Sponsored by: Dead Down Wind
I have been after this deer for three straight weeks now. I only dare hunt him when the wind is right and when I can get in and out of the blind undetected. Yes I am on the ground hunting the largest whitetail I have ever seen. Due to the lay out of the area and the lack of trees sufficient for a tree stand I had to hunt from a blind.
Scent and the prevention of it was going to be the most important part here. I have hunted for over 30 years but most of it has been from an elevated platform. I have nothing against ground blinds but it was a fairly new concept 10 years ago. I knew with a buck this large and him or any smart mature buck that I had hunted I had to be especially vigilant in spraying down my clothing and gear but it does not start there.
To be efficient in hunting anything that’s using its nose for a primary defense system you have to believe in and practice good scent control. I am not going to tell you to just spray down and you can hunt with any wind. This is not the case. Keeping your scent down as much as possible is all you can hope for. It is just another tool to use in your hunting tool box. We can never totally eliminate your scent but if it buys you ten seconds or thirty extra seconds to get your bow drawn back or pin settled, well then it worked. The animals we hunt have a far more superior sense of smell than we do so if you take certain steps you can put the odds back in your favor.
Having a routine is key and this is what I do to try and up my chances at punching my tag at the end of the hunt.
I will usually start to monitor my diet a month or so before hunting season and I take chlorophyll tablets daily. This will help keep down a lot of scent emitted from our breath and body odor over all.
I will wash my clothing in a good scent free detergent like that from Dead Down Wind and also use their dryer sheets. I will air dry most of my clothing if possible but if not then the dryer sheets work well. I will even take the steps to run a few cycles in the washer with nothing in there but their Scent Free Soap. This will help clean out any old laundry smell. If it is possible its good to have a separate washer and dryer just for your hunting clothing.
I use scent free tubs to store all of my clothing in as well as my boots and gear. The more you do to prevent your scent the better your odds are. I NEVER go to the gas station or the diner in my hunting clothes. You may think it looks cool to eat at Arby’s in your hunting attire but it does nothing to help you kill that deer. I am a fan of tall rubber boots and they get sprayed down as well with DDW and the powder made by them goes inside every time I wear them. I also keep a spare set of boots with me on my hunt.
I will also shower at least once if not twice a day using the hair and body shampoo from DDW. I really like their products because the bar soap actually lathers up and you can get a good clean base before each hunt. Make sure that you use a towel that has been washed and dried using your scent free system.
Everything from base layers to my final outer layer will be stored properly and only used right before I get to my final destination. Wearing your hunting clothes while driving in your vehicle that has a nice strawberry air freshener does not help you either. Like I mentioned earlier you can’t eliminate all foreign scents but the better you try the better your chances.
You shoot your bow all summer when it is hot and your hands sweat or you take hikes to get in shape wearing your day pack so that when the time comes to make that final shot you are ready. You must spray down and or wash all of these key items prior to hunting season. Our wrist straps are soaked with nasty body odor as well as our packs. Make sure to spray down these items a lot and prior to hunting with them. Most bows today have wooden grips on them so take time to wipe them down also. That wood will soak up odor like a sponge. If you have tape on your grip make sure you put new tape on prior to the hunt.
Most deer are taken from tree stands. One of the biggest items we over look in scent control is our pull up rope. I try and only pull my bow up while wearing gloves. I also make sure that my rope is pulled up on my stand while hunting. Leaving it hang in the wind is a huge scent wick that you do not want. Also the seat of your favorite stand holds odor so spray down the cover just to be safe.
I also make sure I keep a bottle of spray with me in my pack to hit my hat, gloves and anything else while on stand. You can’t do too much while sitting waiting on your dream buck or bear.
Over the years I have noticed that my tags are getting punched more regularly since I have become more conscious of scent control. Don’t forget that good woodsmanship, proper stand placement and overall good hunting skills are most important but having a system for your scent is very valuable.
Now back to chasing that big buck mentioned earlier in the story. I was able to take him after 60 plus hours in the blind over a month period. He had no idea I was in the area and he fell to a twelve yard shot. Both of my largest deer have been taken while setting on the ground with my bow in hand.
Remember, for maximum scent control always use products from Dead Down Wind.