Hiding your human scent is one of the most important factors in successful deer hunting. The nose of a whitetail deer is a very powerful tool that they use in detecting odors not natural to the area they are in. When a deer is walking through thick woods you can bet money that its nose is whats leading the way. If it smells anything out of the ordinary the deer will become extremely alert and start searching for a way out of the area. Once that old doe starts blowing at you your chances of seeing deer in the next little while just got slimmer.
Its no easy task to cover up all the human scent you carry with you, but the less noticeable your scent is, the more likely you will see good, quality deer. In the sections below we will discuss covering scent on your clothing, body, and hunting equipment.
Washing your clothing and storing them in scent free containers is one of the easiest and most important steps you can take in the process of scent elimination. You need to dedicate one load of laundry to just hunting apparel. Hats, gloves, jackets, socks and anything else you plan to carry in the woods. Wash in a non-scented laundry detergent to eliminate all odors in your clothes. If it is still warm outside, hang your clothes on a line to let them air dry. If you have to use a dryer then do not use any fabric softener and make sure you clean out the lint filter. There are some dryer sheets on the market that will give you a scent that is normally found in the woods. After your clothes are dry you need to store them in a container of some kind to keep human scent locked out. Think of it as placing your clothing in a huge ziploc bag. I also recommend that you invest in an activated carbon suit of some sort. The carbon traps your scent inside your clothing.
At some point of your hunting trip your more than likely to have to walk a good distance to your stand. It is likely that deer will walk over or around the same trail that you walked in on. Rubber boots are best for warm weather because the rubber will not hold foreign odors. On your cold weather boots use a scent free soap to wash them. I always use a cover scent spray on the entire boot including the soles once i am out of my truck and ready to start my trek through the woods. Store your boots with your hunting clothing in a scent free container.
Before your hunting trip you will need to shower with scent free soap and shampoo. That fruit smelling body wash your wife has in the shower just won't cut it. Do not use any soap or shampoo that is not scent free. You can also get some scent free deodorant or just not use any at all before your hunt. Do not use any colognes, perfumes, or scented deodorants.
Your tree stand and any other equipment you carry into the woods also need to be scent free. Remember your bags, gun, and tree stand usually have human scent on them. I've found the easiest way is to use some kind of neutralizer spray or cover scent spray on all my accessories that I carry in. If you have any equipment that is washable then wash them and store them with your clothing.
Trying to trick a whitetail's nose is a difficult task, but with a little time and detailed effort you might just get that extra second you need to squeeze the trigger on that trophy buck.