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Thread: campfire while hunting...

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    Default campfire while hunting...

    Anyone have any thoughts/advice on having a campfire while hunting? Last year, while hunting the Dalton, we neglected to have a fire based on the belief that we needed any advantage we could to get close. We thought that the smoke would stay in our gear and that it would give us away much faster than our own B.O. Recently I was reading a book on bowhunting and the author talked about having a fire every night, which I thought was odd. Any thoughts?

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    Member walk-in's Avatar
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    Default fires

    Generally, I don't think that wood smoke odor is a problem...especially considering the number of fires we've had around the state in the last couple years. I rarely have a campfire simply because I don't like to bother gathering wood when I could be hunting. If I'm in an area where there is a good supply of wood, I do it occasionally, but for the most part I just use a pack stove.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walk-in View Post
    Generally, I don't think that wood smoke odor is a problem...especially considering the number of fires we've had around the state in the last couple years. I rarely have a campfire simply because I don't like to bother gathering wood when I could be hunting. If I'm in an area where there is a good supply of wood, I do it occasionally, but for the most part I just use a pack stove.
    I have to agree. I used to always have a campfire while moose hunting but not for other game due to the limited availability of wood. I have given up on the moose hunting fire due to the time required which takes from hunting time. However, after taking game a campfire is a great way to celebrate/taste success.

    I do love a campfire though. I often times finding myself at the end of the season feeling like I missed out on part of the experience by not having fires. Come October when the huntin' is over you'll sometimes find me in the woods behind my house with a campfire going just to get my fill.

    As to the smell of smoke - probably find plenty of conflicting views as to its impact on the stalk.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    I have campfires moose hunting. When we set up camp we gather wood and when its gone, its gone! I also know guys who would never be in a camp with a campfire for fear of being more easily winded.

    Tim

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    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Always have one, it is to nice to sit around with your friends at the end of the day, have a drink and talk about the day or whatever. I don't give much thought to the smell of smoke etc and I don't wear scentlock either and as far as I KNOW it has never hurt our hunting.

    Doug

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    Member jimsmith80's Avatar
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    wood smoke is found in lots of places in the outdoors, its better than smelling like mint body wash or what ever doug uses Plus I think that having a fire is part of the experince, and thats what i do this for anyway.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i thought doug was field testing that new lavender body was from Miss. Vicky Secret...caught that new sponsor on his webpage.
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    Wink

    Campfires, and hunting how can you folks live without them! Life would be depressing without a campfire. Bill
    ; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 SAMUEL 2;30

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    Member dwhunter's Avatar
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    Hey Hey,

    It was actually the coconut scented wash Jake!

    Doug

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default MSR Dragon fly!!!

    Just ain't the same swapping lies and telling tall tales sitting around the cook stove. My moose hunting buddy was dead set on a cold camp this past fall. After I got my bull, we had a fire and I put the moose head in a tree by the meat pole. The next morning there was fresh tracks in the sand where a moose was standinig there looking at the antlers in the tree. While we slept not 100 feet away. Hope he wasn't looking for a fight, there wasn't any fight left in my bull. LOL

    Steve

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    Depends. If we have the wall tent and woodstove then we have a fire every night! I usually don't have time to sit around a campfire. I'm either morning hunting, taking my mid afternoon nap or evening hunting until dark. After dark it's time to crash and get up and do it again! If we have one bagged we're either looking for another or headed home. When do you have time to sit around a fire?

    Sheep huntings different. Gotta build a fire after getting back into the lowlands to cook up some sheep!

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    Default campfire

    Snyd has the solution....use a wood stove with smoke going aloft from a few lengths of stove pipe....open the door for campfire effect...close the door to conserve wood etc....

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Tips on Fires on Hunts

    I have no problem with fires on all hunts except bear. Besides the ambiance it provides, the smoke masks your scent, not only of your camp, but once it penetrates your clothes it masks human scent there as well.

    As to the bear issue, we go total stealth most of the time. But I did hear of some guys on the Alaska Peninsula that used to build huge bonfires and roast beaver carcasses, honey and other things as a means of ATTRACTING bears. Apparently it worked, and all they did was sit around camp and feed the fire. The regulations might call this baiting, and it sure seems a little close to the edge to me... but some do it.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Fred Bear

    Take a look at a lot of the old Fred Bear fottage and photos. Many a time you will see a fire and he was a bow hunter who had to get close.

    Hunting around Fairbanks you almost have to smell like smoke to blend in.

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    i'm new to the open areas of alaska. i've always hunted in areas where game is accustomed to the smell of smoke, and i actually use it as a cover scent. when i hunt at my dad's - in wisconsin - i open the door on his outdoor wood furnace just to let my clothing soak up the smell, and then head for the woods.

    haven't had the time to test it out up here, but if the game you're after is used to the smell of smoke, it can't hurt, and it might help.

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    I was deer hunting in southeast and about mid day we stoped for lunch and had a small fire. when we were done I walked 100 yds and there was a buck standing right there ( I didn't get him though)

  17. #17

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    I use to worry about fires and the smell when all I could hunt were whitetails but as time goes by I have learned and realized that smoke smell doesn't bother the critters like you hear about. I agree with the other posts that there is enough fires occurring up here all the time and a camp fire won't hurt. And yes, your smell (BO) will alarm a critter before the smoke smell. If you are playing the wind right it really doesn't matter what you smell like.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    You read the stories of the stalkers who TOUCH live deer and whatnot, they purposefully camo up with charcoal to mask the human odor. Smoke/fire is a naturally occurring scent and the animals are not spooked by it.

    It's kinda like deer hunting down south. We used to step in a cow pie to cover any human odor that might be on the soles of our boots. Letting your clothes be permeated by smoke essentially does the same thing, it puts off an odor they are used to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    ...Hunting around Fairbanks you almost have to smell like smoke to blend in....
    Man you got that right! Wasn't too bad last year but the 04 and 05 were real bad. Here's a little meat bull I shot at about 75 degrees and smoke. You can see it in the pic. It only got worse. I don't think smoke or even the sound of an engine bothers critters that much. They smell smoke and hear planes flying over all the time.


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    I like the fire. Moose camp is just not the same without a fire at night. Nothing better then a few beers over the fire bullsing around the fire.

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