Scent control is a huge industry within the hunting world, and that means you get new products coming out all the time that promise to be the silver bullet needed to shoot a big buck this year. Obviously, they don’t all deliver on that big of a promise. I did a little leg work and figured out which of those products have made the biggest splash in the past few seasons. These are the kind of products that claim to really up your scent control game, and have been tested by hunters all over the country.
While each of these techniques or products can make your scent control routine a bit more robust, you still have to stick to the basics if you want to be as scentless as possible. Make sure you’re taking a scent free shower and washing your clothes in scent free detergent. Try not to wear your hunting clothes before a hunt, and take a strategic path to your stand. If you can routinely do all of that, you should be able to fool most deer. If you want to fool nearly all deer, you’ll need to go the extra mile, and these products will help you get there.
This is a scent spray like no other. Seriously, Scent Thief works completely differently from the dozens of other scent eliminating sprays on the market. Technically, it isn’t a scent eliminator at all. Scent Thief actually works by jamming an animal’s olfactory senses and not allowing them to smell anything. When Russel Epperson first started creating this product, he was actually shut down by the DOJ because they were afraid that people would use it on bomb-sniffing or drug dogs. The DOJ actually forced Russel to add in another chemical component that would allow the spray to be smelled, otherwise selling the product would be a criminal offense.
Scent Thief does have a slight smell to it, but Russel chose a scent compound that’s proven to actually calm animals. Scent Thief is said to “relax the animal’s olfactory epithelium so it can no longer detect odors of any kind, including human odor,” according to their website. This is all a part of Scent Thief’s “No Smell” technology. You can get their product in spray form or on a wafer that you can hang around your stand. They also have their own line of scent-free soap and laundry detergent. You can get virtually every scent control product that you need from one company with their bundle options. Plus, Scent Thief is 100% American Made.
One problem that I have always had is sweating while walking to my stand. Sure, I could go slower and take breaks so I don’t sweat, but I’m trying to get in my stand before the sun comes up, and I have to move. Once I do get to my stand and shimmy up the tree into my climber, I take off my hat and try to undo as many shirt collars as I can to cool down. There is plenty of sweat scent and maybe even some steam piling up around me, and I always think, “This can’t be good for my scent control.”
Field Foam is a product made to help solve this problem. This foam is designed to eliminate scent-producing bacteria from all of your exposed skin after you get to the stand. It is actually good for your skin as well. Field Foam even suppresses natural dander or skin cells that fall off your body during a hunt. It’s a high-tech advancement that is proving effective.
Ozone generators are not a new technology to the hunting world by any means, but they are being used more and more every season. If you are new to ozone generators, they work by creating an O3 molecule called ozone. This ozone latches on to scent molecules and destroys them. Many industries use ozone generators to eliminate smells, but they usually use much bigger generators than hunters do, and they let those generators work for many hours to eliminate scent. When used correctly, an ozone generator used over your hunting stand can be effective at eliminating scent, but they take time.
Ozone generators have been used a little differently in recent years. Now you can get big bags or wardrobes that come with their own ozone generators. These containers store your gear before and in between hunts. In the relatively small volume of the sealed bag, the small generator can really do some work. This is a great way to keep you scentless on a multi-day hunt.
Carbon Infused and Silver Lined Clothing
You can also get scent eliminating clothing, which usually comes in two main types–carbon infused and silver lined. Carbon infused clothing works by trapping scent molecules in the clothing itself. Carbon is a very porous material and there are plenty of cavities for molecules to get stuck in on the microscopic level. So the basic idea for every clothing company using carbon is that it will absorb scent molecules due to its natural structure before the scent is ever released into the air to be smelled by deer.
Carbon clothing has been around for a long time, and it has mixed results. The main problem is that it has to be reactivated with high temperatures. Most companies say that the average dryer is plenty hot enough for the job, but some other experts say otherwise. All told, this gear usually lasts between one and three seasons before it stops working altogether and just becomes a normal camo shirt or jacket. So if you want to keep using carbon infused tech, you have to buy new gear fairly often. Silver lined hunting gear is similar, but works a little differently. Silver is used to latch on to scent producing bacteria and kill it. This works fairly well, but not 100% of the time. Silver is making a comeback in the hunting industry, but it is not new. Clothing lined with any type of scent killing or suppressing material is tough to gauge. Some people swear by it, and others say it’s a waste of money. Personally, I think they work, but need to be replaced often and are therefore too expensive to really keep up with.
READ MORE: How to Scent Control Properly for Offseason Scouting
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