Hunting, Deer Hunting, Scent Control, Dave Hurteau

Have you ever noticed how quickly some people jettison their critical faculties when it comes to deer hunting? If someone came up to you and said, “Listen, man, I made ten baskets in a row with this basketball. I’m telling you, it’s the best basketball ever!” you’d say, “You’re an idiot.”

And yet some deer hunters—none of us, of course—say this sort of thing all the time.
This is the best bow, rifle, bullet, broadhead…because I’ve killed this many deer with it. It doesn’t seem to matter at all that the sample size is puny or that a host of other factors were involved. It’s the best. Period.

Or: It works. I know because I’ve seen it work.

I saw something recently while I was hunting in Kansas. A parade of does and fawns, including three old nannies on hyper-alert, circle downwind of my stand. They were too far out for me to hope that my scent might ride above them, and the mature does kept throwing their noses in the air for any hint of trouble. They had to get me. All I could do was sit there and wait for them to start blowing.

But they didn’t. Instead, they walked right through what absolutely should have been my scent stream—all of them—and never flinched.

To listen to some guys, this would prove that the scent product I was using not only works but is the best ever. Except I wasn’t using any, and I got good and sweaty walking to my stand.

Does this means B.O. is the best cover scent? Of course not. What it means is more or less nothing—the same nothing that should be taken from the anecdotes trotted out by scent-product manufactures and all the others who make hay on self-fulfilling prophecies and the problem of proving a negative.

I suppose it’s all pretty harmless. We’d hardly be Americans if we weren’t compelled to buy a bunch of crap we don’t need. But I just hate that some companies are out to make a sucker of me. Don’t you?

And I find it astonishing how easy some hunters make it for them.