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John Eberhart - Scent control regimen

John Eberhart

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Part 1

My personal scent control regimen - John Eberhart

-Never allow smoking in my vehicle or use vehicle scent wicks.

-Just prior to season I quit eating pungent foods that may contain garlic, onions, hot peppers, strong spices, etc. that cause additional body odor and bad breath.

-During season I limit my body’s breeding grounds for bacteria by shaving every day including my armpit hair, and keeping my hair cut shorter than normal.

-On the day’s I hunt I cut out coffee because it causes; anxiety, increased perspiration and stimulates the need to use a bathroom.

-Some other things I do to aid with scent control is occasionally hand wash (non-scent detergent) any; fabric bands on releases, ropes, rattle bag covers and my hunting harness.

-Hard items like binoculars, calls, bleat cans, range finders, folding saws, and water bottles are occasionally wiped down with scent free wipes.

-Use scent free detergents for washing my non-carbon lined clothing.

-Use scent free shampoo, body wash, antiperspirant, and toothpaste.

-Wear anti-microbial undergarments against the skin to aid in reducing odor by killing bacteria and my go-to fabric for base garments is merino wool because it has insulating as well as cooling properties and it doesn’t itch like regular wool does.

-Many hunters use field sprays over the exterior of their activated carbon lined clothing and the base ingredient in most field sprays is sodium bicarbonate which is better known as baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda has some adsorptive capacity and that’s why it’s commonly put in refrigerators to adsorb foul odors but it doesn’t have the adsorptive capacity to remotely adsorb enough human odor molecules to eliminate the need to hunt the wind.

-I never use and there is no need to ever use field sprays over your ScentLok exterior garments. Sodium bicarbonate and other ingredients in sprays are foreign odors to where I hunt and in heavily pressured areas any foreign odor can alter the mindset of a mature buck that may be coming into my location because of the destination merits I chose the location for in the first place. Foreign odors of any type are not conducive to success on mature bucks in heavily pressured areas. On the micro-managed properties TV and video hunters hunt, they can get away with major gaps in scent control and many other hunting practices, but I and likely you don’t have the luxury of hunting in such areas with lots of relatively easy to fool and kill mature bucks.

-Anti microbial field sprays or anti-microbial treated garments are relatively meaningless if they don’t come in direct contact with the bacteria on your skin. Wearing an exterior anti-microbial garment or spraying your exterior garments with an anti-microbial spray as seen on TV and in videos would be like spraying the outside of your house with an insecticide to kill insects inside your house. It simply doesn’t work that way.

-Anti-microbial sprays or garments must come in direct contact with the bacteria on your body to kill the bacteria. Even when an anti-microbial garment is correctly worn as a base garment and does kill bacteria, it still doesn’t do anything to adsorb or get rid of the odor from the dead bacteria or adsorb any of the hundreds of other odor molecules not related to bacteria that are constantly emitting from our bodies.

-Anti-microbial garments wore against the skin as base layers do help lower your overall body odor by killing bacteria which will keep it from multiplying. But if you use anti-microbial base garments as a scent control regimen, you better hunt the wind because they are not even close to being enough to disregard wind direction.

Caring for hunting garments and gear

-Air tight containers are always used to store all garments and packs.

-There are many commercial types of air tight containers in the form of bags and hard containers with rubber seals. ScentLok, Hunters Specialties, Tinks, HME, Coleman, and many other companies offer zippered or roll top air tight bags. ScentLok offers carbon lined bags and rubber sealed hard containers called ScentTotes. Some farm stores also offer similar totes with rubber seals at a much lower cost.

-When price is an issue, use plastic garbage bags and bread tie them off to make them air tight. Sterlite or Rubbermaid tubs are not air tight but can be used to store the plastic bags in so they don’t get punctured.

-In season I have 5 labeled containers in my mini-van for different categories of items. I use hard ScentTotes because they can be stacked and I can sit on them while changing clothes in the back of my mini-van as they will support 250 pounds.

ScenTote container categories and contents (all 5 totes are labeled on the outside as to what’s in them)

-Container 1 stores my ScentLok carbon lined jackets and pants ScentLok BaseLayer undergarments only. Nothing other than carbon lined clothing ever enters this Tote.

