When hunting from a ground blind or stalking whitetails, scent-control is critical. Considering that a whitetail’s sense of smell is its greatest defense, care must be taken to avoid being detected.
I rely on compression-fitting anti-microbial clothing worn as a first layer beneath my hunting clothes. With several brands available, hunters have no excuse for spoiling a hunt due to body odors. These moisture-management garments wick away perspiration before bacteria can set in and cause odor. Most of these garments employ silver — a natural bacteria fighter — as a main component.
I launder my hunting clothes in unscented detergent, and always bathe before heading afield using unscented soap and shampoo. Hunter’s Specialties makes unique foil-lined scent control bags for scent-free clothing storage, while Scent Tote makes a portable storage container for keeping clothing and gear scent free.
There are a host of companies — Hunter Specialties, Xtreme Scents and Wildlife Research, among others — that make a wide variety of scent-eliminating sprays and cover scents to help eliminate odors. You can also get your hands on breath strips and chewing gum marketed toward hunters in flavors like “apple” and “pine” to control your breath.
However — and this is not to discount scent-free clothing, cover scents and odor eliminators — the very best defense against a whitetail’s nose is hunting with the wind in your face. The fact is, when you are upwind of a deer, even with scent precautions taken, you smell different to a whitetail, and anything different in their ecosystem is usually perceived as danger.