunting gun and watch it throughout the day. You will have to change your location as well in case the wind changes direction.
You must also avoid stepping in feces of an animal that is not natural in the hunting environment. For instance, avoid stepping in a cow potty as this will be taken by the deer as an unnatural scent, causing them to run away.
Work boots should never be taken to hunting expeditions. Boots are capable of holding scents for months, and you may be bringing unwanted scents to the stand which deer would eventually smell.
Finally, spray often. Bring your favorite scent-eliminating spray and use this multiple times during the hunt. Doing so will prevent human odor from developing especially when you are exposed to high temperatures.
There are many ways to eliminate your human odor and prevent deer from smelling you. As much as you can, follow most if not all of the techniques discussed above to achieve 100% scent elimination. Doing so maybe your best chance of getting rid of your human odor and increase your chances of successfully hunting deer during the early season.
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