Ever since my husband introduced me to hunting when we were dating, I have had a love-hate relationship with cover scent and scent control. Does it really work? Why does this scent-free shampoo make my hair feel like straw? Do I really need to shower again before going out?
My approach to cover scent seems to evolve from season to season, since I like to give things a fair shot before forming an opinion. However, three things have stuck with me.
For me, these are a must – especially during early season. There are very few spots that we hunt where we can get to a stand without breaking a sweat. Even on the spots where we can take the four wheeler in, it still requires a good amount of hiking from the parking spot to the stands. We’ve all been there – you’re covered from head to toe in long pants and long sleeves, it’s 80+ degrees (which in Pennsylvania means it’s HUMID), and you’re sweating all the way to your stand. You feel a little bit miserable and start wondering if this will ruin your hunt.
It’s days like these that we stuff a few field wipes (think: Hunter’s Specialties, Dead Down Wind … or if you’re desperate, scent-free makeup wipes) in our pockets before heading out. That way when we get in the stand and nock our arrows, we can quickly wipe away any sweat that accumulated on our hands, face, hair, etc. on the hike. I also use them to wipe down my bow both before and after the hike in, just to be safe.
Scent-Free Laundry Detergent
A lot of us tend to think of using scent-free detergent for our camouflage. But what about all of the layers under all of that? What about your socks, your tank tops, your undershirts, your underwear, your sports bra? These are all things that can emit a scent from regular detergents and overpower the work being done by your scent-free camo clothes.
For this exact reason, we do our best to wash all of our clothes with scent-free detergent starting a few weeks before hunting season. That’s right – ALL. Now, we could just wash our layers and camo scent-free, and wash all of our other clothes with regular detergent. However, we both work full time and want to spend every moment possible in the woods. For us, it’s so much more time effective to use scent-free for everything and not have to worry about separating hunting layers from everyday clothes.
This one is my all-time favorite. I first heard of Just for Does when I was searching for a scent free lotion that would really hydrate my skin for those zero-degree hunts. One day while perusing their website I stumbled up on what would become the scent I couldn’t live without – the Extreme White Oak Acorn Scent spray. It is non-toxic, all natural, and masks scent like you wouldn’t believe. While using this spray I have had deer walk directly beneath my stand, without so much as looking at me – I was even wearing this when I shot my biggest buck to date! And again, he never even knew I was there.
I like to spray this on my hair, skin, camo, and boots as soon as we park the truck at whichever spot we are hunting that day. My husband even uses it! And BONUS – I even use it as my perfume replacement during the fall – I try to cut out scented lotions and perfumes for deer season, and since this spray smells so good and sweet, it works perfectly.
My 2016 buck shot while using a combination of the above. We gave him time to sit overnight, so as not to push him, which explains the plain clothes. This shot was taken bright and early the following morning when we went out to find him. Shot in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
My husband’s buck shot less than 24 hours before mine, using the same cover scent and scent control techniques. Both of our bucks are now mounted to mirror each other and they are beautiful! Shot in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
So, what do you guys think? Do you have any “tried and true” cover scent or scent control techniques? I want to hear about them!