5 replies [Last post]
Joined: 10/11/2004
Posts: 1
camo&scent control

Dear Folks,

I'm taking up hunting again after a 15 yr. hiatus. First hunt is a general rifle season elk hunt in Idaho. Do you folks wear camo head to toe, some or doesn't really matter? How about hunting in different clothes than you hang out in camp in and special detergents scent cover sprays and etc.?

Thanks for your responses!

bitmasher's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2974
camo&scent control

Never hunted in ID and hunting can be different from state to state. I don't consider them necessary to get inside a 100 yards, if you pay attention to not wearing anything shiny and you pay attention to wind direction related to the game.

If you want to get inside 40 yards, consistently, then camo is a good idea. Again it isn't necessary, but hunting is about odds and it will help. Can't say about the scents/scent-control never used them.

Might want to check the regs in your area before going full camo. It isn't legal, at least here in CO, without hunter orange in the general rifle season.

Location: Southeast Washington State
Joined: 09/28/2004
Posts: 117
camo&scent control

Unless you wear a diving suit and can filter your exhalations, forget about scent control. Stay downwind.

Unless you are going to ambush your quarry, don't worry about camo. Wear enough hunter orange that you will be noticed by other hunters. Don't need to worry about special detergents or patterns. Movement and noise will get you busted more than anything else, unless they get your scent.

Location: Utah
Joined: 02/24/2003
Posts: 591
camo&scent control

When trying to get in close, say less than 40 yds, scent control and camo is a must. You can't completely hide your scent but the weaker the human scent you are emitting the better. Think about it, the stronger a scent is the further away you can smell it.

But since you are rifle hunting I'd say don't even worry about it. Wear clothes that are comfortable and don't go "swish, swish" when you walk and you'll be fine.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
camo&scent control

I have never found camo to be particularly important. I hunt with a muzzleloader, so I ALWAYS get within 100 yards and USUALLY get within 50 yards.

Wearing no camo at all, an elk (or deer, for that matter) can look straight at you from 20 yards away and as long as you don't move, and as long as the wind isn't taking your scent to him, he will not spook. He will just stand there looking, trying to figure out what you are. If you can outlast him (and it does take some effort to be still that long), he will eventually turn and walk away. I have personally stood and watched both elk and deer fom this close.

One whiff of your scent, though, and they are gone.

Deer and elk use their nose the way we use our eyes. Think of it like this... If you smell smoke you will go to look. If you see flames, or large clouds of billowing smoke, then you will know there is a fire and you will take action. Your nose alerts you, but you don't get spooked until you confirm with your eyes.

Well, deer and elk are just the opposite. If they see something they will become alert. They won't usually spook, though, until they confirm with their nose that danger is present. If the wind is right for you and wrong for them, and they can't confirm with their nose, they won't usually spook.

Oh yeah, one last thing, if you ever find yourself 20 yards downwind from an elk, and you're trying to outlast him, don't stare straight at him. I have found that if you avert your eyes slightly they are less likely to spook. I think that's because predators typically stare straight at their prey when they're getting ready to pounce, so two eyes staring straight at them are one of the sights that elk and deer are very sensitive to.

Location: Boise, Idaho
Joined: 10/04/2004
Posts: 10
camo&scent control

Whether or not it's smart, most Idaho hunters wear very little orange in the back country. You'll see a little more orange in popular and assessible areas. Idaho does not have an orange requirement like most states.

I don't personally concern myself too much with any particular camo pattern, but I believe that shade (light or dark) is important. For example, white when in snow, dull colors in timber. Most hunters wear too dark of camo - observe your buddy on the next ridge and you'll quickly see this. Oh yeah, and stay away from tan - you'll look like game.

It's okay to be conscious of scent, but unless you're bowhunting, don't obsess over it. I don't wear hunting clothes around the campfire, but I don't use any special detergents either.

As others have stated, wind direction, noise, and movement have way more to do with getting close than camo does. I wear a hat to shade my face and light gloves on my hands - bare skin appears to glow brightly. And like donmillion said, don't stare - eyes are definitely a predator trait.

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