Scent-control tips for bowhunters

Hunting an animal that lives and dies by its nose is challenging enough. Add 85-degree October days, and it can become nearly impossible to fool an olfactory organ.

That’s because sweat smells.

And deer that smell human sweat quickly put as much distance as possible between them and the offending hunter.

Curtis Simpson has devised a system that has proven good enough to help him hide from deer noses.


First, he washes all his hunting clothes in scent-killing laundry detergent and stores them in carbon bags.

“Then I get dressed at the truck,” Simpson said. “And I don’t put on regular hunting clothes; instead, I wear camouflaged shorts, a light short-sleeve Under Armour camouflaged T-shirt, a leaf suit and some light rubber boots.”

On cooler mornings, he might wear a Scent-Lok shirt and pair of pants, but he still puts this clothing on in his truck.


After getting dressed, Simpson sprays down head to toe with Scent-A-Way spray, and douses his boots with coon urine cover scent.

Realizing that sweating on the walk to the stand might unravel the best scent-killing measures, Simpson takes it easy and walks very slowly to keep from breaking a sweat.

Even so, he often sprays down again once he reaches his stand just for good measure.

But it is the coon urine that he believes helps him out the most.

“I spray pretty heavily with it once I get to my stand,” Simpson said. “I’ve got it on my boots on the way in, but I also hose down the base of the tree before I climb up and again when I get to my stand.”

With the low and high cover scent working for him, Simpson has seen the difference in the days when he has used the coon urine and when he hasn’t.

“There’s just so many coons everywhere that deer don’t think anything about it when they smell one,” he said. “They’re everywhere. And I would recommend using some kind of animal gland cover scent rather than the pine or oak scents because they are so much stronger.”


Simpson also sets his stand as high as he can while still being able to shoot. His lowest stand is at 16 feet, and his regular stands are 20 to 23 feet — but he will sometimes climb to 30 feet, if at all possible.

“And I never drag in climbing stands during early bow season,” he said. “You’ll sweat so much packing them in and setting them up that I don’t use them. I set up lock-on stands well ahead of time so I can get out and give my spot time to rest.”

Then, after using all his other scent-busting methods, Simpson casually climbs to his lock-on stand and hopes his combination of washing, spraying and height helps him compromise the nose of any deer that comes within bow range.

About Chris Ginn 778 Articles
Chris Ginn has been covering hunting and fishing in Louisiana since 1998. He lives with his wife Jennifer and children Matthew and Rebecca along the Bogue Chitto River in rural Washington Parish. His blog can be found at