Tips & Tactics

Old-timer’s Scent Mask

Old-timer’s Scent Mask

By Thomas Bradford

For hunters who need a scent mask in a pinch, or those who can't afford to buy scent killer sprays, there’s a simple solution I've used all my life: cedar trees.

In the Tennessee foothills where I'm from, cedar trees are abundant. When I head out hunting, I always cut a little limb off and roll it in my hands, then rub it all over my clothing and boots. This creates a natural-smelling scent killer.

The cedar’s strong odor masks human scent so well, I've had deer within arm’s length while I still hunting, and they never knew I was there.

This is one of the old tricks my father and grandfather passed on to me, along with many other neat old-timer secrets.

Editor’s Note by Tim H. Martin:

Some of the best tips are the oldest and simplest. Thomas’ tip is one of them.

I’ve used cedar and pine leaves for many years, especially in the days before modern scent-killing products and odor-eliminating clothing.

The resins and residues from evergreens are mighty strong. They’ll get you by on the occasions you forgot your ScentLok or left your sprays at home.

Often, I rub down all my gear with pine leaves (green needles) even though I have already sprayed down with scent killer. This includes my backpack and safety harness — the things that are difficult to wash.

Don’t forget to put on a glove before starting the rubdown process or you’ll be picking sap from your hands for days. That’s a bonus tip from this Alabama old timer you’ll want to remember.  Trust me on this.

Copyright 2024 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd