Scent Elimination Sprays and Soaps: Reducing the Smell Factor

The scent elimination body and hair soaps are a must. They do not contain any fragrances and they kill bacteria on the skin and scalp that cause odors. The bacteria will come back, but bathing with them daily is a good start.

When you get out of the shower, don't put on your usualPrimos  Silver XP  Scent Eliminator Unscented Deodorant deodorant. Use one with no scent. Cut the after shave lotion, too. For that matter, if you shave, use the scent free body soap for a lather.

Continue your scent elimination process with a scent free laundry Hunter's Specialties  Scent-A-Way  Laundry Detergent detergent made for hunters. These products will not add fragrances and will have something in it to kill bacteria. They will also not add “whiteners and brighteners” that will make your camouflage clothing stand out like a neon sign to elk and deer.

Now, that said, I have noticed that towels washed in some of these laundry detergents sometimes still have a slight musty odor on them. That smell can come from your dryer. Possibly because it didn’t get dried soon enough after washing, or by picking up a smell from the dryer itself. If I can smell that, the elk can certainly smell it after I’ve dried off with it.

Line drying your hunting clothes will improve your scent elimination results. (I hate to use that word, since scent elimination is not possible, but that is the commonly used terminology.) I’ve noticed that towels and clothing, if line dried, do not have residual smells (as perceived with the human nose). Be careful not to hang them in areas that might transmit BBQ grill odors or Hunter's Specialties H.S. Scents? Scent-A-Way? Dryer Sheetsother yard and camp smells.

Scent-A-Way type dryer sheets can also help with that problem.

Scent Stopper Sprays

The next step is to spray towels and clothing with a “human Wildlife Research Center Scent Killer Gallon Combo scent elimination spray”, like Scent-Away, Scent Killer or Dead Down Wind. This arduous process will minimize the residual smells as well. If you want to get as close to scent elimination as possible, this is a good step to take before “close encounters of the herd kind”.

After the spray is mostly dry, store the treated clothing and towels in an airtight plastic bag or clean plastic tub (that has been sprayed inside). Handle them only with clean hands when taking them out. I wash my hands with scent free soap before touching them.

After you have gone to all that trouble, if you really want to do it right, consider not donning those clothes until you get to your hunting site. Wear light clothing for the hike in, then change to your treated camo and spray them again. Don't forget to spray your boots.

The volume of spray needed to do a thorough job daily adds up. Buy big volumes and save money.

Hat, Boots and Other Gear

That takes care of your clothing and towels. What about your hat? Get a new one every year, or for a favorite, wash it by hand often with scent free soap. Spray it down daily before going hunting, inside and out. Don’t wear it around camp soaking up the smells of the fire, etc. Perhaps you can change to a camp hat instead. One that does not go hunting with you.

What about your backpack? How often does that get washed? How often is that thrown around in the pickup or the tent soaking up all kinds of odors? Wash it at least annually and spray it down often, too. Remember your belt and other things that don’t get washed.

I spray the inside of my boots at the end of the day with scent elimination spray and allow that to dry before I wear them again. I put a layer of spray on the outside of my boots after putting them on.

Think about the equipment that you take hunting with you. Spray or wipe it down with scent elimination spray, if you want to cut back on more unwelcome scents.

I’ll be frank with you. I don’t agonize over spraying every little thing that goes along with me. If it takes the fun out of hunting, it ain’t worth it. I do reasonable things religiously and take some chances with some of the details.

(How far do you take scent control?)

Types of Sprays

Most of the sprays are excellent products. Most spray products change the structure of odors on the molecular level, so they aren’t perceptible. I have my doubts about those with carbon in them. It is my understanding that wet carbon cannot absorb odors. Does the spray leave enough carbon behind to do the trick?

There are “recipes” for homemade scent control hunting sprays on the Internet, but they can be quite harmful to skin and it is difficult to get just the right concentration of hydrogen peroxide. You could mix baking soda with distilled water with some safe, reasonable results, but it might be hard to keep it mixed up. Most of the sprays on the market probably also contain triclosan, which kills bacteria chemically.

