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Do you practice scent control?

Mschmeiske

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Sep 4, 2017
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New York
How many of you consider yourself successful big buck killers? And do you practice scent control or not? Ive always thought you aren’t beating a deers nose! So I’ve just done my best to play the wind, but I don’t have any serious bone on the wall to prove it. Sometimes I ponder trying to be better about it, but it’s a headache.... seems to work for some, but I’ve seen others not have a care in the world and be successful too.
 

DroptineKrazy

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First of all most guys are not out there trying to shoot a new state record buck. That aside, I try to do all that I can to put the odds in my favor and that includes a pretty strict scent control regiment. I also still pay attention to the wind on every hunt and have actually left my stand rather than continue to hunt after the wind had shifted and was blowing from me to the trails I was watching.
 

baz77

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Southern Ohio
I used to do the whole scent control routine all the way down to the towels I dried off with being washed in scent killer and stored in a scent safe tote that was 10 years ago or so...I don't do anything except watch the wind now and still see just as many deer and just as quality bucks...the whole scent control thing Is between your ears...hunt hard smart and watch the wind and thermals and you'll be good to go.
 

DroptineKrazy

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I used to do the whole scent control routine all the way down to the towels I dried off with being washed in scent killer and stored in a scent safe tote that was 10 years ago or so...I don't do anything except watch the wind now and still see just as many deer and just as quality bucks...the whole scent control thing Is between your ears...hunt hard smart and watch the wind and thermals and you'll be good to go.
Yeah but do you know how many deer smelled you that you never heard or saw? I'd rather keep doing it my way and have more confidence thank you.
 

neonomad

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504
Same here, I abandoned several hunts this year due to wind shifts. I throw a lot of milkweed and learn what thermals do, I don’t ever sit where I think I’m doing scent damage.

My scent control was probably more on point five years ago, and has only slipped due to time constraints... I still launder pretty frequently in non scent detergent, store garments in sealed totes, don’t rewear them many times, and everything gets an ozone bath every now and then. My boots are in a tote that has a sealed bag of activated carbon in it, I douse the boots with the carbon with a paintbrush before hunts. So nothing crazy, but yes each hunt requires traveling and time so I do the best I can to have the smallest scent footprint I can and tip the odds. Especially considering some of the best buck setups is where the wind is almost wrong, I try to make that detection cone as faint as possible.

For what it’s worth I’ve shot about six large mature bucks and three of those spent some time downwind. Who knows if they would have pegged me if I was stinkier, but I bet they might have.

This year I was sitting a stand where I was about 350 yards downwind of a neighbors house, I could smell their laundry detergent coming out of the dryer vent, it was unmistakeable. That was an interesting observation.
 

MattMan81

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I wonder this as well. I will never know how many deer I never saw. I use scentloc. But don't count on it. I think of it as a limiter. Not an eliminator. Hope maybe it helps me get that extra step or few more seconds to make the shot. But I don't ever believe I am invisible to a deers nose. Unless there is the scent of a hot doe on the ground. In that case I don't think he is smelling for anything else. :)
 

Sniper4hire

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Jun 5, 2014
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Swamps of St. Helen, MI/Heston's playground
I do pretty well on a regular basis for 3.5 year old bucks and older on heavy hunted state land without any scent control disciplines st all.
Approaching stands correctly in accordance with the wind, and stand rotation are almost the sole reason im able to score regularly. I do my best, within reason to cover my walk in trail but I suspect it is also a useless practice regardless.
Scent cover up or elimination is a pipe dream IMO.... Ozonics and scent lock and the like are magic potions that cannot be quantified in the field. There are too many varying factors that would affect the outcome to ever really prove or know.
Research a deer's olfactory ability, then make your choice. JMO.
 

Mschmeiske

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Sep 4, 2017
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New York
I’ll admit, I wear rubber boots and wash in scent free detergent, but nothing is stored in containers and I’ll wear things days on end besides underwear and socks haha. Sooo minimal scent control is practiced by me? But I don’t have multiple slammers on my wall other so idk.
 

#TradLife

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Jan 3, 2020
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S.E. Michigan
I have a snake oil regiment. HaHa

Kidding. I do try to control my scent. But I also try to keep it in budget. Scenct lok everything isn't in my budget. I did however get a great deal from a friend on a suit, hat, face mask. But I'm not gonna go out of my way for a scent lok back pack, or ozone bag.

I do have a portable ozone generator, and I'll put certain items in a tote between hunts, like hat, face mask, gloves.

I really only do that if I get sweaty, or go for a hunt after work, and I don't get to shower.

Scent free soaps, free and clear detergents (for the garmets you do wash). Clean totes. Clean hands when handling gear.

Still pay attention to the wind.
 

raisins

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Jan 17, 2019
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I'm not a big buck slayer, but I do okay for where I hunt (public land in WV).

I practice some scent control, but only where I am replacing something that I will do anyways or it is easy/not disruptive to me much.

For example: I'm going to shower anyway, so I use scent free body wash and a towel washed in scent free soap. I'm going to wash my hunting clothes anyway, so I use scent free detergent without UV brighteners. I'm going to use deodorant anyways, so I use scent free and even rub some on my feet. I'm going to store my hunting clothes anyway, so I put them in a sealed bag and inside sealed plastic containers. I don't want blood and dirt inside my truck anyways, so I put the most scent free I can find garbage bags over my drivers seat. I want to be comfortable on the drive in, so I don't wear my boots or bibs or coat until I get to my spot and keep those in the back of my truck. What would probably help but I'm just not gonna do it: rubber boots (heavy and don't fit me well and I walk too far for them) and getting totally dressed before the hunt (I'm not going to be in my under goochies out there freezing and inviting Deliverance or a police charge).

