8 Scents Giving you Away in the Woods

All deer hunters know about scents. It amazes me how many hunters know but don’t take it to heart. Sure, some are things that you may not think of, but others are just out of laziness.

If you find yourself saying “why don’t I ever see deer” while out hunting, look through the list below. I bet your forgetting about one of these scents that are giving you away.

Scents That Are Giving You Away


Let’s start with the most obvious, you hunting clothes. Believe it or not, I know guys that throw their bibs in the washer using the detergent the wife gets from the store! I know it smells fresh but you don’t want that smell in the woods. The scent from regular detergent lasts for a very long time. Just don’t use it.

I know others that just don’t wash their clothes but yearly. Sure, your not introducing any scents from detergent but you are introducing your sweat, body odor and even gun powder and decaying blood.

Make sure to wash your hunting clothes using a scent free detergent. It’s even better if you hand wash them keeping everything out of the washer machine.

Soap and Shampoo

Everyone showers and it is a good idea to do so before hitting the woods. You need to get rid of the smell of life. But, how are you showering is the question. Using that smelly soap and shampoo? It is recommended to get some sent free soap and shampoo to use. One bar of scent free soap and a bottle of scent free shampoo should last you the whole hunting season. Spend the $7, its worth it.


Yes, it is a smart idea to wear deodorant while hunting, its the type that is important. You don’t want to smell like football player showing after a game. Keep the sport stick in the cabinet. Go with the scent free deodorant picked up from the hunting section at Walmart.

Your Shave Cream or Bead Oil

Guys grow beards during hunting season for a reason. If you need to shave (work?), use your scent free soap and shave in the shower. You do not want that cool shave cream smell on you while hunting. It is an easily forgotten step that many forget about.

If you have a beard or grow it out during hunting season, don’t forget about beard oil. If you want to brush your beard so you look good for your buddies, more power to you, but stay away from the oil during the season.

Your Boots

Do you wear your work boots out in the field? How old are your hunting boots? Just like shoes, boots hold odor and your wife is not the only one that can smell them. Deer have very good noses and can smell your rank feet through your boots. It is recommended to use odor control powder, even if they are new.

During the rut, I also add a couple drops of doe urine by putting about two drops on the back of my boots near the sole. Yes, deer can separate the two smells of the doe urine and you but during the rut, they are more interested in her and not you.

I will also say that many people will tell  you not to put doe scent on any part of you, so do it at your own risk. Below is a video of why you shouldn’t. It’s funny but also dangerous.

Your Cigarette or Chewing Tobacco

I was one of these guys when I was younger. Just don’t smoke nor dip/chew while hunting. I know the crave, I know its hard but just don’t. Deer can smell dip/chew just as much as cigarette smoke.

I stopped dipping a long time back but still enjoy cigars every once in a while. I always have one in the truck to enjoy on the way to check in my kill.

Your Car

Yes, even your car has a smell! Even if you don’t smoke, your car has smells. Think about what happens in your car/truck… Food, drinks, leather seats, cleaning products, etc. Always have some scent block in your vehicle to spray yourself down after getting out and before hitting the woods.

 Your Gun

Not such an issue with compound or crossbows, but guns are scent crazy. Whenever you discharge your firearm, you smell your shot. Traces of that old gunpowder stays in your chamber and barrel. If you do things right, you clean your gun every time you discharge it. When you clean your gun, your using powerful chemicals and oils to do so. I clean guns smells good to us but is a dead giveaway to deer.

This is the hardest scent to get around and hide. Your best bet is to clean your gun and let it sit before hitting the woods. Your pretty much stuck with this scent but you can do what you can.


Above are a handful of scents that some people don’t think about. The biggest thing to remember is to think it through. Remember, deer can smell better than dogs and they know what scents to expect in the woods. If/when they smell something out of place, they will take the log way around and that is a fact. So set your self up for successful deer hunt and think about your scent.

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