© 2019 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page
Scent and Odors of Hunters
Will Your Lip Balm or Sun Lotion Cost You Your Elk? In his book "Bones" (the basis for TV’s Crime Scene Investigations) forensic pathologist Dr. Douglas Ubelaker describes how even after years of work some of the most experienced pathologist and coroners can not adjust to the smell of decayed bodies. The favored solution is to rub a bit of camphor, or Tiger Balm (containing 15% menthol, clove oil and cinnamon extract) under the nose. This overtaxes the nasal olfactory nerves and shuts them down. With this in mind, why would a hunter use lip balm containing similar chemicals which both reduce hunter olfactory senses and alert elk! These odors are foreign in the forest. I stress using all forest clues in my book. Elk can be smelled when present, and they leave odors on rubs, at wallows, when they urinate and travel. Elk odors are quite distinctive IF you can smell them. So use completely odorless lip balm. You can not notice subtle new odors when stalking if a smear of cherry chocolate balm is directly under your nose. Dead Down Wind ("D2W") makes SPF 30 rated tube balm specifically for hunters. What I've said also goes for cough drops, candies, soaps, sun block, tanning lotions and muscle strain relief balms. Fehling Elk: This photo shows a captive elk. You may think it has acclimated to every barnyard and human scent. Instantly, it still used sensory nerves in his mouth to assess the new but subtle odor. I asked my wife to stand ten feet away and uncap a lip balm stick as I focused my camera on the bull. In the still air, it took less than three seconds to snap up its head and begin using the ultrasensitive nerves in the roof of his mouth to assess the odor and its source. I have repeatedly suggested that field-hunting clothes not be worn in vehicles or around camp. They are bound to pick up cooking odors, vehicle gasoline vapors, and just plain sweaty body odors. This advice is often taken, but then I ask about camp boots and get “so what?’ responses. They also accumulate odors that are released when you’re feet get warm/hot walking. Consider a second pair of boots or shoes to wear around camp while your field boots dry of perspiration. Relaxation shoes/slippers/booties/sneakers can feel so very comfortable after a long day of traipsing. For Scent Control – Denmon, 2104 lists 32 tips for reducing human SCENTS for hunters and/.www.bowhunting.net/womenbowhunters/32tips-html Beards Do They Keep Hunters Warmer, or Chase Away Game?: Do they keep you warmer? Are they storage for food, human and cosmetic scents that alert game? The resurgence of bearded styles suggests this divergence might help some hunters. Facial hair grows differently than scalp hair. It is coarser and grows in three stages: fast growth (anagen), resting (catagen), and falling out (telogen). The “anagen” phase is shorter but faster than scalp hairs. The “catagen” phase is prolonged, so beard hair is retained longer. Some genetically disposed men have an exceptionally long “telogen” final phase and can grow very long beards if they are maintained to prevent brittleness and avoid skin disease. Hair exists to regulate body temperature. Hair follicles pucker with cold and make hairs stand up. This creates a heat trapping insulating air space above the skin. This should make your face about a degree or two warmer. Thick, curly beards may have slightly greater heat retention. However, in cold weather a beard iced by exhalation and/or perspiration will have a net heat drain and outweigh the benefits. Frozen beards melting in windy conditions can cause severe chilling by adiabatic heat loss during evaporation (cover face until it is dry). Lastly, beards have an advantage in reducing wind chill, particularly if additional face protection is worn. Beards are generally darker color than scalp hairs. They act as a sunscreen barrier. Gray, red and blond bearded men have lesser sun protection. These hair colors are skin cancer prone colors; use cover of sunscreens at Colorado’s high altitude/ high UV radiation exposure. Beards Do They Hurt the Hunt?: A hunting disadvantage of beards is that they infuse odors from the food you eat, exhaled and burped breaths, shampooing cosmetics, and the surrounding environment. Tobacco smoking is a cardinal sin. Stand next to a bearded smoker sometime to get the full effect of this advice. Oil slathered on for humectant beard grooming would amplify odor retention. Remember that wool sweaters are notorious for absorbing odors. Keep in-hunt sweaters outside the tent. WSJ 1-25-2018 Heidi Mitchell Your Food, Your Forest-strange Scent: Your scent largely depends on what you eat. Do not eat fish, garlic, onions, beans or greasy foods a week or so before entering your hunt field. NEVER stand near a generator or vehicle exhaust, pump gas, or mess with camp fuels while you wear your field hunt clothing. Redress into scent-free clothing after you arrive at your hunt area if you ride an ATV. Hunters and Engine Odors: In 2015, three fellows stopped at my base camp, declared they were from Indiana, and had never before hunted elk. They asked for advice, which I tried to give them. The first thing I did was to tactfully tell them to leave their ATVs behind and walk out of camp. The problem was that their ATV engines were tuned exceedingly too rich (for lower altitude) or the carburetor float valves were faulty (because of the rough roads?). The machines reeked of gasoline! Worse yet, the hunter’s clothing was gasoline vapor-saturated. I advised them to carry their field clothing in a tied-off garbage bag, walk away from the ATV and change before going afield. And to wear a pulled down wool cap while they tooled around on the ATVS (hair readily absorbs odors, and virtually no hunters nightly shampoo with scent-free soap). Finally, have their ATV’s tuned to high altitude before coming to 9,000 ‘ in Colorado.
