Six Steps to Becoming Scent-free

Follow this scent-control routine to bag your buck.
Outdoor Life Online Editor

While working for a weekly newspaper many years ago, I met a local bowhunter who followed a scent-control routine that I thought bordered on the ridiculous. As the years passed and deer educated me, however, I came to respect his attention to detail.

1. Washing Camo
Following every hunt he went on, this bowhunter machine-washed his camouflage in baking soda (there are a variety of other odor-free cleansers available today, but baking soda is cheap and still works well) and hung it outside to dry.

2. Storing Clothing
He would then put away the clothing-shirts, pants, long johns, gloves, mask and even socks-in a heavy plastic bag. In that same bag, he would place pine boughs, cedar chips or dirt and leaves wrapped in cheesecloth to allow the scent to permeate his clothing.

3. Storing Boots
In a separate bag, he stored his rubber boots. “I don’t wear anything but solid rubber boots,” he told me. “Odor doesn’t stick to them, and they don’t allow the smell of my feet as they sweat to bleed through.”

4. Scent-Free Zone
In his garage he created what was essentially a scent-free area, where he never allowed yard tools or other household items to be placed. There he kept his archery equipment, his stand and the bags with his boots and clothing. He also kept street clothes there that he washed the same way as his camo.

5. Shower Before Hunting
Before leaving his house, the hunter showered with a scent-free soap. Then, dressed only in his underwear and slippers (used for nothing but the walk to his garage), he went out and put on the scent-free street clothes.

**6.Getting There > Set to go, he loaded everything into the back of his Jeep, which he had stripped of carpet to further reduce scent, and drove to his hunt location. Once there, standing upwind of his vehicle, he changed yet again into his hunting clothes.