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Hunter’s Handbook is the official student “how-to” information pipeline of the International Hunter Education Association. As the experts in teaching safe, ethical and successful hunting, we are here to provide tips, tools, and great video content as well as offer you a place that you can learn more about your love and favorite past-time—hunting.  Spend some time with us.  New content is added monthly, and we are excited to share our expertise with you.  We wish you a lifetime of safe and memorable experiences in the outdoors.

4 steps to beat a bucks nose

Much has been written about a whitetail’s olfactory advantage. Many hunters have heard statements similar to “a whitetail lives by its nose.” It’s a fact; their sense of smell is the only sense that they trust completely. It’s not a surprise given the unusual gifts that God gave them. The part of the brain that is devoted to measuring and computing smell, in a whitetail, is said to be ONE THOUSAND TIMES larger than the same area in a human’s brain. In the back of the all noses, there are little things called nasal receptors. They’re what help us tell the difference between smells. A whitetail has millions more nasal receptors than a human. Not only that, their nasal passage runs in a straight line and it’s about eight times larger. Because of that, they get a good clean burst of scent to analyze with every breath. For that matter, just about every North American big game animal has a sense of smell so far superior to ours it’s hard to even comprehend how sophisticated it is. As much as the subject is publicized, it’s a wonder that some hunters don’t do more to battle the whitetail’s superior “snoot.” So what can we do to get closer to and see more whitetail and other big game animals?

4 Steps to beat a bucks nose

Much has been written about a whitetail’s olfactory advantage. Many hunters have heard statements similar to “a whitetail lives by its nose.” It’s a fact; their sense of smell is the only sense that they trust completely. It’s not a surprise given the unusual gifts that God gave them. The part of the brain that is devoted to measuring and computing smell, in a whitetail, is said to be ONE THOUSAND TIMES larger than the same area in a human’s brain. In the back of the all noses, there are little things called nasal receptors. They’re what help us tell the difference between smells. A whitetail has millions more nasal receptors than a human. Not only that, their nasal passage runs in a straight line and it’s about eight times larger. Because of that, they get a good clean burst of scent to analyze with every breath. For that matter, just about every North American big game animal has a sense of smell so far superior to ours it’s hard to even comprehend how sophisticated it is. As much as the subject is publicized, it’s a wonder that some hunters don’t do more to battle the whitetail’s superior “snoot.” So what can we do to get closer to and see more whitetail and other big game animals?

Whether you’re hunting, scouting or setting up a tree stand, you should always be aware of the foreign odors that you’re carrying in with you as well as the odors that you transferred to other objects and possibly left behind. “Scent transfer” should be kept to a minimum. Clean, rubber-bottomed boots help to travel throughout a deer’s domain. Your boots (as well as your hunting clothes) should only be worn while in your hunting area. You can’t wear your rubber boots to a gas station and then expect to fool a whitetail. Also, try not to touch things with your bare hands. If you bump into a tree, or a piece of brush happens to whack your forehead, those are all instances that can cause a whitetail to sense our intrusion. Why let them know you’re coming?
Whether you hunt with a gun, bow, or camera, a system of scent elimination could possibly be the most important detail in getting closer to big game animals. Although you cannot eliminate 100% of your odor, with the proper steps you can bring it down to a low enough level that they will not notice or react. For the sake of perspective, let’s compare a deer’s sense of smell to that of a smoke detector. The smoke detector is triggered when the density of smoke reaches a certain level. If the density of smoke is below the trigger level, it does not react to it or set off the alarm. Similarly, when the density of human odor molecules entering their nose reaches a certain level, a deer notices the human odor, goes on alert, and may bolt. If the density of human odor molecules in the air does not reach a certain threshold, the deer doesn’t react to it. Taking steps to eliminate human odor before or while on the hunt will greatly increasing your chances of success!