-Container 2 stores my loaded ScentLok carbon lined backpack, an air-tight bag with my extra ScentLok head covers with drop down facemasks and gloves, and my clean hunting harness. Nothing other than my loaded carbon lined backpack and carbon lined accessories ever enters this Tote.

-Container 3 stores my several weights of foul weather (all waterproof and windproof) garments for differing weather temperatures and conditions. These garments have been washed in scent free detergent, dried and immediately stored in this air tight Tote.

-Container 4 stores my many weights of insulated top and bottom layering garments (merino wool, fleece vests, military wool sweaters, Refrigiwear layer garments, etc.). These garments have been washed in scent free detergent, dried and immediately stored in this air-tight Tote.

-Container 5 stores my many weights of socks, briefs, silver lined T’s, and military fabric belts all of which have been washed in scent free detergent. An old ScentLok suit sealed in a zippered carbon bag is also stored in this container and used when in season scouting or recovering a deer.
Tubs 1 and 2 are for ScentLok carbon lined hunting items only and there is never any non-carbon lined anything that gets put in those tubs.
 

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Part 2

Every garment in tubs 3, 4 and 5 has been washed in scent free detergent and is not put back into its tub once used until they have been washed again in scent free detergent. The garments may get used more than once, but after their first use they will go in an air-tight plastic bag until used again. Putting a used garment back in the tub prior to being washed again will contaminate all the other clean garments.

Used ScentLok suits are put back in their carbon bag and back into their labeled ScenTote. Once a suit has been used for 4 hunts or I feel it needs regenerated sooner because I may have sweat a lot, along with its carbon bag, it will go into an air-tight plastic bag and be stored in the back of the van. Once it and its carbon bag are regenerated it will go back into the carbon bag and into its appropriate Tote.

-All 5 Totes, boots, cart, sled, ramp, overnight bag, warmers, and of course my 2 identical bows are loaded in my soccer mom mini-van with all the rear seats out which acts as a small motel room.

Here’s the scent regiment process from shower to tree and back home.

-Shower using scent free shampoo and soap and dry off with a towel that was washed in scent free detergent and dried in a clean dryer.

-Use scent free anti- perspirant and brush with scent free toothpaste.

-Dress in street clothes and drive to wherever I’m hunting.

-Before getting dressed I wipe my hands with a scent free wipe.

-During rainy or cold weather or when parked along a busy road I can slip between the seats and get dressed on the rubber matt in the changing area of my mini-van. All the rear seats are taken out the day I purchase my vans and are not put back in until I sell it. The back of the van is like a mini hotel room and you can in no way do the same thing when using a truck.

-Weather and how far my entry walks are dictates how my upper body gets dressed. I always dress down to be on the cool side in an attempt not to overheat and sweat during entries and store my extra layering garments in my pack.

-My lower body gets fully dressed because I can’t add bottom layers once on stand. My lower body being overdressed for an entry doesn’t affect overheating as my upper body being overdressed does.

-I always use anti-microbial bottom layers in the form of either ScentLok base layers or merino wool and both are available in many varying weights for differing weather conditions.

-I always wear ScentLok as my exterior garments during entries and exits so as not to leave any odor on vegetation I may brush against.

-I drape my ScentLok pant legs over my rubber or neoprene boots, put on my ScentLok gloves, put on my ScentLok backpack, grab my bow and wipe the handle with a scent free wipe, and head out (I don’t wear my head cover with drop down facemask during entries or exits due to overheating).

-I’m now ready to walk in and everything on my exterior is now scent free (other than my head) and doesn’t require spray.

-If before daylight I use a dim 3AAA flashlight to follow my entry route tacks and see the ground. I would never consider using a headlamp as they are too bright and spook deer.

-I pick a pace that keeps me from overheating.

-Old habits die hard and as a precautionary measure I make a conscious effort not to touch or brush against any vegetation, especially with my exposed head.

-If any vegetation touches my exposed face or hair, I turn around and cut or break it off (while wearing ScentLok gloves) and toss it well off to the side.

-Once at the base of the tree I hang my pack on an eye level step, tie my rope to the bow, take my sling harness out of my pack and put it on, put the pack back on, and climb the tree.

