There is very little point in setting up a location for a tree stand or as a place to mount a trail camera if you leave traces of human scent all over the place. Even the most favoured of trails will quickly be abandoned by canny bucks if they detect the scent of humans everywhere.
And they WILL detect it.
The last thing you want to see is a lot of cases where the following is happening...
If this is a sight you are all too familiar with, chances are your scent is being detected.
The need for scent elimination methods is necessary if you are going to venture into the wild and expect to catch your game unaware. This is also the case if you are going to leave objects such as your trail camera or a tree stand in situ.
Anything you have touched or anywhere you might have walked should be sprayed with a scent elimination spray. While it is not possible to completely eliminate our scent, it is possible to reduce it to a minimum. This gives it a chance to disperse to the point where it won’t completely freak out a passing buck.
Scent Elimination In The Laundry
The process of scent elimination starts in the laundry. It is increasingly becoming the norm to have a set of carbon-lined clothing by makers such as ScentBlocker and Scent-Lok. If you have gotten to this point in your quest to remove scent then you should also be smart in your choice of laundry detergents. In order to ensure the performance of your clothes you should use specialty carbon detergents and wash them separately from the rest of your clothes.
To continue the process of ensuring odors do not have a chance of embedding themselves back into your clothes during the drying process it is possible to buy scent eliminating dryer sheets. This will keep any stray odors from inhabiting the clothes in this process.
From the dryer the hunting clothes should be placed straight into a scent eliminating bag for the trip to the hunting grounds. At this point you will be operating with scent elimination sprays.
What Should Be Sprayed?
Pretty much anything that comes into human contact should be sprayed if it is going to also come into contact with deer.
How about starting with these:
- Your body
- Your clothes
- The things you touch
There are products that you can buy and use to bathe with and it would be a good idea to start using them in the weeks leading up to hunting season. The fragrances used in normal commercial soaps and detergents are all big red flags and need to be washed away well before you head out.
Laundering your clothes is a similar situation and there are scent elimination laundry products available to remove as many foreign aromas as possible. They will not all be eliminated but they will be minimized as much as possible if they are continually washed in good quality scent elimination products.
If at all possible, don’t wear your hunting clothes until you have arrived at your destination. Everything that you touch contains foreign odors and it will cling to your clothing. SO when you get to the hunting area, put your hunting clothes on and then give them a good spray with a scent elimination spray. Give extra attention to your boots because they will be the most likely place to harbor the bacteria that grow in damp areas to cause odor.
Scent Elimination Sprays
There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to using scent elimination sprays. Some of them work very well while others are not quite as effective. Similarly, sprays that appear to be quite good over the shorter term might be found to fail to last after a couple of hours and you could be given away at the crucial moment.
Scent elimination sprays that are often reported to give good results include the following:
Hunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Odorless Spray - this is one of the most popular scent control sprays on the market and is often recommended when people come looking for a "best scent elimination spray" recommendation. It works by combining four elements to prevent odors: molecular conversion, oxidizing, bonding and neutralizing. It is very effective in its job of helping you hide from the noses of deer. It is safe, natural and won't stain clothing or other items of equipment that you might use it on. It is available in a couple of sizes: 12 oz and 32 oz and it is also available in multi-bottle packs too.
Find out more details at the Hunters Specialties site.
Wildlife Research Scent Killer Gold - this is one of the increasingly popular types of scent blocking sprays available. It incorporates Hunt Dry technology into its formula so that it is still at its maximum effectiveness after it dries. It is possible to spray clothes weeks before taking them hunting and the formula will still be working effectively. It has been found to be over 99% effective in stopping replicated human odor in university testing. The test was carried out 10 days after the product had dried. The spray is available in a 24 oz spray bottle and there has been a recent addition with the new quart combo package that consists of the 24 oz spray bottle plus a 32 oz refill bottle.
Get more details by visiting the Wildlife Research site.
Primos Hunting Control Freak Scent Eliminator Spray - this is a dual action scent eliminator that acts on both bacterial odors such as human body odor and non-bacterial odors such as those generated from man-made products. It is a complete coverage formula that can be applied to the body, clothes and equipment to instantly remove odors and it will continue to work for up to 24 hours. It is part of a wider range of products including laundry detergent, body soap, deodorant and wipes. The spray is available in 16 oz and 32 oz spray bottles as well as a 14 oz aerosol continuous spray can.
