Depending on what part of the country you live in, early bow season can pose many challenges. Not only do the long days and warm weather stifle deer movement, they also make scent and bug control quite difficult. Sweating is inevitable while you are in the stand in 70+ degree weather, especially if you pack in and pack out and hang your stand each time. The bugs and mosquitoes are also a huge nuisance, especially if your stand is near water. With these challenges, the question becomes, how do hunters combat these issues while staying as scentless as possible?
A hunter could spend hundreds on a quality electronic scent-eliminator, but not every hunter has the budget and backpack space for such a unit. Instead we’ll look at more cost-efficient means for covering your scent. For starters, washing your hunting gear in a scent killer detergent is key. If you are going to dry your clothing in a dryer, investing in scent free dryer sheets would also be beneficial. Once your clothes are dry, store them in an airtight container or bag until you are ready to hit the field. It is also important to shower with a scent killing body wash and shampoo right before you head out. After your shower, make sure to use a towel that has been washed with scent control detergent. Then generously apply a scent killing deodorant. It may also be a good idea to take the anti-perspirant along with you to reapply if it happens to be an extremely warm day.
Once you get to the field, spray your gear, body, and boots down with a good scent control spray. In addition to scent control spray, scent control wafers also do a great job. There are reusable wafers with scents ranging from fresh earth to doe estrous. Using spray and wafers together is a deadly combination.
Now that your scent is covered, it is on to how to keep the bugs under control. Buying an electronic mosquito repellent device will be one of the best purchases you can make if you hunt early season. There are not many options when it comes to odor free bug spray, which is why the devices are your best bet. In addition, one measure you can take to combat bugs is spraying around your stands with a concentration which is typically used in pastures and on farm animals to repel ticks, mosquitoes, and flies. Hunters have also used this along deer trails to keep the amount of ticks on the deer down throughout the summer. This type of spray is one that would be used before the season starts as there is an odor to it and would not be something you would want to spray the day of your hunt.
Nothing is more frustrating than getting busted by your scent or getting busted because you were swatting at mosquitoes. There are several reputable brands out there to help combat these issues and several methods to try. It may take some extra time and work to ensure you are set when it comes to scent and bugs, but the rewards will surely be worth it.