September 15, 2020
The thought of slipping into a whitetail stand when a questionable wind blows turns the stomachs of most deer fanatics. After all, the stand was set for a northwest wind, and even though trail cams show back-and-forth buck travel, most whitetailers don’t dare risk intrusion until the stars align. I get it. There are times to play it safe. However, there are times when playing it too safe means hunting an amazing stand only a few times, or not at all, over the course of a season. What good is it to do all that research, plant those plots, set those cameras and invest time and money if you don’t get in and mix it up with the buck of your dreams? This season, get more aggressive then ever. How? Just shut down his olfactory system and make the wind work in your favor.
My tenure as a hunter and outdoor writer has taught me to be skeptical. I’ve seen some killer products, but I’ve also tested countless items that were mere snake oil. I wasn’t sure what to think when a box of Scent Thief arrived on my doorstep.
The first thing I did was open the Field Spray bottle and mist a stream onto the living room couch. My wife, as she usually does, rolled her eyes. Then she stuck her head around the kitchen cabinet and said, “Hey, that smells good.” I didn’t disagree. The spray was very aromatic, and the smell was a pleasant one. The included Laundry Detergent, Body Wash & Shampoo, and Wafers mirrored the aroma of the field spray.
Then, I started reading.
The concept behind Scent Thief’s product line is to provide the hunter with a patented innovative system of products that relax the animal’s olfactory epithelium. In laymen’s terms, Scent Thief’s No Smell technology temporarily shuts down their sense of smell. Animals inhale the all-natural, all-organic ingredients inside the formula rather than your human odor. The formula is designed to relax the animal’s olfactory system and calm them. Interesting. Scent Thief is so confident in their products that it offers a 100% money-back guarantee.
The big question: Is the Scent Thief system snake oil or a tried-and-true product you can depend on?
Let’s find out.
Field Test #1
I was excited to start using the product. Why? First, the scent relaxed me, and my wife said it smelled like a nice candle. There had to be something to the science. I followed the system to the letter. First, I washed my clothing in Scent Thief Laundry Detergent. Give the bottle a good shake and then pour a single ounce into the bottle’s pre-measured lid and add to a warm/cold wash cycle.
After a good launder, I hung my hunt apparel on a clothesline and stored it in a scent-free container. Next, it was time for a shower. Scent Thief’s Body Wash & Shampoo works easily into a lather — a little goes a long way — and it doesn’t seem to dry out the skin. Finally, before heading into the field, I sprayed down with Scent Thief’s Field Spray.
Pronghorn, not deer, were on the menu. It was late August in Colorado when I conducted my in-the-field experiments, and archery pronghorn season was in full swing. The plan was to set a 3-D pronghorn buck decoy and attach a bow-mounted doe decoy to my Hoyt. My good buddy, Danny Farris, was along to capture some video, and a bow-mounted doe decoy was added to his tripod. The plan was to setup in an area where a bachelor group of bucks had been bedding for several days.
Once the stage was set, I sprayed the decoys — both cloth and plastic — with the Field Spray. I also saturated the surrounding vegetation. I really appreciated the adjustable nozzle. I like being able to emit a mist as well as send a stream of liquid to more distant objects. The result was 13 does and fawns that approached the setup directly down wind. Of course, this was a great field test, but the problem was the too-little-testosterone bucks were upwind of our locale and were closing, but not at the speed of the does.
The does and fawns came to 30 yards. The wind was blowing 10 miles-per-hour right in their face. They didn’t blow a single time until their eyes told them the two blobs hunched behind the silhouette of an animal-shaped upper body were out of place. I’ve hunted pronghorn for 22 years, and normally, the does would have started blowing between 80 and 100 yards.
Field Test #2
Knowing the speed goats should have detected us, I wanted to continue my research. Over a two-week period, I checked my river-bottom trail cameras four times. Each time I went into the area, I followed Scent Thief’s system and saturated the vegetation around my cameras with field spray.
Then, I waited.
The wind for checking cameras was horrible — a direction I would never dream of going and pulling cards on even at this point in the year. To add a little icing to the cake, I went for a solid seven-mile run in 90-degree heat. I was ripe. I didn’t shower for this card pull and I didn’t wear clothing that had been washed in Scent Thief’s Laundry Detergent. I just walked in. Then, at each location, I touched just about every single piece of vegetation I could find. I scratched my sweaty back on trees and made an effort to spread my stink. Then, I doused the area in Scent Thief Field Spray. That night, I got pictures of two shooter bucks.
There’s something to this system. I tell you that with full confidence. It will become an integral part of hunt methodology, and I can’t wait to try the Field Spray while hunting elk in the backcountry for days on end. In addition, I’m pumped to put the Wafers to work while sitting in my treestands and ground blinds in the coming months. I will be sure to report my findings. For now, I’d suggest a visit to scentthief.com to start stocking up on a product that allows you to make the wind your ally.