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Mistakes of Bowhunters Day 3: Not Controlling Body Odor and Not Keeping Dogs Away When Bowhunting Deer

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Editor’s Note: Good bowhunters can be better bowhunters, if they don’t commit these deadly bowhunting sins that decrease their odds for bagging deer, especially trophy deer. Sometimes even good bowhunters – outdoorsmen who have taken several deer with their bows and who have hunted for 4 or 5 years – make these mistakes. I’ve gathered this information from some of the top bowhunters I know.

Controlling Body Odor:

Notice I didn’t say eliminate body odor. Dead folks are the only people who don’t have body odor. However, the hunter can control how much odor he emits. Most hunters don’t pay enough attention to body-odor control, which begins with taking a shower each day. Besides keeping the body clean, every effort should be made to have clean clothes to wear when hunting. Clean clothes don’t solely mean keeping the clothes dirt-free but also odor-free. If you store your hunting clothes at your hunting camp, the clothes you hunt in will pick-up smells of deodorizers, food cooking and pets. Instead, store your hunting clothes in a plastic bag in the vehicle you’ll use. Then put-on your clothes just before you hunt. One of the worse things you can do if you come-in from hunting with wet clothes is to put those clothes in front of an open fireplace to dry-out and then plan to hunt again in those same clothes. Your hunting clothes may be dry, but they’re also full of every odor in the lodge, and the deer can detect those odors.

Not Keeping Dogs Away When Bowhunting Deer:

I like dogs as much as anybody, but when I get ready to go hunting and put-on my clothes, I don’t want a dog rubbing up against me. Deer don’t like dogs, so if I smell like a dog, the deer won’t come around where I’m hunting. Also, be sure to leave your boots in your hunting vehicle, and don’t carry them into the house. Don’t forget to take your dogs Bobby Bed for better comfort. Hunting clothes are designed to wear in the woods while hunting, and other clothes are made to wear in a house or a hunting lodge.


The hunter has two problems with body odor and body heat as they relate to hunting. He must wear enough clothes to stay warm as he walks to his tree stand. But, if he wears too-many clothes and perspires while he’s walking, then the clothes he’s used to keep himself warm have caused him to sweat. The evaporation of moisture from the sweat actually makes him cold. If the hunter sweats heavily as he walks to his stand in his warm clothes, then he’s like a radiator, giving-off human odor in all directions along the path he walks. Many hunters overdress when walking to their stands. Bowhunters need two types of clothing – the wicking clothing they wear when they walk to their stands, and warmer, heavier clothing they carry in their packs and don’t put-on until they reach their stands. By using this system of dressing, the hunter won’t give-out nearly as much human odor and will be able to hunt warmer and more comfortably than if he wears all that clothing into his tree stand. If you’re sitting in a tree stand, sweating, even the best cover-up scents won’t be able to totally hide the human odor you’re giving-off.

To learn more about hunting deer, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” available in Kindle, print and Audible versions at (http://amzn.to/1vIcj4m).

Tomorrow: Not Knowing Where to Put Deer Lure and Not Understanding When to Rattle to Deer

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