How to Eliminate & Cover Your Scent When Hunting Whitetail Deer
Any avid whitetail deer hunter will tell you that a deer's sense of smell is their number one defense against predators. Thus, in order to successfully hunt whitetail deer, you must take steps to eliminate your human scent completely. Consequently, it’s wise to employ a number of different methods to eliminate your scent when hunting deer because all it takes is one little whiff of a human to send them bolting for the nearest thicket!
Here are our recommended top things to consider:
Starting with a good shower before heading out on your day’s hunt is of paramount importance. However, a shower alone is not enough, and the last thing you want to do is to use scented soap! Instead, you should consider purchasing use a “Scent-A-Way” shower kit made by Hunter’s Specialties that contains a bar of Scent-A-Way soap, a bottle of Scent-A-Way Shampoo, a bottle of Scent-A-Way Conditioner, a can of Scent-A-Way body foam and, bar of Scent-A-Way antiperspirant; all contained in a Realtree camouflage toiletry bag. Then, as you shower, you should use each product according to the directions and then, use a clean towel to dry off when you are done.
It is a wise idea to wear camouflage pants and shirts that are lined with a thin layer of activated charcoal as well as a hat or head covering with the same type of lining to further absorb any human odor you may generate throughout the day. In addition, when you return to camp each evening, before you stop and visit with your fellow hunters in the lodge or by the campfire, you should first go to your lodge, cabin, or tent and remove your hunting clothing outside and then place it in a plastic bag to prevent any of the camp or cabin odors from getting into the fabric. Then, you should don different clothing for socializing with your fellow hunters. That way, after you have had your shower in the morning and gone to all of that trouble to eliminate your human odor, camp odors on your hunting clothing won’t inadvertently give you away.
3. Spraying your Gear
Before you start out on your hunt each morning, you should also spray your rifle, your boots, and any other gear that you carry with a good scent killer spray to remove any odors that they may have absorbed overnight. Thus, although all of this may sound excessive, taking these steps combined with a proper choice of camouflage will enable you to hide from the deer in plain sight since they will neither be able to see you or smell you, and thus, you will be able to wait until they are in the perfect position for a shot without having to worry about them spooking as long as they do not spot your movement.
4. Direction Wind
Even with all of these precautions mentioned above, paying attention to the direction of the wind is also of paramount importance. Thus, it is a wise idea to carry one of the many different methods of testing wind direction with you. In fact, one of the simplest methods I am aware of is to place some flour or corn starch in an empty, dry, nasal spray bottle and then enlarge the hole somewhat. That way, all you have to do is give the bottle a squeeze and see which way the powder drifts to accurately note the wind direction.
Another method is to use a butane cigarette lighter. To use this method, you simply strike the lighter and note which direction the flame is shifted and, if it does not shift to one side or the other, then there is no breeze. However, both of these methods make unwanted noise and thus, some hunters prefer to carry a small dispenser which contains a very lightweight, white, synthetic fiber so that they can pull a small wisp of the fiber from the hole in the dispenser and release it into the air to see which way it drifts. Consequently, by noting the direction of the wind, you can determine which stand location is best suited for that particular wind direction or from which direction you need to plan your stalk even though you have eliminated your human odor.
5. Tree Stand Hunting
Furthermore, those of you who hunt from a tree-stand may feel like all of this is way too much trouble and completely unnecessary since you will be sitting high above the ground and waiting on the deer to come to you. However, it is important to understand that moving air acts exactly like moving water in that it has many currents and eddies. Therefore, just because you are stationed high in a tree, it does not mean that your scent always stays at the same elevation and does not reach the ground because it very well can with the right wind currents. Consequently, even if you hunt from a tree stand, it is extremely important that you take steps to eliminate your human odor and place your stand so the deer approach from upwind.
Final Thoughts for Whitetail Hunting
So, when hunting Whitetail deer, regardless of whether you hunt from a treestand, a ground blind, or spot & stalk them as many western hunters do, eliminating your human scent as completely as possible is of paramount importance because you are pursuing an animal that has one of the most sensitive noses in the animal kingdom. Thus, in order to have a successful hunt, you must do everything you can to eliminate your human odor. Otherwise, one little, tiny, stray, current of air could give you away and cause you to miss the opportunity to harvest the trophy buck of your dreams!