Bug-Free Hunting: Tips for Tackling Insects and Scent Control in Deer Season

Ready to dive into some hunting wisdom? It’s that exciting time of the year again when the deer hunting season kicks off, and the bugs are out in full force. Dealing with pesky insects while maintaining your scent control game can be a real challenge, but fear not – I’ve got you covered with some tried-and-true advice, tips, and pointers to keep you hooked (LOL) and make your hunting experience bug-free as well as scent-savvy. I will say, most of these tips and suggestions would classify as beginner tips because most hunters reading this will know all if not, 90% of these tips. But who knows, you may be able to add something to your arsenal to combat these damn bugs! So give this a quick read!

  1. Choose the Right Clothing: Opt for lightweight, breathable hunting apparel that covers your skin. Long sleeves and pants not only protect you from bugs but also help maintain scent control. Look for clothing with insect-repellent technology or consider treating your gear with a permethrin spray for added bug protection. While I would want you to buy our products for apparel, we currently do not offer any completely “bug bite proof” clothing. ( I’ll add that to the list of things we should look into.) So I recommend purchasing the bug proof hoodie and pants from Simms. They really hit a homerun with that product. Use that as a base layer under a bug jacket or ghillie suit and bugs won’t get through to you. You should look into leather gloves to protect your hands, and a facemask, or net to cover your face.
  2. Scent-Control Basics: Bugs are drawn to scent, so keep your scent under control to avoid being a bug magnet. Wash your hunting clothes with scent-free detergent and store them in a scent-controlled bag. Shower with scent-free soap before heading out, and consider using scent-eliminating sprays on your gear and body.
  3. Use Bug Repellent Wisely: Choose an insect repellent that doesn’t interfere with your scent-control efforts. Look for odorless or scent-masking options. Apply it to your clothing instead of your skin, and avoid getting it on your hunting gear or weapons. My local grocery store, Food Lion, sells scent free bug spray by Coleman in a blue can that I use sometimes. I can’t swear it’s better than scented, but it certainly helps! I have recently moved to using Permethrin pump spray by Sawyer. It’s in a yellow square bottle. look for it online or in select stores!
  4. Head Nets and Bug Suits: Sometimes, the bugs are just relentless. In such cases, invest in a head net to keep bugs away from your face and a bug suit to provide an extra layer of protection. These can be a game-changer when dealing with swarms of insects. I touched on this on number 1, but it’s important.
  5. Strategic Tree Stand Placement: Choose your tree stand locations wisely. Position yourself upwind from potential bug breeding areas, such as stagnant water sources. This can help minimize the chances of bugs congregating around you. Sometimes its hard to avoid these things, especially if you hunt in or near swamp land.
  6. Timing Matters: Bugs are most active during certain times of the day. Consider hunting during early morning or late afternoon when bug activity tends to be lower. This can make your hunting experience much more enjoyable. Again, this does vary according to location.
  7. Create a Bug-Free Zone: Before setting up your hunting spot, clear the area around your stand of any tall grass, weeds, or brush that might harbor bugs. Creating a bug-free zone can make your waiting game more comfortable.
  8. Thermacell and Bug Zappers: Explore options like Thermacell devices, which emit a mosquito-repelling vapor, and bug zappers that attract and eliminate bugs. These can be valuable additions to your hunting setup, creating a bug-free environment. The noise from the bug zappers can blow your hunt, so be careful. I just seen it in the past where some folks have them in their box blind and somehow still harvest deer every year, haha.
  9. Natural Remedies: Consider using natural bug repellents like citronella candles or essential oils like eucalyptus and lavender. While these may not offer complete protection, they can help reduce bug presence to some extent, and deer aren’t really worried about these scents.
  10. Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Believe it or not, staying hydrated and well-nourished can actually help deter bugs. Bugs are often attracted to sweat and body odors, so keeping yourself hydrated can make you less appealing to them. Obviously this is unavoidable in some scenarios, but it’s just good to keep in mind.

Remember, my fellow outdoor enthusiasts , that the key to successful hunting is being prepared for all kinds of challenges, including bugs and scent control. By incorporating these tips into your hunting routine, you’ll be better equipped to handle bugs while keeping your scent under control. Now get out there, embrace the thrill of the hunt, and make those memories you’ll cherish for years to come!

-Robbie Hackney

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