This past weekend I called to a buck at about 50 yards, but had to watch him trot away in the opposite direction after a doe. Five minutes later I noticed a dark shape in my peripheral vision off to the right of my blind, the opposite side from where my buck had ran. That dark shape ended up being that same buck. This deer had circled downwind of me to scent check where that call had come from and luckily he didn’t wind me.

But was it really luck? I’d like to think not. I use a careful scent elimination system in order to minimize the amount of human and foreign scents I am trailing into the woods with me and I fully believe that the proper implementation of this system allows me to see more deer in the woods.

There are three steps to the system I use:

  1. Washing hunting clothes in scent-free laundry detergent
  2. Washing myself in scent-free shampoo/soap
  3. Spraying down all my clothing and gear with scent eliminating spray before heading towards my stand

It’s important to note that when using my spray, I spray down EVERYTHING that is going into the woods with me. All my clothes, boots, hat, gloves, face mask, chair, blind and pack. Any cloth object you bring down there can carry in scent, so make sure to spray it down.

Now when it comes to choices of scent eliminating products, there are tons. I’ve used everything from Scent Killer, to Wilderness Research Center to Hunters Specialties. Currently I’m using the Scent Away brand  of detergent, shampoo/soap and spray from Hunter’s Specialties. I made this decision based on research reported by Deer & Deer Hunting magazine which showed Scent Away being able to eliminate the most scent when compared to the other top brands in the market. After my buck encounter last weekend, I’d say I chose well.

No matter what brand of products you choose, make sure to implement a complete system of scent control. Wash your clothes and your body, and finally don’t forget to spray down your clothing and gear when you hit the woods. These simple steps will without a doubt improve the number and quality of deer you see.

To illustrate this idea, here is a commercial from Scent Away showing all the elements of their scent control system.

To hear Hunter’s Specialties CEO David Forbes talk about the Scent Away scent elimination system, check out the most recent episode of Petersen’s Bowhunting Radio. (This is a Podcast, so you must have itunes installed on your computer for this link to work properly)

What’s your favorite scent eliminating spray or wash?