Then I play the wind and try not to step where a deer on its way to my stand might smell my foot print.

EDIT: One great addition is a boot dryer. After every hunt, take your insoles out and lay to the side to dry and then dry the sweat out of the inside of your boots. I also hand wash my boots a few times a year inside and out and use the dryer. This combined with putting antiperspirant on my feet means that my boots never stink. I have to think that this makes my foot prints less horrible and maybe helps them fade more quickly.
 
Last edited:

MattMan81

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Jan 13, 2020
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870
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S.E. Michigan
Same here, I abandoned several hunts this year due to wind shifts. I throw a lot of milkweed and learn what thermals do, I don’t ever sit where I think I’m doing scent damage.

My scent control was probably more on point five years ago, and has only slipped due to time constraints... I still launder pretty frequently in non scent detergent, store garments in sealed totes, don’t rewear them many times, and everything gets an ozone bath every now and then. My boots are in a tote that has a sealed bag of activated carbon in it, I douse the boots with the carbon with a paintbrush before hunts. So nothing crazy, but yes each hunt requires traveling and time so I do the best I can to have the smallest scent footprint I can and tip the odds. Especially considering some of the best buck setups is where the wind is almost wrong, I try to make that detection cone as faint as possible.

For what it’s worth I’ve shot about six large mature bucks and three of those spent some time downwind. Who knows if they would have pegged me if I was stinkier, but I bet they might have.

This year I was sitting a stand where I was about 350 yards downwind of a neighbors house, I could smell their laundry detergent coming out of the dryer vent, it was unmistakeable. That was an interesting observation.
I gotta think they are use to that smell in that area. Smells that are always in an area I dont think are alarming. If that was the case no deer would ever go near a house. I sure see them there. I think they remember what belongs were and what dosent.
 

neonomad

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Sep 4, 2019
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504
I gotta think they are use to that smell in that area. Smells that are always in an area I dont think are alarming. If that was the case no deer would ever go near a house. I sure see them there. I think they remember what belongs were and what dosent.
I agree and in that spot I might even be better off to be wearing ocean breeze detergent. Most spots that’s not the case, lotta variables though!

Edit: I’ve had my cousin show up for hunts where I can smell his detergent from 15 yards away, cmon man at least pretend we’re archery hunting!
 

DroptineKrazy

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Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
1,011
Location
Brunswick, Maine
I do pretty well on a regular basis for 3.5 year old bucks and older on heavy hunted state land without any scent control disciplines st all.
Approaching stands correctly in accordance with the wind, and stand rotation are almost the sole reason im able to score regularly. I do my best, within reason to cover my walk in trail but I suspect it is also a useless practice regardless.
Scent cover up or elimination is a pipe dream IMO.... Ozonics and scent lock and the like are magic potions that cannot be quantified in the field. There are too many varying factors that would affect the outcome to ever really prove or know.
Research a deer's olfactory ability, then make your choice. JMO.
Pipe dream? I think there is a fella named John Eberhart that would disagree with you on that one. Stand rotation and approach the sole reason. What about deer density, how high you hunt and the other million factors that go into how many deer you see and or kill.
 

EricS

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Dec 14, 2016
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Georgia
I’m not a consistent big buck killer. I wear scentlok, wash with hs body soap, and use unscented deodorant. I’ve got to where I wear the unscented deodorant year round. The soap I’ve been using for every bath since August. Our season opened three months ago and yesterday was the first time I got busted (as far as I know) in the stand. It wasn’t even scent related. I just setup too close to bedding and an old doe snuck around behind me and had me pegged. I’m under no illusion that I can totally prevent a deer from smelling me. I just hope they think I’m a safe distance away from them.
 

iamcorey

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Oct 24, 2018
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Big buck killer here. Kind of a mix with no rhyme or reason other than they are leftover habits from childhood or when I used to think I could out deer a deer.

Here is my half assed "regimen". Green soap and scent free deodorant. Wash clothes once a season in baking soda. Store in a Home Depot tote more out of convenience than anything else. Wear hunting clothes from house to field, drink coffee and chew. I will spray boots for the walk in.

Decided I did just as well concentrating on wind and thermals compared to trying to walk around in a bubble until it was time to step foot in the field.
 

OspreyZB

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Feb 11, 2019
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248
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New Jersey
I do zero scent control outside of playing the wind and thermals. It's not because I don't think it could help; I think John E has proven that his regimen works pretty good when followed to a T. I just have no interest in trying to cheat a deer out of its #1 defense. For me that's the game. Trying to get close enough to a big old buck to put an arrow in his lungs before his senses give me away. Take away his #1 sense and that just takes a lot of the fun out of the game for me.
 

MattMan81

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Jan 13, 2020
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S.E. Michigan
Eliminating your scent does not put you on deer to note. You can't get on something that's not there, or has visually watched or heard you come in and left or went around you. Or over hunted. After watching THP videos is pretty obvious those guys don't waste a dime on scent control products. They get on deer using that space between there ears. Zach did a pod cast a while ago with John E. They got on scent stuff and John was really preeching the scentlok, but you could kinda tell Zach was like what ever. I think most hunters don't have the money or patience to scrub down like that before they hunt. I'm not gonna dismiss what John says cause his record speaks for its self. But I'm sure the hours scouting and prepping play just as important role in killing big deer as not being to smelly. Plus if your hunting mobile in warmer weather and walk 1 mile in Plus and then set up and don't break any kind of sweat your lieing. You will have generated something. The more you try to conceal it and keep it in the more you sweat. It's just how it works. If I wanted to really kill big bucks I would have to spend more time scouting and knocking on doors to get permission. Then I at least have a chance cause I know where they have been hanging out. Just because I don't smell doesn't mean one is just gonna come walking by.
 
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