5 Signs You’re a Scent Control Freak

There’s little questioning the importance scent control has on your hunting success.  For decades hunters have tried nearly every conceivable way to remove, eliminate, destroy, prevent and kill scent in order to remain undetected by their prey.  And while controlling your scent is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, there are some who take it to the extreme.

Here’s a few telltale signs that you or someone you know may be a scent control freak.

Washing your hunting clothes in scent-controlling detergent is child's play compared to  the lengths a scent control freak will go to remain undetected.

Washing your hunting clothes in scent-controlling detergent is child’s play compared to the lengths a scent control freak will go to remain undetected.

1. Air freshening devices are prohibited in your truck at all times, no matter the circumstance.

A man’s truck is his mobile man-cave, and for us hunters it also serves as the headquarters of many hunting adventures.  No matter the funk left behind by your kids, your dogs or that vanilla latte you spilled on the carpet (don’t tell your buddies you drink those things), you’re not letting any floral or new car fragrances permeate your hallowed seats.

Bonus points if your spray your seats down with scent killing spray, keep boxes of baking soda under the seats, or run an ozone generator in the cab overnight.

2. You wash your bed sheets in scent-free detergent.

Despite your wife’s plea to use regular detergent and her favorite scented fabric softener you won’t back down.  After your scent-free shower and drying off with your scent-free towels you aren’t about to sleep on something that smells like a bed of fresh flowers or some sort of “spring linen” – whatever that is.

Bonus points if you wash the sheets when your wife isn’t around to bust you doing it.

3. Your wife isn’t allowed to hug you if she’s wearing perfume.

Hey there lady, I know you want to show some affection for your man who is about to bring home the bacon wrapped venison, but you better not get too close smelling like a bottle of coconut oil.  We’re not hunting in Hawaii here and I’m not sure if deer appreciate your sweet fragrance as much as I do.

Bonus points if you hide her perfume until after Christmas.

4. You have stripped down to your undies in sub-zero temperatures to change into your hunting clothing before a hunt.

If the Seinfeld “Shrinkage” episode rings a bell you know what I’m talking about here.  Despite nature’s best shot your scent control routine isn’t about to be derailed now.  Late season hunting means spooky deer and controlling your scent becomes even more important.  Cold or no cold you’re going for broke.

Bonus points if you’ve sacrificed your street clothes in order to have something to stand on other than snow while changing.

5. You can recite the wind direction and speed, by hour, for any upcoming 48 hour period during the hunting season.

Ever give someone directions and tell them to head East or West and they look at you like you’re speaking Chinese?  Fact of the matter is most folks couldn’t tell East from West if their lives depended on it.   Yet we hunters can tell you not just the direction we’re facing but also what direction the wind is blowing for the next 2 days.  If you’ve ever been caught saying “The wind is going to be out of the West until about 2 o’clock but it’s supposed to start switching more North before dark” then you’re definitely a scent control freak.

Bonus points if you check the weather so often on your smart phone your wife becomes suspicious about who you’re talking to.

Have any more surefire signs you’re a scent control freak?  Post them below!

Justin Zarr
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Justin Zarr

General Manager at Bowhunting.com
Justin has been bowhunting for more than 25 years, harvesting a number of P&Y whitetails in his home state of Illinois during that time.  He co-hosts the popular bowhunting show 'Bowhunt or Die' and is a frequent guest on numerous hunting podcast.  Justin lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago with his wife and 3 children.
Justin Zarr
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  1. Man this stuff is just the tip of the iceberg…

  2. Deandra Buskill says:

    The perspective of a female is a little different.
    1.) My boyfriend doesn’t hunt but I do, avidly. I spend upwards of 40+ outings each fall. I bring home the deer meat so I scent wash whatever I please, sheets included.
    2.) Perfume is a problem.
    I love smelling like what I imagine Audrey Hepburn would smell like but my deer herd doesn’t. I am always afraid that the perfume smell is seeping into the pours of my cars fabric. I make a compromise by only wearing perfume on the days in know my boyfriend is going to drive us somewhere. I don’t care if his car smells like perfume.
    3.) Frilly smelling girl products.
    This one drives me crazy. I have long luscious locks of hair, to keep them healthy they require products. Products smell. When season comes around I sacrifice taking peak care of my hair for scent control. Scent control shampoo doesn’t help the shine that’s for sure but I do it for the hunt. I also sacrifice moisturizing to the fullest during season because they don’t sell scent control lotion.
    4.) Elimination when on all day hunts. Its not as easy for the ladies to eliminate into a bottle as it is for guys. Wide mouth bottles are a must. Plus another good spray of scent control after.

