Cedar: Hunter’s Natural Scent Block
Removing scent has been a technique employed by hunters for hundreds of years. Game animals such as deer are intelligent creatures, and have a keen sense of smell. Done, correctly brings the hunt to the hunter. There are manufactured products that can prove expensive with marginal results. Some of the most convenient and economical solutions come from nature. Cedar is one of the very best of nature’s scent blocks.
If you go out smelling like bacon, cologne or heavily scented detergents, you are going to get busted, no matter what scent block you use. Set aside a couple of days prior to the trip to get yourself and clothes de-scented.
You – Yes, you stink-naturally. Those around you may not love this idea, but it is a good idea to stay away from cologne, scented deodorant, mouthwash, or soap. To replace deodorant, try using a salt crystal. Salt crystals are available readily available at the local health food store and as an alternative in some grocery chains. If you have it available to you, head off to the gym for sweat in the sauna to remove more toxins and scent.
Stay away from spicy or extremely pungent foods like hot sauce, garlic and onions that have an immediate effect. Drinking plenty of water also reduces scent. You can also try some of the de-scenting options at some of hunter specialty stores like mouthwash, deodorants, and shampoos.
Hunting Clothes Prep- Usually a good thing…clothes retain residue from laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and bleach. Before washing, run the washing machine once with only water on the hot with an extra rinse cycle and then once replacing your normal laundry products with pure baking soda.
The best options for drying the clothes are to line dry or hang them outside to keep them from gathering more scent from the dryer. It also gives them a chance to pick up a little outdoor scent.
Easy Recipe for Cedar Scent Block
Things You’ll Need
- 1 pound of cedar chips
- Old pot or kettle
- Stove (or fire-pit if you are prepping in camp)
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Spray bottle
- Gather up the cedar chips and water. Water from a local river or stream is best to mimic the natural environment. Untreated well water is another good choice too. Tap water is the least desirable as it is heavily treated and can contain chemicals such as fluoride or chlorine.
- Keep half of the chips intact and grind the other half into finer pieces or sawdust.
- Pour all of the cedar mix into an old pot or kettle. Older pots are best to use because the mixture will leave a residue inside the pot. You can use it year after year. If you are in camp, you can use a metal coffee can.
- Pour water into the pot, just enough to cover the top of the mix. Set the pot on a stove or fire-pit.
- Boil for one hour. Periodically stir and mash up the cedar chunks to help release the oils. Once you notice a rich cedar aroma, the mixture is ready. Allow the water to cool.
- Now you are ready to strain the mixture. Cheesecloth is best, but a strainer can be used too. Strain the mixture through a strainer or cheesecloth. Cheesecloth is available in the baking section of the grocery store and some hardware stores. This will remove any large cedar chunks.
- Pour the new cedar cover scent into a spray bottle. Spray the scent onto your hunting gear liberally or as needed.
Alternatively, you can also use this liquid in the washer for your clothes. Wash clothes in baking soda and add 1 cup to the rinse cycle.