Help getting to my stand, please
Hello, I have a really good spot for Whitetail hunting on a ridge overlooking a hollow. The problem is getting to my stand.
I have about a two mile hike, then climb a low high wall, then up the hollow. I have gone in, at times in 10 degree weather, in just a T-Shirt, underwear and rubber boots with no socks, carrying my heavier stuff and socks, etc., and still always end up in a lather of sweat…I have seen deer spook on my back trail hours after I have passed. I have observed different reactions. Sometimes it’s comical, especially the reactions of young bucks. But one thing for certain is they all take some kind of evasive action. The deer seem to recognize my trail easier when the ground is bare. When there is a few inches of snow they don’t seem to notice as much. You’d think it would be the opposite.
There is no other way for me to get to this excellent spot except for the way I described.
I would really appreciate any advice on scent control in this situation. I have never been much for scent control sprays, etc and supposedly “scent proof” rubber boots don’t seem to matter, but am willing to try anything that the forum members might suggest. Deer down in the hollow never scent me when I’m up in my stand over looking the hollow but it’s getting there without leaving a scent trail that’s the problem. How can I minimize my scent trail.
Thanks for ant help….TD
I’ve got a 1/2 mile walk into my farthest stand. It’s mostly level ground. However, over the years, I’ve been in just the situation you describe. For the past 15 seasons, I’ve not had a problem with backtrail busts. I attribute my success to my shamanic baking soda method.
Shamanic Baking Soda Method
It is not original. I found this method about 30+ years ago in a magazine. This was before all the hoopla about scent control products. Scent Control in those days was still not accepted, and those who practiced it were doing it on a DIY basis.
You’re on the right track with keeping your outer layers off until you get in the stand. I use a nylon duffel bag with straps. It is important to eschew sweating at all costs. It buggers up your scent control and it can lead to hypothermia.
About a decade ago, I started studying the various catechisms associated with deer hunting. One of them was rubber boots. It dawned on me that rubber boots, even ones a decade old, can still be reeking of Naptha. Why don’t the deer smell the Naptha? It’s like the gas in your ATV and the oil in your gun– deer aren’t supposed to smell those either. Right?
What I found was that a modicum of personal hygiene and the use of baking soda did far more than rubber boots. A little dusting of baking soda before use and a little pinch in your socks were all that was necessary. I also stopped using heavily insulated boots, because they made my feet sweat when I was getting to the stand. Instead, I use boot blankets that I put on after I’m in the stand. They do a much better job. I wore insulated leather uppers for a decade. I’m now wearing Nylon.
Bottom line: use baking soda. Shower. Keep your outer layers bagged up until you need them. Don’t sweat.
Success stories? I’ve had big bucks coming down my backtrail less than an hour from my passing and were oblivious. I’ve also seen deer find my footsteps in the grass, stop, smell the spot and then wag their tail. Until very recently, I had taken all of my big bucks at close range with a bow or rifle. Some were from the ground.
In regards to cover scents, I used to be a major consumer of things like fox urine, skunk urine, and the like. I don’t think it did me any good. When I went to the baking soda, I tried to be as scent free as possible. The results were remarkable. With cover scents, the deer begin to associate the stink with hunter. You may think you’re being sly, but you’re not. You will be surprised when you try baking soda and find out what it is like to reduce your scent profile dramatically.
In regards to Fart-lok suits: I spent the better part of a decade debunking that crap. For hunters who still believe an over-priced rainsuit will help them kill deer, I’m selling an anti-telepathy hat and cover-scent gum.
One other thing: You did not mention what type of stand you have. Self-climbers are a huge problem when it comes to scent control, and especially if you carry it in and set it up each hunt. My success improved dramatically when I switched to pre-positioned metal ladder stands. I always find, no matter how hard I try, that I break a sweat getting into a stand, but climbing a ladder seems to be the least taxing. With self-climbers, I was usually soaked in sweat when I got to my proper height. I mention this, because I started carrying my outer layers in a bag about a decade before I switched to ladder stands.