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Among deer hunters, there is a lot of debate and discussion regarding the use of products to eliminate and cover human odor. Opinions run strong and some hunters will swear by certain methods and products while others will state just the opposite, with their own experiences to back them up.
There are a lot of odor eliminating products available, and just as many cover sprays and products available, too. So we decided to throw our hat in the ring, presenting you with some general information on the products and methods out there, while adding in our own opinions on what we’ve had success with over the years.
We’ll be focusing purely on products and methods to eliminate and/or cover up human odor, so as not to repel deer; we will not be discussing lures or scents that are used to attract deer. We’ll also be focusing on products and methods for deer hunting alone.
Cover Scent vs No Odor
It’s important to remember that a deer’s nose and sense of smell works differently than a human’s. Not only is a deer’s nose more sensitive, but it is also able to distinguish and process a variety of smells all at the same time.
That means if you rely solely on covering your human odor by adding other smells, the deer will definitely smell that cover scent and may even be distracted by or curious about it. However, that deer absolutely will still smell your human odor in addition to your cover scent.
Your best bet will always be to work the wind to your advantage by keeping the deer upwind of you so it never gets a whiff of you in the first place. Nonetheless, a carefully planned scent control plan can help you gain the advantage in those moments when that trophy buck comes out of nowhere, taking you by surprise downwind.
An effective scent control plan should employ a multi-layer approach, focusing strongly on eliminating and preventing human odor and other odd smells and then covering that lack of smell with one that is natural to the environment where you will be hunting.
Developing A Scent Control Plan for hunting Deer
Basic Scent Control Plan
Taking all of these products into consideration and the importance of eliminating odors, we’ve put together a basic scent control plan for use when hunting whitetail. Again, we’re not discussing using scents and lures to attract deer, just scent eliminators and covers to not repel deer. This scent control plan is easily adaptable and you can modify base upon what products you favor or have on hand.
Regardless of what your scent control plan is, take care not to pick up contaminant smells once you’ve gone to the trouble of eliminating odors from yourself and your hunting clothes. That means not wearing your hunting clothes when gassing up your vehicle.
Gas stations are a notorious source of contaminant smells for hunters. The pump nozzles are covered with gasoline and other odors and you can very well step into a puddle of gas or oil with your hunting boots -leaving a very blatant scent trail behind you in the woods. This is why it’s wise not to wear your boots until you make it out to your hunting location and to wear gloves while pumping gas.
Final Thoughts on What Is the Best Scent Cover
A good scent control plan can help to give you an edge when it comes to outsmarting whitetail deer. While it’s difficult–if not impossible, to completely eliminate all odors, following the advice discussed in this article and pairing it with smart hunting tactics like always using the wind can better your chances and make the difference between that trophy buck getting spooked and running off and that buck walking right up to you, completely unaware.