    • Justin Zarr says:

      Thanks Deandra, great feedback!

    • Holly Bartolo says:

      Nice post! I know what you mean!

    • Give Deaux Girl Scent free/Scent Control products a try! No need to sacrifice you hair for the hunting season!

  3. Blake Jackson says:

    Justin, your really hide your womens perfume? I would be killed if i attempted that one.

    • No way Blake – I’d be killed as well. This is why you get bonus points if you’re risking life and limb to remain scent free.

  4. Adam Carter says:

    Not to mention using scent-eliminating shower soap and deodorant up to 48 hours before the next hunt. I also use cover scents in the field and wipe down all my gear with scent-eliminating wipes before heading to the stand.

  5. boynamedsue32 says:

    for the bowhunter who enjoys a dip in the wood I think you guys should contact Skoal or Copenhagen about an estrus flavored strait cut or maybe some fresh earth flavor. Many hunters don’t realize how strong tobacco products stink up the deer woods.

  6. boynamedsue32 says:

    I’m completely kidding about the above comment btw 😉

  7. Todd Graf Todd Graf says:

    I will say Justin is a scent FREAK!

  8. Dwayne Jones says:

    I have to say I do a lot of these things too. Especially not using car fragrances and standing on my street clothes when I change into hunting gear.

  9. @heywiz says:

    I discovered last year that bean burritos overshadow any scent control efforts.

    Scent control actually influenced my purchase of a truck with leather seats, cloth retains too much scent. <- true story.

  10. Brodie Swisher says:

    Funny stuff, Justin Zarr!

  11. Dblungr says:

    Great stuff here. Washing the sheet… AWESOME! My girl knows that she’s barely allowed to look at me after I shower, before a hunt. And yes the last two vehicles I purchased had to have the leather seats just for scent control. Just want to add, I have street clothes dedicated for driving to the woods that only get washed in scent free soap as well. No one mentioned your breath?? I will use mouth wash to kill the germs, then I chew on some pine needles (the long ones) just for the juice, then spit the remains out. I know they have gum for this, but that stuff tastes horrible … Lol. What do you guys use?

  12. I use the Autumn scent wafers in my truck all year long. NOTHING with a scent is allowed in my truck (at times I want to ban all of my guys–and you can guess why).
    In preparation for the season, I wash not only my hunting clothes, but towels, sheets, and underwear. I have a duffel bag full of nothing but scent free linens.
    When I pack snacks and food, I take items that have a natural scent: nuts, apples, etc. and I chew scent control gum while on stand.
    I rarely wear perfume as I hunt so much throughout the year, but I have hidden ALL of my Mom’s perfumes and body lotions when we hunt her farm. –and yes, I have refused to hug or kiss family members who smoke.
    I have done herbal cleanses before the season starts and drink Liquid Chlorophyll in my water leading up to the season and during.
    I have been known to intentionally step in deer (horse or cow if they are on that farm) poo on the way in and out of a stand to use as a natural cover scent… and I go scent free for Spring Turkey hunts! Yes, I know turkey’s do not smell, but just about everything else does and I’ve watched turkey follow deer into the field. Why lose an opportunity at a great Tom!

  13. Barrymaddog says:

    No bacon for bfast ever again! We had a friend who was along on a 6 day bow hunt we did in Kansas that must have brought 30 lbs. of bacon. Every morning he’d get up early and sizzle bacon and serve it up with eggs and toast. Don’t get me wrong the sh*t was damn good but the whole freaking cabin smelled like bacon and so did we and anything in or around a 50′ radius of the cabin. It become a joke all week long and when I finally ended up killing a decent buck we named it the “bacon buck”.


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