Ground blinds may help with scent control. However, there are some other benefits such as reduced noise, protection from the weather and many other benefits that are not apparent at first thought.
Do ground blinds help with scent control? Yes, if you stay within any type of structure, your scent will not be dispersed as widely within the area and help conceal your scent from any deer downwind. However, they do not provide 100% odor control. You need to take other steps to make sure your game does not smell you, thus giving away your location.
You cannot find a single solution to control body scent when you’re hunting. In this article, I’ll go over a number of solutions that will help with the issue and show you how to take steps to protect your scent from spreading outside your ground blind.
Why Can’t Ground Blinds Completely Eliminate Scent?
Ground blinds aren’t air-tight where it would prevent scent from escaping. Some scents will still escape, especially if you’re moving around within your blind without taking other scent control measures. However, there are benefits to using ground blinds that can help with scent control.
The most obvious benefit of a ground blind is helping conceal movement and help conceal your outline.
Minimize The Chance Deer Will Smell Your Scent From The Blind
When I first started hunting, one of the things the older experienced hunters explained to me was scent control in regards to hunting isn’t about any single thing. It is a combination of a lot of little best practices that can be followed that will make a difference.
Here are ways to ensure you are maximizing scent control when in your ground blind:
Eliminate Odors From Food, Beverages and Tobacco
Odors from food, beverages, and tobacco can waft for great distances and potentially give away your location to game you are trying to hunt.
We often forget just because we can’t smell a certain scent doesn’t mean a wild animal cannot. Following best practices for scent control can go a long ways to helping you have a successful hunt.
Food & Beverages
Food is pretty easy, don’t bring food into your blind that has loud wrappers and very strong scents. Some of my favorite foods when I am spending a long day in my blind is granola bars, a PB&J Sandwich or fresh fruit. During cold weather hunts, I am more apt to bring soup or a thermos with tea or coffee.
Foods with very strong scents should be avoided. I’ve seen guys use a small hiking stove to warm up strong-smelling leftovers. It may be harmless to do but personally, I don’t want to take the chance.
Tobacco use can impact your hunting success. Two common issues are presented from tobacco use. If you keep your hunting gear in a vehicle you smoke in, the tobacco smell can transfer to your clothing. With higher concentrations, the deer surely will be able to smell it to some degree.
Secondly, if you dip while hunting it is pretty much a consensus that the deer may smell it but generally won’t be overly concerned with the smell. If you want to minimize any chance of spooking deer I wouldn’t chew tobacco but it also shouldn’t be a huge concern.
There is nothing more essential than being downwind of the anticipated route of travel of your target game. Outside of firearm safety, understanding the wind and how deer utilize the scent wind carries is the most important thing to understand as a novice hunter.
If you want to be a great hunter, you must also master all aspects of hunting from scent control, blind placement, and how topography influences wind and deer travel patterns.
Eliminate All Odors From Your Hunting Gear
Begin by washing your entire equipment, including your backpack, base layers, face mask, outerwear, gloves, and socks. Avoid using ordinary laundry detergent that has a pleasant fresh summer scent. You can also use products such as Sport-Wash, Gear-Aid’s Odorless Wash, and Scent Killer Wash.
Once your gear is washed place it in a large storage bag or tote to protect it from any residual smells in your environment (we will discuss this in more detail shortly).
Often scent doesn’t always give a hunter away, but the UV rays on clothing help magnify certain colors that animals such as deer can see. There are some clothing washes and sprays that can help mitigate the impact of UV rays or wearing appropriate color clothing that isn’t as impacted by UV.
Protect Your Clothes From Attracting Smells With Odor Reducing Containers
Everyone who hunts has either smelled or experienced the unpleasant smells of certain items in your pack. To eliminate odors from your hunting equipment, simply place them inside an odor-reducing container before you store them away.
They make ones specific to hunters that are said to protect your clothing and gear from odors, but they are pretty expensive and I am not sold on them yet. Personally, I have found a common tote that you find and Home Depot or Target to work just fine in most instances.
Wear the Correct Clothing
On your approach to the blind, dress lightly and move slowly. If you become sweaty while going to the blind, all of your previous efforts will have been for naught. Sweat is your adversary not only from a scent perspective but also from maintaining comfort in cool or cold weather.
Having the appropriate camo on that blends with your surroundings as well as your blind can also help conceal you while hunting.
Practice Normal Scent Control Best Practices
Avoid using cologne, after-shave, or strong deodorants that will transfer to your hunting clothes and permeate the air around you.
When you do use these products, don’t apply them on your hunting clothes or boots or in the immediate area of your hunting gear.
Colognes have strong scents because they are meant to be pleasant to smell for the human nose, deer’s sense of smell is much stronger and will 100% pick up the cologne’s smell.
Spray Down With Cover Scents
It’s a crucial step not to overlook just because you’ll be using a ground blind. Spray down everything from your head to your ground blind, including all of your clothing. The Hunters Specialties Scent-A-Way Spray, for example, is a strong solution that should be used on anything that could carry your scent.
I also like to use Hunters Specialties “Dirt Smell” Cover Scent Wafers that make you smell like the earth. Lastly, you can also use scent-eliminating wipes on your hands and other solid surfaces.
Obviously, you don’t have to use them all; I’m simply providing alternatives so that you may choose the scent management techniques that are most appealing to you.
What Is The Best Way To Cover A Ground Blind?
What about game seeing your ground blind? Many portable blinds come with a camo color already, so you can simply leave it as is for a natural blend in the woods or add some branches or shrubs around it to give it a more natural look.
If you have an elevated blind made out of wood you can paint or stain it a more natural color. Your real friend here isn’t so much about concealment but getting it put into place well before the season so the deer get used to seeing it and no longer view it as a threat. This will ensure your success and safety while hunting.
Obviously, if you live in a state where you cannot hunt from an elevated blind; you will want to invest in a good tree stand or ground blind (if legal) in your area.
As you can see, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for eliminating 100 percent odor from your ground blind unless you aren’t in it. As a result, any ground blind that claims to be scent-proof is simply a marketing gimmick.
However, if you use the techniques outlined above and apply them diligently, you can greatly increase your chances of obtaining a large number of the target game animal species inside the practical harvesting range. It’s all about eliminating as little scent as possible to gain those few important yards and seconds– not totally eliminating it.