Do Scent Eliminators Really Work – Deer Hunting

Scent Eliminator Sprays & Scent Blocker Clothing

Do Scent Eliminator Sprays really eliminate odors and does Scent Blocker Clothing really block odors, the answer to this is not a simple yes or no. Here we will explain the differences between Odor & Scent Control, which will help you become more successful on your hunting adventures.

Odor & Scent Control Differences

Odor- odor is very easy to smell as we have all experienced someone with bad body odor, but for animals the slightest human (odor) smell is a danger alert, so we need to understand it and minimize it. Yes, minimize since we can not eliminate odor. Odors are created by the Apocrine Glands which are found in the groins, hands, feet, and underarms and the Eccrine Glands, which are the major sweat glands found in virtually all skin, with the highest density in palms, soles, and head. Now sweat does not have odor itself, but the bacterial on our body attacks the sweat and creates this odor. This process only takes a few minutes to an hour depending on our activity, how we are dressed, and our psychological condition.

Scent Control- Scent is an odor or smell that is caused from an outside source other than our bodies, which adheres to our body or penetrates our clothing. The wrong scent and again the deer will be alarmed, but the right scent the deer will either pay no attention to or they will seek it out.

Scent Eliminator Sprays

Scent eliminators or killer sprays are designed to block or minimize your body odor. I personally, do not use these sprays and have found that the deer can also smell these. During one hunt I had a buck follow my trail to my stand after spraying down with a Scent Killer, that is when I stop using them. I figured if a curious buck was tracking my scent killer spray that more were avoiding my area. So unless you’re out in field for a week or two and have no way to keep clean I would not use them.

Fact, you can not eliminate odor so the best thing to do is to minimize it. This can be done by good hygiene and making sure your hunting clothes and boots are scent free or scent controlled. We will explain this more below.

Scent-Blocker Clothing

Scent blocker clothing is designed to contain your body odor by absorbing it in the activated carbon that is sewn in the material. The cons to this type of clothing is that it can only absorb so much before the activated carbon is saturated, then it needs to be regenerated.

Scent blocker clothing will last for a season or two then it loses its ability to absorb odors, giving you a sense of false security after that. I do not purchase this clothing and prefer cotton camouflage material that can be control through washing and scent covers (masking odor). You can see in my videos that bucks come right under our stands or within 10 yards when hunting. Our stands are only 13 to 15 feet off the ground and we do not purchase odor eliminator sprays or clothing. The only scent we will purchase is Doe Estrus for the rut, otherwise it’s all odor control with natural scent to help mask our body odor. In this video the deer comes up to the stand to lick the apple juice that was on my boot due to stepping on apples in my orchard.

This video is taken by my son who also uses leaves for scent control.

This video is during the rut and this buck stood under my stand for 10 minutes without scenting me. Again we do not use any scent eliminator sprays or scent blocker clothing. I did have apple on my boots, leaf scent on my clothing, and I had a Doe in heat pad hanging in a near by bush. These are just a few of the videos we have and we have no trouble getting bucks to come in close.

How To Minimize Your Odor

There are a number of things you can do to minimize your odor and I will touch on a few. However, each hunter is different, the climate your hunting is different, and the terrain is different, which will require different tactics. For example, when I had my land in Buffalo Co. WI. I carried my clothes up the ridges in a plastic bag. Once I got within a hundred yards of my stand I changed into my hunting clothes and put my sweaty clothes into a different plastic bag. This kept my body odor from penetrating into my hunting clothes.

A Few Odor Minimizing Tactics
1. Shower before going out to hunt. Use just water unless you have odorless soap.
2. Keep your clothes and boots clean and free of outside/artificial odors and store in a scent free plastic bag. Use leaves from the woods to help mask odors.
3. Do not use deodorants, hair gel, hair sprays, makeup, lipstick, body lotion, skin moisturizers, etc when hunting.
4. Use rubber boots versus leather with cloth.

How To Control Scent

There are two things you need to consider when trying to control scent; first those scents that you do not want to be absorbed into your hunting clothes and then those you do want. For example you do not want the scent of oils or grease, but you do want the scent of woods, acorns, or Estrus (Doe) at different times.

Non-Wanted Scent

Avoid having your hunting clothes and boots in the present of; cooking food, pets, smoking, oils, grease, cosmetics, soaps, paints, house sprays, etc. Avoid eating spicy foods, fried foods, and chewing gun before going out to the woods. Do not wear your hunting clothes or boots other than for hunting and that means change them even before you get into a vehicle . If you have helped field dress a deer or hunted in your clothing for a few days then wash them and place them back into your non-scented plastic bag.

Wanted Scent

Cover/masking scent works better than Scent eliminators, which really are just scent reducers. So what scent do we want and how do you apply it? The best scent is a natural scent that the deer are use to such as; corn, apples, leaves, bark, acorns, ceder, sumac, etc. The best of these is leaves, which is also the easiest to make and apply. For this all you have to do is pull leaves, place them in a non-scented plastics bag, and then place your hunting clothes (boots, hat, & gloves also) in the bag. See how to use leaves as a scent control.

Conclusion

You need to practice odor control and scent masking if you want to improve your hunting skills. If you get a sense of security from using scent eliminator sprays or scent blocker clothing then keep using them as they do help to minimize and block body odors. However, I do not purchase these items since you can do a better job at minimizing your odor then what these products offer. You can even make your own natural scent, which will mask what odor you could not eliminate and produce a smell that is natural to the deer.