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Discussion Starter #1
There has been lots of talk of the "little things" that can contribute to making you a more consistantly successful hunting, but personally, I feel too many put all their eggs in the "scent control" basket and fail to follow sound hunting strategies. Here is how I rank what is most important when hunting when preparing my fanatical routine:

1. Picking the right stand. If you aren't in the right tree, nothing else matters. Some considerations to follow every time in the woods when going to the "right stand"...
A. Wind direction
B. Approach and departure routes that disturb the least amount of deer.
C. Fequancy of particular stand use..in general, every time a stand is used, it's effectiveness decreases. Multiple individual stand uses several sits in a row can be the "kiss of death" for the entire rest of the season, for that area, let alone that tree.

2. Noiseless entry and departure from stands. No zippers, velcro, clasps, branches whipping guns or bows, bows hitting steps, etc.. Branches breaking and leaves crunching are natural noises deer hear every day, the rest aren't! Couple un-natural noises and deer winding you or knowing you are there for a sit, and your stand can be easily doomed for a long time. I feel this category also includes flashlights. I've had deer blow up to a 1/4 mile away upwind immediatly upon the use of a flashlight. Sometimes you have too, but if you don't, don't....just walk sloweror do whatever you have too.

3. Not disturbing bedding areas in anyway, anytime, unless it's your last shot at a particular buck and you are going for broke.

4. Scent control, which includes touching brush and branches around your stand. I follow scent control steps as much as anybody else and believe it is highly important, but, if you pick the wrong stand, alert the deer to your presence on the way in or out, and take a walk through a known bedding area just for the heck of it during the season....scent control won't do you much good because you've already lowered your opportunity for success substantially!

Too me, scent control is one of the hunt's greatest "safety valves". You follow all the other steps religously, take great care and knowledge into your preperation, and you follow scent control measures as a way to tilt the odds in your favor when things don't go according to plan. Scent control is extremely important, but if you know your area, are careful, scouted, and planned accordingly, your scent usually won't even be a factor when you quietly enter into an undisturbed, fresh stand sight designed for the particular time of day, wind, and time of year you are hunting it for.

Being a fanatic isn't for everyone, but if you want to consistantly connect with at least a 2.5 year old buck or greater every year, developing a routine based on caution and careful planning can be your ticket to success.
 

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I agree NJ!

I have an article that is almost finished...for next year's Pre-Deer Season, that follows along with many of your thoughts.
 

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I agree with what you say if you are hunting an area you dont frequent often. On your own property that is a different story. I read a lot on scent but now much on a deer's eyesight. They can spot you a long time before they scent you.
 

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This is the first season I have used scent control clothing. I bought scent-lok parka and pants, washed all other clothing in scent eliminator soap and bathed with a bar of the anti-scent stuff. HUGE improvement in the amount of animals I was able to see up close. I used a ground blind and some doe/yearlings were coming with 10 yards of me without seeing me. This may be typical for some hunters, but for me it was amazing to notice the difference scent makes in the field.

I used to wonder if the scent-lok stuff really worked, now I am a believer.
TR
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm a scent control freak, and I currently don't enter into the woods without fresh carbon clothes. But, for example......

You can have the cleanest clothes in the world, and the deer would never, ever smell you, but if you are in a stand in the middle of the Wal-mart parking lot, you probably won't be successful.

Scent control is extremely important, but if you aren't doing a few other things right first, scent control is a mute point.

I'd rather hunt a great stand, with the perfect wind, after a successfully quiet entry, during the perfect time of day, perfect time of year, after un-molested deer, smoking a cigar in clothes I worked at a factory in all-day...then hunt a bad stand, with a bad wind, after I disturbed deer, in totally clean clothes.;)
 
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