Ask The Biologist

Ooh That Smell

Ooh That Smell

By Bob Humphrey

Hanging hunting clothes outside isn’t a guarantee of freshness.

QUESTION: I use scent free soap on my body and all my hunting equipment and clothes. If I take the same clothes and hang them in the woods out of the rain, they have a smell that I can smell. Does that scare the deer?

ANSWER:I guess that depends partly on what the odor is that you smell. Whether you hunt with bow or gun, washing your clothes with a scent-free, odor-reducing soap designed specifically for hunters is always a good idea. Once washed, you then need to keep them from picking up foreign odors from surrounding sources, either by keeping them in an airtight container or, as you do, hanging them outdoors.

In the latter case, be aware of other odors that might taint your clothing such as a dryer vent, exhaust fumes, wood smoke ... the list goes on. The fact you are smelling something suggests an issue. It’s possible your clothes were not sufficiently washed before you hung them out. Or, they are picking up an odor from a nearby source. You should survey the area and see if you can determine what that might be.

You may also want to determine if the odor you smell is natural or foreign. No matter how meticulous you are, you and your clothes will likely still carry some odor into the woods. That’s why we use cover scents. Strong, natural scents like pine, cedar or even dirt can help cover foreign odors. Do you use a neutral, unscented soap or an earth-scented soap? The latter may well give your clothes an odor that deer will smell. However, if it’s a natural scent they may not react to that odor.

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Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd