John’s Note: The trophy buck is the oldest and the smartest deer on the land you land. Trophy bucks must have eluded hunters for at least 3 years and often for 5-6 six years to become a trophy. He has learned to recognize the mistakes hunters make and understands how and where to hide where hunters can’t find him. If you’re going to take the wide-racked, heavy-antlered, high-tined buck of your dreams with a blackpowder rifle, you must hunt mistake-proof and realize your quarry may be smarter than you are.
We all believe that if you hunt into the wind, the deer can’t smell you. However, we often fail to realize the only deer that can’t smell you when you hunt into the wind are the deer upwind of you. All the deer downwind of you can smell you. Often the downwind deer will alert a trophy buck to your presence by snorting, stomping or running away. If you are to take a trophy buck this season, you must be as concerned with the deer downwind of your position as you are with the deer upwind. How do you stop human from being carried downwind and spooking deer? You can’t. What you can do is reduce the amount of odor the deer has to smell. By reducing the amount of odor, you decrease your chances of being detected.
The many odor-eliminating agents on the market today basically fall into three categories – body soaps, clothing soaps and hotspot sprays. Body soaps like Hunter’s Specialties Scent-A-Way (http://www.hunterspec.com/scent-a-way) wash off odor-producing agents such as amino acids and leave a neutralizing agent on the skin to neutralize or eliminate this acidic odor as it is formed. Odor-eliminating clothing soaps like Hunter’s Specialties Scent-A-Way remove odors in clothing and add an odor entrapper, so odors won’t be given off to the air by the clothing. Hotspot sprays or creams consist of odor-killing, acid-neutralizing chemicals that give added protection to heavy sweat areas like the feet, the crotch, the armpits and the head. Atsko (http://www.atsko.com) has an N-O-DOR Oxidizer that completely destroys all traces of human and organic odors when used as directed on clothing, skin and all wetable surfaces. Each of these products can dispose of large amounts of human odor the body gives off that deer can and will smell. Since your feet and boots are often the main source of odor, some type of cover-up scent like Hunter’s Specialties Scent Walkers or Tink’s (http://www.tinks.com) fox urine also may help.
Eliminating your smell from the areas you hunt for a trophy buck is critical to success. But don’t forget your equipment. Spray an odor eliminator on tree stands, possible bags, powder containers, knife scabbard and daypacks. Use lubricants that contain a neutral smell to wipe down your gun and eliminate excess spot powder smells. The more human odor you can eliminate or mask, the greater your odds will be of bagging a blackpowder buck.
To get John E. Phillips’ eBooks, audio books and print books on hunting deer, including his newest deer-hunting book, “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks,” available at http://amzn.to/2bYwYOK/, click on these books to learn more, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” or to prepare venison, “Deer & Fixings.” Or, go to www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. You also can find John’s books on Nook at www.barnesandnoble.com.
For free information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.