Deer Mr. Four Pointer,
My bucko buddies and I read your recent column about the conundrum of scent control and laughed our way all the way back to the swamp just after midnight. One reason we laughed was because one of our favorite foods is poison ivy, and we don’t even get itchy tongue from it! But the major chortles came in relation to the very idea that humans can control scent enough for us not to smell them. Only somebody with something to sell you would make that claim without interviewing one of us. As you know, the best scent control clothing has a layer of coconut charcoal encased between layers of perforated fabric. When somebody is wearing this, we may not smell the B.O. as easily, but what we do smell is charcoal filtered B.O. After all, our sense of smell is 400 times better than yours, so a little filtering is not going to put a hole in the wind between you and me.
Your main problem isn’t under your arms, it’s under your body; specifically, your feet. You must realize that we spend most of our time with our nose to the ground, especially this time of year (for reasons I won’t go into since this is a family-oriented blog). We smell every warm blooded creature that has crossed our path within the past 24 hours, sometimes longer. This is one reason one of us is assigned to follow each hunter from the time he enters the woods until he walks out. Almost no one ever looks back to see if he’s being followed. And the only way to prevent us from following him would be to use a pogo stick to get to his stand, or maybe to arrive by hang-glider or helicopter.
About the only other way you can fool us is to use a very strong cover scent, like “eau de skunk,” or some of the earthy smelling ones – you know, the kind you can never get out of your clothes. Ask your uncle, who used that skunk stuff once in Michigan and had to throw those clothes away. Your other uncle, the one they call Captain Slaughter, used to rub fresh, green elk nuggets all over himself to cover his own B.O., and that method is as legendary as he is. It might work here if you can find some nice green deer droppings.
A few generations back, one of my forebears was bewitched by a strange and enchanting scent (sadly, at least, for to him). Evidently some fellow who was getting dressed in the dark to go out hunting reached for his descenting spray and grabbed a can of his wife’s hair spray by mistake. It was back in the days when women’s hairspray came in only variety – sticky, extremely smelly, and crunchy to the touch when it dried. A few shots of that on his pants and shirt and he figured his hunt was doomed. But he didn’t factor in Old Billy, whose eyesight was going from aging but whose olfactory faculties remained intact. For some reason, maybe because it was the middle of the rut, when Billy got wind of that hairspray he lost his mind, and started making strange noises as he made a bee-line for that guy’s stand. Rumor has it that the hunter emptied his gun as Billy charged, but then still had time to reload after Billy imbedded his 10 point rack directly into the soft bark of the pine tree where the guy was sitting. Enough said. Main thing is that me and the boys applaud the less enticing hairsprays that are in use these days. And, in exchange for all these secrets you might otherwise not know, if you ever come across a can of that old hairspray at a yard sale or something, we’d appreciate it if you’d be sure it is properly disposed of. If our noses tell us otherwise, this is the last time you’ll hear from me.