The first day of fall, when there is a crisp smell of autumn in the air, I switch gears from laid back summer fun to a dialed in hunting mode mindset. It’s such an exciting time and a big part of the excitement is preparing my equipment and tools before I even step foot in the woods for the first time.
The first day my husband and I get our hunting clothes out for the season always sparks memories for me–like finding an old family album I hadn’t seen in a while. I love seeing things that have memories attached to them. I have the hunting set that I shot my first buck in, and my Gold Tip brand ball cap that I call my “lucky hat” simply because I was wearing it when I shot my big 6 point.
Let’s talk LAUNDRY smells
Before I go down that rabbit hole, let me refocus on the task at hand: getting ready for deer season and scent control! Let’s talk LAUNDRY first! Normally when we hear that word, we dread every stage of getting it done. But doing our hunting laundry is different–it means spending quality time in nature doing what we love is here!
There are so many things to take into consideration when preparing for the season and something as simple as your laundry can have a huge impact on your success. Do it wrong and you may get busted by the buck of a lifetime because he sniffed out your Hawaiian Breeze detergent, a smell that isn’t normally found in the woods. You will only make that mistake once. Trust me!
In our home, we use Dead Down Wind liquid laundry detergent as well as the Dead Down Wind dryer sheets. Dead Down Wind is the only triple action laundry detergent on the market and it does an amazing job cleaning and deodorizing our hunting clothes and helps them last longer.
We wash both our base layers and our outer layers in this special detergent to make sure we are doing everything we can to knock down any odors we do not want bring into the woods.
Deer rely heavily on their sense of smell, and if you have ever been busted by a big old doe, the sounds of her stomping her hoof and blowing in an attempt to warn others that something isn’t right–well–those sounds will stick with you and anyone hunting the same farm with you that day for a long time.
Packing to avoid picking up smells
Once we have our hunting clothes washed and dried we store them separately from our everyday clothes. We personally use the big scent free green bags, they are sturdy, easy to carry and keep everything scent free. Keep any used Dead Down Wind dryer sheets in your storage bag too. I feel like they will continue to provide a little extra scent control until I take the clothes out to wear them.
Thinking about smells differently
When we go hunting, we are either in a hotel or camping, so I pack only the items I need for the hunting trip as far as toiletries go, not like a typical vacation with every beauty product known to woman. Dead Down Wind has great all-in-one body wash and shampoo too! I have long hair that seems to soak up odors, like that strange Subway sandwich shop smell! I can’t be the only one that gets a whiff of their bread when I turn my head hours after I have left their store.
I can typically go two days before I wash my hair and three days if I do a ball cap–aka bad hair day! But during a hunting trip, I get up and wash my hair every single morning, even when I don’t feel like it because it is so early and I’m tired. But once I’m settled into my tree stand in the woods, I’m so thankful to be there and I remember that we only have so many “sits” in the woods during the hunting season.
I don’t want to skimp on even the small things I can do to make sure I am optimizing my opportunity to have a successful hunt. A couple of other quick tips: try airing out your back pack outside prior to your hunt. And when you are packing up your Scooby snacks, make sure you remove them from their original package and put them in something that isn’t quite as noisy to open. Choose things like almonds or granola bars in lieu of something with a strong smell and avoid food that may be loud to chew, like sour cream potato chips.
When we arrive at the farm for our actual hunt, we get out of the truck in our base layers and grab our green bags to put on our scent-free outer layers. When we get out of the truck at the farm is also when we put on our hunting boots. I always wear a different pair of boots or shoes at the hotel, while in transit to and from my hunting spot to avoid stepping in something like oil in the parking lots or picking up any scents prior to hunting.
Once we are suited up, we give each other a good spray down in the field with the Dead Down Wind Evolve Field Spray, on my ball cap, pants and back pack for one last effort to remain scent free, and a remind each other to “aim small, miss small!”
If we come out from a quick lunch break, I take off my outer layers and put them back in the scent free bag and remove my hunting boots. I don’t want to go to a fast food place or a restaurant and pick up any strange odors to take back to my afternoon hunt.
So while it may seem like a lot at first, it’s probably one of the easiest things that I can control to have a successful hunt and it truly becomes second nature to take the steps necessary to be scent free. I could go on and on, but these are just a few tips and suggestions.
Be sure to think about everything you do leading up to entering the woods that could impact your hunt and check out all the products out there to help you manage your scent.
Have a great hunting season! Aim small, miss small!