How to hide from their noses as well as their eyes.
Let’s face it: hunting would be a whole lot easier if the animals were more cooperative. Sadly, this isn’t how it works, and most big game usually entails some real effort to harvest. A successful hunter must be able not only to endure harsh weather, but to do so in a manner that’s inconspicous to his prey. This is where it can be really helpful to use products like those from Scent-Lok, a company in Muskegon, MI (a part of the country where they take their whitetail hunting quite seriously).
Being the survival-oriented beasts they are, most big game relies upon multiple senses to detect trouble. We can fool their eyes a bit with traditional camouflage, and being careful and quiet can defeat their keen hearing. But their sense of smell is often very acute, too, and this is tougher to fight. There are some rather extreme ways to hide your personal smell from an animal, like wiping deer urine on your skin. For reasons that I hope are fairly obvious, though, I greatly prefer a scent-masking technology like Scent-Lok’s.
Scent-Lok uses a technology they refer to as “activated carbon odor elimination.” Evidently, carbon is highly effective at absorbing odors from nearby sources. By collecting your human odors before they escape the clothing, Scent-Lok significantly reduces your olfactory footprint, which should allow you to stalk much closer to game before they can pick up on your scent.
Scent-Lok makes a wide variety of clothing for different hunting applications. In this article I’ve focused on a couple of products from their ThunderTek line, which is geared toward helping you stay comfortable in cold, wet weather.
The ThunderTek 4×4 Quattro Jacket is ideal for anyone who’ll be hunting in unpredictable weather. The outer shell is waterproof and has a generous amount of lightweight Primaloft insulation. (The benefit of PrimaLoft is that it keeps you warm and dry even in wet conditions, which down doesn’t do.) It also features a removable Timberfleece 360 inner jacket for when the weather turns really bitter. The Quattro has all the features you’d expect from a premium jacket, including a storm zipper, double cuffs, big pockets and a generous hood. It could be the only cold-weather hunting jacket you’ll ever need.
It’s also noteworthy that both the shell and the inner jacket contain the scent-blocking technology, so either can be used separately when you find yourself in conditions a bit milder than you may have expected.
Scent-Lok offers a choice of lower-body wear, but perhaps the most interesting option is their Insulated Bib Overalls. If you’ve never worn bib overalls for hunting, you’re missing out on a very comfortable alternative to conventional pants. The overalls don’t bind at the waist and allow considerably greater range of motion (handy when climbing over rocks or under thickets). And Scent-Lok really did their homework when designing these. The pantlegs are closed by storm-flapped zippers that go all the way to the hip, so getting footwear on and off is a breeze. There are two big pockets in front, along with two smaller pockets on the bib that are just the right size for game calls. Like the matching upper-body wear, the overalls are water-resistant and feature Primaloft to keep you warm.
For those who prefer traditional pants, Scent-Lok offers some equally-attractive alternatives in the ThunderTek line.
Another nice feature of the Scent-Lok gear that I tested is that the outer shell fabric is relatively soft, so it’s quiet when it rubs on itself while you’re moving around. After all, there’s no point in hiding your scent if you can be heard coming from a mile away, is there?
The above products are just two of their wide offering of hunting apparel for all seasons. Scent-Lok also offers all the accessories you’d ever need to complete your outfit. All in all, Scent-Lok’s ThunderTek line seems intelligently designed, well-built and nicely-apppointed. Even without the scent cloaking, it’s a good choice in hunting apparel; with the scent cloaking, it’s a great way to go (undetected).