How to control body odor this hunting season

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The following is a detailed list of the important steps to control human scent, the single most important give-away that alarms deer and usually sends them running.

Indeed, with bow hunting season right around the corner, this is the right time to think and act on scent control. While this list was prepared for consumers by ScentLok, the leading manufacturer of carbon-based, scent control clothing and products, it applies to all of us who bow hunt regardless of which name brand we choose.

These tips are provided by Traditions Media, a leading outdoor news and marketing online source. Read them, heed them and see the difference. And follow the directions for washing and reactivation carefully.

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1. Shower before heading to the field. Effective scent control starts at home before you ever hit the woods. Washing your hair and skin thoroughly in the shower with fragrance-free hygiene products helps rid yourself of odor-causing bacteria that your body produces on a continual basis.

The odor caused by these bacteria is easily detectable by whitetail deer and other big game as foreign and alarming.

2. Dress in the field, away from your vehicle. Dressing in the field, away from your vehicle, is crucial. Odors from gasoline, food, coffee, cigarettes and pets reduce the capacity for carbon to adsorb your human odor.

Wear your pants over your boots to effectively adsorb odors that escape out the top.

3. Use a head cover to control breath, hair and skin odors. One of the most important steps in an effective scent control regimen is to always wear a head and face cover. The head is one of the body’s most potent hotspots when it comes to odor, emitting significant odors from hair, skin and breath.

Scent-controlling headcovers are specifically designed to absorb the concentrated odors produced by the hair and skin on your head.

4. Spray bow, boots and other hard goods. Field spray can definitely contribute to a good scent control strategy when used properly. Use field sprays for your bow, boots and other hard good accessories.

Dual action field spray consists of real silver particles that break down odor-causing bacteria on the surface of your gear and generate a protective layer of silver ions while a natural surfactant penetrates and destroys airborne odors.

5. Store clothing in airtight containers. Storing your carbon clothing in airtight containers after each hunt dramatically reduces the amount of ambient odors that it is exposed to when you’re not in the field. This will preserve the adsorption capacity of your garments and allow for less reactivation throughout the season, making it more effective in the field when you need it most.

6. Reactivate your gear after use. Reactivation keeps your gear effective for many seasons to come. ScentLok recommends reactivation of your garments at least after every 40 hours of field use.

For example, if you hunt for four hours a day and return your clothing to airtight storage after each hunt, you would reactivate after 10 days.

Reactivation is accomplished by cycling your clothing in a household dryer on high heat for 40 minutes. Don’t forget your gloves and headcovers.

7. Maintain — wash only when visibly muddy or bloody. According to ScentLok, garments should only be washed when muddy or bloody, meaning your garments may have been heavily soiled by mud or dirt or you get blood on them from field dressing your trophy.

Machine-wash your garments on a gentle cycle in cold water with only scent/fragrance-free detergent. Do not use bleach or fabric softener. Lay flat to dry. Do not iron or dry clean.

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Mike Tontimonia has been writing weekly columns and magazine features about the outdoors for over 25 years, a career that continues to hold the same excitement for him as it did at the beginning. Mike is a retired educator, a licensed auctioneer and marketing consultant. He lives in Ravenna, Ohio and enjoys spending time at his Carroll County cabin. Mike has hunted and fished in several states and Canada from the Carolinas to Alaska and from Idaho to Delaware. His readers have often commented that the stories about his adventures are about as close to being there as possible. He is past president of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. Mike is also very involved in his community as a school board member and a Rotarian.

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