© 2016 -2017 Copyright by P. K. H. Groth, Denver, Colorado, USA All rights reserved - See contact page.
With this in mind, why would a hunter use lip balm containing similar chemicals which both reduce hunter olfactory senses and alert elk! These odors are foreign in the forest. I stress using all forest clues in my book. Elk can be smelled when present, and they leave odors on rubs, at wallows, when they urinate and travel. Elk odors are quite distinctive IF you can smell them. So use completely odorless lip balm. You can not notice subtle new odors when stalking if a smear of cherry chocolate balm is directly under your nose. Dead Down Wind ("D2W") makes SPF 30 rated tube balm specifically for hunters. What I've said also goes for cough drops, candies, soaps, sun block, tanning lotions and muscle strain relief balms. F e h l i n g Elk: This p h o t o shows a captive elk. You may think it has a c c l i m a t e d to every b a r n y a r d and human s c e n t . Instantly, it still used sensory nerves in his mouth to assess the new but subtle odor. I asked my wife to stand ten feet away and uncap a lip balm stick as I focused my camera on the bull. In the still air, it took less than three seconds to snap up its head and begin using the ultrasensitive nerves in the roof of his mouth to assess the odor and its source. I have repeatedly suggested that field- hunting clothes not be worn in vehicles or around camp. They are bound to pick up cooking odors, vehicle gasoline vapors, and just plain sweaty body odors. This advice is often taken, but then I ask about camp boots and get “so what?’ responses. They also accumulate odors that are released when you’re feet get warm/hot walking. Consider a second pair of boots or shoes to wear around camp while your field boots dry of perspiration. Relaxation shoes/slippers/booties/sneakers can feel so very comfortable after a long day of traipsing. For Scent Control Denmon, 2104 lists 32 tips for reducing human SCENTS for hunters a n d / . w w w . b o w h u n t i n g . n e t / w o m e n b o w h u n ters/32tips-html Beards Do They Keep Hunters Warmer, or Chase Away Game?: Do they keep you warmer? Are they storage for food, human and cosmetic scents that alert game? The resurgence of bearded styles suggests this divergence might help some hunters. Facial hair grows differently than scalp hair. It is coarser and grows in three stages: fast growth (anagen), resting (catagen), and falling out (telogen). The “anagen” phase is shorter but faster than scalp hairs. The “catagen” phase is prolonged, so beard hair is retained longer. Some genetically disposed men have an exceptionally long “telogen” final phase and can grow very long beards if they are maintained to prevent brittleness and avoid skin disease. Hair exists to regulate body temperature. Hair follicles pucker with cold and make hairs stand up. This creates a heat trapping insulating air space above the skin. This should make your face about a degree or two warmer. Thick, curly beards may have slightly greater heat retention. However, in cold weather a beard iced by exhalation and/or perspiration will have a net heat drain and outweigh the benefits. Frozen beards melting in windy conditions can cause severe chilling by adiabatic heat loss during evaporation (cover face until it is dry). Lastly, beards have an advantage in reducing wind chill, particularly if additional face protection is worn. Beards are generally darker color than scalp hairs. They act as a sunscreen barrier. Gray, red and blond bearded men have lesser sun protection. These hair colors are skin cancer prone colors; use cover of sunscreens at Colorado’s high altitude/ high UV radiation exposure. Beards Do They Hurt the Hunt?: A hunting disadvantage of beards is that they infuse odors from the food you eat, exhaled and burped breaths, shampooing cosmetics, and the surrounding environment. Tobacco smoking is a cardinal sin. Stand next to a bearded smoker sometime to get the full effect of this advice. Oil slathered on for humectant beard grooming would amplify odor retention. Remember that wool sweaters are notorious for absorbing odors. Keep in- hunt sweaters outside the tent. WSJ 1-25-2018 Heidi Mitchell Your Food, Your Forest-strange Scent: Your scent largely depends on what you eat. Do not eat fish, garlic, onions, beans or greasy foods a week or so before entering your hunt field. NEVER stand near a generator or vehicle exhaust, pump gas, or mess with camp fuels while you wear your field hunt clothing. Redress into scent-free clothing after you arrive at your hunt area if you ride an ATV. Hunters and Engine Odors: In 2015, three fellows stopped at my base camp, declared they were from Indiana, and had never before hunted elk. They asked for advice, which I tried to give them. The first thing I did was to tactfully tell them to leave their ATVs behind and walk out of camp. The problem was that their ATV engines were tuned exceedingly too rich (for lower altitude) or the carburetor float valves were faulty (because of the rough roads?). The machines reeked of gasoline! Worse yet, the hunter’s clothing was gasoline vapor- saturated. I advised them to carry their field clothing in a tied-off garbage bag, walk away from the ATV and change before going afield. And to wear a pulled down wool cap while they tooled around on the ATVS (hair readily absorbs odors, and virtually no hunters nightly shampoo with scent-free soap). Finally, have their ATV’s tuned to high altitude before coming to 9,000 ‘ in Colorado.
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