My cousin is the typical hunter that smokes in his stand, and I am the typical extreme scent control guy. We have had many debates about whether or not this matters. We represent the extremes of the scent control debate. I realize that most people fall somewhere in the middle, but this information will help everyone that hunts. This topic has not been scientifically studied, so it is ripe for debate. Many have shot the biggest bucks of their lives with a smoke in their mouth, while others have seen increased success with improved scent control. Here is a good look at both sides of the topic.
My cousin smokes like a chimney in the stand and has killed many deer. A few years ago, he killed a nice nine-point buck with a cigarette in his mouth. He argues that a whitetail noise is better than a drug-sniffing dog, so the wind is the only factor that matters. My cousin said, ” After all, I smoke and smell like BO half the time, and statistically, I am in the top 1% of hunters when it comes to the deer I kill.”
I go over the top with my scent control. I start with an empty load of laundry, followed by my clothes going in with the scent-free detergent. I then use scent-free dryer sheets and promptly move my clothes to a scent crusher Ozone box. I wash off with scent-free soap and use scent-free deodorant followed by drying off with a scent-free towel. I change in the blistering cold away from the house, spray down with scent-free spray, and wipe every piece of equipment with scent-free wipes. I have seen many deer feed on the brush I just walked through without a care in the world. My theory is the less scent you leave, the less scent they can smell.
Although there is no good science to back either claim, let me give an analogy to help provide some perspective hopefully. Imagine there is a party in a room with 100 people. In one scenario, a guy is sitting in the corner on a couch and lets out a little fart into the cushion. He is careful not to move so that his fart dissipates into the sofa and is hidden from everyone else in the room. In the second scenario, the guy in the corner of the room takes a different approach. He decides to put his butt in the air and proceeds to machine gun fart into the air after taco Tuesday and a large cup of coffee. Which of the two guys will have more people walk up and talk to him?
Less scent is better!