 

STEP ONE—SCENT KILLER® CLOTHING WASH

The first step is to wash your clothes in a scent-fighting detergent like Scent Killer® Clothing Wash. There are several Scent Killer® Clothing Washes available: Liquid, Powder, Autumn Formula®, and new Gold® Clothing Wash. Use the one that works best for you. Make sure to wash all layers that you will be wearing right down to your under-garments, hats and gloves. Some clothing washes and detergents also contain UV-brighteners that make your clothing more visible to big game animals. Scent Killer® brand clothing washes contain no UV-brighteners. Once your clothing is washed, the best way to dry it is to hang it outside. However, if you live next to a gas station or greasy restaurant, or if the temperatures would freeze your clothes solid, it’s perfectly all right to dry them in your dryer. You can use Scent Killer® Autumn Formula® Dryer Sheets. They prevent static build up and at the same time soften your hunting clothes to help keep them quiet for closer shots. They also add a light earth scent to help you blend into the natural surroundings.

 

 

STEP TWO—PRE-TREAT YOUR CLOTHES

After washing, the best way to prepare your hunting outerwear for the hunt is to pre-treat them with Scent Killer® Spray. You can use Super Charged® Scent Killer® Spray or new Scent Killer® Gold® with Hunt Dry® Technology. Scent Killer® Gold® is formulated for maximum performance after it dries, so it’s perfect for pre-treating your clothes. Spray the clothing so that it is fully wetted. If you don’t fully wet your hunting clothing, the Scent Killer® Spray will still have a positive effect, but you will have an untreated percentage of your clothing, so soak, then fully dry your clothing before storing. Once dry, seal your clothes into a scent-protective container. A plain garbage bag will work, but there are other items like plastic storage containers or garment bags that will keep odors from permeating your clothes more effectively. You can pre-treat your clothing many weeks before use in the field.

 

STEP THREE—SCENT KILLER® PERSONAL FORMULAS

The next step involves getting “your person” as scent-free as possible. One of the most offensive odors to a whitetail—more insulting than gasoline, cigarette smoke, cologne, or cooking odors—is human scent, so be sure to shower with Scent Killer® Body Wash, or Scent Killer® Bar Soap. These special Anti-Odor™ formulas are gentle on you but really tough on human odor. Once you have showered use Scent Killer® Anti-Per spirant & Deodorant. This will help keep you dry and odorless all day.
Once you are showered and ready to go, try not to pass through any areas that have strong odors. Unless you are going straight to the field, it is best to put on a set of clothing that has been washed in Scent Killer® Clothing Wash, but not the clothes you are wearing to actually hunt in. Keep your hunting clothes sealed in their container until you get to the exact area that you intend to hunt since there are many odors that you may come in contact with on the way to your hunting area. Also, once you get to your location, if you have a long walk to your site, you may want to carry some of your clothes and get dressed at your site, to avoid sweating too much in them.

 

STEP FOUR—SCENT KILLER® SPRAY

Spraying your clothes with Scent Killer® Spray may be the easiest and most critical single thing you can do in the effort to eliminate human odor. It will dramatically reduce the human odor passing into the air from your body. It will also minimize the human odor being left in your stand area and your trail to it, by dramatically reducing Scent Transfer. Once you reach your hunting area you may choose to add a final spray of Scent Killer® to your outer layer, especially where you think human scent gas may escape, like around your collar, hat, and where your boot tops meet your pant leg. This is a good idea, but keep in mind that Scent Killer® Spray continues to work for days after it dries, so it may be wasted effort.
Super-Charged® Scent Killer® Spray can also be applied to your clothing and boot bottoms. Just like the standard Scent Killer Spray, it works best when apply it to saturation, and the active ingredients keep right on working after it dries and continue to work for days after drying—dramatically increasing your odds of success. You might also like to know that Super-Charged® Scent Killer® works so good that it was found to be 99% effective at stopping replicated human odor in testing at Rutgers University.
New Scent Killer® Gold® Spray with Hunt Dry® Technology is scientifically formulated to last even longer and is formulated for maximum performance after it dries as well. It’s the longest lasting Scent Killer formula yet! It works so good it can effectively turn your hunting clothes into a high-powered Scent Elimination Suit. Scent Killer® Gold® with Hunt Dry® Technology was also tested at Rutgers University and found to be 99% effective at stopping replicated human odor—this time, 10 days after drying. Again, just apply, dry, and go hunt!
Whether you take some or all of these steps, the more you do to reduce human scent, the better your odds will be. By using genuine Wildlife Research Center® Products and paying attention to scent elimination and scent transfer, you will get much closer to the animals that you are hunting. Use the Scent Killer® system and see for yourself. Good Hunting’!