Deer Hunting Tip: Use Baking Soda to Cover Your Scent

"Baking soda, the same stuff that deodorizes the fridge, is the key to my scent-control system," says Wisconsin's Tom VanDoorn, who's taken more than a dozen Pope and Young bucks. Here's his routine:

Take a soda shower.
"The stuff can rub your skin raw if you use it straight," cautions VanDoorn. "So mix a few tablespoons with some liquid no-scent soap. When I used to shower with straight unscented soap, I could always smell a little odor when I was finished. I can't smell a thing when I mix in baking soda."

Make a soda-and-clothes lasagna.
"Use baking soda like any other powdered detergent to wash your clothes. Dry them, lay a few items in a plastic tote, sprinkle a layer of soda on that, put in another layer of clothing, sprinkle more soda, and so on until the tote is full. Then place an open box of baking soda in with the clothes and seal the tote up."

Sprinkle your boots.
"Obviously, your feet are one of the smelliest body parts because they're constantly sweating inside your boots," VanDoorn says. "If my boots are wet with perspiration after a hunt, I put them on a boot dryer and then sprinkle in some baking soda. I've had very few deer cut my tracks since I started doing this."

Save money.
"This is by far the most effective routine I've used, and it's cheap. I can get a big box at Wal-Mart for less than two bucks. Knocking back my scent for $15 a year makes me a happy guy."

From the August 2012 issue of Field & Stream magazine.

Photo by Lamb/Alamy