Scent Blocking- How far will you go to eliminate scent for hunting

There are hundreds of scent control products on the market for the deer hunter

In the recent past, the development of scent eliminating clothing and scent blocking products have become a very lucrative business. Companies and manufactures of all kinds have developed “scent eliminating” products that virtually guarantee results. As the deer hunting season get closer and closer, we will begin to see hunting accessories and hunting tools of all kinds popping up at our favorite hunting outfitters; everything from camouflage face paint to scent eliminating chewing gum, YES……CHEWING GUM.

When I think about scent elimination, I like to think of this old farmer that I used to know. When you would walk into his beautiful home, he would have wall to wall deer mounts of everything from a spike to a 14 pointer. That old farmer would tell stories of his hard work in the sugarcane field. Once his day in the field was done, he would grab his shotgun and off to the dear stand he would go. Sitting there in his farm clothes, saturated with the smell of old fashioned American hard work embedded into it, he would enjoy his evening of hunting and watching deer. It always boggled my mind to wonder how I could sit there and have myself convinced that I did not see deer on a particular hunt because of the scent that I had left on the moist ground with my boots as I walked to the stand, but this old farmer could take absolutely no scent elimination precautions and be highly successful AND ETHICAL???????

Deer have a great sense of smell and often can wind hunters from over 100 yards with the right wind conditions

I think that maybe in recent generations, we have gotten a little too wrapped up in buying our way into a successful deer season. Nowadays, it seems that if a company slaps Big Buck in the name and “guarantee” results that we are ready to buy it. I don’t think that there are necessarily any bad products out there and I do believe that there are many great manufacturers of many outstanding products. It is just that may hunters get too caught up in a false sense of security by buying products that ensure success. I do reasonably believe that it is likely that most products out there do have some function or at least some benefit.

Young whitetail buck spots the hunterA good hunter should consider all aspects of his or her hunt. A truly successful hunter will consider all aspects of the environment being hunted, such as weather, climate, feeding times, etc. I absolutely believe that there is no replacement for scouting, planning, and time in the woods. I don’t think that it is OK to completely do away with scent control, but eliminating scent is something that I think is a bit more difficult that we would like to think it is. When assessing scent elimination products, or any product for that matter, look for unbiased studies that support the cause. Credibility behind the study or the claim should always be a factor in deciding to purchase a product. It is important to realize that a supporting study that is sponsored by the manufacturer in an “independent” lab may not always the most reliable. Remember that the manufacturer only serves justice to themselves to sponsor a study that proves their product to be effective. A dedicated hunter with sound hunting practices and a list of lessons learned will be a successful one. It is also O.K to use a product or two to help you get a competitive edge, as long as it is legal and ethical, but don’t forget the basics.

Written By Jason Johnson
Images By Daniel Hendricks