Whitetail deer have an amazing sense of smell. Humans have about 5 million smelling receptors and dogs have 220 million. Deer have everyone beat with a total of 300 million, which means they have some of the best sniffers in the world.
Unfortunately for hunters, this means scent elimination is key to bagging a trophy buck in the woods. Lots of hunters take scent elimination into account when getting ready for hunts at home, but how do you handle the need to eliminate scents that could spook deer and spoil your hunt when you’re camping.
Below, we will go over great tips for scent elimination techniques for hunters while camping. Spoiler alert -none of the tips mentioned below include expensive scent elimination sprays from the store or doe-in- heat urine. After all, those techniques are only helpful if hunters have covered the basics already anyways.
Showering with Scent-Free Soaps
While 100% scent elimination is virtually impossible, it is possible to get close to zero. First, you have to wash with scent-free soap. It’s important to concentrate on areas of your body that produce the most sweat such as hair, armpits, groin, and feet.
Wash thoroughly and then rinse for at least five minutes in the shower. It’s important to always choose a shower over a bath because it allows for less contamination.
Cover Body in Baking Soda
After showering, cover your entire body with baking soda. Baking soda is a natural scent eliminator and is safe to use on your skin.
When covering your body with baking soda make sure to pay attention to the same sweat producing areas of your body such as armpits, groin, head, feet, and neck.
Baking soda is useful in decreasing scent because it fights off odor causing bacteria.
Keep Your Breath Fresh
Whitetail deer have such a good sense of smell that even a hunter’s breath can tip a deer off to their location. In the same thought, using minty toothpaste and mouthwash or even chewing on a piece of gum can also give away your location.
To eliminate this, use scent-free mouthwash and toothpaste before you head out into the woods. If your worried about bad breath during the day consider buying chlorophyll tablets or gum.
Bag Your Clothes and Keep Them Sealed
Now that we’ve talked about how to keep your body clean, it’s time to talk about your clothes.
At home, you probably clean your washing machine, use scent-free, hunter specific laundry soap, and even have dirt-scented dryer sheets to make your hunting clothes smell like nature.
When camping, it’s harder to do this, but there are still a few tips that can keep you as scent free as possible.
First, go ahead and wash your clothes with all the products talked about above. When transferring your hunting clothes to the dryer, use latex gloves. Do the same when pulling your clothes from the dryer.
Once the clothes are dry, seal them in a hunting backpacks and keep them stored in a scent-free place until it’s time to put them on.
At camp, keep your clothes in the backpack. In fact, keep everyone’s hunting clothes in a backpack and store them in an area at camp that won’t be subject to harsh smells such as food cooking, fires burning, or cigarette smoke.
One way to do this is to store everyone’s hunting gear in a sealed container. Make sure to include everything worn in the woods including boots, socks, glove, and head nets.
Next, instead of using expensive factory created scent elimination formulas choose to cover your body and clothes with scents that are natural to your area. For instance, if your tree stand is in a bunch of pine trees break off a branch and rub it on your clothes.
Same goes if you are hunting near a cattle field. Believe it or not, walking through the cattle field and stepping in a couple cow pies may actually help hide your scent while walking through the woods.
If your clothes get wet or nasty from the woods and you don’t have access to a conventional washer and dryer, you can wash your clothes at the campsite and then let them hang dry at camp.
When the clothes are dry put them back in the sealed container for the next day.
With the tips above, you’ll increase your chances of bagging the buck of a lifetime while camping without having to worry about the deer smelling you – even before you see them – and have a good time hanging with your buddies at camp too.
Brandon Cox is the founder of StayHunting, who is passionate about all things of hunting and fitness. Through his hunting website, he would like to share tips & tricks, finest tech that will excite all of the intricacies of hunting whether you be an amateur or a professional.