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Best Cover Scent

jagermeister

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Ohio
#5
I've been a smoke proponent for a long time, but this year I'm going to try hunting without it. My plan is to smell like "nothing" and not use any cover scent at all. I have never had a deer flat-out spook after smelling the smoke... BUT, last year I had some concerns... I hunted a particular stand every day for a week straight (during peak rut) and there was only one way in and one way out. Despite making every day an all-day sit and limiting my foot traffic, there was no way to avoid leaving a scent trail on my way in. I even altered my path daily to try not to concentrate the scent in one trail. Unfortunately my scent trails bisected a major travel corridor in a field of reed canarygrass. I had half a dozen deer that week stop dead in their tracks when they hit my trail. They never did spook, but several of them DID alter their path and not in a good way. I am fanatical about keeping my hunting clothes clean and free of human scent. This, and the fact they didn't spook, leads me to believe they were smelling the smoke and not my human odor. So long story short, this year I'm going without the smoke because I'd rather they smell nothing at all.
 
Likes: finelyshedded

Carpn

*Supporting Member*
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Wooster
#7
I subscribe to the smell like nothing approach . Little things like having a dedicated pair of boots you only wear when going to and from the stand helps alot . I keep my clothes in a tote and suit up each and every time before the hunt . I never wear my hunting clothes in my vehicle , and I never wear my rubber boots in my vehicle or for anything except for hunting or woods walking .
 
Likes: finelyshedded

Wildlife

Whitetail & Coyote Hunter
431
532
53
Ohio
#8


What I have done for years while hunting Whitetail Deer in Ohio.

By no means am I saying this is the only method, so please keep that in mind.

I understand everyone has their own approach & methods to their hunting season, this just so happens to be mine.

First:
  • Play the wind is my #1 method. Always staying downwind of what I'm trying to hunt &/or when choosing hunting setups w/ the right wind/weather conditions for that time and not spoil the area.
Next:
  • I prefer to be as scent free as possible.
  • I've done that for years.
  • If I do use any sort of cover scent, I'll use 'Fresh Earth Scent-A-Way' only.
  • The following information below is what I have done for at least 10 years & has worked for me well.
  • It's super cheap & does a fantastic job!
  • I even brush my teeth with it & mix it in with my Scent-A-Way Body Soap (50/50% mix) to bath with.
  • One new box goes into my hunting totes every couple of months.
  • I mix it in with my clothes washing detergent as well.
  • Hardly do I ever get winded & I have hours and hours of field video to prove it. I've had deer within feet of me many of times and not know I was there.
  • It's not the only method, but it's what I prefer and what I recommend to anyone that hunts with me or wishes to learn from me.
Side note:
  • I do not wear in the early season insulated hunting pack boots just so everyone knows.
  • I like to be as comfortable as can be when I hunt no matter when.
  • I prefer the early season because my physical health, however I've hunted the entire season many, many times and will continue to do so if necessary.
  • I wear my everyday, run of the mil, leather work boots.
  • I purchase a new pair every year and wear them about 95% of the time outdoors.
  • When I head out to go hunting with them on, all I do is spray 'Fresh Earth Scent-A-Way' on them and that's it!
Below are a few examples showing me with my work boots on, hunting & fishing.
 

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Dannmann801

Senior Member
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Springboro
#9
I've been a smoke proponent for a long time, but this year I'm going to try hunting without it. My plan is to smell like "nothing" and not use any cover scent at all. I have never had a deer flat-out spook after smelling the smoke... BUT, last year I had some concerns... I hunted a particular stand every day for a week straight (during peak rut) and there was only one way in and one way out. Despite making every day an all-day sit and limiting my foot traffic, there was no way to avoid leaving a scent trail on my way in. I even altered my path daily to try not to concentrate the scent in one trail. Unfortunately my scent trails bisected a major travel corridor in a field of reed canarygrass. I had half a dozen deer that week stop dead in their tracks when they hit my trail. They never did spook, but several of them DID alter their path and not in a good way. I am fanatical about keeping my hunting clothes clean and free of human scent. This, and the fact they didn't spook, leads me to believe they were smelling the smoke and not my human odor. So long story short, this year I'm going without the smoke because I'd rather they smell nothing at all.
I'm not joking - I've heard of guys using cowshit on their boots during ingress/egress.
I've not done it, but it seems like it makes sense. What say you?
 

Wildlife

Whitetail & Coyote Hunter
431
532
53
Ohio
#13
Nowadays with the widespread of CWD in North America, I try my best to stay away from companies that support & produce products like 'Evercalm' or any other kind of deer attractants that come from captured deer, such as urine ('Tinks', 'Deer in Estrus' , etc. etc).

Natural attractants or cover scents that I do use during a certain times in the season are, White Pines (PLBs in pre-rut & rut) and/or corn, pumpkins, apples and/or salt/mineral licks (during late winter early spring for herd inventory purposes).

