Scent Control Study

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hunthard26
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Scent Control Study

Postby hunthard26 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:00 pm

At the risk of opening up a can of worms here, I thought posting this article/experiment would be helpful for some, especially those newer to deer hunting Beast style. Apologies if this has been posted. I did a quick search before posting and could not find this specific article anywhere.

I stumbled across this article a while back and it was pretty eye opening. I had been a scent control freak at one time...scent free showers and detergent, activated carbon, sprays, baking soda, ziplock bags, etc, etc. Reading this article changed my whole perspective on the topic. While I still take scent control measures, I rely more heavily on playing the wind, and the use of natural cover scents as opposed to dipping myself in bleach every time I go hunting!

I have heard accounts of guys having deer walk right up to them while ground hunting and sniffing their feet. I've also heard of guys watching from their stand as a deer cuts their tracks with their nose to the ground, and have no idea a human just walked through there. I'm not trying to discredit these folks, but I would bet the deer in these experiences are younger does or spike bucks, which are the dumbest animals in the woods IMO.

Scent reduction is probably a good idea whenever possible, but I also don't think a deer that smells a human thinks to themselves, "that guy is 200 yards away not 30." I think that if they smell you, they're gone regardless of how far away they "think" you are, especially a mature deer. Even when I was a scent control freak, the only times I have ever had mature deer walk close to me was when the wind was in my favor. Just my experience.

I think the paragraph below (which was quoted from the article) sums it up pretty well. Play the wind first, use a natural cover scent if possible, and maybe take some scent control measures if it helps with your confidence, or is part of your routine. Just my 2 cents. But the article is an interesting read regardless.

"Completely fooling a dog’s nose—and by extension, a whitetail’s—so far seems impossible, indicating that there’s no substitute for keeping a deer upwind. But sometimes bucks show up where we don’t intend them to, and all we can hope for is an edge, however slight, that might confuse the animal long enough to set up a shot. Ike proved to me that the smart money is on cover scents. And if you have to choose between skunk and acorn, go nuts."

http://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/ ... a-drug-dog


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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby mermatt83 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:46 pm

I thought that they were interesting tests and about as good of tests as you can do to try to get information that would help make smart hunting choices. I boil the info down to: you're never going to ultimately fool a deer- maybe, just maybe you may buy yourself an extra 30 seconds if you want to try something like a cover scent. It seems like it would be easy and ok to justify spending 6 dollars on a bottle of acorn scent to maybe slightly up your odds at keeping a deer in range for a few extra seconds. It seems a lot harder to consider spending hundreds on an Ozonics or "Scent free" clothing, for the "payoff." Thanks for posting and sharing. I started out from a "Scent Control" school of thought from my father-in-law who was my first hunting mentor. I have since become much more of a "hunt the wind" hunter in the last 2 years. I'm fine with trying to limit unnecessary scent, but there's no sense trying to claim that you're hiding your smell from a prey animal down wind from you...
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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby oldrank » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:33 am

Good read.

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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby JoeRE » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:44 am

Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

I suspect more and more hunters every year are going to risk ozone poisoning all for the hope it will help get them a big buck.
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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby PK_ » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:49 am

We talked extensively about the study that guy did last year. Basically, guys who believe in scent control will come up with reasons why the study is bogus and guys who don't believe in scent control will preach it as gospel.

I find them interesting but I just don't think there is any information that can come out that will change my opinion much on the scent control thing. And I think it is the same for whichever side of the fence a guy is on once he has made up his mind or had encounters that prove to him what he believes to be true.
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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby Stanley » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:49 am

:think:
You can fool some of the bucks, all of the time, and fool all of the bucks, some of the time, however you certainly can't fool all of the bucks, all of the time.
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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby Bubbles » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:14 am

Interesting. Kinda wish they did hundreds more trials with different dogs and people.
And a deers nose is better than a dog's right?

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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby JoeRE » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:23 am

Bubbles wrote:Interesting. Kinda wish they did hundreds more trials with different dogs and people.
And a deers nose is better than a dog's right?


I agree, would love to see more scientific testing methods.

About the dog vs deer nose, the fact that deer have more scent receptors gets thrown around a lot BUT there is also the cognitive part of the equation. Dogs are undoubtedly much smarter than a deer, particularly trained police dogs, so that makes it hard to conclude much. Even a wary old buck is just a relatively dumb herbivore by comparison.

One thing I am certain of...."Delaying the inevitable" has given many hunters the false illusion they have accomplished something, where really nothing has been accomplished outside perhaps a very few specific situations. I have been there too.
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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby Bigb » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:33 am

PK_ wrote:We talked extensively about the study that guy did last year. Basically, guys who believe in scent control will come up with reasons why the study is bogus and guys who don't believe in scent control will preach it as gospel.

I find them interesting but I just don't think there is any information that can come out that will change my opinion much on the scent control thing. And I think it is the same for whichever side of the fence a guy is on once he has made up his mind or had encounters that prove to him what he believes to be true.


X2. I've seen deer wind me at 300 yards and the biggest buck I ever shot game in downwind on flat ground an 45 mins before sunset. I've heard of police dogs catch criminals on trails that were hours old and ones that can't pick up a trail within a half hour. I've come to the conclusion that I can't come to a conclusion about scent......
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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby hunthard26 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:25 am

Bigb wrote:
PK_ wrote:We talked extensively about the study that guy did last year. Basically, guys who believe in scent control will come up with reasons why the study is bogus and guys who don't believe in scent control will preach it as gospel.

I find them interesting but I just don't think there is any information that can come out that will change my opinion much on the scent control thing. And I think it is the same for whichever side of the fence a guy is on once he has made up his mind or had encounters that prove to him what he believes to be true.


X2. I've seen deer wind me at 300 yards and the biggest buck I ever shot game in downwind on flat ground an 45 mins before sunset. I've heard of police dogs catch criminals on trails that were hours old and ones that can't pick up a trail within a half hour. I've come to the conclusion that I can't come to a conclusion about scent......


Agree with that BigB...undecided on scent.

I also wonder whether these "scent control" products in fact have a subtle scent of their own that deer have begun to associate with humans. I mean, is it really possible for a liquid to be COMPLETELY odorless, whether it be shampoo, soap or laundry detergent? Likewise, products like Nose Jammer or things that do have a unique scent, after repeated and widespread use by so many hunters, may be educating deer. I say play the wind and try your best to smell like the woods. I saw a guy in a youtube video actually rub cow sh*t on his face. I'm not quite Beastly enough for that yet!
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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby BassBoysLLP » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:36 am

I've been playing with the ozone for a while now. I think it's the best option out there for the average Joe, activated carbon if you are rigorous and have a strong attention to detail. I'm convinced ozone significantly but temporarily impairs the ability of a deer, dog, etc to smell.

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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby Lockdown » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:55 am

Very interesting thanks for posting hh26.

The two things that stuck out to me were the ozone and also the dog not being able to follow the couple hour old trail. I can think of several times back in the day where a deer crossed my trail at the end if a hunt, sniffed around, but didn't spook.

I chalked that up to scent control but more than likely my scent had mostly dissipated or conditions weren't favorable for the deer's nose.

Good stuff. I do agree a cover scent is better than an eliminator.

I do have a couple friends that swear by nose jammer (vanilla cover scent). I basically had a ba-humbug response and they both ganged up on me with stories. Hmm...

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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby DaveT1963 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:35 am

How many of you would want to box a blind man? Do we really want to totally eliminate the one real advantage deer have? For me outsmarting them, and y their nose,is part of the game.

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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby mheichelbech » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:19 am

DaveT1963 wrote:How many of you would want to box a blind man? Do we really want to totally eliminate the one real advantage deer have? For me outsmarting them, and y their nose,is part of the game.

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I don't rifle hunt but it seems to me that being able to shoot a deer over 200 yards away would be even more advantageous than any scent control regimen a Bowhunter could use.
I totally get what you are saying....for me, the biggest challenge is being where a mature buck will be when I can shoot him with my bow. Now if I could do that on a regular basis I might start to think that "unnatural" scent control was an unfair advantage. Also, and my opinion only, I'm just not into carrying machines, other than my bow or trail cams, into the treestand. At some point that kind of thing takes away from the notion of being "in nature". That so where the rub is for me.

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Re: Scent Control Study

Postby BassBoysLLP » Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:30 am

DaveT1963 wrote:How many of you would want to box a blind man? Do we really want to totally eliminate the one real advantage deer have? For me outsmarting them, and y their nose,is part of the game.

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Truth.

The hardcore scent control guys enjoy the process. They embrace the small victories against an incredible nose as much as the kill itself.
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