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Predator Scent Control "Theory"

Old 04-05-2013, 09:25 AM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default Predator Scent Control "Theory"

This one has came up a few times, most recently over in the whitetail forum, so I figured I'd post my theories on scent control products for predator hunters.

Here's a link to the 10pg (as of today) thread in the whitetail forum. The "cliff's notes" version is that most guys suggest you save your money and hunt the wind...

Scent Lok Thread in HNI Whitetails Forum

Any hunter worth his salt will attest that controlling your scent is one of the most important components of successful hunting. Without trying to spark a debate about the science or chemistry behind different scent control products on the market, I think the difference of opinion between big game hunters and predator hunters says a lot about the value of these products as a whole.

I know thereís dissention even among big game hunters, but in general, the majority of big game and deer hunters will recommend the use one form or another of scent controlling products. Whether a given hunter is in the minimalist ďjust the sprayĒ camp, or their system involves hermetically sealed plastic containers, specialized clothing, and brushing their teeth with baking soda, thatís a different conversation. All in all, it has been my experience that most big gamers recommend new hunters use ďsomething to control their scentĒ.

On the other hand, none of the veteran coyote hunters I know use any scent control product at all. Coyote hunters use the wind. Simply put, if you never give a coyote a chance to catch your scent, then youíll never have to worry what you smell like. Many coyote hunters (myself included) will pose the question: If there were a product that could actually successfully fool a canine nose, wouldnít drug runners be using it to sneak past Canine Drug Units? Fancy scent control clothing and endless supplies of sprays and washes will not make up for poor set design that doesnít utilize the wind. If you design your set so a coyote has access to your downwind, sure, you might get lucky and not get busted a few times, but in the long run, that set just isnít going to be as productive as a better design.

One big hurdle that I see for predator hunters, compared to big game hunters is how we hunt coyotes. The nature of coyote hunting nullifies the effectiveness of most of these so-called scent control products. Say a product actually does neutralize human odor, so you drive naked to your deerstand, unseal your clothes, spray down as you get dressed, now youíre all set for a full day of hunting. Coyote hunting doesnít work like that. Youíll be in and out of your truck a few times an hour, so thereís just no way to keep from transferring human scent from your truck to your clothes.

I wonít say any of these products will DECREASE your odds at getting coyotes to come to the gun, and Iím sure that when coupled with a proper set design, SOME scent control products might help reduce some exposure. But for what itís worth, Iíve been down the (very expensive) road of buying all of these scent control products, and Iíve never seen that they were successful at even beating a whitetail deerís sniffer, let alone that of a coyote. For what itís worth to me, my money is better spent on ammo and fuel for the hunting truck than on scent control products.

To spin Scent Blocker's old slogan (maybe current still?) "Forget the products, Just Hunt!"
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:34 PM
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Excellent post.... Grew up hunting the wind
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:06 AM
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Any issues using bug spray? I've had problems with ticks and I'm sure I'm not the only one
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by vliberatore View Post
Any issues using bug spray? I've had problems with ticks and I'm sure I'm not the only one
I'm a fan of OFF! (Yay DEET!!!!) for tick repellant while calling in the spring. Ticks have been [email protected] bad already this spring, and inevitably, once you pick one off of you, you'll be squirming all day after that thinking you have them on you.

If you design your set properly to use the wind to your advantage, it honestly doesn't matter what you smell like, because they'll never get a chance to smell it. Still days that don't have enough wind to carry your scent away from your kill zone can be difficult, but it's pretty rare I ever get a purely still day in KS.
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