Does Scent Away Really Work?

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by TexasOutdoorsman, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. TexasOutdoorsman

    TexasOutdoorsman Weekend Warrior

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    I know deer can smell. I know when your bowhunting your going to be close to the deer. What I don't know is if scent away and other scent killing products honestly make a difference. I use it sometimes, but I was not wearing it when I killed all 4 of my deer so far.. Do you guys think its necessary? How many times do you spray it on you? Please reply and include any other info on scent away or tips that you think might be helpful.
     
  2. Saltysakz

    Saltysakz Weekend Warrior

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    I use scent blocker jacket, pants, gloves, head cover. I shower and spray and try to do everything I can to control scent. I spray like crazy. Opening day this year I had a light wind at my back and a doe stepped out at 10 yards downwind. I blew the shot but that was another story. Was it the spray? Clothes? Showering? Combination? I'm not sure but I have had deer very close to me when I hunt. Now, when I don't see any, did they smell me? Quite possibly. Maybe someone else knows a scientific answer to this. ????
     
  3. pseshooter89

    pseshooter89 Weekend Warrior

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    I read Scent A Way doesn't kill airborne odors, it just prevents further odors. Not sure if that's true.

    I bought the entire case of scent a way from Wal-Mart: deodorant, soap, spray, detergent, washer sheets, and a plastic bag to keep clothes in. The effectiveness of scent a way I'm unsure, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. This plus being about 25ft in a tree stand should do the trick.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  4. Razorback_fanatic

    Razorback_fanatic Newb

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    I believe it works. I am very scent conscious. Also, anything to give you the added confidence to make the ultimate hunt successful.
     
  5. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Weekend Warrior

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    As we all know it doesnt make you invisable , BUT , out of all i have used on the market the Hunters Specialties Scent A-Way works the best as far as i'm concerned
     
  6. cabinkd

    cabinkd Weekend Warrior

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    I have used scent killer for years and swore by it until I started thinking that it didnt work that well. Thats when I switched to Scent A Way ACORN SCENTED. It works way better than scent killer and I believe that is partially due to the acorn scent.

    You wont be disappointed.
     
  7. rickmur

    rickmur Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Probably as much as Sent blocker and the other clothing that's out there.
     
  8. cabinkeeper

    cabinkeeper Weekend Warrior

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    I love scent-a-way.I left some beef sticks in my work lunch box.It was in the garage for most of the summer.I assume u know whats next???
    I sprayed scent a way in the cooler,the stink was gone!
    test it u'rself put gasoline on u'r hands,let dry,spray with u'r favorite scent remover,do they(hands) smell like gas anymore?
    I use new,unused military,NBC suits (charcoal lined)bought from (colemans.com)30.00 can't go wrong!!!!Go with the British style for early archery,they are thinner than the NATO style(better camo pattern also)American style is just basic olive drab.
     
  9. Gyle

    Gyle Weekend Warrior

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    Theres a cover page article in the last few months from field and stream about a scent control. They take a drug sniffing dog and have him find a man in a field of 30 or so boxes. Then they have the dog try and find a man in one of the boxes who has steped in in clean clothes, then again after in full scent blocker atire and sprayed down etc... The dog finds the man without the scent elimination products in 19 seconds without i believe and 11 or 12 seconds with the scent killer. So to a drug dogs nose, there is no difference. There was also a article about the actual fabrics effectiveness is actuall as high as they say. Its only around 9-10% if i remember compared to the claimed 70 and up percentage.

    I believe that it does help but its effectivness is no where near what they say it is. But as bowhunters we need every single bit of help we can get. If it means an extra 5 yards closer you can get I'll take it because it could be all we need to make a sucessful shot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  10. selfbros

    selfbros Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Here’s the deal. Young deer are stupid! They will sometimes not follow their nose FACT! I've had 1.5 year old bucks several time come up downwind of me, and sometimes I didn't even have camo on. So to answer your question. NO! However, if you're hoping to score a mature doe or buck then the answer is, YES! Think of it this way will you? Have you ever had a basket ball player walk by you in a gym? If so, do you remember how they stink? That’s the smell deer smell with our natural scent, but until they associate it with danger, then all bets are off. That’s why I stay away from the woods when it’s 80+ degrees and no rain in the forecast. A general rule is; if you sweat then the woods then it will smell like a high school locker room to the deer. That’s why it so important to use scent spray before, during and after your hunting. Because the deer “CAN SMELL YOU, LIKE YOUR WIFE SMELLS YOUR FARTS!”
     
