Tips for Reducing or Eliminating Your Scent While Hunting

By Elizabeth Freeman , last updated January 23, 2012

Reducing or even eliminating your scent when hunting is one way to prevent deer or other animals from learning of your presence. Your scent, more than your physical appearance or the sounds you make while moving through the woods, is what alerts your prey to your presence. Take care with what you wear or put on your body before hunting to keep your scent to minimum.

Go for Unscented

If you wear cologne while hunting or wash your body and hair with a fragrant soap or shampoo, the deer and other animals are going to take a sniff and take notice. Let's face it: Apple-Berry-Spice is not a scent that occurs naturally in the woods. If you head out hunting after bathing with it, your prey will smell you and head for the hills. Stick with unscented everything on the days before you go hunting. That means using an unscented deodorant, too.

The same rule is true for your hunting gear. Fragrant laundry detergent may smell great, but it's not right for your hunting gear. You can use detergent designed to eliminate odors on clothing or make your own detergent using plain soap, Borax, and baking soda.

Wait Until you are There

You can wash your hunting clothing in odor-killing detergents and do your best to avoid anything fragrant, but if you do anything in those clothes besides hunt, the deer will pick up on the scents. Keep your clothes in an zip-top, tightly sealed bag until you reach the area you will hunt in. Don't eat your breakfast or lunch in them, as the scents from the food will get on the clothing. Don't smoke in your hunting gear, either.

Watch Where you Step

Avoid brushing against bushes and trees with your body and clothing, as your scent will transfer to the plants, giving deer and animals a heads-up that you are around. Use your weapon to push the branches of bushes or other plants out of your way. To really confuse the animals, do your best to step in any droppings you find. You'll pick up their scent and the animals will be none the wiser.

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