-Once up the tree and hooked up, I hang my pack, lift my bow and hang it, then redress my upper body if needed. During warm weather it may take a little time to allow my upper body to cool down before redressing and I plan my entry time accordingly.

-During extreme cold I load my layering garments into my pack in sequence so that in the dark I just put them on as I take them out.

-I keep several empty gallon ZipLok bags in my pack in case I need to replace a sweaty base garment from the walk in and a quart ZipLok with scent-free wipes to wipe perspiration from my face or body before redressing or putting on my head cover with drop down facemask.

-After a morning hunt (the temperature is usually warmer by then) the routine is reversed as I don’t want to walk out with all my undergarments on as I will overheat and sweat. After an evening hunt (the temperature will be cooler by then) I will usually wear all my clothing out.

-Once back at the vehicle with my carbon gloves still on, I put my bow in its case, take off my ScentLok clothing and put it back in its Tote, undress and put the layering garments back in my backpack and then put my backpack back in its Tote.

-I will generally use layering and anti-microbial undergarments on a few hunts before washing them but they never go back in their respective Tote after a hunt because I don’t want to in any manner, contaminate the other garments in the Tote. I carry some plastic bags and the garments will go into a bag for additional hunts. How frequently they get washed is strictly a judgment call on my part whether I feel they are contaminated to the extent that washing is required.

-I always have two large plastic bags available for contaminated clothing. One for carbon lined clothing only that I feel needs regenerated and the other for layering garments and foul weather garments that needs washing. Again, non-carbon lined garments that have been used, never goes into a Tote with other clean clothing.

-My ScentLok suits are regenerated as needed during season. During warm weather when I may sweat a lot, my ScentLok garments may get regenerated as frequently as every other hunt whereas during cold weather when I have multiple layers on and sweating is not a factor, regeneration is done every 4 or 5 hunts.

-I launder my non-carbon lined hunting garments as needed and that is also a judgement call. Once non-carbon lined layering garments or rainwear has been washed, they can then go back into their appropriate labeled Tote with the other pristine garments.

-Until 2018 I'd never been a fan of ScentLok’s rainwear and own several different models of Rivers Wests rainwear for differing weather conditions. During steady or a hard rain I will wear a previously washed in scent free detergent Rivers West rain suit as an my exterior garment over a ScentLok suit and once that hunt is over, unlike my layering garments that may be used several times before washing, the Rivers West suit will not be worn again until it is washed again.

-I’m always a bit tentative about my scent control anytime I’m not wearing a catch all scent containment ScentLok suit as my exterior garment. I go to great lengths to keep any exterior garments worn over my ScentLok as pristine clean as possible.

This routine may seem like a lot of work, but it isn’t really once you get accustomed to it.

The most important advantage game animals have over hunters is their amazing sense of smell and to whatever level you adhere to these scent control regimen steps, they will help you overcome that defense or totally eliminate that defense.

John Eberhart
 

denots

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I have a question. At the beginning of this you say that sodium bicarbonate or baking soda contained in sprays serve as a foreign odor that the deer can pick up on. I also read a comment that you made where someone asked about rubber boots storing them in the container and you said you just keep them in your van. I know that you get dressed in your van because you keep everything in their scent-free from what I've read. My question is do no skin particles fall off of you and contaminate your van in any way. There for picking up any of said skin particles, hair follicles so on and so forth on the exterior clothing after you are dressed. Also do you not sneeze in your van or cough or in any other way expel any liquid or moisture droplets from your body there for contaminating your rubber boots or any other thing that is exposing your van which can be later touched by your scent free clothing? I read your write ups and they are very informative and very well written. But I'm still just having a hard time wrapping my head around this whole thing. If a deer can pick up on something as minut as some baking soda and alerted by that how can it not be alerted by the hair follicle or skin particles that you pick up after you get dressed in your scent free clothing?
 

John Eberhart

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My question is do no skin particles fall off of you and contaminate your van in any way. There for picking up any of said skin particles, hair follicles so on and so forth on the exterior clothing after you are dressed.
I would assume some of what you describe happens but what's your point? In almost every area I've ever hunted there is always some residual human odor in the environment.

Have you ever heard of or read about Brownian molecular motion? What miniscule amounts of human odor molecules are on me via it be from skin particles or hair while dressing in my van will diffuse into the atmosphere via Browning molecular motion.