  11. indianabrandon

    indianabrandon Weekend Warrior

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  12. bmorris

    bmorris Newb

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    Science and canines agree it doesn't work.
    Paid advertising says it does.
    Which do you trust and believe ?
     
  13. Ky/Jody

    Ky/Jody Weekend Warrior

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    It helps, but its not 100%. I do believe in using scent killer. We need all the help we can get.
     
  14. headstrong

    headstrong Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Short answer. Yes it does.
     
  15. Meathunter

    Meathunter Weekend Warrior

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    All you Need is NOSE JAMMER!

    j/k but I don't know if Scent Away works or not but im not willing to go with out it
     
  16. JJHACK

    JJHACK Weekend Warrior

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    A well known author wrote this not long ago. It is very telling about how gullible Sportsman desperate for some magic can be.

    The extreme commercialization of bow hunting has, in my opinion, resulted instances where hunters have been duped. In fact, I can think of several products that are down right gimmicks and obviously seek to play upon consumer ignorance and slob hunters looking for success shortcuts.*I was once asked, “What do you think is the biggest gimmick on the (outdoors equipment) market is today?” I will warn you up front that my response to the question, which follows, may be a bit painful. Furthermore, I will say that if you do find my response painful, it’s likely that you spent your hard earned wages on the product that I’m about to scrutinize.


    Here goes: I believe the biggest gimmick on the outdoors equipment market today is activated-carbon scent elimination clothing that are being marketed under various brand names. You know the ones I’m talking about, so I won’t name names. I’m talking about all of them.*

If you’re a bow hunter and believe in the effectiveness of these special garments, hopefully you aren't so angry that you stop reading this article. Because if you read this in its entirety, I promise that you will learn something.*

There is a difference between ignorance and stupidity, and I would never dream of calling my fellow bow hunters stupid. It’s the ignorance (i.e. the lack of knowledge) factor that has led many quality and even professional bow hunters to be fooled by the claims made by the manufacturers of scent elimination clothing.*

I plan to educate you, not point fingers or spit propaganda. Before I do though, I’ll tell you a bit about myself. I am a biologist by education and received my Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University. I’ve worked in the environmental protection field for more than ten years.*

I have worked with various forms of activated-carbon, the same material that is used in the many brands of scent elimination clothing. Many of you have read articles by authors that claim their scent elimination clothing was pinnacle in helping them tag the biggest buck; without it, the hunt would not have been successful.


    *

What’s new? That is a common marketing strategy used to push new equipment. Bow hunters, despite what gear they choose, are a traditional bunch. Many of us have gained knowledge on how to hunt our query and what equipment to use through word of mouth and testimonials of other perceived more knowledgeable bow hunters.

When Chuck Adam, for instance, talks or writes, I listen and pay attention. I’d be crazy if I didn’t. He is without question a knowledgeable bow hunter and we all stand to learn a lot from an experienced bow hunter like him.*

The problem with these scent elimination garments is, unless you have a science background and to an even greater extent, have worked in the environmental protection / remediation profession, you simply cannot posses a clear understanding of how activated-carbon works.So, as I promised, I am going to tell you how activated-carbon works and why it is my opinion that activated-carbon scent elimination garments are ineffective. Then you can take the information presented here and make an educated decision for yourself.


    activated-carbon comes in several forms and is used in many applications as a filtering or cleansing media. activated-carbon can be manufactured from carbonaceous material, including coal (bituminous, subbituminous, and lignite), peat, wood, or nutshells (i.e., coconut shells or walnut shells).*

