Human beings have just about the poorest sense of smell in the animal kingdom. And that's fortunate in a way, because we're some of the smelliest animals around. Our hair reeks of soap fragrance and car exhaust; our clothes smell like polyester. It's no wonder the game wants nothing to do with you. To improve the likelihood that a bear or deer will come within 100 yards, you've got to hide your odor and stop stinking up the place.
Items you will need
- Odor neutralizing soap
- Odor neutralizing detergent
- Scent-free bags
Shower with a "no-scent" or odor neutralizing body soap. You can find these soaps online or at hunting supplies. Pay special attention to your hair if you have any. Those lovely locks hold on to a lot of odor: lather, rinse, repeat.
Wash your clothing in an odor neutralizing laundry detergent. Open the drier once the clothes are done and take a deep whiff. Some smells, like cigarettes and insect repellent, just don't come out. And if you can smell it, the animals certainly can. If the smells won't come out, you'll have to buy new clothes for the hunting trip and then wash them in the soap.
Store your clothes in scent-free bags (available at hunting supply stores). If you can, fill the bags with leaves, branches, pine cones or other natural items from the area you're hunting in (not anywhere else). But make sure to check for bugs. Even if they can't smell you, they'll hear you scratching. Don't take the clothes out until you're ready to use them. "Ready to use them" means right before the hunt: right before you pick up the rifle and head out. If you wear them in the house when you're packing your gear, on the car ride up, while you grab a bite to eat, you'll ruin the odor neutralizing effect.
Tips & Warnings
- There are two ways to hide your odor from game: odor neutralizers like we talked about above, and odor maskers. Odor masking scents are a little less expensive than odor neutralizers, but they're much easier to misuse. Hunters often buy skunk, pine tree or apple scent covers when there are none of those in the area. Bring in a strange smell, and none of the animals will come in to investigate. But if you can be sure to stick to odors in the area (a call to the hunting ground is useful), odor maskers are quite effective.
- Black Bear Hunting: Bear Hunting Gear - Get Ready For Your Hunting Trip
- Pine Cliff Lodge: Black Bear Hunting
- "Hunting America's Bear: Tactics for Taking Our Most Exciting Big-Game Animal"; Al Raychard; 2004
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