By: Greg Kuper
Most hunters know that deer have an extremely sensitive noses. They can smell 20 times better than humans. A deer’s sense of smell plays a part of their everyday life. It keeps them tuned in to what is going on in their home range and what is happening around them. 
Homemade scent block for deer

As a hunter, it is important to have a basic knowledge of how a deer smells and how they react to smells. They smell the air and they smell the ground to get a grasp on what has been going on in that area and at what time. That’s right, they know what was there based on scent (They know which scents were deposited from predators and which were left by other animals), and based on the strength of the scent, they know when you were there (Scents weaken as time goes by). When a deer smells another deer or animal in his/her territory, they have the option of either interception or avoidance. He knows you are a predator, so if he smells you, he will likely avoid you.
Spraying yourself with deer urine is a good start because if a buck smells a female’s scent, he will investigate because he will want to mate (during rut anyway). A deer can detect if deer urine is old because its chemistry changes after about 20 minutes, so you may need to reapply. But also understand that deer can smell layers of scent. In other words, if you spray the deer urine on you, he will still smell your human scent underneath. SO, you need to block your scent with scent block. 
You can go buy scent block in any store that has hunting stuff, even Wal-Mart, but it is really expensive. My experience is that purchased block gets used too sparingly. Honestly, you need to cover every inch of yourself to block your smell. Think of the movie Predator when Arnold covered his body with mud so the alien couldn’t see him. You need to do the same thing with your scent. To cut costs, I have a few suggestions for homemade brews.
  1. I have two scent blocks that I have used that I believe work. Before you apply it though, make sure you shower with scent-free soap and dry off with a towel not washed with scented detergent. Because just walking to a spot will make you sweat and a deer will smell you.
    • Natural ~ A Native-American friend of my Dad’s told me to boil pine needles, leaves, twigs, acorns and bark. It is the natural scents of the forest. Once it boils for about 15-30 minutes, let it cool. It makes a tea of sorts. Once it cools, you can put it in a never-before used spray applicator and douse yourself with it. 
    • Chemist ~ This formula has been used by a lot of hunters I know. You will need some unscented shampoo (Wal-Mart or any drug store) –About $3.87 ~ 16 oz of Hydrogen Peroxide (Any store) about $.50 ~ Baking Soda (Any store) – About $0.50 ~ Distilled Water (Wal-Mart)- $0.59 (You can use any water that don’t have the chlorines and iodides that are in city tap water-I get mine from a natural spring-Then it is $0) = A total cost of $5.46 ($4.87 with the spring water). It gives you over a gallon of scent block or 128 oz. 
    • To make smaller amounts, get a gallon jug (Cleaned milk or a water jug) or a large bowl and gently shake or mix in 2 cups (16 oz) of the water, ½ cup of baking soda, 1 ounce of the unscented shampoo. You want to mix until the baking soda dissolves. Once it dissolves, either cap the jug or pour mixture into a jug. Put cap on loosely to allow the gas to escape. I know one guy who puts a balloon over the opening and fastens it with a rubber band…the balloon will blow up from the gas. Because of these gasses, you may want to consider wearing a mask. Let it sit in a dark place for about 3 days or so. This mixture will be good for up to 2 seasons. To increase amount, increase proportions appropriately.
    • Put the mixture into a spray bottle. It absolutely has to be clean, so buy a new one. They are in most stores (Wal-Mart) - $1.99. 
    • Make some wipes. Wipes are great for wiping down your boots, your gun (Or Bow), and even your chair or stand and any other gear you bring. You can use a baby wipe tub- About $3.47 new with the wipes (Free if you get an empty tub from someone you know with a baby). If the baby wipes are unscented, you should be able to use them, otherwise don’t. You can use brown folded paper towels just as easy. Don’t use rolls of paper towels. It becomes tedious. Pour the mixture into the container and let it soak in for an hour or two, then pour out the excess liquid and keep the lid closed so the wipes don’t dry out. 
    • It works! Why? Because the Hydrogen Peroxide kills bacteria and fungi, which is where the scent comes from and baking soda deodorizes everything.  
    • Here are some prices of the stuff you buy in stores. WildLife Research Scent Killer = $8.94 for 24oz or $0.37 per ounce ~ Robinson Labs Scent Blocker Carbon Blast = $9.99 for 32oz or $0.31 per ounce ~ The stuff I showed you to make in this article = $5.46 for 128oz or $0.04 per ounce.
  2. Wash your hunting clothes, body and hair with the scent block. It’s cheap now, so you don’t have to apply it sparingly (Remember the Predator movie with Arnold). Do not use scented deodorant. Carry the spray bottle with you and spray yourself again after you get out of your vehicle, and spray the area you will be sitting in. You might even want to spray the ground as you walk. Try not to get it in your eyes or mouth. 
  3. Wear rubber boots. Leather boots hold in odor/scent, so the rubber boots are better. You still want to wipe them down with the wipes you made, and you can even spray the bottom of your boots with deer urine. 
  4. Make sure your spot is downwind from where you are expecting a deer to show up. Even with scent block, it will increase your chances of remaining undetected. 
  5. Be where other hunters aren’t. You could eliminate every bit of smell from yourself, and if a guy 100 yards away stinks to high heaven, he won’t only screw himself from a legitimate opportunity, but he will ruin your chances, as well. Go deep into the woods…most hunters don’t go more than a couple hundred yards in. 
  6. When you are done hunting, take a shower with regular soap. It will remove the scent block. Wash the clothes doused with the scent block separately from other clothes. Use scent free detergent right off the bat and you’ll be ready to go next time you want to hunt. 
  7. Believe it or not, this stuff works pretty good if you ever get sprayed by a skunk, too.


Meet Greg Kuper:

Gregory Kuper resides in Madison, WI with his wife Heather and Son Bradley. He is a graduate of UW Whitewater where he received a BA in Public Relations and English. In addition to writing about outdoor activities, he also writes children's books and is graduate of The Institute of Children's Literature and a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children Books Writers and Illustrators).  He frequently travels with his family to Crivitz in the north woods of Wisconsin where he enjoys being an outdoors enthusiast. Specifically, he hunts, fishes, whitewater rafts, trail rides on his ATV, bikerides and hikes.