I can't say it's the right thing to do, it's just what I have been doing over the past 3 years or better.
 

giles

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Lost
#14
Nowadays with the widespread of CWD in North America, I try my best to stay away from companies that support & produce products like 'Evercalm' or any other kind of deer attractants that come from captured deer, such as urine ('Tinks', 'Deer in Estrus' , etc. etc).

Natural attractants or cover scents that I do use during a certain times in the season are, White Pines (PLBs in pre-rut & rut) and/or corn, pumpkins, apples and/or salt/mineral licks (during late winter early spring for herd inventory purposes).

I can't say it's the right thing to do, it's just what I have been doing over the past 3 years or better.
Synthetic scents are becoming more and more popular. Might be worth trying if wanted to.
 
Likes: Wildlife

OhioWhiteTails

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
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Flatlands
#15
I've been a smoke proponent for a long time, but this year I'm going to try hunting without it. My plan is to smell like "nothing" and not use any cover scent at all. I have never had a deer flat-out spook after smelling the smoke... BUT, last year I had some concerns... I hunted a particular stand every day for a week straight (during peak rut) and there was only one way in and one way out. Despite making every day an all-day sit and limiting my foot traffic, there was no way to avoid leaving a scent trail on my way in. I even altered my path daily to try not to concentrate the scent in one trail. Unfortunately my scent trails bisected a major travel corridor in a field of reed canarygrass. I had half a dozen deer that week stop dead in their tracks when they hit my trail. They never did spook, but several of them DID alter their path and not in a good way. I am fanatical about keeping my hunting clothes clean and free of human scent. This, and the fact they didn't spook, leads me to believe they were smelling the smoke and not my human odor. So long story short, this year I'm going without the smoke because I'd rather they smell nothing at all.
I have experienced this exact same thing. I can't say that it's the smoke, but they picked up on it after awhile. Maybe smelling the smoke on vegetation near the ground instead of just in the air makes them think twice, I have no idea.... I got away from smoking since I started noticing this. I just try to be scent free as possible and play the wind the best I can.
 

finelyshedded

Dignitary Member
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24,558
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SW Ohio
#16
I prefer to smell like nothin and stay DW but smoke up as backup. It’s worked very well for me. Nothing is perfect or 100% effective including Ozonics. I also think lots of hunters get busted by moving too dang much in the stand or not paying enough attention and are seen moving from a distance without knowing it. Also, shifting their weight in the stand in smaller trees causing limbs to shake or sway or the stand to creak or pop then think it was the camo or whatever scent cover they were wearing that got them busted. Just my opinion.

Btw, I expect them to smell the smoke like I expect to smell a skunk instead of stepping on it first. If they follow their nose and look my way or up at me then I try my best to remain still and blend in. Sometimes they get spooky or stiff leg it out a ways but rarely if ever do they hightail out of there like a scawleded hound. I’ve had edgy deer even back through later. Once they see you move it’s OVER. That’s the biggest no no, imo.
 
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Mike

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#17
Smoke works extremely well for me and I hunt on the ground most of the time. I like smoke's ability to destroy odor causing bacteria. Indians can't be wrong.
 

jagermeister

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#18
I think they'll smell you, Jim. Could be wrong but unless you have a jet pack and fly to your stand I think they'll still pick up traces of your scent.
Yea, for sure. There's no way to avoid it completely. But I, as a human, can smell the smoke plain as day, and I can't smell my own human scent.... So imagine how strong the smoke is through the nostrils of a whitetail deer, who's got something like 30-times the number of scent receptors if I remember right. I think the smoke is fine for up in the tree. I've had lots of success with it as a cover scent in that regard. But I think if it's on the ground in an area you can't avoid, especially in a cumulative fashion, it might be an unnecessary red flag raiser for the deer. Like I said this is all just my own theory so I'm going to give it a try this fall. I just didn't like what I was seeing last fall in the deers reactions.
 

Mike

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#19
Yea, for sure. There's no way to avoid it completely. But I, as a human, can smell the smoke plain as day, and I can't smell my own human scent.... So imagine how strong the smoke is through the nostrils of a whitetail deer, who's got something like 30-times the number of scent receptors if I remember right. I think the smoke is fine for up in the tree. I've had lots of success with it as a cover scent in that regard. But I think if it's on the ground in an area you can't avoid, especially in a cumulative fashion, it might be an unnecessary red flag raiser for the deer. Like I said this is all just my own theory so I'm going to give it a try this fall. I just didn't like what I was seeing last fall in the deers reactions.
See above Jimbo.
 

jagermeister

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Ohio
#20
See above Jimbo.
Yea, I get it. Like I said I've had smoke help me plenty of times. Last year though, I saw it not help a handful of times too. I'll say this, I usually hunt in areas where smoke is a common odor. But last year, that was not the case.... So that may have something to do with the results.
 
Likes: Mike