Deer and other big game hunters have almost always known the importance of scent control when out hunting. They shower with scent-elimination soaps and shampoos, purchase and wear clothing specially made to fight human odors, spray down with scent-elimination field sprays, and “play the wind” when hunting.
On the other hand, turkey hunters do not have to worry about being “busted” by a turkey’s sense of smell. It is a good thing turkey can’t smell, or they might be impossible to kill.
But maybe turkey hunters should practice scent control for more success. Yes, I am serious.
Why is scent control important when hunting a bird that can’t smell? The answer is simple and often overlooked.
Most of the time when we are turkey hunting, we are hunting in an area where other big game animals live, especially the whitetail deer. If you have ever deer-hunted and had a deer snort and start stomping their feet upon detecting your odor, they are alerting other deer to potential danger in the area. This is not just communicating to deer, though.
Turkeys are able to understand this deer language, and they know that there is possibly a dangerous situation in the area as well. They will not want any part of it either and will often leave.
I know a lot of times when turkey hunting, we can’t always pre-determine exactly where we will set up to ambush an unsuspecting turkey, so “playing the wind” is often not an option.
One thing we can do is practice the same scent control in other areas such as showering, washing our clothes and even using ozone bags in which to store our clothing. There are some great companies including ScentLok and ScentBlocker that are offering some great early season clothing in some great patterns including Mossy Oak.
These are simple things that can be done that will put the odds in your favor when turkey hunting. We have spent weeks scouting for turkeys, becoming proficient with our calls, and making sure our guns shoot the best pattern possible.
Don’t let it all slip away by doing something as easy as scent control.