The ability of animals to smell odors is dependent on the concentration of the odor substance, and the distance the substance is from the animal. No matter the amount of odor, the farther it gets from the source, the more it diminishes by convection and diffusion into the environment or atmosphere. This convection into a larger atmosphere or area is called Brownian molecular motion.

Example of Brownian molecular motion that humans can acknowledge: I reside about a mile from a small plant that produces wood pellets and uses a wood burning furnace for the process. When the wind is from the northeast the residents residing within a quarter mile southwest of the plant complain to the city council (which I am on) about the odor emitting from the stack. I reside about a mile southwest of the plant and never smell it because by the time it gets to me the odor has diminished by diffusion into the vast environment to levels my neighbors and I can’t detect.

Brownian molecular motion in the deer woods works in exactly the same manner.
 

John Eberhart

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But I'm still just having a hard time wrapping my head around this whole thing. If a deer can pick up on something as minute as some baking soda and alerted by that how can it not be alerted by the hair follicle or skin particles that you pick up after you get dressed in your scent free clothing?
I suggest you keep doing what your doing then. For the record, I can smell baking soda whereas I can't smell another person standing next to me. The strength of the odor of baking soda is obvious to a human, whereas the miniscule amounts of human odor your referring to when I change my clothes are ridiculous. Oh also I have validated proof that it works through 54 years of hunting experience. And you?
 

denots

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I understand you have 54 years of experience. I'm not doubting your abilities as a hunter. I'm just asking a very reasonable and logical question. What about the rubber boots then? I have kept my rubber boots hanging in my barn and hunting out of them for three seasons now and they still smell like rubber that I can smell just holding them within inches of my face. But I guess this is how you handle anybody who asked you a question that goes against What You Preach in every right up that you put on here. You go on attack mode which is fine. I'm man enough to handle it. I just asked you a question, but thanks for showing your true colors.
 

swampsnyper

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I’m sure scent lok helps, so does being 35 feet up, so does picking the correct path to your tree, so does keeping the wind in your favor, so does it being cool, so does it being dry, so does the deer’s experience with hunters and bad experiences with hunters.
I tried to do my best with a scent regimen and scent lok for a year. I still got blown at. Everything was kept in air tight containers until I walked into the woods. The process wore me out and took the fun away from going hunting. For my efforts, I needed a better outcome. I sold my scentlok the following year and buy better clothing that keeps me drier and cooler on hot days and more comfortable on cold days. I gave smoking my cloths a try and it seems to be working. But who really knows. I smoke them and put in an air tight container and they smell like smoke for many uses. It’s so easy and cost nothing. Spend my money on better made performance clothing.
I know getting higher in a tree I get busted less from my experiences. I don’t like to get so high with a Tradbow to increase my angle of penetration for better double lung shots. I can’t say for sure what’s the best route. One day I wish to teach a deer to talk so it can let me in on all its secrets and what it can smell and what alerts it. That way I’ll know for sure. Everything else is just my opinion.
 

huck72412

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I’m sure scent lok helps, so does being 35 feet up, so does picking the correct path to your tree, so does keeping the wind in your favor, so does it being cool, so does it being dry, so does the deer’s experience with hunters and bad experiences with hunters.
I tried to do my best with a scent regimen and scent lok for a year. I still got blown at. Everything was kept in air tight containers until I walked into the woods. The process wore me out and took the fun away from going hunting. For my efforts, I needed a better outcome. I sold my scentlok the following year and buy better clothing that keeps me drier and cooler on hot days and more comfortable on cold days. I gave smoking my cloths a try and it seems to be working. But who really knows. I smoke them and put in an air tight container and they smell like smoke for many uses. It’s so easy and cost nothing. Spend my money on better made performance clothing.
I know getting higher in a tree I get busted less from my experiences. I don’t like to get so high with a Tradbow to increase my angle of penetration for better double lung shots. I can’t say for sure what’s the best route. One day I wish to teach a deer to talk so it can let me in on all its secrets and what it can smell and what alerts it. That way I’ll know for sure. Everything else is just my opinion.
That was just so eloquent @swampsnyper , now go back to bed.
 

