One of the most difficult lessons for novice hunters to learn and appreciate is how good a deer’s sense of smell is. To deer, people STINK! When a deer smells a person, they generally spook and leave the area. In many instances, the hunter may never even know that the deer “winded” them; they may just quietly move to a safer location.
Taking steps to defeat, or at least confuse, a deer’s nose is one of the most important things a hunter can do.
The first step to defeat or confuse a deer’s nose is to set up your ambush site downwind from where you expect deer to travel (i.e., the wind is blowing from the deer to you; the deer is upwind from you). Preparing several specific stand sites for a good hunting location is a good idea so that the location can be hunted during different wind directions and conditions.
Practicing good hygiene and using scent free products is a good idea. Many experienced hunters avoid all scented products like deodorants, toothpaste, laundry detergent, shampoo, cough drops, etc. during deer season. Scent free soaps and other products are available; in a pinch simple baking soda may be substituted for many products.