View Full Version : Dressing just outside the woods

July 19, 2006, 06:00 PM
How important is it to get dressed after you make the drive to your spot? My friend takes all of the smell precautions with his clothing, then gets into his truck fully dressed and then walks to his spot. I a program that the hunter said it was important to dress after your drive so you don't bring any of the human scents along with you.

DO you all agree with this or do you feel that a scent killer applied just before entering the woods is good enough?

July 19, 2006, 06:36 PM
Personaly I dont do either. But some people swear by it. I could be scaring the smart ones away with my stink though. Maby I have only shot retarted deer and just dont know it. :D

Jack O'Conner
July 20, 2006, 08:41 AM
I'm not convinced scent is all that important with mulies or 'lopes. Perhaps a trophy hunter would disagree.

Metaloy Industries
July 20, 2006, 10:16 AM
Personally, I began this about 3 years ago. In my area where it is very brushy and thick, you need to sneak in fairly close to bedding or travel areas. Many times you will jump deer on the way to your stand.
I do what I can for scent control but I am not real fanatical. I believe it has helped me in my hunting and believe it is worth it. If you 'stink' up an area, it usually ruins it for hunting for awhile. Eventually deer will just avoid that area altogether. Deer will tolerate 'some' movment but will not tolerate ANY human smell.
I wash cloths in scent free detergent then spray down with scent killer before entering the woods. I may not kill more deer but I definetely see more since doing this.

July 20, 2006, 10:39 AM
Thanks Chris. I have read numerous times that deer WILL not stay if they catch one little scent of a human, so I was just wondering. I have never shot a deer in my life, so I think that perhaps this has something to do with it. I hunted when I was 12-15 and never even saw a deer. Perhaps my step father was putting me in a bad location, but I never once saw anything and now I wonder if it's because I took absolutely no precautions. I going hunting again this year with a friend of mine and his father. They are both pretty big hunters and they do things to kill their scent, but are not anal about it.

I am not a knowledgable hunter, so I ned to do whatever I can to get the upper hand.

July 20, 2006, 11:36 AM
There may be some truth to the deer will not stay if they catch a scent of a human. But not always. I have seen deer walk out and look at me when I was taking a leek or eating my lunch. And while my partner was smoking. I think sometimes it may stir them up and they become curious.

Wild Bill Bucks
July 20, 2006, 11:49 AM

Don't get caught up in the "Buy everything at the counter" thing. You will be spending money forever. Don't get me wrong, scent is something you need to pay attention to, but it is not really THAT big a deal as long as you play the wind right.

I don't wear my hunting boots anywhere but in the woods. I don't wear them in the truck, or wear them home from a hunt. I always keep them in a plastic bag until I get to the woods, but other than that I don't use very many scent products. It is easier to play the wind, than to worry all day about sprays and products to hide your scent. (They are not bad products, they are just costly) and I haven't noticed much difference in the number or size of deer that I shoot , one way or the other.

I used to spend a lot of money on them and they did not seem to make much difference.
I do, however believe in keeping your boots as oder free as possible, since they are the only thing touching the ground when you walk.

July 20, 2006, 12:37 PM
I stopped worrying about scents and camo a few years ago and worrying more about scouting, noise, and movement. I started seeing more deer immediately.


July 20, 2006, 06:50 PM
Might (I have nothing to back this up other than observation) depend on how used the deer are to people smells and sounds. Western Oregon (at least where I hunt) has logging operations going so often - noise, smell, etc. that the deer seem to get more nervous when something could be a mountain lion sneaking than a stinky loud human. I haven't gone to the extreme and bought cork-boots and a started carrying a running chainsaw yet, but it could be the next big wave:p .

Seriously, I try to be careful, but not fanatical. I wash everything before with scentwash, but I can't take enough sets of clean clothes to camp to change every day. I just try to keep the worst of the funk knocked off and wear a clean t-shirt underneath. And with campfire smoke, cooking smells, not sure how I could ever be "scentless".

Driving to a spot for one day hunt, I would probably wear what I was going to hunt in. When I lived in tree-stand land (back east), I would strip down to the minimum to climb, just so I would not sweat through everything using a self-climber, then get dressed again when I quit sweating.

July 20, 2006, 07:48 PM
I always wash my hunting clothes in a scent free detergent and air dry them and then they are stored in a plastic bag until I am in the field. I do not put them on until I am in the field.

July 20, 2006, 08:12 PM
I wash my hunting clothes in scent free detergent. I only wear my hunting boots while hunting. I'll use a "scent killer" when it's warm and I'm sweating but not so much in the winter. I use a scent free body soap.
I gone from not worrying about scent to totally retentive and all points in between. I've about decided that wind direction and movement are more important. It can't hurt to take reasonable precautions, though, and probably helps.
One thing to think about if you decide to use cover scents. If you buy the best selling one at bigbox, 1/2 the hunters in the woods probably smell just like you.
Some Indians used to smear themselves with grease and smoke themselves in a fire made with green branches before deer hunting. Not exactly scent free, huh?
As far as not getting dressed until I'm in the field goes, I decided it wasn't worth the trouble, many years ago. But then again, I don't have a TV show, either.

