Several companies, such as Scent Killer and Scent-A-Way, manufacture liquids that neutralize odor on fabrics. These can be applied after laundering, or before storage or a hunt. The ease of use and convenience make it an ideal product to keep in your hunting bag all season long.
Veteran hunter Warren Womack said he uses a homemade concoction that includes the following ingredients: 16 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and distilled water, 1 cup of baking soda and 1 ounce of unscented shampoo. “I mix it in a large bowl so the baking soda dissolves,” he said. “Then I pour it into a jug. I let it sit for about a week and a chemical reaction takes place. Then I put it in a spray bottle that I can use on my clothes and gear.”
• Cover scent
A cover scent helps to mask human odor because — as hard as you might try — you’ll never kill your smell completely. Deer urine, such as doe in estrous, are popular during the rut, but are also excellent for concealing your scent. Scent wafers are chemically treated to emit smells like “fresh earth” or “pine” and can be pinned to your gear. Thermacell produces an “earth scent” mosquito repellent mat, which works to mask odor while repelling mosquitos.
• Wind indicator
This can be as simple as a flag hanging near your stand or a small bottle of powder that, when blown into the air, will float in the direction of the prevailing wind. Knowing where the wind is blowing at all times is crucial, and can impact where you’ll be hunting.
“I use a wind indicator every time I’m in the woods,” Lyle Savant said. “The wind direction can change your whole plan. You don’t want your scent getting to the deer before you do.”
• Odorless soap, shampoo and deodorant
Before setting foot into the woods, make sure you’ve cleaned off with odorless soap and shampoo. It helps to remove odor caused by bacteria. “I even wash my rags and towels that I dry off with in unscented washing detergent,” Savant said. “Everything that touches my body is unscented. Then, I put on unscented deodorant that helps to control sweat.”
• Natural foliage
Mother Nature provides excellent cover scents — all you have to do is look around. “Everybody has access to brush and trees that you can snap off a leaf or branch and rub it on you,” Springer said. “That gives you a more natural cover scent.”
• Airtight bag
After washing your clothes in scentless detergent, make sure you store them in an airtight bag. This will ensure the fabric doesn’t pick up odors from your home, which would make all that effort utterly useless.
“Every so often I’ll go through my hunting clothes and make sure I wash them in some scent free detergent,” Alan Springer said. “I wash everything I’m going to wear in the woods in that. Then I have some scent-proof bags with carbon filters. My clothes go straight from the washer and dryer into those bags, and they stay in those bags until I go to hunt.”