All-righty guys It’s time to talk about my biggest concern when I hit the hills chasing big muleys here in Utah, and that is your human smell. We all have a smell to us, and animals hate it. To them it means danger, now mule deer might not be as cautious to smells as their smaller cousin the white tail deer are. But I have seen them come into a watering hole and circle down wind to check for predators. They do have great noses, and the big bucks are big for a reason. I have seen smaller bucks and does just walk right in slowly and stop on occasions and look closely at their surroundings but in the end walk up to the water. But a big mature buck will circle and walk by and come back hours later, they are not stupid and will pick their time to come into water or a food plot, or any area that they know has a high risk of danger.
There are things you can do to get the upper hand on these bucks. When I was younger I did my best to cover my human smell. For the most part I would take my camo from the washer and dryer and throw it in my bag with my other clothes and toiletries and whatever else I was taking to camp that weekend. When it was time to hunt I would take the camo out and spray it down with cover scent or a sent killer. I have tried all the kinds of cover sent, from Hunters Specialty to Primos and whatever else I could find at Walmart and Sportsman Warehouse. I would hose down my clothes with this stuff, just about drench it. From my under-where to my boots and even my pack and bow. To me this was enough to hide my smell, whether I was going to get in a tree stand or blind, if I was going to hike down some of my favorite trails. Or be lazy and ride my ATV around the roads and glass hillsides. The routine was the same, spray the stuff and hope they don’t smell me. For the most part I got lucky on a few occasions but it seemed the deer where not staying persistent with their patterns as they were the previous days. Trail cameras don’t lie, and the deer were not coming in when I was their. However they would show up about 20 minutes after I had left, no matter what time I left they came in or walked by 20 to 30 minutes later. This told me they know something is not right, I know there is no way could see me. I’m covered in camo from head to toe and I took an hour to get into my stand, so I k
now I didn’t make a sound so it must be my scent.
Well here at Nock and Stalk I hope you can learn from my trial and errors about our human scent. It is nice to say I have a new routine, it’s a little better than just spray and pray. In the past couple years I have seen a bigger increase in the number of deer that come walking by my stand. When I do these simple common sense steps to better hide my smell.
- Wash your clothes in some kind of sent killer detergent. Wash your camo alone, don’t throw your nasty gym shorts in with it.
- After washing your clothes place them in the dryer with the dryer filter clean. Add the scent killer dryer sheets to the camo. If you don’t have the Sent killer ones then just dry them by them selves don’t add anything.
- Take the camo straight from the dryer right into their own sent lock bag (I use dry bags). If you have 2 or 3 different sets of camo shirts and pants you might want to place them in their own separate bag. I hunt for 3-4 days at a time and will put on a clean set of camo each day. (dont place used camo with fresh camo together)
- Ok now its time to add some new sent to your clothing, I like to use the little sent wafers from Hunters Specialties. They work great and are cheap and they can be reused over and over again. I prefer the fresh earth sent one but there are a couple of different scents to choose from.
- After you add the wafer to your clothing in your sealed bag it should be ready to go in a day and when you pull it out, it should smell like the earth your walking on. Then its nice to just pin the wafers too your clothes when you get dressed.(they come with clothes pin)
- It’s not a bad idea to freshen up your worn clothing up with some scent cover or scent killer throughout the day.
Following these easy 6 steps will help you mask your sent a lot more than just using your regular detergent on your camo. Next is your own personal hygiene, keep yourself clean. None of our trailers we take hunting have showers in them so we improvise with a camp shower. It’s a small bag that holds 4 gallons of water that heats up the water when it is placed in the sun for a period of time. I shower in the afternoon after the morning hunt cause I wont lie the its cold when its breezy even in the summer. Next don’t lounge around camp in your camo, don’t hang around the fire-place and cook your food in your camo. Also do not fill your ATV with gas while you are wearing your hunting camo, its all common sense guys!! Take it off when you’re not hunting and hang it up to air out. If you are hunting from a tree stand or a blind my advise is to change at your stand before you climb in. That way your camo is not all sweaty when you climb in. Stay cool as possible when hiking take your time no need to rush, you need to be quiet while your hiking in anyways so go slow. When I get to my stand I dress down I then pat down with baking soda, baking soda neutralizes odors and drys up your sweat from your hike, then bushes off. I learned this tip from YouTube and it has done good for me so far, they pour backing soda in an old sock then pat themselves down with it. I put the clothes I wore to my stand in that bag I carried my camo in and place it a good distance from my stand a 100 yards of so. I then climb in my stand and I’m ready to go. When I’m done I climb down and take my camo off, place it back into the bag with the wafers again and get redressed and ride my ATV back to camp. Sorry this one is so long guys and I could have made it much longer, I just have so much to say on this topic and I’m sure I left some things out. This might be a little over kill to some, but I have seen a difference when I put extra thought into my scent. Good luck guys!!! Bow hunt starts tomorrow here in Utah!!!! Remember to Nock it tight and Stalk it light.