Scent control is critical to your deer hunting success. Your scent is your worst enemy when it comes to deer hunting, as a deer’s nose is extremely sensitive and it’s primary survival mechanism in sensing danger. Be sure to either use scent killing pre washes for your hunting clothes or wear scent killing clothes. It’s also a good idea to wash yourself with scent killing soaps and shampoos and to be sure to transport your hunting clothes in scent killing carry bags and suit up once you get to your hunting area. Leave the deodorants and other fragrances at home
Scents can be divided into two categories: attracting scents and cover scents.
Attracting scents are those aromas that can cause the deer to instinctively seek out the source of the odor. Food and sex scents are the two basic types of attracting scents. These types of deer attractants should be used carefully. A deer’s nose is like radar. He can pinpoint the source of a smell from quite some distance. If you’re the source of that scent, he’ll go towards you. Here’s a great tip for using attracting scents:you should keep them light and don’t overuse it. Apply a few drops on a drag rag or around a mock scrape. Always remember that a deer’s nose is super-sensitive, so don’t overdo it when using deer attractants.
Cover scents are critical to your success and you can never really over do masking your own scent. Cover scents come in a variety of “flavors”. Start by being familiar with your surroundings. If there are foxes in the area, red fox urine may be a good choice. The same holds true for skunk scents which are common to most hunting areas and can be used on your hunting boots while traveling into your stand location. If you detect a heavy autumn smell, be sure to rub down with leaves, cedar or other foliage in your area. Any natural scent located in your hunting area will help cover your unnatural scent. The important thing to remember is you are trying not to alarm deer in the area to your presence. The cover scent which I’ve found to be highly effective is simply using what some call “damp dirt”, “fresh earth” or “natural ground.”
Keep in mind, while the use of cover scents or attracting scents will significantly help you in getting closer to deer, you need to be constantly mindful of wind direction and be sure that you make the best use of the wind in order to cover your scent or place your attractive scents to maximize their effectiveness.