Tallgrass Lodge – This Kansas deer hunting article describes one of the most important keys to putting together successful Kansas Deer Hunts, specifically Kansas archery hunts or Bow Hunts, and that key is scent control.
There are literally a hundred factors that can affect the success of you’re Kansas Deer Hunts. I will cover most of them in other articles but I am often asked “what is the number one mistake I see Whitetail Deer hunters make when they are hunting at my lodge on Kansas Deer Hunts”, and the answer is twofold. Number one you can’t shoot a deer from the lodge, you have to be in the field, and two is SCENT CONTROL. The fix for the fist mistake is obvious; get your butt in the stand man! So in this article we will cover scent control.If you are looking to put together a successful Kansas deer hunt and take a mature whitetail, remember one very important thing, you are in his house. This analogy may be helpful. Do you think you would notice if someone wearing perfume, smelling of smoke, or human sweat had rummaged through your home, put up a new painting, turned over your rugs, and did a jig across your bed? Sure you would even hours or days later when you returned home from work or that well disserved Kansas Deer Hunt! Whitetail Deer are no different, and the older they get, the smarter and more wary they get so you have to take action!
The animal you are pursuing has three basic lines of defense. The first is sight. Whitetail Deer have marginal to good eyesight during daylight hours but they are very good at picking up movement. After eight hours of sitting we have all been busted by that unseen doe that saw us adjust ourselves ever so slightly in a vain attempt to find a slightly more comfortable position in that damn stand. I am also sure that some of you have been busted by mature whitetails that have noticed that painting of a hunter that someone impolitely hung on their favorite tree. Completely without any provocation at all they will just stop turn and look right at you. Why? Because they have walked through their living room enough times to notice something is different, and they know they didn’t put it there.
The second line of defense is a more powerful one, and that is their sense of hearing. We have all watched our trophy Whitetail buck stand there for as much as thirty minutes with his ears turning this way and that, both slightly out of range and behind a tree of course. Usually the other tree you thought about hanging that stand in. How many times have you sat and watched deer when all of a sudden the deer’s head shoots up and his ears turn to listen to a sound you did not here. He is listening to his surroundings; he knows what is supposed to be there and what is not. He knows every sound of those woods and he knows when something is amiss.
The third and most powerful tool that a mature whitetail buck has at his disposal is his sense of smell. If you take no action to hide your scent he will know when you are there, or when you walked through hours or even days before. That is unless you have taken the time to eliminate every molecule of human scent possible. Notice I said every molecule of human scent possible. Make no mistake there is no way to completely eliminate the human scent. But you can however eliminate scent to a level that will allow you to go completely undetected.
This is how I do it, and it works. I have had mature 160 class bucks walk right up behind me, down the same trail I walked in, from dead down wind and not even balk. First, eliminate all unnecessary chemicals and perfumes from every product you use, and keep it that way. Stay away from perfumes and colognes, however if you must use them use the scent free versions. Now while the anti’s ponder that last statement, the rest of us can move on. Use scent free soap, shampoo, deodorant and laundry detergent and do it now. These days you can buy scent free products from quite a few manufacturers over the counter, year round, and quite inexpensively. Don’t wait for hunting season to start your scent free regimen; it takes a while to eliminate perfumes from your skin, and especially your hair. Stay scent free year round, and I mean this. I went completely scent free five years ago. I have noticed that every time I am allowed to go out into public I can’t stand being around people that have covered themselves with perfumes, colognes, or even fabric softeners. Now I find those smells offensive and leave the area as soon as possible, sorry honey! Imagine how that deer feels, his sense of smell is a thousand times more powerful than mine. Once the hunting season does arrive keep your freshly washed clothes in a scent free bag. You can buy the scent free bags that are made specifically for this purpose or you can purchase the oversized zip bags that are now on the market, they both work well.
One final note on the topic of scent elimination that is very important. I have had people argue with me up and down about this one, but this topic is called scent elimination for a reason. You have to trust me I have seen this issue cause failure time and time again on Kansas Deer Hunts at my lodge. Do not use cover scents! Remember, you are in his home, any smell, supposedly natural or not will give you away. You might as well be yelling “HEY, here I am”. I have taken hunters afield countless times smelling whatever “Earth Scent” cover scent they have on thinking to myself; “man that smells like a really bad cologne. I wonder what the deer will think of it”. In fact the fist time I smelled a hunter wearing it I honestly thought that’s what is was. I assumed that he had tried to wash off his cologne in the shower that morning and failed miserably. In every case those hunters inevitably see fewer deer than their hunting partners. I have traveled all over the country working as a wildlife biologist. I have had my hands in many different kinds of soil and due to the differences in there chemical and component make up they all smell different. What might be a natural soil scent in your part of the country smells completely out of place in Kansas. Also keep in mind that the only time you will ever smell soil that strongly is when it has been violently disturbed, which is unusual for that time of year, and usually for your location as well. That will trigger a negative response from a mature whitetail every time. If you will go the extra mile to manage your scent control there is no need for a cover scent. Every single successful Whitetail hunter in my lodge has had two things in common, they spent all day in the stand, and they had a very good scent control regimen. Remember that in this case “it is better to never have smelled at all, than to have smelled and lost!”
Tallgrass Lodge – This Kansas deer hunting article describes one of the most important keys to putting together successful Kansas Deer Hunts, specifically Kansas Bow Hunts, and that key is scent control.