Make Your Own Cover Scent

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When it comes to scent, there are basically two types; those that attract and those that mask.  I've tried both on many occasions.  There are lots and lots of "doe in heat" scents, designed to attract a big buck into range.  I've also used a "cow in heat" scent while elk hunting. 

Another scent would almost be better named as a "coverup smell".  The main goal is to cover up human odor or mask it.  Though I don't believe you can ever totally eliminate all human odors, using a masking scent is thought to help.  And there are a plethora of them on the market.

Years ago, I decided that I wanted a scent that matched the environment I was hunting in.  I found lots of pine and some cedar but not everything I wanted.  So I decided I'd make my own.  If you hunt in an area that has a peculiar smell or odor, try making your own.  It's really quite simple.

Go into the area that you plan to hunt and collect a bunch of the predominant odor makers.... tree limbs, brush, flowers, etc.  I often hunt in a sagebrush environment so I collected a bunch of sagebrush branches and leaves.  Cut it into very small chunks.  You can use either rubbing alcohol or even vodka.  Pour some into a sealable bowl and fill it with the small pieces of vegetation that you've collected.  Let it sit a couple of weeks and filter out all the solids.  Put this liquid into a small bottle with a tight lid.  You will be surprised how much that liquid now smells like the vegetation you put in it.

When you go into the field, splash a bunch of the liquid onto your clothing and the alcohol will quickly evaporate, leaving the scent you want on your cloths.  You can also use saturated cotton balls to carry your scent.  You will be surprised at how long that scent will remain on your cloths.

I have made several different scents to use in different areas that I hunt.  It's inexpensive and affective.  I don't honestly know if cover-up scents really work, but it's fun to think they do.


numbnutz's picture

Great tip Flipper. The only

Great tip Flipper. The only spray I have used so far is the scent elimination spray. I will when I get to my area is cut down a bunch of fresh pine branchs and rub the oils and sap on me, That seems to work pretty good at times.I like you idea of soaking it in the alcohol for 2 weeks prior and making a reusable spray. I will have to try that one on my next eastern Oregon adventure. Thats for the great insight.

Retired2hunt's picture

  Arrowflipper - this is an


Arrowflipper - this is an excellent idea!  I have never used any type of scent cover or attractant.  However, I will try this out using the scrub sage area for one (my antelope planned hunt) and the other with the pine, etc... (for the Elk hunts).  Although in order to keep this cheap I'll be using the rubbing alcohol.  I keep my vodka for the celebration of a successful hunt back at home!



Jdizzle's picture

Great idea arrowflipper! I

Great idea arrowflipper! I will be making batch of this asap. I just love DIY and you are always coming up with good tips. Thanks

codyac21's picture

I stink!

Scent control is so hard on a multi-day hunt.  I seem to begin starting to really stink on day 2 and by day 5 the smell is overbearing.  I solo backpack hunt so I don't ever change clothes either.  I try to store my jack/pants in a bag with scent eliminating powder between hunts but it doesn't seem to matter considering how I am smelling at that point.   Some unscented baby wipes seem to help clean myself but nothing cuts that stank.  

Do most people bring multiple set of unscented clothes?  Do you try to remove scent throughout your hunts?  It cant be just me that reeks after a few days puttin in miles and thousands of feet in elevation.  

ManOfTheFall's picture

Great tip. About the closet I

Great tip. About the closet I ever came to making my own scent was I cut the tarsal glands off of a buck, hung them from a branch and used those for a few days. I have thought about trying to do other scents and I have seen several different "recipes". I just haven't tried any of them yet.

deerhunter30's picture

I have never attempted to

I have never attempted to make my own scent but now that I have read this I just might give it a shot.

I really don't beleive in trying to cover my human scent so I like to use scents that attract, even though they say not to put it on yourself (deer attractant), I still do. I hope it never comes down to  deer kicking my ass in the woods but I guess if it happens its just payback for all the trouble I have caused them.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Hey deerhunter, this one made

Hey deerhunter, this one made me laugh!!!!!

groovy mike's picture

I employ a similar method but perhaps to a lesser extent.

This is another good tip Arrow-flipper – thanks for sharing it.  I employ a similar method but perhaps to a lesser extent.  I'm probably too lazy to plan weeks in advance and actually make a scouting trip ahead of time.  Instead, what I do is try to store my hunting clothes in a scent free environment – a storage tote under my bed with a box of scent soaking baking soda.  Then when it gets to be a day or two before my hunt (like when I arrive in camp if hunting away from home) or a few days before the season opens if I'm hunting close to home, I’ll follow your lead and go into the area that I plan to hunt to collect a bunch of the predominant odor makers – mostly pine needles and other tree limbs, etcetera.   I then put these inside a plastic bag with my hunting clothes or put them right in the storage tote (after removing the box of Arm and Hammer baking soda).  If I don’t have time to do that sometimes I’ll leave my coat hanging outside overnight to soak up scent.  This is good if you are in camp far from contaminating human odors but NOT a good plan if you have dogs around, or worse – gasoline engines, etc. you don’t want to collect THOSE scents in your hunting clothes.

As another option I use the doe-in-heat or dominate buck urine lures – what seems to work best for me is to put doe in heat scent on one boot and buck urine on the other.  If either one works to lay a scent trail I may bring deer in pursuit – I think it just might mimic the scent trail of an eager buck following a willing doe.  In any case it is what I have done for the past several years and I have bagged several young bucks that have come in on the scent.  So it seems to be working J

Patch1010's picture

Cover scent

I like to use Atsko sport wash to get the smell out of my clothing as well as any UV brighteners. I store my hunting clothes in a plastic bin along with some sage brush from the area I hunt in. When I get to hunting camp i can put these clothes on and hunt. Make sure you scrub down real well in the shower , and spray your self down with the atsko scent eleminator as well. I am not a rep for Atsko, but I talk about the things I believe in. God, Family, Country, 4-H, Archery. These are the top 5

arrowflipper's picture

my kind of man

You are my kind of man.... I love your priorities.