|Use scent-killing spray products liberally, spraying down outer layers head to foot. (Photo courtesy of @CamoCandace)|
In Part 1 of Hunting Tips & Tricks: Scent Control, we talked mainly about how to get and keep your hunting clothing scent free. Now let's discuss how to do the same for your body, and what to do out in the field.
- You Really Stink. It makes little sense to make sure that our clothing is scent free if we are just going to stick our smelly bodies into them. Scent-free body soaps and shampoos will take care of this problem, but only if you use them every day. I actually start using them three days prior to each upcoming hunt. Scent-free deodorant is also wise. Obviously such measures will be compromised if you then use aftershave, cologne or hair gel, so save those products until after you have filled your tag.
- Spray Down. There are some great scent-killer spray products available today. Use them liberally. I like to spray down my outer layers, from head to foot, before heading into the field each time. If I haven't worn a garment in a while, or if I think it may have got some foreign odors on it since the last time, I will spray it down until wet in advance of my hunt, and then let it dry before putting it into an air-tight storage container until needed.
- Cover Up. Despite these efforts, some human scent will always remain. I take further precautions by using a good cover scent in the field. Just make sure you use a scent that is naturally present in your hunting area.
- Keep Your Hands to Yourself. Try to limit your contact with foliage on your way to your stand. Everything you rub up against can hold your scent. Gloves will leave less scent than your bare hands. Some hunters even wear rubber gloves while installing tree stands, as rubber doesn't hold foreign odors for long and is easy to wash. For this same reason, rubber boots are also recommended, particularly for bowhunters.
- Play the Wind. Just because you have done all of these things to try to reduce or control your human scent, don't make the mistake of thinking that this means that you can then ignore the wind. You still have to move and hunt with the wind in your favor. The difference is that now, if the wind switches or swirls and a wayward breeze makes its way to that trophy buck approaching your treestand or ground blind, hopefully your scent is so much reduced that he will think you are hundreds of yards away and of no present danger, rather than within bow range.
Finally, although I don't yet have any firsthand experience with them, a variety of ozone-producing electronic products have recently been introduced that are receiving positive reviews. These devices are hung in a ground blind or treestand and function by flooding the area downwind of the hunter with odor-killing ozone.