The manufacturing process consists of two phases: carbonization and activation. The carbonization process includes drying and then heating to separate by-products, including tars and other hydrocarbons, from the raw material, as well as to drive off any gases generated. Heating the material at 400–600°C (752-1472°F) in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere that cannot support combustion completes the carbonization process.

activated-carbon comes in the form of a very fine powder, which is impregnated or weaved into the textile fibers of garments. It also comes in a granular form. Both forms are used in various applications including to purify both water and air. Some of the popular drinking water filters and mechanical air filters on the market use activated-carbon as a filter media.*

activated-carbon is an extremely porous material with high ratios of surface area to unit weight. One pound of activated-carbon contains up to 100 acres of surface area!*

activated-carbon has a particular affinity to organic materials such as volatile organic compounds or VOC’s. Human odor is composed of different gaseous molecules of VOC’s and other chemicals such as hydrogen sulfides, which are absorbed by activated-carbon.*

Think of activated-carbon as a common sponge that you would use to wash dishes with. Take a sponge and place it in a cup of water. What happens? It soaks up the water. The sponge, like activated-carbon, has thousands of little pores and channels running through it. When activated-carbon soaks up human “stink” odors, it does so through a process called adsorption.*

Stinky gasses (i.e. human odors) are adsorbed into the many micro pores on and within the activated-carbon and are retained there. Now, what happens when a sponge becomes saturated?
     
  17. JJHACK

    JJHACK Weekend Warrior

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    A sponge that is saturated with water cannot adsorb any more. Hold a saturated sponge full of water in your hand and you will observe water dripping from it. When activated-carbon in a water or air filter becomes saturated it is called breakthrough.In short, when a water’s or air filter’s filter media (i.e. activated-carbon) becomes saturated with contaminants, the filter is rendered useless and the contaminants contained in the water or air stream pass through the filter. After a while, you will be drinking dirty water or breathing stinky air until the filter is replaced. Makes sense right?


    Think of activated-carbon as a molecular sponge. As is the case with any sponge, activated-carbon can only hold or adsorb so much stinky stuff. Once activated-carbon becomes saturated with contaminants, it must be reactivated or replaced entirely.*

What do you do with a sponge that is saturated with water? You squeeze it to release the adsorbed water so you can reuse it. Or, you simply get a new dry sponge. Like the sponge analogy, activated-carbon must be “squeezed out” so to speak, in order to reactivate it for reuse.

Now you know how activated-carbon works. Most of the information I just provided can be found on some of the more popular scent elimination garment manufacturers’ web sites.*

So far you might be thinking to yourself “Wow, activated-carbon really works”. Well, it does work, sort of.*

activated-carbon is a fine filter media, but using activated-carbon as the key component in a scent elimination garment is not a practical application.*

Unlike a common kitchen sponge, you can’t just leave it on the counter and let it dry out. In order to re-activate activated-carbon, it must undergo a process called Pyrolysis. To fully re-activate saturated activated-carbon, you must heat it to approximately 800 °C or 1,472 °F, in a controlled atmosphere of low oxygen concentration to reduce the possibility of combustion.*

This is scientific fact and is even stated in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Engineering and Design, Adsorption Design Guide, Design Guide No. DG1110-1-2, if you’d like to check it out for yourself. This fact is not however mentioned on any of the popular scent elimination clothing manufacturers’ websites.*

One of the most popular scent elimination clothing manufactures instructs consumers to simply place worn garments in a common household clothes dryer for 20 to 30 minutes to re-active the carbon in the garment.

    The average temperature generated by a clothes dryer does not even come close to being able to generate the extreme temperatures necessary to drive out contaminants absorbed in the many micropores and channels of activated-carbon. In fact, most residential clothes dryers only heat up to a temperature that is well under 200°F.*

Those of you, whom use water filters or air filters in your homes, think about it. Why can’t you just boil your filters in hot water or throw them in the oven or microwave for a few minutes to re-activate the carbon filter media. You can’t; that’s why. You don’t own special multi million-dollar pyrolysis thermal regeneration equipment that produces enough heat to re-activate carbon. Therefore, you have to buy new filters every now and then.