denots

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I’m sure scent lok helps, so does being 35 feet up, so does picking the correct path to your tree, so does keeping the wind in your favor, so does it being cool, so does it being dry, so does the deer’s experience with hunters and bad experiences with hunters.
I tried to do my best with a scent regimen and scent lok for a year. I still got blown at. Everything was kept in air tight containers until I walked into the woods. The process wore me out and took the fun away from going hunting. For my efforts, I needed a better outcome. I sold my scentlok the following year and buy better clothing that keeps me drier and cooler on hot days and more comfortable on cold days. I gave smoking my cloths a try and it seems to be working. But who really knows. I smoke them and put in an air tight container and they smell like smoke for many uses. It’s so easy and cost nothing. Spend my money on better made performance clothing.
I know getting higher in a tree I get busted less from my experiences. I don’t like to get so high with a Tradbow to increase my angle of penetration for better double lung shots. I can’t say for sure what’s the best route. One day I wish to teach a deer to talk so it can let me in on all its secrets and what it can smell and what alerts it. That way I’ll know for sure. Everything else is just my opinion.
Well now you better hold on cuz you're probably going to get ripped into next. Don't you know only successful Hunters follow this guys scent control regimen. I mean look at @flinginairows for crying out loud. Am I the hunter that Jared is? Nope. Im not the hunter Eberhart Infalt or @huck72412 are either. What about Warren Womack? The man has killed almost 400 deer, with the average shot at 15 yards. The difference is you can ask any of these other guys a question and they will try to give you a reasonable answer. Thanks for your response swampsnyper.

Edit: minus the reasonable response from John that is.
 

Jefferson10940

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I’ve tried scent lok and I believe it helps for sure. But I will never ignore the wind. Admittedly I do not go through John’s regimen. Like @swampsnyper said, it’s just no fun. I do throw them in the dryer, store in big zip lock bags. Wear the head cover. Play the wind and thermals and guess what ??? I still get busted. Maybe by their eyes maybe by their noses but either way I get busted. They are amazing animals and I love to chase them. I like to try different approaches and next season I will be smoking my scent lok clothes and playing the wind. I am not buying new camo again next year.


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denots

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I’ve tried scent lok and I believe it helps for sure. But I will never ignore the wind. Admittedly I do not go through John’s regimen. Like @swampsnyper said, it’s just no fun. I do throw them in the dryer, store in big zip lock bags. Wear the head cover. Play the wind and thermals and guess what ??? I still get busted. Maybe by their eyes maybe by their noses but either way I get busted. They are amazing animals and I love to chase them. I like to try different approaches and next season I will be smoking my scent lok clothes and playing the wind. I am not buying new camo again next year.


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I to believe that scentlok may help. But I also think keeping your clothes clean helps. I definitely try to leave as little human contamination in the woods as possible. But there's so many variables I'm just don't quite understand how you can get away with not contaminating or leaving evidence of your presence. All I know it's a good thing that arrogance doesn't produce an odor. I know at least one member of this site that would have an empty wall, despite his abilities as a hunter. Scentlok would definitely be no match for that.
 

denots

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I'll say this one last thing and then I'm done with this thread as I don't want to be the cause any more confrontation. I'm very disappointed in your response John. I thought it was a very logical question and an honest one. You know you're looked up to buy many members on this forum. Many of whom scrape together penny's so they can buy a full scent Lok system. I am one of those people. I also bought every single one of your DVDs and books last year when I joined this forum. The fact that I asked you an honest question and you wanted get all uppity and tell me just keep doing what I'm doing, ask what's my experience, are point out that you have 54 years of experience is about as arrogant and pompous of a response as I can imagine coming from somebody. I'm highly disappointed not only in your response, but the fact that I ever put any faith in you or your system. I wish you the best of luck in life.
 

John Eberhart

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But I guess this is how you handle anybody who asked you a question that goes against What You Preach in every right up that you put on here. You go on attack mode which is fine. I'm man enough to handle it. I just asked you a question, but thanks for showing your true colors.
No, I don't go on attack mode I just get tired of hunters knocking and then asking what they feel are deterrent questions to the ability of what activated carbon is and does. I can somewhat guess what other forums most of these hunters frequent.
 

