Question: I went whitetail deer hunting the opening weekend of bow season and although I thought I was set up well, almost every deer that I saw was acting spooky. The only thing I can think of that would be bothering them is human scent. That got me wondering about scent absorption clothing. Do you think this would be a good investment and would it help my whitetail hunting?
Answer: Scent absorption clothing has become all the rage in the bowhunting community, but it does not typically work as well as it says. It does work, to some degree, but it is not foolproof by any means. All of the scent absorption hunting cloths use carbon, which is what is supposed to absorb human scent and other odors. However, the carbon does not work forever and must be maintained. The manufacturers claim the carbon can be reactivated in your dryer, but most dryers do not get hot enough to do that.
The only thing that I’ve had work for scent control are scent killing sprays and hunting clothes with silver it them. Silver is not conducive for bacteria growth, which can come from human skin, and they smell bad. If you’ve got bacteria growth in your cloths, then deer will pick you up right away. I’ve used a lot of different scent eliminating products, but I’ve been most impressed with Dead Down Wind.
The best advice I can give you for scent control before heading out whitetail hunting is to use unscented shampoo, soap and deodorant. Also, wash clothes in unscented detergents and let them air dry and then keep them outside. You can even cover them with natural plants from your area. I do not like to put them in plastic bags because I feel the bags can trap moisture, and moisture means bacteria.
My last hunting tip for scent control is to hunt with the wind in your favor. Set your blind up so that you have the biggest advantage possible… the wind in your face, and stay out of it unless conditions are right. In short, the best scent control is using the wind properly. Any whitetail hunting, especially bowhunting, under the wrong conditions will let deer know something is up and mature bucks will stay away from some time if they even think something is different. Hope all this helps you on your next hunting trip!