Re-activating carbon for industrial uses is big business. Type in the words “activated-carbon” in your favorite Internet search engine and you will see what I’m talking about here. In order to fully reactivate the activated-carbon in one of the many scent elimination garments on the market, you might as well just throw the garment in your campfire, because the extreme heat necessary to re-activate the carbon would likely destroy the garment anyway.*



    Forgive my sarcasm, but I tend to get irritated when I see good folks getting duped. And as a class, I think bow hunters are a pretty good bunch. So as a product, I think all the activated-carbon scent elimination clothing products on the market are nothing more than gimmicks.*

I do not believe, based on sound science, these garments are even effective the first time you use it. Think about it. Each garment would have to be manufactured and placed in a sealed, scent proof bag when shipped and remain sealed on the shelf at retail stores. This is not the case, however.*

From the minute the clothing is manufactured, it begins to adsorb “stink” and continues to adsorb “stink” while awaiting an ignorant, misinformed consumer to purchase it. It is likely that the activated-carbon contained in the garment is already completely saturated with “stink” upon being purchased.*

Many of the scent proof garment manufacturers somewhat acknowledge this, in an attempt to bring some legitimacy to their product. They recommend that you immediately wash and re-activate garments by placing them in a clothes dryer as soon as the product is purchased. Funny, they also happen to recommend their own brand of laundry detergent that is special made for these special garments.*

As I explained above, washing and drying the garment is merely an exercise in futility.

    At best, the only way these garments could be manufactured and utilized effectively would be if they were designed for one time use. In other words, they would have to be disposable.*

The military actually uses activated-carbon suits as a kind of chemical protection garment, but they’re a single-use, disposable garment and not intended for multiple washings.

Here is something else you should consider before purchasing one of these products: activated-carbon’s adsorption effectiveness when used in an air filter application becomes greatly reduced when it is wet. So what happens when you sweat during those humid early season bow hunts? That’s right, your clothing gets wet and becomes even less effective.*

A leading manufacturer of activated-carbon garments admits that no laboratory testing has been conducted to determine the effectiveness of the clothing when it is wet from hunter’s perspiration.

So why the craze? Why are so many hunters rushing out to purchase these garments, when the science-based fact is that they don’t work?*

As I mentioned earlier, consumer ignorance is one reason.

    I think another reason is that many hunters so badly want to believe that they can purchase something that will render them invisible to a whitetail’s or elk’s nose.*

As I said earlier, many of you have read articles by authors that claim their scent elimination clothing was pinnacle in helping them tag the biggest buck; with out it, the hunt would not have been successful. I truly believe the fact that these hunters who wore these garments while achieving success, can be chalked up to being merely a coincidence. Many of the authors who wrote these type articles failed to mention they were wearing their lucky hat and that their lucky rabbits foot was in their pocket at the time.*

All sarcasm aside, I think many successful hunters who wear these special garments fail to recognize that they have been consciously paying closer attention to personal hygiene techniques before every hunt.*

You must understand that none of the success story articles that push these special garments are based on science studies. They are opinions; misinformed ones at that.*

I’ve talked to a few technical representatives with some of the more popular scent elimination clothing manufacturers and none of them have performed controlled scientific studies to demonstrate the true effectiveness of these garments. However, they claim to have “field tested” the garments. Come on folks. How do you field-test these garments?

It is said that a deer can smell nearly 1,000 times better than humans. You cannot legitimately observe the effectiveness of these garments or read a whitetail’s mind. No one, to the best of my knowledge, has contracted a non-biased independent laboratory or university to demonstrate the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of this clothing.*

    

It is my belief that the manufacturers of these specialty garments know what the results of such a study would show; therefore it would not behoove them to undertake such an exercise. So they just claim the garments are field tested by the product-pushing pros.

As stated earlier: This is just my opinion, but it’s one based on sound science, education and a realistic view of product marketing techniques.*

Now you can form your own opinion. Good Hunting.
     
  18. JJHACK

    JJHACK Weekend Warrior

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    Or this article

    One of the hunting industry's most successful marketing strategies in
    the past decade has never passed my sniff test.

