How to Keep Deer Hunting Clothes Scent Free

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Deer hunting entails more than taking to the woods with your weapon, hoping to hunt down this game. There are several things you should do before undertaking your hunting quest. Every animal has sensory receptors, and this isn’t different from the deer. However, deer has the most receptors when compared to white-tails or dogs.

They are around three hundred million receptors in a deer’s nose, which is quite a significant number.  It’s the reason for their sharp sense of smell. Nevertheless, before deer hunting, you should understand how to keep deer hunting clothes scent-free.

How to Keep Deer from Smelling Your Hunting Clothes 

Cleaning is the genesis of having scent-free deer hunting clothes. However, note that it doesn’t entail just the cleaning part. Contamination is bound to happen anywhere when cleaning, drying, or in transit to your hunting voyage. Therefore, with proper detergents, bathing gels, and scent-free sprays, you can make yourself and your hunting clothes scent-free.

However, your equipment is part of a hunter’s gear, and you should decontaminate them too.

Washing Deer Hunting Clothes

When doing your deer hunting laundry, they should always be washed separately from other clothes. The reason for this is you don’t want to contaminate your hunting clothes with scented detergents. It’s imperative to use scent-free detergents, and these should be quality products. Sub-par cleaning products may not correctly eliminate the scent.

For substandard bathing soaps they might only keep you scent free for a short period. Hence, the laundry detergent or bathing soaps should keep you scent-free for the duration you are out in the woods hunting.

Drying Deer Hunting Clothes

When drying the clothes, you should dry them outside. This will aid in airing your hunting clothes. By drying them in your washing machine, they’ll undoubtedly get some scent. This comes from the previously cleaned clothes in the washing machine. Since the smell will stay in the machine, it doesn’t matter if you’re machine-drying the clothes alone. Therefore, air dry your hunting clothes if possible. But since sometimes the weather may be unfavorable, you can choose a space around the house with free airflow.


After drying your deer hunting clothes, storage is an essential factor. You can acquire vacuum-sealable bags which are perfect in keeping clothes scentless. But you can go for the different hues available as long as they can be air-tightly sealed.

Deer Scent Receptors

The scent receptors are the most sensitive and the main communication proxies for deer. With their large number, they’re meant to reciprocate deer’s weak defense mechanisms. Thus, deer are known to have a sensitive nose and can sniff humans or threats from miles away.

Even though deer have the most sensitive nose, it’s not as profound as the elks. This makes it hard for hunters to keep up with spotting and tracking them.

Can A Deer’s Scent Senses Change?

There are two instances when a deer’s scent is compromised. When you keep yourself scent-free and when it’s the mating season. But the former increases their sensitivity while the latter diminishes their sharp, sensitive scent for human beings.

Can a Deer Smell Hunter’s Scent?

Yes, with their delicate sense of scent, deer can smell your scent from far, don’t think otherwise. I’m sure you’ve heard so many myths that encompass deer hunting. This will mainly revolve around their sensitivity to scent and the importance to stay odor-free. Well, these aren’t myths or speculations because they happen to be too spooky and curious.  And, not entertaining hunters who prey on them is in their sensory nature.

Deer can smell the human scent from 0.25 miles away, and for elks, it can be at least a mile. Therefore, unless you’ve taken the necessary precautions, a deer will smell your approach from a distance. 

Why Is The Deer Startled By Human Scent?

The many receptors and elongated nose cause their amplified sense of smell. This is the reason they are easily spooked. When many individuals take deer hunting trips, they tend to wear and indulge in perfumed or contaminated gears. When a hunter follows a trail, the scent is left behind.

A deer can smell a human scent trail even after ten days or more. This is a revelation for hunters. Considering you can follow a trail today and make deer desert the region entirely. It shows how a deer’s scent sensitivity is significant and imperial to a hunter’s success.

Can You Mask Human Scent When Hunting Deer?

Every deer hunter should know it is possible to mask your scent. If you want a tranquil hunting event, then this should be your starting point. And there are many products available today that you can use to keep yourself scent-free.

How Can You Get Rid Of Human Scent When Deer Hunting?

Ensuring your deer hunting clothes are scentless is one of the most common ways on how to keep deer from smelling you. It’s the common means many knowledgeable deer hunters will adhere to for success. To hunt deer, you require a forward-thinking approach. Your body should also be perfume-free; hence, ensure you bathe using fragrance-free soaps or gels.

Another option is using deer attractants that encompass a scent that will attract them to your trap or location. They exist, and you can find them on diverse platforms.

Also, when hunting, cigarette smoke can help throw away a deer’s sense of scent. This is a bit unorthodox considering the substances are not healthy. Similarly, there is a danger posed by lighting a cigarette up in the woods, especially in summer. Nevertheless, experienced hunters have certified that smoke can help deer distract the deer’s sense of smell.

You can also consider using body scent killers to mask your scent or odor.

Best Pre-hunt Practices To Keep Yourself Scent Free Before Deer Hunting

Before you take on deer hunting, ensure you take a shower using scentless body shampoo or bar soap. It’s vital that after clothing, don’t go touching contaminated surfaces. But also, you should wait for a few minutes to dry properly before putting your clothes on. Clean your hunting gear using a scent-free spray and pack it in a well-cleaned bag. Also, don’t forget to wipe your vehicle seats using the scentless spray.

The Don’ts When Deer Hunting

There are a few things you should never do before deer hunting. 

  • Perfume, aftershaves, or any scented products are a no for hunters.
  • After washing deer hunting clothes, you should give them enough time to air. Don’t put them on immediately, and it doesn’t matter if you used scentless detergent.

Final Verdict

Deer have a sharp sense of smell, and researchers claimed their sense of smell is a thousand times compared to human beings. Consequently, if you wish to have an easy tracking deer, you should make sure you’re odorless. This applies to your clothes and body. The best way to do this is by using scent-free detergents and soap while practicing the best pre-hunt rituals.

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