X Scent Silver XP Scent Eliminator Spray is a relatively new Primos  Silver XP  Scent Eliminator Sprayproduct and will prove to be quite effective as it attacks odors from two directions. The manufacturers are very secretive about what their products are made of. I think the usual odor modifying solution in other sprays is also in Silver XP, but this product also has colloidal silver added to it that kills bacteria on contact. It costs more than Scent-Away or Scent Killer, but is probably more effective. I have not forked over the cash for it yet, but it looks like a great product.

Scent Covers and Attractants

Scent covers are suspect in my thinking. Common sense tells me adding an odor to another odor, does nothing to eliminate or reduce the other odor. It might work on the human nose, but elk can smell and identify each one (actually many) all at once.

Scent attractants are another story. They do attract what they are made to attract (if the elk or deer is in the mood and the timing is right), but do not expect these to actually cover your scent either. If a bull smells a cow in heat and a human at the same time, he’s out of there!

Control the Wind If You Can,
Use Attractant If You Can't

On the other hand, if I find myself upwind of a bull and can’t move, I’m pulling the cow-in-heat spray out of my pocket and letting it fly his way! It can’t hurt, but I’ll work the wind first, if I have an opportunity. If the wind is right, my scent attractant spray won’t reach him, but neither will my human scent.

Remember odors that come from your mouth. Toothpaste has strong aromatic ingredients in it. I tried some “camouflage gum” and was surprised to find that it had a very strong chlorophyll smell. OK, so chlorophyll is all over the place in nature, but nature doesn’t seem to have an overwhelmingly strong chlorophyll smell like the gum!

On the other hand, the smell will wane in a few minutes as it gets washed down with saliva. Maybe it would be better than having your breath smelling like toothpaste, sausage or coffee.

Plain old baking soda makes a great scent eliminating tooth paste. Just put some on a wet tooth brush.

Scent elimination (control) is the ultimate goal and there are many excellent products available to help you work toward that end while hunting an animal with a very sharp snout.

For our Scent Control Hunting Clothing Review page. Click here.




Use Google Custom Search to search this site:

Custom Search


Return to Scent Control Hunting page, from Scent Elimination (sprays, soaps and deteregents) page

Return to Home Page


Please subscribe to "Website Updates" in the form on the left of this page to receive "new page" alerts. We will let you know the topic of any new pages added. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed for this site to receive automated update notices (left column).

New! Comments

What do you think about this topic? Leave a comment in the box below.



Search This Site Here:

Custom Search

2013 Elk Hunting Reports:

Report your successful elk hunting, or "close encounters of the herd kind" in 2013. Give us reports and read what others are saying.

Gear That We Use:
ASAT Camo

Free U.S. Shipping On ASAT Camo


Montana Decoy Elk/Deer
Now Available Here!

Montana Decoy

$99.00 Free Shipping!


Bugling Bull
Game Calls

$5 Flat Rate Shipping
or Free Shipping over $50


ElkNut Productions

Free Shipping on
ElkNut Products Here


The StringSling:
Best Bow Sling Design!

String Sling Bow Sling

$28.95, Including U.S. Shipping

Also, see the XBow Buddy/CrossBow Sling here


Clip-Shot: 1 oz. Camera Mount

$19.95 Free U.S. Shipping


Skull Hookers
Now Available Here!

Skull hooker

$34.99 & 59.99 Free U.S. Shipping!


The Safari Sling:
Best Rifle Sling Design!

Safari Sling Best Rifle Sling Available

$27.99 Free US Shipping


2013 Five Yard Archery Kill Video:

6 X 6 Archery Bull: 5 Yard Shot With Video by: Dave, ElkHuntingTips.Net


Go to Forums

Forum Topic Discussions:


Is a 308 rifle enough for elk hunting?I recently bought a Mossberg in 308 caliber. I am wondering if that caliber is ok..., by Skip (Tucson, AZ)

295 yard kill with a Kimber Montana 325 WSM, by Don from Dallas: My ELk did not even twitch once. He was dead when he hit the ground.