    But sportsmen have spent millions of dollars buying manufacturer claims
    that deodorizing soaps and clothing fibers impregnated with carbon can
    mask a human's scent from the discriminating noses of deer and elk.

    Sure.

    The worst part of this madness isn't that hunters' money would have had
    higher odds for success buying mega-millions lottery tickets.

    The worst part is that hunters fell for it.

    Short of locking yourself, weapon and gear into an air-tight capsule,
    how do you think it's possible to sequester the odors from your
    unclothed face, not to mention your breath, sweat and farts?

    I've watched my English setter track quail over scabrock where nothing
    but little, leathery feet met the basalt.

    Bloodhounds can follow the route of a fleeing prisoner hours later from
    the residual scent left from hard-rubber boot souls and the brushing of
    pants in the grass.

    A ton of science is cited to document the odor-eliminating properties of
    Scent Blocker, Scent-Lok, No Trace and other clothing product brands.

    But all the hype never really addresses the bottom line: Wild animals
    have evolved to have olfactory sensors effective beyond our
    comprehension. Their lives depend on it.

    Serious doubt about the value of scent-inhibiting clothing and other
    products for hunters has been documented by writers and scientists,
    albeit those whose publications or income isn't tied to advertising by
    major hunter product companies.

    Perhaps that's why I've smelled some meat in the several hard looks at
    the issue by Field & Stream magazine. Even though it's a publication
    that could not survive without hunting advertisers, one of the nation's
    top sportsmen's mags took the bold step of publishing another revealing
    product test in the August issue.

    Of course, few people who've worked with bird dogs or hounds would waste
    their money on clothing touted to block human odors from reaching the
    highly sophisticated noses of elk or deer or other big game and
    predators.

    But writer Scott Bestul put his misgivings to a test. To help out, he
    recruited a sheriff's K-9 deputy and a seasoned German shepherd trained
    to find contraband drugs as well as missing persons.

    The study involved three experiments:

    1. Full-blown B.O. - An unbathed hunter wearing street clothes is hidden
    in one of six wooden boxes in a field. All of the boxes have residual
    human odor.

    Result: The dog was brought out. As soon as he was released, it ran
    downwind of the boxes and needed 20 seconds before he zeroed in on the
    box with the hunter and barked.

    2. Showered and sprayed - For the second test, a hunter showed up
    showered with no-scent soap and dressed in camo clothes washed in a
    no-scent detergent and stored in a plastic tub. He also wore high rubber
    boots to keep his walking trail clean of foot odor.

    Result: The dog found his hiding box in 18 seconds, with no hesitation.

    3. Compulsively clean - In the third test, a hunter used every
    scent-control measure the Field & Stream editors could think of,
    including two layers of activated carbon clothing, scent killing spray
    and chewing a wad of gum designed to eliminate breath odor.

    Result: The dog found his hiding spot in 13 seconds with zero
    hesitation.

    Field & Stream concluded that a hunter is barking up the wrong tree if
    he thinks deodorizing products allow him to ignore the wind.

    They even nosed around for these enlightening details to help sportsmen
    understand:

    * The German shepherd's sniffer contains about 220 million olfactory
    receptor sites.

    * A deer's nose has several hundred million receptor sites.

    * Yours? A paltry 5 million.
    RIch Landers
     
  19. selfbros

    selfbros Die Hard Bowhunter

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    Wow, that makes since. I was in Gander MNT in Springfield, IL a while back and the sales man said something similar. It stated that it’s impossible to reactivate them completely. Also, he stated that one would be better off wearing cotton that's been sitting in a tub with natural forage. However, I do love the looks of them and the stretchiness of the pants. I'll save my money thanks to your article JJhack.
     
  20. Hoosier Daddy

    Hoosier Daddy Weekend Warrior

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    Who cares about the carbon scent eliminating , No one is gonna tell me that scent free soap / detergents and scent eliminators are a waste of time , So in other words i can use my regular Zest soap and shampoo and just wash my hunting clothes in my wifes regular Tide laundry detergant and fabric softener and use my regular Old Spice deoderant and be as sucessfull........give me a freekin break .....lmfao
     

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