Every hunter knows that the animals sense of smell is its safety feature built right in. They can smell everything, much better than we can. For an animal, if they can’t smell it could mean life or death. They smell the ground in search of food and the air to smell for threats, like you. Walking into the woods smelling like bacon eggs, and coffee isn’t the greatest plan. There is a process to follow in removing all scents from your body so you don’t alert the animals of your presence.
Part of a typical pre-hunting routine consists of showering with a non-scented shampoo and body wash. The purpose of this is to remove the normal scented soaps we use on a daily basis. Our clothes are washed to remove the scent we normally have. But despite all of this preventative work, our bodies still emit a unique scent. After washing we still need to use a scent blocker spray to keep the smell away. Eat your breakfast before you shower, and change.
Scent blocker spray is manufactured and sold by a few different companies. These products aren’t too expensive, but they cost money. After purchasing the laundry soaps and shampoos and other things needed it can all add up. If you have any kind of do it yourself in you, you may consider trying to make your own for free. It is possible to make your own non-scented soaps and detergents but for this, we will focus on just the scent blocker.
The only cost associated with making scent blocker at home is the water, and latex gloves if you don’t’ already have them. This should only accumulate to a buck or two. Saving the gloves for the next time you need to make a batch will save you money even further.
Homemade scent blocker works best if you know where you will be hunting. The materials that you will need to gather will come straight from this location. Before ever touching a single plant it is a good idea to know which ones not to use. If you don’t know what poison oak, sumac, and ivy look like take a picture of the plants with you. Do not make the scent blocker with these. It can be deadly for those who are severely allergic to them.
The first step is to consider how to get these materials home without exposing anything to other scents. If you have to travel in a vehicle to get to your hunting location to find these plants consider washing a small blanket in a non-scented laundry detergent. Wrap the materials in the blanket as opposed to putting them in a bag. Another option would be to use a large stock pot. Make sure that it is clean and free of any smells. They should be covered so they are not exposed to other smells on the trip home. The blanket won’t prevent all smells from leaching through but it will stop a majority of them.
Put on a pair of latex gloves, and begin to gather live natural plants. Latex free options are available to those who are allergic to the latex material. Gather the amount of materials that when bundled together they make a basketball size. Pick up sticks, leaves, live plants, new growth anything that emits an odor, preferably anything that has a strong smell. Wait to make the scent blocker until closer to hunting season to gather items that would naturally be growing during that time.
Begin boiling a gallon of distilled water. Distilled water is the purest form of water on the planet, it is 100 percent pure H20. Water by itself doesn’t have a scent, and there for you will want to use distilled water to create the homemade version of scent blocker. Tap water and store bought waters have added chlorine, fluoride, and other minerals that cause it to have a slight smell. Your prey will be able to detect these odors even though they are in small amounts that you may not be able to smell them.
Once the water has come to a rolling boil, add the material gathered from the woods. Remember to keep the gloves on, and don’t touch anything else during this process. Change the gloves, as needed.
Cover the pot, and allow the water to continue boiling for five minutes. Do not allow it to cook the material. You are simply wanting the water to penetrate the material and pull out the smells inside. Cooking the material will leave a cooked smell, and will not work for your intended purpose. Once the timer has run out turn off the heat and wait for the scent blocker to cool. You may have begun to smell the aroma that it is putting off.
While waiting for the water to cool, find two empty bottles of scent blocker. Only one spray nozzle needs to work. Do not attempt to use an old soda bottle or soap container. The smell leaches into the plastic and will contaminate the scent blocker. Rinse the bottles then cut one to use as a funnel. When the water has cooled pull the leaves and twigs from the pot, squeezing off excess water. Pour the scent into the spray bottle. The water should have a strong odor of outdoors. This is exactly what you want. Throw away the material used to make the scent blocker.
The natural materials will hide any smells that you have as long as you have taken preventative measures to remove any strong odors. Keep the bottle with you and spray it before entering the woods, and while you are there to cover any scent you may put out. Remember to spray your boots, hat, and hair.
As an added bonus to save some money, consider picking up a few extra twigs and plants while gathering materials. Place these in a bag with your hunting clothes to keep them stored away until the next hunt you take. Make sure the material you gather is dead and dry to prevent your clothes from molding.