Scent free or cover scent?

Inventory of the current stock that is in my “hunting room” is always a fun time. i just got back from my Wyoming Antelope hunt and pulled all of my clothes out of my bag and knew they needed to get washed. As I went into my favorite room, I looked at my box that holds all of my scent control products and wondered how I collected all this stuff and how did it work?!?

Let me start off by saying 2 things.

  1. I am not endorsed, sponsored or getting paid in any way from any company for scent control, etc.
  2. I love trying things out until I find a system.

When I started hunting I for some reason saw the Dead Down Wind products at the store along with their research online and decided to try their entire package of sprays, detergent, soap and body wash. I truly did believe that deer had a great sense of smell and that I needed to keep my scent down or eliminate it completely if that was actually possible. Not to mention that I was about to jump into a camp with some highly competitive hunters and I needed to show some serious scent control game. In my first season, I had success with it but then for some reason changed to other products almost as an analysis or test of the difference of what I would see (I enjoy analytics.) My second year on the same farms, I tried scent shield which seemed like a legit system with scent spray, body lotion, conditioner and laundry detergent. All I remember when I think back is a doe blowing and honking about 30 yards behind me when the wind changed. I didn’t experience that the prior year…..Also, if I compare year 1 to year 2, I can say that year 2 yielded a lower result of deer seen. So was it the weather, was it the moon, was it the time of year or was it my scent control?

I unfortunately lost faith in Scent shield and other products and went back to Dead Down wind because of the confidence it gave me that I was rolling with a solid system that was complete and I saw large amounts of deer.  I even added the breath spray, lip balm and I simply loved their wash cloths for the field.

As I fast forward through another couple years, scrapes and rubs pointed me in a direction of scents. I began to try some buck bomb, doe p and dominant buck. I thought to myself “if I take away my scent and add a urine smell from deer, wouldn’t it be good for attracting deer?” I decided to take some dominant buck on a trip and put it right under my tree before I climbed up into my 20ft stand. I got into my stand and waited until the sunrise came through before I would rattle in the November pre-rut. It took about 2 minutes before I heard a storm going on in the woods behind me. I couldn’t really see anything in the dark timber as it was still dark from the sun barely being out. All I knew was that something was out there and maybe I could see something if I tried using my binoculars? As I searched, I caught a glimpse of a deer and it was headed my way…”Was it a buck? A doe? Was I about to shoot a monster or would the deer flip out when it got close to the smell of that urine?” In a matter of 1 minute, that deer came straight to the bottom of my tree and I finally saw it was a large 10 point typical that I would guess was around 5-6 yrs old. I decided to draw back without seeing where he was looking from behind me and of course my movement happened to catch his eye. He pounced, moved a few steps and looked back at me. In the heat of the moment, there wasn’t an option of using a range finder. I pulled pack, set my 40 yard pin on him and let it rip. It certainly ripped…..right under his chest and into a bunch of leaves which lead to me seeing this buck of my dreams trot off into the darkness with his white tail in the air.

The questions now that went through my mind were …did the rattling help bring him in or was it the buck bomb? Did the buck bomb help or did it not matter? Well, it certainly didn’t seem to hurt….

I ran into another product last year which was nose jammer. Here is where it got interesting. I started to put doe urine on my boots as I would walk into the stand. I also would then spray it around the bottom of my tree and then spray it when I got into the stand. I figured, why not try that same method with nose jammer instead of the urine and see what happens. I purposely got into the stand with a not so good wind direction and figured this would be a great test. I sprayed it on my boots, base of the tree and then a solid 5 second blast while I was in the tree. 

The evening was pretty boring with only a doe coming through a drainage about 100 yards from me and then a few turkeys came by. At around 6pm, I saw a glimpse of a deer straight behind me which was exactly where the wind was blowing. This was the perfect scenario to test my new product out! It happened to be a buck. He was a small forky that was 2 years old. I have to say he was hesitant! He took a total of 4 steps in 25 minutes and just kept bobbing his head up and down, smelling the air and the dirt that I walked through a few hours prior. I for sure thought he would bolt! The opposite actually happened. He ended up following my steps straight towards the bottom of my tree and then came in front of me before entering to the field in front. He fed in front of me for a good 30 minutes before it got so dark that I felt comfortable getting out of the stand and not spooking anything. 

Ok, so I liked the nose jammer. I liked it so much that  I took it to Colorado for an elk hunt while my buddy had a mule deer tag during the same time. I picked up a couple cans at Cabela’s as we drove to camp and he had never heard of it. I let him know he would like it and to just trust me.  A bunch of the guys in camp smelled it every morning and kept saying it smelled like a lip balm. Ha!

The product came to light pretty quick as we were in some drainages the first 3 days and my buddy and I were so close to the deer that we could stick our arms out and we would have pet them on the head. Now I was a believer and so was he! Did I still scent proof with dead down wind? Yes! Did I use urine? No. 

I figured I found a system that worked consecutively while proving great results. Maybe it was time to stick with something.  Needless to say I need to get some nose jammer when I fly into town for my November Missouri and Illinois hunts. 

So what do you think? Is it all hype? Does it work? Is it all in our heads? Is it tasty and the deer want to get closer?

Here is my take from over the years. 

1. Take off as much scent as possible but know that you can’t eliminate everything and your mouth is not a good friend for odor. Breathe through your nose and yawn in your clothes. 

2. Urine works but I have seen best results in the pre-rut and rut. If you want to use it, I’d use it during those times with some buck urine. Yes, there are doe in heat urines but buck urine has yielded better results during those times. Try it out and let me know how you do!

3. Nose jammer is a great addition but I mainly like to use it for coming into my stand and if I have bad wind. Out west, you are hiking all day so it makes sense to not worry as much about wind and load up on the nose jammer. It yields great results. 

4. Don’t think that a cover scent is going to be more important than killing scent. Deer will sense cover on top of cover. I’ve seen it happen and it is not fun. Do both or you will be more than likely saying Goodbye deer…..

5.  Whatever you do, you need to believe in it. Otherwise, it will ruin your mental motivation to be in that stand and you will have poor results. 

If you want to check any of these products out, the websites are below.

Enjoy the read. 



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