Tips for Deer Hunting Scent Control

Part 2

How you wash your hunting clothes effects your deer hunting success.

 

scent effects deer hunting

 

In Part 1 we told you about the amazing sense of smell that deer have. Now in Part 2 we will describe the way to wash yourself and your hunting clothes to eliminate scents.

So how do you get scent-free in preparation for hunting? You will need to focus on two areas: your body and your hunting clothes.

How to make your body scent free:

Personal cleanliness is very important - but the modern version of being clean will not help you with bagging that big buck. At least six weeks prior to hunting season, you should start showering with hot water and NO commercial shampoos or soaps. On most days, just plain hot water is really all you need to clean your scalp and skin. But if you work in a very dirty environment, there is a solution. Dissolve 1/2 cup of baking soda in 2 to 3 cups of water and put it in a squirt bottle. This mix will provide you with the cleaning power to remove dirt and odors from your hair and skin.

If you do not think that your hair and skin picks up odors, think back to a time that you spent an evening around a camp fire. That smell clings to your hair. If you smoke, now is the time to quit so that you do not smell like tobacco smoke while hunting. If you do smoke, then using the baking soda and water solution will help to remove the smell.

If you do not think that your hair and skin picks up odors, think back to a time that you spent an evening around a camp fire. That smell clings to your hair. If you smoke, now is the time to quit so that you do not smell like tobacco smoke while hunting. If you do smoke, then using the baking soda and water solution will help to remove the smell.

If you have long hair and feel that it needs some type of conditioner to help it stay manageable, a little white or apple cider vinegar diluted in water will help your hair be soft and in control.

There are commercial scent-reducing shampoos and soaps. These seem to have varying levels of success. As with most things, using them for a long period of time and following the directions will give the best results.

Another way to help you limit your scent while hunting is to stay calm emotionally. When we are excited or afraid our bodies put off pheromones, so the less emotional you can be the less your glands will give you away. This also means that you need to avoid sweating - dress in layers and give your self plenty of time to move quietly and slowly to your stand so that you do not perspire. Be the Zen hunter and you will have less odor for the deer to notice.

 

How to make your hunting clothes scent free:

Even though there are many products on the market that claim to help you be scent free - if you are using a washer that is occasionally run with common detergent and brighteners, or using a dryer that has been used with fabric softener sheets, then you still will not have scent free hunting clothes.

We recommend that you hand wash and air dry your clothes. Hand washing very dirty clothes is hard work. Here are the steps that we recommend for the best success for your hunting clothes.

Step 1 - Soak your clothes in cold water. You can soak them overnight if they are very dirty. Cold water is recommended for blood stains and other protein type stains. Hot water will "cook" the stains in. If your clothes have gotten wet and have a mildew odor from sitting for a couple days, you may add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the cold water soak. The mildew smell will be removed and the vinegar smell will also be gone after rinsing.

Step 2 - After soaking, plunge your clothes in and out of the water for a couple of minutes. This will remove the majority of the soil that the soak loosened. For easy and effective plunging, use the Washer Tool from BestDryingRack.com

Step 3 - Dump out the dirty water from the overnight soak. Put our Separator in the bottom of the bucket - this will give the loose dirt a place to rest in the bottom of the bucket and not just collect back on your clothes. Refill your bucket with cold water. Add a 1/2 cup baking soda. Now wash your clothes one article at a time starting with your least soiled garment. Agitate each article of clothing using the washer tool for 1-5 minutes. I suggest working on a picnic table or an outside bench so you will not need to lean over to the ground. Hand washing clothes is hard work.

Step 4 - After all articles have been washed, dump the dirty wash water. You should now rinse the clothing by plunging them in plain clean water to remove any remaining baking soda or leftover detergents from previous washings. If after removing the clothes you see that your rinse water is still cloudy or soapy or dirty, then dump it and refill with clean water. Keep rinsing the clothes until the rinse water stays pretty clear.

Step 5 - Now wring out as much water as possible by hand. It is important to wring out the water so that garments will dry in a reasonable amount of time. We recommend that you also keep a large chamois towel specifically for this process. Spread a single garment out on your large chamois towel and twist tightly. The chamois is so absorbent that it will wick much of the remaining water from your clothes into the chamois.

Step 6 - Your clothes are now ready to air dry. You can dry them outdoors on a clothesline or indoors on a rack. You should air dry your clothes to keep them from smelling like any dryer sheet or fabric softener residue that is in your dryer.

Step 7 - Once your clothes are completely dry - you do not want them to mildew - store them in a sealed plastic bag or tote. You may put some dry leaves or twigs from your normal hunting area in with your clothes to make them smell like your prey's habitat.

Happy and safe hunting!

 



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