Emanuel Celler once said, "I didn't know then that I would never be able to leave the sounds and smells of these sights behind me, but I was fiercely conscious of one thing-my ambition."
Undoubtedly, many hunters have felt the sentiment of Cellar's words flowing through their body at the beginning of the hunt. Camouflage Jackets for outdoor activities Hunting is more than a sport it is a science and for the precision minded, detail-oriented hunter the pay-off can be huge.
De-scenting has been a technique employed by hunters for hundreds of years. The early forms of de-scenting were severely less complicated and certainly less expensive than manufactured products and methods available today. De-scenting is a complex process that when done correctly brings the hunt to the hunter and acts as an insurance policy against prey free days.
The reason for de-scenting is to stop human odor that would prevent animals from approaching the hunting site or the hunter. Without de-scenting any change in environmental conditions for example wind, weather, or even perspiration could alert the animals to the human element and cause them to flee alerting other possible prey in the process.
Organic or Homemade De-scenting
Nature attracts animals and people all by itself. Some of the most convenient and economical solutions will be right at the hunting or camping site. For the ultra prepared hunter that prefers to hunt au natural it is imperative to set aside a couple of days prior to the trip to get the hunting clothes completely de-scented.
Initially before creating smells that will attract the selected prey all clothing must be devoid of smell. Often washing machines, especially in public washers, retain residue from laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and brighteners in particular. Before washing any hunting apparel, it is best to run the washing machine once with only water on the hot with an extra rinse cycle and then once replacing your normal laundry products with pure baking soda. Now that the washing machine is ready and presumably scent free it is time to wash the clothes.
The first wash cycle is specifically to loosen and remove dirt any previous dirt, this is the hot water cycle with the extra rinse and no other additives. The second cycle is to start removing the scent, use a hot water cycle with an extra rinse, and replace the normal laundry soap with an equal amount of baking soda.
The best options for drying the clothes are to line dry or hang them outside and allow them to soak up the smell of the outdoors. If line drying is not an option or the air is not outdoorsy enough the next best organic treatment is to gather, a large sheet of cheesecloth (or tiny holed mesh fabric) and cut it into several small sections. Collect about a one pound container (like a spread able margarine container) full of dirt, it is important that it be from a wooded area and not potting soil or some manufactured dirt containing preservatives, scents or pesticides that an animal could pick up a scent from. Place about two to three tablespoons of dirt onto each piece of cheesecloth and close the cheesecloth with a twist tie.
Do not skimp on buying cheesecloth. It is available in the baking section of most stores or if not than try, the local fabric store and ask for a suitable alternative. Once the cheesecloth is securely closed, find an airtight plastic container and place several of the dirt-filled clothes on the bottom of the container. Next, add the folded clothes, layer the dirt in between the clothes, when finished secure the lid, and store the container somewhere out of the way, where it will remain undisturbed until the trip. The longer the clothes stay locked away with the dirt the earthier the smell.
Of course, if the hunting trip is already under way the clothes the best solution is to rinse the clothes in any stream or creek with flowing water and then hung from a tree. This will save several steps and the clothes become peppered with a scent already familiar to the local animals. To create a stronger scent rub the clothes with dirt once they are dry.
Store Scent Eliminators
For the more hurried hunter that has less time invested in preparing for the trip and is eager to enjoy the great outdoors there are numerous manufactured items and brands available.
Depending on the intensity of the hunt, there is literally a product to meet the need of every hunter. Many Native Americans still use a sweat lodge to remove, toxins, and scents from the body before a big hunt. Since sweat lodges are not always readily available, it may be more convenient to alter your diet for several days prior to hunting. Abstaining from spicy or extremely pungent foods like hot sauce, garlic, onions, and the like will immediately change a person's scent, in addition consuming more than the usual amount of water will also aid in neutralizing the human scent. It is a good idea to stay away from cologne, scented deodorant, mouthwash, or soap. To replace scented deodorant and anti-perspirants try using a salt crystal. Salt crystals are available in the natural beauty section of major stores or in a health food store. The salt crystal is a bit more expensive than regular deodorant but it will last longer and is less likely to offend your prey.
Major outdoor stores like Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas, Hunter Specialties and many more offer de-scenting, mouthwash, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, carbon scented clothes wash, and scent blockers for the skin. Among the plethora of products available are carbon scented bags for storing clothes, carbon enriched dryer sheets and fabric softeners. The carbon is a natural neutralizing agent and rapidly soaks up any scent. A more readily available, perhaps less expensive alternative is using cedar chips, block or hangers and sealing clothes off in an airtight containers or in a sealed dress bag. If the task of de-scenting clothes is too daunting many stores offer scent eliminating t-shirts, underwear, socks, gloves, jackets and boot pads.
With all human odors neutralized, it is time to re-scent and attract prey. Once again, many outdoor stores offer simple pre-made products that work to any hunter's advantage. There is a range of items beginning with rotten meet scented incense, alfalfa-honey chewing gum to camouflage the breath, and bottled animal scents for any hunted animal. The animal scents derived from the animal's urine, are excellent at attracting other animals. Some animal lures are specifically for the times when animals are in heat and therefore would be attracted to animals of the opposite sex.
Besides the skin and clothes there are a variety of items that go near the hunting stand to attract animals. Animals in heat are in a rut. Most manufactures offer buck, doe, elk, and other rut-scented wafers. The wafers come in a reusable container and hang from a tree or towards the bottom of the stand. Plastic leaf shaped fans impregnated with the natural scent of acorn, earth or natural vegetation are another popular item. The fans are equipped with a hanger at the top for ease of use, and when stored in air tight containers or vacuum-sealed bags are completely reusable. Trail drags are extremely useful in leading prey to exactly the right spot. A trail drag combined with a rut scent will simulate a buck on the trail of a doe and immediately capture the attention of other trophy-winning bucks.
When it comes to gadgets, there is a veritable cornucopia of interesting and effective hunting enhancers from which to choose.
Wind Trackers attach to a zipper and contain feather light fibers easily dispersed to track the direction of the wind. The fibers are so light that even when scented they can travel a great distance attracting animals all the while.
Hunting and camping often fall short of providing indoor plumbing or even outhouses. During the early morning and long days, the last thing a hunter needs is to leave camp to find facilities or camouflage the smell of human urine. A couple of manufactures have invented the perfect solution! Disposable, degradable, scent free urination pouches that contain a granulated substance that converts urine into a scent-neutralized gel. These pouches do not leak even when punctured because liquid turns immediately into gel.