Defeating The Whitetail Nose

Posted by: Jordan Howell on Sep 30, 2012
Page 3 of 3

Critical Steps

Small subtle odors are often all it takes to alert a deer.  The first way to remedy such odors is to shower before hitting the woods.  Using a scent free soap is important, because the almost all commercial soaps and shampoos have chemicals and fragrances added to them, which will just introduce a non-organic odor to your body.  Showering will eliminate most of the current odors, but your body will start producing new odors almost immediately.  So, what do you do about this?  Most scent control experts suggest the importance of wearing a facemask.  In my opinion, this is one of the most overlooked aspects of a hunter's setup.  Simply put, a facemask will prevent the newly generated odors from escaping into the air around you.  Even if you must pull it down at the time of the shot, wearing one up until then can make a huge difference. As for the rest of the body, the same principle applies. 

Begin by removing as much natural odor as possible with scent free soaps. Then, prevent any new odors from escaping by wearing scent-elimination clothing.  Several different methods exist, with the most common and popular being activated carbon. Basically the carbon molecules are activated by your clothes dryer.  Then, when you wear the garment, the carbon molecules attach to scent molecules and contain them. 

Personally I feel carbon clothing is much more important for controlling non-organic odors than organic ones.  Many hunting garments will do a decent job of containing human scent inside it if you shower before heading afield. But, it’s when other odors are introduced to the outside of your clothes that carbon shines.  These odors can be things like a drop of coffee, an odor from the seat of your truck, odors from your dog that you said good bye to as you left home, exhaust from your truck as you walked around to open the tailgate. Many different things can contribute odors, and deer will pick up on all of them.  Washing your hunting clothes periodically in scent free detergent will keep odors at a minimum. When in the field, scent elimination sprays help by targeting and destroying the bacteria and chemicals that cause odor.  I keep a bottle in my stand to “freshen up” with every so often.  I also use it to spray down all of my hunting gear. 

Bottom Line

Remember, scent elimination does not eliminate all human odors. However, in my opinion, it definitely helps my chances of success by masking and containing a great deal of my scent.  The fewer scent molecules that are floating around in the air, the less chance a deer has of picking up on them.  This year I am using a new line of products from Tink’s called B-tech.  They have a complete line of scent control products including detergent, hair and body wash, and field spray. They use a substance called Byotrol that attacks bacterial odors and then leaves a polymer film to combat future odors.  I also like that it does not leave a white residue like some other products.  So far I have been impressed with how it has performed on my early season hunts in Kentucky. 

nose5
 
Scent elimination products are an important part of a bowhunters arsenal...choose wisely.

Number One

A deer has many senses that he relies on to stay alive. Acute vision designed to pick up the slightest movement, and precise hearing that will notice the slightest little squeak or pop.  But neither compares to a whitetail's nose.  Their ability to detect odors is unmatched.  A deer's nose is his number one defense.  However, by hunting smart and using the right tactics a bowhunter can overcome theses obstacles and be successful time and time again.  Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy though.  It takes patience and discipline to only hunt the right conditions, and to be consistent in our scent control.  Sometimes this means forfeiting a hunt rather than educating the deer.  But the hunter who does so can expect to reap rich rewards year after year.

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3 Comments on "Defeating The Whitetail Nose"

Re: Defeating The Whitetail Nose #
"If you are able to keep deer downwind of you they will remain calm and at ease, and will be more likely to continue using the area." "Therefore, keeping the deer upwind of your location is vital to success." Really? I think you need to revisit the terms "upwind" and "downwind"......slightly confusing in your article.
Posted by Kyle on 10/2/2012 3:12:58 PM
Re: Defeating The Whitetail Nose #
i was thinking the same thing. upwind and downwind are used incorrectly in this article.
Posted by Brian on 11/11/2012 7:23:01 AM
Re: Defeating The Whitetail Nose #
Big time problem....I am a ground bow ground hunter, I perfer this than a stand but also will use a stand. Sent free is a must and picking wind direction is most important! I found that if you use a sent cover and use the wind to push it for you, all will be fine, no mater if it switches directions on you. But you must be sent free as possible, thats what makes it work for the nose that knows nothing.....
Posted by dchrysler on 12/2/2012 9:42:19 AM

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