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Thread: Smoking your clothes to hide your human scent?

  1. #1
    Member LindenTree's Avatar
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    Default Smoking your clothes to hide your human scent?

    Before I move to Alaska I lived on the White Earth Indian Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. An Indian buddy and myself were in our hunting camp one fall when he told me we needed to hang our clothes over a smoky campfire to hide our human cent. The next day I shot the biggest whitetail buck of my life while sitting in my deer stand, a four by five deer that must have dressed up close to 220 pounds. He never told me where he learned this wisdom from, so I'm curious has anybody else ever done this sort of thing, or heard of anyone smoking their clothes to hide your human sent before a hunt?
    I know when I was fire fighting in the lower 48 we would have elk come into our burn area area as we were mopping up, the very next day and be grubbing around in the ashes.
    May the rivers be crooked and winding, and the portages lonesome, leading to the most "Amazing View".

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Yeah I've heard of it, but personally never felt the need. I mean it's not like we're hunting the wary whitetail up here....

    Besides, just sitting around a campfire for days on end probably accomplishes most the same thing anyway....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Yes I have used smoke to kill odor causing bacteria, but nothing beats using the wind in your favor.
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    I was on a deer hunt in Texas a few years ago; was throwing sharp sticks at the animals, so I was all camo'd up and used the spray on scent killer;

    Had a few deer wander by the blind, no shooters, and this went on for a couple of days. At that point, I reasoned that I'd been in deer camp for 3-4 days total, without a shower, often sweating in the blind, etc, so why not add some smoke scent to the camo? Spent some time that evening smoking my clothes and then, at o-dark thirty the next morning, camo'd up and sprayed on the scent killer.

    Word to the wise, don't do this. While I have no scientific evidence, I never really had a deer come close enough that day to evaluate: they all topped the rise (I was next to a small creek drainage) and they would all stop, look directly at me and head away (even though neither the blind layout nor the wind had changed).

    Methinks that the combination of that particular scent killer and smoke just didn't work. Wish I could remember what brand of scent killer; ...... maybe it was just the cedar smoke by itself that did it. Since it was my only set of camo, I had to give up, move the blind, and use the smokepole a couple days later to reach-out and touch a deer.

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Scent control when deer hunting, especially with sticks, is crucial. I use Ever Calm and had one doe actually run in to within 3 feet below my stand this year. Another doe at about 2 yards and a buck and doe within 5 yards. My best days on one property are when the local farmer sprays manure. Manure smell in the air tends to hide all scent.

    My one farm is near homes (wood stoves) and two restaurants. There, I imagine smoking my clothes would work once people fire up their stoves. I don't worry about wearing my clothes to lunch as I only end up smelling like the restaurant anyways.

    In any area that is new to me like hunting in Oregon or Wyoming, I crush up pine needles, cedar branches or anything local that has a smell. I also use scent spray killers religiously when bow hunting.

    Smoking? Yep can probably work in some areas (Fairbanks archery moose comes to mind). But, I prefer to smell like the local smells that are present or smell like nothing at all.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    I'm with Stid on this one; a few days in the field around that campfire seems to do it for me. The smoke also seems to keep the bugs at bay; I'm not talking about the smoke itself, but the smell of it on your clothing. I have noticed that right after I take a bath in the creek, the bugs are after me like crazy, but after a few days, no problem.

    I believe bears will smell you no matter what you do, if you are careless about the wind. Smoke or no smoke, they're outta there. Moose, not so much.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    I'm with Stid on this one; a few days in the field around that campfire seems to do it for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post

    Besides, just sitting around a campfire for days on end probably accomplishes most the same thing anyway....

    .... I don't even look like him, and I sure can't cook like him either, so why you callin' me Stid...???!!!.......lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    In my defense, Steve mentioned smoke too! I know it couldn't have anything to do with everything running together at my age...

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    Member mud dawg's Avatar
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    i use the Marlboro sent elimination system when i'm bow hunting and it seems to work great for me cause i usually have to put one out as deer approach and generally only seem to spook if they catch me moving. i have filled the freezer for years using this method!

  10. #10

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    The main advantage I find to smoking my clothes is that they are easier to light than salmon.

    Working on the fire lines for days on end during college days it did become evident that even the bugs were repelled. Michael is correct, the bears could have cared less and were a constant problem.
    "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

  11. #11

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    Reckon I should clarify a bit, that though my comment on the bears may sound somewhat counter to Michael's, the venue was far different and the bears did not care if the smoke was effective or not - they chose their own reactions, preferring our C ration stashes whether we stunk or not. Generally, they were not being hunted though some met their Waterloo in those circumstances.
    "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    In my defense, Steve mentioned smoke too! I know it couldn't have anything to do with everything running together at my age...
    Yes, it all becomes a blur after so many years........lol.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  13. #13
    Member LindenTree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 68 Bronco View Post
    The main advantage I find to smoking my clothes is that they are easier to light than salmon.

    Working on the fire lines for days on end during college days it did become evident that even the bugs were repelled. Michael is correct, the bears could have cared less and were a constant problem.
    I quit smoking fish years ago, I had such a hard time keeping them lit. :-)
    May the rivers be crooked and winding, and the portages lonesome, leading to the most "Amazing View".

  14. #14

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    I hear them deer got a really great snout on them and I know bears do. Maybe smoked clothing kills human scent, ya got me. I do think a camp fire on a dedicated bear hunt might not be the best idea, no more then making tracks all over the place is. As we all know, any time the wind is blowing on the back of your head, don't expect to have a great stalk.

    As for moose and caribou,, enjoy the camp fire. I have spent many hours around a camp fire with a cigar and they could care less.

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I hear them deer got a really great snout on them and I know bears do. Maybe smoked clothing kills human scent, ya got me. I do think a camp fire on a dedicated bear hunt might not be the best idea, no more then making tracks all over the place is. As we all know, any time the wind is blowing on the back of your head, don't expect to have a great stalk.

    As for moose and caribou,, enjoy the camp fire. I have spent many hours around a camp fire with a cigar and they could care less.
    I agree half the moose I've shot have walked right up to within a 100 yards of the campfire, curious I guess. Had alot of bears walk the permeniter of within 25-50 feet of the fire at night. After the fire went out , had one with three cubs nudge the tent with her nose and it was a scary moment. Whole moose was sitting in front of the tent cooling on raised logs and not one of them touched it, go figure.

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