2017-11-11 / Outdoors

INSIDE THE OUTDOORS

This hunting tip makes no scents

Any experienced hunter knows that deer have a keen sense of smell. Most can recount countless stories where deer caught a whiff of a hunter or the path he recently walked, causing the animal to hightail it out there.

In rifle season it is important to take a deer’s nose into consideration when still hunting or while on stand.

Paying attention to wind direction and natural air flow patterns, such as uphill during the daytime and downhill during the evening when it is cooling, is of utmost importance if you don’t want a deer to smell you.

Also important is eliminating as much human scent as possible. There are a variety of products on the market to help.

There are “scent-lock” and absorbent carbon hunting clothes and scent-eliminating clothing detergents and drier sheets. For the human body, there are scent-controlling shampoos and soaps. There are also scent-eliminating deodorants, toothpastes, chewing gum, and even chlorophyll capsules for eliminating human odors. In the field there are scent eliminating sprays and disposable wipes.

Most archery hunters will use a variety of these products to control odor so that they can get close to deer. Many rifle hunters follow suit, although often not to such extremes.

Some of these are economical and can last for several seasons, such as shampoos, soaps, and clothing detergent.

Scent-eliminating spray allows a hunter to spray down clothing each time he heads afield. It helps minimize any odor picked up since the last time the clothes were washed or worn hunting. However, to really use the product as specified, I find myself using a half bottle of the product each time I go hunting. At upwards of $10 a bottle, that can get expensive.

Earlier this year I stumbled across a homemade recipe that I believe to be quite effective. I used it during this archery season and was pleased with it.

Ingredients are water, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and scent-eliminating shampoo. There are different variations of it, but I have been mixing a cup of water with a cup of three-percent hydrogen peroxide solution. To that I add one tablespoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of green scent-eliminating shampoo or body wash.

I slowly stir the mixture to dissolve everything without causing too many suds, let it sit for a few minutes, then pour into a spray bottle.

Both the baking soda and the hydrogen peroxide bind to odor molecules to neutralize them. The body wash or shampoo acts as a surfactant to help the solution stick to the surface it is sprayed on.

The hydrogen peroxide breaks down over time into water and oxygen. As it breaks down, the oxygen released binds to organic substances, including scents, oxidizing them. Additionally, the baking soda is also odor absorbent

Because hydrogen peroxide breaks down quickly, this spray should be made each day you are hunting. Use it liberally to spray down all your clothes and hunting equipment. While in the field, spray yourself periodically, especially focusing on areas where you sweat or human odor develops quickly, such as feet, crotch, armpits, chest, and back.

It is recommended not to use “town water” that has come from a water treatment plant where chlorine has been added. Deer have keen noses. If they can detect human scents that we can’t smell, you bet they can detect the chlorine molecules.

I hope this homemade scent spray helps you get close enough to bag the buck you are after while saving a few bucks of the green back variety. Good luck.

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