Sense And Scent-sibility

“The bane of a logical wife.”

That was Amy’s suggested headline for this blog entry on the eve of the eve of me leaving for deer camp.

As we lay in bed after getting the boys down last night, she wasn’t buying into my precautions with scents.

Over two nights I’d washed all my hunting, camp and sleeping clothes in special scent-free detergent I’d just bought. And when her dad stayed with us for awhile last month, I refused to let him use my sleeping bag because it had been freshly dry-cleaned and packed away.

Controlling odors while hunting has become an obsession of mine, probably because of the number of very close encounters with deer I’ve had as I’ve gotten more serious about it.

But now with the final load finished in the dryer and ready for packing, I was worrying that a finger that had just touched the sock on my right foot might contaminate the whole batch.

When I sniffed it to double check, Amy scoffed.

She finds it ridiculous that I go to lengths such as the hunting beard.

She pointed out that my freshly cleaned clothes were all going into a plastic bin and a garbage sack. (I don’t have Dad’s woodworking skills — he built cedar boxes to store his getup.)

They’ll just end up smelling like plastic, Amy said.

Plastic packed with Douglas fir twigs and pinecones so I blend in with the forest, I retorted.

OK, she said, but what about campfire smoke Friday night before the opener?

We have giant space heaters at deer camp, I said.

Do not.

Do so.

No, you’ve talked about sitting around the campfire, she said.

The trick is to stay upwind, babe, I said.

Doesn’t matter, she said, it will still smell up you and your clothes.

She had me there. There’s just no way to avoid smoke — it follows handsomeness, and I’m the best looking guy at deer camp. Gets into your hair, nostrils, pores — all over so you end up smelling like a contestant at a wood-burning derby by the time you get back home.

“The bane of a logical wife,” she said.


“I’m shattering all your fantasies of being scentless with reason,” she cackled.

“Alleged reason,” I quickly countered.

What you really should do, she said, was go the opposite way, all natural – no shower for a week, roll in some leaves, eat nothing but grubs and blueberries, don’t wipe your butt.

In other words, the Bigfoot route.

I’m not sure how that would go over with my hunting partners, however. Part of the reason I go to deer camp is the camaraderie with Dad and the gang, and that sort of scent profile might violate the unspoken code — not to mention get me kicked out of Dad’s trailer.

She teased me some more so I left in a huff.

On the couch, as I folded my hunting clothes and put it them order, I realized I’ll have plenty of fleeces for a cold weekend (forecast calls for snow tomorrow and lows in the 20s on opening morning), but it appears that I’ll need to do yet another load. Apparently I only washed one pair of boxers and two and a half pairs of sox for the whole weekend.

But does it really matter, though? After awhile I recalled that my dad has actually killed far more deer as a smoker than he has since quitting. In fact, I don’t think he’s shot one since giving up Marlboros.

Wait, he did get one, a doe up the Entiat.

Maybe scent control isn’t the entire reason those deer have passed by me at such close range, maybe it’s also body control – not moving much.

Yeah, that makes sense too. Put your back to a tree or rock and just slowly scan the woods.

I was going to run that one past the “logical” wife, but she’d gone to sleep.

Which, with 58 hours till opening morning, seemed like a logical thing for me to do as well.

One Response to “Sense And Scent-sibility”

  1. Backstraps For Dinner (Just Not For Me) « Northwest Sportsman Says:

    […] guess all those lead-up blogs on my hunting beard, buying new boots, the ton of hunting clothes I laundered twice, the cold I caught and the bee sting I got over the first weekend, and my incessant posting […]

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