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Sit Still to Take Big Bucks

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Defeat the Buck Deer’s Nose for Success

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John’s Note: We all understand that bagging big bucks isn’t easy or else every hunter would take one each season. To bag a really-big buck this hunting season, you’ll have to disarm the buck by defeating his senses of sight, smell and hearing, or you’ll have to get lucky. When I take all the precautions to defeat the buck’s defense mechanisms, I’m much luckier than when I don’t.

All hunters will agree that for success they must defeat the buck’s nose, his number-one defense against the hunter. A buck can see you move and not spook. A buck can hear you make a sound and not run away, even though he goes on alert. But if that buck smells you, you’ve lost the game. He’s won because he’ll leave the country by the quickest route. Today’s deer-hunting industry has spent millions of dollars attempting to develop products that will enable the deer hunter to defeat the buck’s nose. I believe you can understand how to use these products effectively, if you’ll pretend you want to build a fortress to keep odor in rather than letting it out.

1* Your First Line of Defense – Odor builds-up on our bodies as we perspire. The more we perspire, and the longer we perspire, the more odor we give off. The first line of defense includes thoroughly cleaning the body with some type of soap like Hunter’s Specialties ( Scent-A-Way soap.

* Your Second Line of Defense – Wash your clothes in a no-odor soap such as Scent-A-Way Clothes Wash.   When you take your clothes out of the dryer, put them in a scent-safe bag and don’t put your hunting clothes on until you get out of the car and are ready to walk into the woods.

2* Your Third Line of Defense – Today there are many different types of odor-retardant outerwear that also repel water and stops the wind and neutralize human odor. One of the first companies to develop this type of clothing was ScentLok ( However, since then most of the better hunting clothes manufacturers have some type of scent retardant added to their outerwear.

* Your Fourth Line of Defense – Use odor-neutralizing sprays. My favorite is Hunter’s Specialties Scent-A-Way spay. Also carry an odor-killing spray with you into your tree stand, and spray your body frequently to neutralize the odor you’ll constantly give off.

* Your Fifth Line of Defense – Regardless of the game I hunt but especially when I hunt deer, I’ll wear knee-high rubber boots. The rubber boots encapsulate the odor from my feet, ankles and legs and keep me from leaving a scent trail where I’ve walked. However, before I go into the woods, I spray the inside and the outside of my rubber boots with an odor-neutralizing spray.  Before I walk in the woods, I’ll put coon scent on the bottoms and sides of my rubber boots, a trick I learned from Bob Foulkrod (, nationally-known big-game bowhunter and guide.

3“Coons walk around through the woods all the time,” Foulkrod told me. “Coon scent is a natural odor the deer are accustomed to smelling. I also put coon scent on my boots just before I climb a tree because coons climb trees. By using this tactic, I leave an odor behind that the deer are accustomed to smelling on the ground and going up a tree. When I’m in the tree, I’ll also place a little coon scent on the limbs and branches where I’ve hung my tree stand. Then if a deer looks up and sees movement in the tree, his nose will tell him the movement is being caused by the coon he smells, not the hunter he doesn’t smell.”

* Your Sixth Line of Defense – Use a cover scent like Scent-A-Way Mix Fresh Earth Spray made by Hunter Specialties, one of the most-natural odors in the woods to try to mask or hide your human odor.

To get John E. Phillips’ eBooks and print books on hunting deer, including his newest deer-hunting book, “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks,” available at, 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, 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

For free information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from

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