John Eberhart

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I’m sure scent lok helps, so does being 35 feet up, so does picking the correct path to your tree, so does keeping the wind in your favor, so does it being cool, so does it being dry, so does the deer’s experience with hunters and bad experiences with hunters.
Sorry, but I hunted the same hunting heights before PROPERLY caring for, storing and using activated lined garments and I go winded whenever a deer was downwind. Also used correct entries and made every attempt to hunt downwind of where I thought an opportunity would be, but once a mature deer was downwind, it was over.

Obviously you're correct on the warm weather being more difficult due to perspiration and of hunting managed areas as on TV where deer are relatively easy to kill. I however don't hunt in such areas.
 

John Eberhart

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I'll say this one last thing and then I'm done with this thread as I don't want to be the cause any more confrontation.
I took your question as a knock on the process because it was all explained in one of the threads. If I was wrong, I apologize.
 

vabwhntr

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I to believe that scentlok may help. But I also think keeping your clothes clean helps. I definitely try to leave as little human contamination in the woods as possible. But there's so many variables I'm just don't quite understand how you can get away with not contaminating or leaving evidence of your presence. All I know it's a good thing that arrogance doesn't produce an odor. I know at least one member of this site that would have an empty wall, despite his abilities as a hunter. Scentlok would definitely be no match for that.
Like X 100. I'd say more but last time it got a thread deleted.
 

John Eberhart

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I’ve tried scent lok and I believe it helps for sure. But I will never ignore the wind. Admittedly I do not go through John’s regimen. Like @swampsnyper said, it’s just no fun.
Man, I wish I could respond to this but it wouldn't matter. I will say again as I've said on many occasions, if we parked at the same time at a hunting location, I would be out of my vehicle and be ready to go hunting scent free than anyone who is just getting dressed normally.
 

Jefferson10940

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Man, I wish I could respond to this but it wouldn't matter. I will say again as I've said on many occasions, if we parked at the same time at a hunting location, I would be out of my vehicle and be ready to go hunting scent free than anyone who is just getting dressed normally.
I’m not referring to the getting dressed part, I’m pretty good at that. ;)

I’m am not a person who is good at structure and organization on a whole. The process besides the getting dressed part is no fun for me. If someone would take care of all that I probably do it. There are many people who thrive in the OCD life, I’m just not one of them.



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denots

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No, I don't go on attack mode I just get tired of hunters knocking and then asking what they feel are deterrent questions to the ability of what activated carbon is and does. I can somewhat guess what other forums most of these hunters frequent.
Well brother this is the only form I have ever been a member of. You say you didn't go on Attack mode but in the same sentence you talk about you getting tired of hunters asking what they feel are deterrent questions. You write up multiple page threads on activated carbon. You go into great detail as to how great it is. But when somebody ask you a question about contamination on the outside of clothes which is very reasonable do you want to shoot them down
I took your question as a knock on the process because it was all explained in one of the threads. If I was wrong, I apologize.
Apology accepted
 

Jasper2

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I’ve tried scent lok and I believe it helps for sure. But I will never ignore the wind. Admittedly I do not go through John’s regimen. Like @swampsnyper said, it’s just no fun. I do throw them in the dryer, store in big zip lock bags. Wear the head cover. Play the wind and thermals and guess what ??? I still get busted. Maybe by their eyes maybe by their noses but either way I get busted. They are amazing animals and I love to chase them. I like to try different approaches and next season I will be smoking my scent lok clothes and playing the wind. I am not buying new camo again next year.Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
My story is very similar to yours. I tried Scentlok in nearly the same manner as you a few years ago and still got busted. I didn't follow John's regimen exactly either but put what I thought was a lot of extra effort into the process and it wasn't the cure all for me either. I would honestly have no problem following John's regimen if I was more confident that it would work for me when hunting at 20 feet.....I just can't do the 35 foot high thing anymore. My personal experiences on this issue are very different than John's and I have a hard time letting go of that since I saw it with my own eyes, time and time again. When I hunted 30+ foot high years ago, getting busted was almost nonexistent regardless of where the deer were and where the wind was blowing. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find enough positive, credible reviews from guys using Scentlok at 20 feet that has convinced me to pony up the money and give it another shot.
 
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