When you think back to traditional hunters many years ago, you might wonder why nowadays there’s such a huge focus on scent control between our kind. Although it’s true that masking your scent has never been such a big issue until this day and age, that doesn’t mean they weren’t doing their best to keep covered back then, just as we do today.
Hunting wild animals already comes with enough uncertainty, with the need to be cautious about every little thing we do in order not to spook the prey away. As an area that we can control with the right measures, it makes sense that learning how to mask your scent is one of the keys to being a successful hunter.
Compared to the average human, most animals have a heightened sense of smell which allows them to detect us with ease. For the hunter, this can be problematic as it means they’re not able to be as stealthy as they’d hope out in the wilderness, and it can make it near impossible to catch your game if you don’t know how to mask your scent.
Because of their heightened sense of smell and the strong scent we have as humans, every precaution needs to be taken to mask this. Of course, you’ll never fully be able to rid yourself of your natural smell, but taking a few simple measures can ensure you have a far better chance of staying hidden and landing that catch you’ve been hunting.
It’s an area that’s often overlooked but has the potential to be the biggest tell to animals that a human is approaching. The rubber in boots or even our own natural scent can be left on the ground and easily detected by our prey, so you need to ensure it’s covered.
Most modern hunting boots are made with a non-scented style of rubber and there are even additional sprays you can get to cover them. These scent killer sprays should be applied well before you reach your destination so that there’s no trace of smell as soon as your boots touch the ground.
There are two methods that hunters use when it comes to their clothing, and both can have equally good results. Firstly, some hunters keep their clothes in an airtight bag or container with a mix of leaves and debris, changing into them when they reach the hunting ground as a mask of scents.
Secondly, you can keep your clothes in an airtight container but without any of the debris, having washed them recently with a hunter specific laundry detergent. This means you won’t contaminate it with the human scent, provided you can keep them off until you arrive.
The world of scent control sprays has evolved into something we never thought possible, with a whole number of categories now available. Most of these sprays are made to cover or control your own body odor or place an entirely new one on your skin.
For even more scent control in an odor mask, you can purchase odor eliminating gum or an ozone machine which sits next to your blind or stand. There is still some debate over whether these products are just gimmicky or if they actually work, so it’s up to you if you want to spend the money and see for yourself.
When you think about those times you’ve smelled a scent in the air and tried to pinpoint where it came from, you’ll realize just how far smell can travel. For this reason, hunters should use the wind to their advantage when trying to mask their scent from animals. Of all of the products listed, this one is free to use and probably has the greatest results.
To hunt with the wind, you should firstly have a good idea of which direction it’s blowing and the forecast for the day. The aim of this practice is to position yourself down from the wind so that your game won’t be able to smell you coming towards its direction. Each location will have a prevailing wind, but this isn’t always easy to tell, so you should do your own research on the day for the best chance of success.
Just as you can find yourself a body odor scent spray, there are now a number of ways that actually work with your body to stop your scent from occurring. The easiest way to control your own scent is to look at the toiletries you use on a regular basis. Anything that has a scent will need to be replaced so that you’re not carrying this perfumed smell with you.
If it’s not enough for you just to switch to the non-scented varieties, there are now a number of hunter specific products to buy. Hunter deodorant, hunter washing detergent, and hunter detergent all now exist and are extremely popular among those who take their scent control seriously.
Although debates flare up now and then about the actual impact of these scent control measures, the fact is that they work. To what level you choose to do them and in which ways is up to you as a hunter, and you might even have your own traditional methods passed down through generations that you prefer to use.
Being a hunter means respecting the animals you chase, and part of that respect comes with understanding them as a species. With finely tuned noses and senses of smell that far rival our own, there’s no denying that using a number scent masking techniques can greatly improve your chances in the field.