It is no secret that a whitetail’s nose is key to its survival. Even though there are hundreds of products available to help you mask and eliminate scent, you’ll never be 100 percent odorless, especially if you’re hunting with an ATV.

No matter how careful you are, your ATV is going to be a source of odor. The fuel can leak and smoke can be generated from an older quad’s exhaust–all this can alert deer of your presence. Here are some preventative measures that will help to reduce your scent footprint.

1. Carburetor: The carburetor on your ATV can leak fuel due to a stuck float or dirty needle, and make the machine run poorly. If you smell fuel or notice it leaking, have a mechanic inspect the carburetor before hunting season. Adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas in the off-season can reduce the varnish in the carb and may prevent leaks.

2. Oil: The oil in your machine has a distinct odor. If your ATV has an oil filter, chances are a little oil leaked into inaccessible areas when it was changed. Each time you change the oil in your machine be sure to wash the ATV engine using a good degreaser to remove any oil that may have been spilt during the change.

3. A Worn Engine: As your engine gets older the rings wear and can create a little oil blow by and smoke. Some may even expel oily residue out of the exhaust. To a deer, this is equivalent to a loud speaker screaming “Here I come! Run away!” Servicing your engine when you first notice signs of smoke will help you eliminate scent.

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