You can find information about the entire range of scent elimination products by visiting the Primos Hunting website.
Dead Down Wind Evolve ScentPrevent Field Spray - This is a field spray that is part of a wider range of products designed to eliminate unwanted odor. In this case the Evolve field spray uses advanced enzyme technology to control and overcome a broad spectrum of odor molecules. The spray can be used to remove human, smoke, gas, and other synthetic contaminant odors. Also included in the range along with the field spray are laundry and personal hygiene products and they can be used together to form a complete protective barrier between you and your quarry. The spray is available in either a 12 oz or a 24 oz spray bottle.
There is a lot more about the range of products to be found at the Dead Down Wind website.
Scentblocker Trinity Premium Scent Eliminator - Robinson Outdoor Products is the manufacturer of the highly successful line of ScentBlocker hunting clothing and has expanded its field of scent control with the Trinity spray. The technology that has gone into the clothes has also been used to produce this spray which the company promises will destroy odor through chemical neutralization with extreme odor absorption capabilities. It is available in a 24 oz spray bottle and can be used on clothing, boots, blinds and other equipment. It can be used in all conditions no matter whether it is wet or dry.
More information about the various scent elimination products are available on the Robinson Outdoor Products site.
Nose Jammer - this is a spray that is comprised of vanillin as well as other compounds. Due to the presence of the vanilla extract the spray actually smells pretty good. The product works by overloading the olfactory senses of the animal. The results are also good with the recommendation that the spray be used on your clothes and gear with a good 5-10 second squirt required. It is available in either a 6 oz or 2 oz aerosol container. As well as the field spray the company also offers a wider range of laundry and personal hygiene products to enable a full scent elimination solution.
More details about the various products available can be found on the Nose Jammer website.
Under Armour Scent Control Spray - The product uses Zeolites and chemical compounds to create a chemical reaction that will adhere to odor molecules to trap them so they can be removed as part of a wash cycle and this will permanently eliminate odors. The spray comes in a 32-oz pump spray pack and should be applied in a thin coat to the external surfaces of your clothing as well as equipment such as treestand, backpack and bow. The Under Armour website recommends that you apply the spray the night before to let it dry so that it is at its most effective.
You can find out more details about the Under Armour technology surrounding this spray can be found on the Under Armour website.
Scent Elimination Clothing
The hunting clothing that you wear will also play a big part in just how undetectable by nose you are. Rather than use scent elimination sprays each time you get dressed there clothes that are available with the scent elimination built into the fabric itself.
The two main players when it comes to high-tech scent elimination are Scent Blocker and Scent-Lok with a complete range of clothing items all designed to mask the wearer from any nearby game.
Rather than get too deeply into the pros and cons that may be attached to the clothing range of each of these companies I will simply provide you with a link to the respective websites and you can browse through the extensive range that they both provide.
Ozone Generators For Scent Elimination
There is another method of eliminating our scent so that it is undetectable by the animal nose and that is an ozone generator. For hunters who prefer to operate from ground blinds or tree stands the use of an ozone generator could prove to be a very wise choice.
One of the most positively reviewed products in this line is the Ozonics HR-200 which converts oxygen molecules into ozone molecules and effectively completely masks human scent. The device is positioned just above your head and can either be mounted in the tree or the roof of the ground blind to blow ozone to blanket your scent.
The Ozonics HR-200 costs around $400 but when you consider that by using it you won’t have to concern yourself with all of the other products involved with removing your scent before you reach your hunting site. We talk more about the product in our review article Ozonics HR-200 for Effective Scent Elimination or you can visit the Ozonics website to get more details.
The company also makes another model, the Ozonics HR-150, which is designed solely for use in ground blinds.
The big question about these pieces of equipment is, do they work? The overwhelming majority of reports from hunters, many of whom were dubious before using them, is that they work and they work very well.
It is important to remember that even specially designed scent elimination clothing will be exposed to external odors and their effectiveness can be compromised. It is always recommended that, wherever possible, you put your hunting clothing on after you reach your hunting site.