325 WSM is worth considering, Palmer Lake,CO: I believe that the .325 WSM is the ultimate elk caliber...

30-30 for Elk? : I have a 30 30 with 170 grain round nose bullet. Will this work to shoot an elk ?

(More comments about Best Elk Rifle below)

Recent Submissions

Unit 62 in Montrose, Colorado?, by Skip, Anyone hunt Unit 62?

Best and Cheapest State to take Nonresident Youth, by Noel (MN), I've always wanted to elk hunt but $$ and distance has detoured me...

Help needed for 1st DIY Hunt w/Son, by Patrick (Parker, CO), "I was looking for some advice on my 1st DIY hunt for 2014 in CO with my 13 yr old son. I have countless hrs going over stats, topo maps & Google Earth"

Benches?, by Scott (Minnesota)...could you explain a little more about benches? I've read a lot of magazines and they all mention benches and that elk typically bed 1/3 the way down a slope.

2013 elk bow hunt around Pagosa Springs: by Bobby (Little Rock , Arkansas), looking for someone to join my DIY hunt!...

Unique Elk Talk by Idaho Steve (Hailey, Id ), In the middle of the night, a herd of elk came traveling through the drainage and right past my tent...

Smelly Elk Areas? by Jimmy (New Mexico), I've come across many areas that just stink of elk, literally. I have heard two somewhat contradictory stories...

DIY Gear List Must Have's! by Craig (Florida) "Here are some of the items I use on my DIY hunts in the CO backcountry..."

Elk and Deer Hunting and Mountain Bikes, by Skip Shepherd (Tucson, AZ)~ At 67 I am thinking a lot about investing in a mountain bike to get back into remote areas...

Elk Hunting Colorado Unit 85, by Jerry~ I'm looking for any good advice on hunting elk in unit 85 in Colorado Spanish peaks area....


Solo archery hunting -- tips for calling/set up?, by Idaho Steve (Hailey, ID )~ I hunt by myself a lot...I'd love to hear your thoughts on strategic set-ups when solo hunting and calling.

Non- Lead Bullets for Elk?, by Dave, Elk Hunting Tips.Net (Garrison, MT)~ What do you ballistics guys think about the use of non-lead bullets for elk? According to this story...

Rage Broadheads by Chris, ...my buddy gave me a rage practice tip and when I shot it you could not pick out the broadhead from the field points. I was sold...

Recent Submissions:

Finally filled the freezer..., Colorado Rockies~ "I was bummed when I got to the property and no elk, nor any hoof prints in the snow. ...I pulled each of the elk into shade then started gutting..."


Wounded Veteran Elk hunts, by Joshua FL), I am a disabled veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and have always dreamed of hunting elk. I am posting this to see if anyone would know of any elk hunts free to disabled vets....

First Elk with a Bow, by Ryan H. (Colorado), ...Finally after many years of hunting with a bow "I got er did"!

First Elk!, by Tater (Sheridan, Arkansas) I took the advice I received from this website and was successful…I wanted to Thank You and Your Forum and the folks that share on here for the knowledge and information that helped me find an elk I was quite happy with.


Questions

Any success in Unit 14?, by: Dave (MI), "I'm planning on doing a DIY in Unit 14 for 2012..."

Rough Estimating Elk Antler Score, by Tater (Sheridan, AR) "I have booked my first elk hunt out west. My package includes up to 250 inches before the bonus prices increase. Can someone tell me how to estimate the antler size of an elk or at least a 250 inch elk?"


Share Elk Hunting Secrets

Bugle in Herd bulls, by Swiltbank (Az) The key to calling in a herd bull is to get into his bedding grounds and threaten his herd. Start off sounding like…


Best Big Game Rifle?

