Beginner's Guide to Scent Masking for Deer Hunting
- 28 Nov, 2017
If you are looking to learn more about scent masking when you are deer hunting, these 4 tips may offer some advice you will appreciate.
When hunting deer, it helps to know what you are going up against. For example, a whitetail’s vision is 20/100. That means they will see at 20 feet, what you see at 100 feet. Although this might make it tempting to think you can get away with anything, the reality is different. Although deer don’t see great detail, their eyes are specially developed to see movement. What’s more is that deer also have a higher ratio of rods to cones in their eyes, thus allowing them to see much better in low light conditions. Once you understand this, it is a no brainer they tend to move so much during dawn and dusk light.
Although a deer’s vision is outstanding, a deer’s sense of smell is phenomenal. Researchers have concluded whitetail deer’s noses have up to 297 million scent receptors. To put that in perspective, you have about 5 million, and the bloodhound has about 230 million. That’s right, you’d have to cram 14 human noses into the nose of a bloodhound to equal the sniffing power of a whitetail deer. To encourage hunters to stay downwind seems like an understatement.
Although in an ideal world we would all hunt with a perfect wind, but that isn’t always the case. Winds shift, deer patterns change, and sometimes we are forced to hunt less than perfect stand locations. These factors result in the possibility of our position being blown (pun intended) by the wind. These are the sorts of hunts where scent masking comes into play.
Scent masking for deer hunting is fast becoming a trend. The reason is that up until just a few years ago, there really were no products available that would help eliminate our human scent. We were at the mercy of the wind. These days however, there are a wide variety of products that can help us cut our odor, as well as strategies we can use to help minimize our scent during a hunt. Anyone looking for advice when scent masking for deer hunting may appreciate these 4 tips.
The first step that many hunters are taking to reduce their scent, is by washing all of their hunting clothes in scent free soap. There are a variety of products available today that allow you to get your hunting clothes clean without all the smell. Forget the fresh clean scent of recently washed clothes. If you can smell it, you can be darn sure the warning sirens will be going off in a deer’s brain.
Secondly in the soap department, there are a growing number of hunters who are using scentless body washes as well. The routine for many hardcore hunters is to take a ritual shower before each hunt, using the scentless body wash. In addition to body washes, there are carbon based shampoos as well. This approach is the best way to get the smells off your body without adding new ones. In addition to soaps and shampoos, many people are using scentless deodorant as well. It is about trying to eliminate all smell, not just bad smells.
Another approach many of the same hunters are incorporating into their scent routine is to keep all of their hunting clothes in airtight containers. Once your clothes have been washed in scent free detergent, they need to be isolated from the fragrance of other clothes. An airtight tote set in the garage is a good precautionary measure to take.
In addition to clothing, you can also feel free to keep your boots, bow, and backpack in similar containers as well. All of these will collect scents if left out in the open air. By decreasing the amount of odors they collect, you can really decrease the amount you take into the field.
Another way hunters are scent masking for deer hunting involves their hunting boots. For starters, you won’t see a diehard tromping around the gas station in their hunting boots. Having a pair of boots dedicated to your hunting forays is ideal and will decrease the smells you take afield. As mentioned, you won’t hurt yourself by storing these boots in an airtight container either. Good practice is to finally put them on at your destination. Once on location you can spray your boots down with some sort of scent neutralizer. This spray should go all over your boots, even the bottom of the soles, as well as a misting over your clothing. If you happen to have collected any unwanted scents, the spray will help cover it up right before hitting your stand or blind.
In the Field
The final step to scent masking for deer hunting takes place once you have actually entered the field. There are actually technologies today that can actively neutralize your scent as it is leaving your body. Likely the most popular example of this is the Ozonics scent neutralizer. The Ozonics unit mounts just above your stand, or in your blind, and emits ozone molecules into the air. Strangely enough, these ozone molecules actually attach to scent molecules that are leaving your body. The result is a smell that is unrecognizable to deer, thus deer are not spooked when they cross your scent path. With a growing number of happy customers, the folks at Ozonics seem to be onto something.
At the end of the day, none of these steps can replace hunting with the wind in your face. If you can do that, all the spray in the world won’t matter one bit. As we mentioned though, things don’t always go according to plan. The strategies and products mentioned will help hedge the odds in your favor if things do change. Scent masking for deer hunting starts long before the hunt, and requires a bit of discipline. Incorporate these 4 tips into your hunting routine, and you may find just the edge you are looking for.
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