Scent Control: The 1-2-3 Knockout Punch - by Bruce Wilds

Folks hear it year in and year out regarding scent control. Our pro staff is constantly promoting scent control with the Scent-A-Way products, and for good reason. They work! Hunters Specialties has developed a 3-step system to help hunters perfect the art of scent control.

In all my travels, I always have that one guy or gal that says: “Well, I just hunt the wind and have no problem killing deer”. There is no doubt that playing the wind is a great strategy and that every deer that is upwind of you, will never smell you. However, what about all of the deer that come from downwind? Oh, that’s right - these folks never see those deer. Why? Because they don’t practice scent control! A hunter cannot control deer movement and cannot guarantee where that big buck will come from. With that being said, why wouldn’t you want to practice scent control? It puts the odds in your favor, should a deer decide to come in downwind.

The first step (Step 1 - Clothing) in the process is the washing of ALL gear and clothing in a scent controlling laundry detergent, such as Scent-A-Way MAX or Bio-Strike Laundry Detergent. It is imperative to not wash your clothing in the same washer as your normal laundry, where normal detergent is used. These detergent scents will get onto your clothing and you will struggle to eliminate them. If there are no other options, run a few cycles of unscented or fresh earth detergent through the system before washing your gear. This will help to reduce any unwanted smells.

Once your clothing is washed, make sure it is dried well and be sure to store it in an airtight bag, or tote, so no foreign odors can get on the clean clothing. Once completed, it is time for step 2.

The second step (Step 2 - Body) is cleaning your body and controlling how much you will sweat. For this, Hunters Specialties makes a Scent-A-Way MAX Liquid Green Soap (the original) or the Bio-Strike Bodywash and Shampoo. There is also a Foaming Hand Soap as well that I use on my head and neck in the early season, just before the hunt.

Once washed from head to toe, let the soap sit on your body for a few minutes and give it time to work. After you get out of the shower, be sure to use the antiperspirant deodorant. This will help reduce how much you sweat and reduce the bacterial growth that causes body odor.

I take the green MAX soap one step further. I always wash my gear, such as my rubber boots, bow, treestands etc. with the green soap as well. This helps to eliminate any foreign odors on those items and gets us ready for step 3.

The last step (Step 3 - Field) in the process is utilizing the other scent control products as you hit the field. The first rule of thumb in scent control is to never get dressed before you get to your hunting location. By waiting, your hunting clothing is sealed up in the air tight bag or container. It is staying odor free. Once you get to your location, then you get dressed.

Once you are dressed and ready to go, it is time to spray down with the field spray. I prefer to use the Bio-Strike Odorless Spray, however many folks love the Scent-A-Way Fresh Earth Spray. Both are solid bets in keeping you undetected by deer.

Two other key items that I carry with me (especially during our archery season when temperatures can be a bit warm) are the Scent-A-Way Field Wipes and the Foaming Hand Soap. Here in Virginia, our bow season can get up into the 80s during the daytime, making hunting very miserable and very sweaty. I always carry a pack of the Field Wipes in my back pack. Prior to leaving the truck, I always take the foaming hand cleanser and squirt a handful in my hand and rub it into my hair, my face and all over my chest and back. This gives an added layer of scent protection.

When I get to my stand and get settled (which is oftentimes a climber in early October) I will be dripping with sweat. Once in my tree, I always wipe down with one or two Field Wipes. This not only helps to cool me off, but also provides that added layer of protection. I can’t tell you how many times that I have been pouring sweat and have said to myself, “well, I will never see a deer like this” only to have some of my best bow hunts unfold right under my tree.

For those of you that don’t practice scent control and just play the wind, you are missing out. There are so many deer that you are not seeing, because they are smelling you long before they ever get to you. I am a firm believer in this three step system and scent control. If you have not taken scent control to the extreme, you are missing the boat and a lot of good bucks are slipping past!