July 20, 2006, 08:24 PM
Swampdog, I see your point when you sweat, but it seems a little odd too. Colder air actually has the potential to carry scents further and more of it.

I have read a little about wind direction, but I see this may be the most important thing. How do you guys know where to sit/stand in that case? My cuddy has been hunting a certain area for a while, I think he may know the deer's route of travel, so that will def. help. I know that deer typically go one direction in the morning and another in the evening.

July 20, 2006, 09:58 PM
I have read a little about wind direction, but I see this may be the most important thing. How do you guys know where to sit/stand in that case?

When I still hunt I try to move into the wind or at least crosswind. You'll have very little luck still hunting with the wind coming from behind you. When I hunt from stands, I try to position my stand downwind from where I expect the deer to be. If you are hunting from an elevated stand, the wind will tend to carry your scent farther downwind before it settles enough for deer to smell it than if you are hunting from a ground stand. If the wind is blowing wrong for a particular stand site, I won't use it.

I don't care how much "care" and expense you take on scent precautions, if a deer is directly downwind from you, he's probably going to smell you. Bears, too.

I usually use the scent killer when it's warmer because I feel I probably stink worse than when it's colder. Besides that, spraying your face and head feels pretty good when it's hot. It's usually pretty warm around here during early season. I'll also spray it on my boots. I wear rubber boots frequently because I hunt in swamps. They also hold your scent in. If I'm hunting dry land, I usually wear knee high snake boots. You need them, around here, in early season. These get dosed everytime I put them on. After it gets cold, I'll wear regular hunting boots, if I can. These also get dosed, everytime.

57 days to go :D

July 20, 2006, 10:48 PM
I see you are from PA, if this is where you will be hunting you don't need to worry too much about scent. You will be joining about 750,000-1,000,000 other hunters on opening day. Your scent will be the least of the deers' concerns.

Many find hunting escape routes to be the best method for getting their PA deer. With so many hunters moving through the woods the deer are often on the run from other hunters you never see. If on stand, stay put at lunch time, many hunters move at this time of day.

Look for areas away from the crowds and areas that are tough to get into and out of. The thicker the cover the better, most of the time.

Just remember that sometimes the areas that are small or near parking lots can hold the best deer around. Some of these "obvious" spots are over looked by every guy that enters the woods and the deer are often quick to pick up on this.

If hunting with someone that knows the lay of the land you will be better served by taking their advise on where to set up. Your job will be to stay as still as possible and very quiet, then make the shot that you have been practicing regularly for.

August 3, 2006, 07:53 AM
I think it is very important to scout the area where you plan to hunt even if there will be thousands of hunters in the woods on opening day. IF there aren't any deer in the area you are hunting, it doesn't matter how still or what scent precautions you take. PA hunting is not what it used to be.

The deer herd in PA has been reduced significantly in many areas over the last few years, especially the public land areas (state game lands etc.).

Yes, under natural conditions deer tend to move from their bedding areas in the late afternoon to their feeding areas for the night. In the morning, you are seeing the deer move back toward their bedding areas. That does not mean that deer won't be moving during the day.

During hunting season, especially the first couple of days, deer are moving around all day long because of all the hunters in the woods. For that reason, you need to try to stay put at your stand area and keep alert. There is usually a lot of human movement in the woods come 11:00 AM or so when hunters are stretching their legs, eating lunch, etc.

I have found that the scouting provides you with more confidence that you will see deer. When you are not seeing deer or any game, it can get "boring" staying in your stand and often freezing your butt off. Dress warm. Confidence is everything.

August 3, 2006, 09:14 AM
I have tried scent eliminators, and I always seem to sweat so much that they don't really help. For thism reason, i decided to start using cover scent instead. Now when my smell carries along, I smell like acorns or pine instead of sweat.

Anthony Terry
August 3, 2006, 12:10 PM
Scent control will not work unless it's done by a strict set of rules. You have to do it right. It has to cover everything, and cannot be introduced to anything else that will put an outside odor on it. Keep it clean with scentless detergent and in A sealed bag. You have to have scentlok socks, clothes, mask, everything. You need to spray down also with scentproof spray, hair and all. Don't take the clothes out of the bag until you get there(hunting spot) and spray your boots and outer clothes when you put em on too. It does work, I have deer come into the wind on me all the time now, but it's a job keeping the scent off of you. The mouth is the worst area. Get some scentless gum also. It's not a hype, it really does work. But if you don't do everything, it's not worth even doing.