Best Rifle Caliber?, by Buglemup (Superior, MT), “ I've been reading what people have been writing about rifle calibers and here is what 16 years of guiding elk has taught me."

7mm Remington Magnum, by Dean (Helena, MT. USA) I use my Liberty Ruger M77, 7mm Rem. Mag. for antelope, deer, elk... Comment: "What do you guys think about the idea of hunting elk with a 270? I also know a guy who kills elk with a 243."


338 Marlin Express, "Light, fast shooting, hard hitting, manageable recoil, and for a lever gun - very accurate."


Guns I like for Elk, by Mountain Walker (Kootenays east B.C. Canada),"I think the gun you shoot Elk with should be one you shoot a lot with... "


.35 Remington, by Bill Smith "...my .35 Rem appears to have dropped a medium deer flawlessly, but I now have serious doubts as to its capability to take an elk."


Arizona Elk Hunting

Where to hunt in Az unit 3B?, by Cliffjumper (Tucson, Az) ~ I got a late bull muzzle loader hunt in Arizona unit 3b. Does anyone know how to hunt bulls in the late season?...

First time elk hunter hunting Arizona unit 6A , by Rob Marchio (Omaha, Ne)~ I'm a first time elk hunter hunting Arizona's unit 6A. I'm planning on staying in the Pine Grove campground...


Elk Hunting Colorado

Help needed for 1st DIY Hunt w/Son, by Patrick (Parker, CO), "I was looking for some advice on my 1st DIY hunt for 2014 in CO with my 13 yr old son. I have countless hrs going over stats, topo maps & Google Earth"

Elk Hunting Colorado in 2013, By William (Midland, TX) "I am planning an elk hunt next year in Colorado and I wanted to know if hunting Gunnison National Forest..."

Unit 60 Elk 4th Rifle Season Nov 13-17 Either Sex 2013, By Chester "...Any general advice about the unit would be appreciated!"


Idaho Elk Hunting

Elk Hunting Idaho Unit 8 8A 11, This is my first year seriously trying to track down some elk. Is there anyone that has hunted in any of these units and can give me some friendly advice? Mitchell, Moscow Idaho

Elk Hunting Pocatello by Cameron (Pocatello) Where is the best place to elk hunt around Pocatello, Idaho? I'm a student at ISU and I'm looking for somewhere around here to hunt next season.

How is the elk hunting in unit 30A in Idaho?, by Terry (Richland Center, WI) Has anyone archery elk hunted in unit 30A in Idaho? What can you tell me about the area?


Elk Hunting In Montana

Hunting in Western Montana, by Mike A. (Alabama)

I did not draw a tag for Missouri breaks where I have hunted in the past. Having to start over and try western Montana.


New Mexico Elk Hunting

New Mexico Unit 49, by Silas (Los Alamos, NM)

If anyone has tips on areas to start scouting, I'd really appreciate it.

First Elk Hunt First Elk Hunt, by Big "R" (NM)

I finally got drawn for a late elk hunt in Unit 28, north of Road 506 and south of the boundary line of the Lincoln National Forest...


Elk Hunting in Utah

"This is my first year hunting. I'm trying to make it fun and exciting for my kids. We went to the north slope by Bridger and China Meadows..."


Elk Hunting Nevada

Cow elk in Nevada's unit 222:

"Any good places known in unit 222?"

Northeast Nevada Early Elk hunt, by John (Carson City,NV)

"Any suggestions on what areas I may see some signs of elk?"


Questions from Novice Hunters

Retired USMC MSgt Needs Advice, by Ken Wing USMCRET (Bealeton, Va)


Big Game Recipes

Elk or Venison Steaks Grilled to Perfection Here's how to turn them into steakhouse steaks!

Spice-Crusted Grilled Venison Roast Recipe This Spice-Crusted, Grilled Venison Roast recipe works great for any red meat roasts, including elk, deer or beef roast...

Corned Elk Recipe You can easily make corned venison and elk, moose or corned beef from these instructions...


My wife's website: