By: John Eberhart
Deer season is getting close as a few evenings ago (Aug. 22nd) I saw my first hard antlered buck of the year and as normal the first ones to shed are mature bucks. He looked to be a 3 ½ year old 9 point that would score in the mid 90’s.
For those of you residing in states with September openers, is your scent control regiment buttoned up to perfection??????
The goal is to give deer as little warning as possible to the upcoming season and this means implementing scent control into your final phases of preparation.
The definition of scent is “odor” and the definition of control is “to have power over”, and the hunting possibilities that scent control opens up are tremendous. Remaining scent free allows you to walk to and from your locations without leaving a noticeable scent trail on the ground. This is the first point where deer used to spook before odor adsorbing activated carbon suits and clean rubber or neoprene boots were used.
On many occasions I’ve had mature deer follow my exact entry route footsteps without showing any signs of alarm. If that’s not enough, I’ve had foxes and coyotes cross my path and continue on without alarm and my son Chris had a fox walk right up to his leg while waiting at the base of a tree. Those things NEVER would have happened before using ScentLok.
Prior to using ScentLok there were certain terrain types I quit setting up in due to natural thermals and unpredictable swirling winds. Those same terrain features are fair game today.
Of course I see more deer because the days of having deer come in from downwind and snort, stomp, carry on and spook every deer within a quarter mile are over.
Having a scent free regiment also allows upwind deer to pass by downwind without spooking. Having the first deer of a hunt pass through unalarmed is like a green light to any deer following or passing through later. If those first deer spook, however, any following deer will naturally avoid the area.
At destination locations such as a mast or fruit trees where deer tend to linger for a while there have been times when downwind deer have raised their heads to test the wind, but they have always flicked their tail and went back to feeding.
Deer react quite differently to a threat they think is a quarter-mile away as opposed to a threat that is close. Thus, practicing scent control will without question, increase your deer sightings. In pressured areas where mature deer disappear at the first hint of a hunter being close, this is an amazing advantage. You should definitely consider the realm of possibility that remaining scent free opens up, and take advantage it.
ScentLok garments can provide you with a tremendous advantage, but they work only as well as they are properly taken care of. Used inappropriately or only partially ScentLok garments are of little value and are nothing more than expensive camouflage.
Your scent control arsenal should begin with the purchase of a ScentLok suit consisting of a jacket, pants, headcover with drop down facemask and gloves. The weather you most typically hunt in should dictate which suit you purchase and ScentLok’s website should have the pertinent information.
Please don’t replicate the same scent control regiment of some of the TV personalities as they have huge gaps in their regiment, yet get away with it because they are hunting micro-managed properties where bucks have been allowed pass by hunters and grow to maturity before being targeted. Therefore there are many mature bucks, they are more tolerant of human odor, and they are relatively easy to kill.
Here are some common hunting personality practices that negate a scent free regiment:
1. Exclusively using scent eliminating sprays as a total scent control regiment
2. Wearing face paint on an exposed face to look cool like many so-called TV and video experts do
3. Wearing a logo cap like many personalities do with exposed hair hanging out the back
4. Not regularly washing your backpack in scent free detergent and properly storing it
5. Not wearing clean rubber or neoprene knee high boots
6. Having an exposed face, beard or neck
7. Not wearing your ScentLok jacket, pants and gloves during entries and exits and when ascending and descending trees
No matter if you wear a properly cared for ScentLok suit and store it perfectly, if you do any one of these things, you better “hunt the wind” and if not, don’t blame your suit when you get winded.