Friday, October 08, 2010


I have moved my weblog to : 

Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries

I have decided to keep this version of the weblog available for archival purposes.  The new site is built on Wordpress, and it has a whole lot of features that a simple weblog did not have.

Thanks to Blogspot and Blogger for giving me a good home since 2004.  I really could not have asked for much more from you guys.

Please, drop into the new site and check it out.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Playing the Wind or J-Lo and Steve find each other?

From the D&DH Forum

Cut N' Run

If deer always walked into the wind in Fall, wouldn't they all eventually end up in the Pacific northwest? Just kidding.

This all reminds me of a story:

O.D and Playing the Wind

As usual, I'm going take a completely contrary approach to all this.  I guess it's just in me.  But now that I'm starting to look at 30 years as a deer hunter, I guess I can start speaking with at least the appearance of authority-- either that or the appearance of foolishness. The older I get, the more these seem to appear the same.

I have to a large extent given up on the idea of playing the wind. I have stands that have been up now for going on a decade. I have hunted them under all conditions. Some stands probably have undergone a hundred sittings or more, and I cannot count the hours I have sat glassing the open pastures. If there is a direct correlation to wind direction and deer movement I don't see it. Oh, I know its there, but I just do not see it. I think I know why.

Any drunk will tell you it's Happy Hour somewhere in the world all the time. A good drunk will always have a list of holidays for every day of the year. The plain truth is, on a round planet everywhere is upwind of something else. Similarly, deer are everywhere. I will not say they randomly spread across the countryside, but they do wander around quite a bit. Patterns? Yes, there are patterns. There are resident doe groups that lead pretty regular lives. However, there are also a lot of deer moving from outside your immediate area onto the the property you are hunting, and those who we think of as residents do a lot of wandering of their own. The net of all this is a fairly chaotic picture. Keep this in mind as we go through things. I'll come back to it in a bit.

Then again.. . Let's say you have a really pat setup. I can remember one such setup. It was a peninsula stretching out into a cornfield. When their were crops in the field, the resident deer always used that peninsula to get into the corn. All tracks going into that corn were either to or from the peninsula, and at one point there was a 10-foot corridor at the base of the peninsula where the deer cut across a creek. I hunted that structure for several years. Wind? The deer could not care less. They came from acres around to feast on the corn or sometimes soybeans that were in that field. They came at dawn. They came at dusk. They always walked across the creek at that one point.

Now you have to ask yourself? What did the deer do when the wind changed? The other side of the corn field was a main road and a farm house (Trivia: That farmhouse used to be where Nick and Nina Clooney lived-- George's parents.) There was a junior high on another side. What? They were going to do an end-around from their beds and go through the junior high parking lot, slip across Mason Montgomery road and come in past Nick's house? Yeah, right. What did I do? I hunted that peninsula in all kinds of conditions. I changed up my approach from one trip to the next. However, I was always within 50 yards of that choke point on the creek. Yes, sometimes the deer winded me, but usually I set up one side of the corridor or the other. Did it make any difference which side of the corridor I set up? No, because I never knew which way the deer would approach the corridor-- upwind, downwind, or crosswind.

Now let's go back to that random deer thing. I know a lot of you think I'm speaking heresy. However, the deer rarely seem to cooperate with me. Maybe I'm special. If I do all my planning aforehand and pick the most likely spot the deer will come given the weather conditions at hand, I can be well assured that when the deer show up, they'll be coming from another direction. The deer I was planning for? They may have decided to go somewhere else for the next couple of days. Their friends from the other ridge have wandered in, and they see a great opportunity to feed on the acorns the other deer have left. They started out the day in a bed somewhere else, and see the oak grove I'm hunting from a completely different angle. Upwind? Downwind? Are they going to circle around the oak grove and go 500 yards out of their way just to be sure I'm not in a tree, or are they going to just go for it?

Look at it a different way. Last night I was making the haul back from S.Central KY up I-75 to Cincinnati. About 10 O'Clock, I got hungry. About that time I saw a Skyline Chili sign, and I started thinking about a Chilito. I took the exit and drove straight to the place. I didn't circle around looking for a better way in. I didn't worry about the bus full of nuns that I nearly ran off the road. I went for it. Do you really think deer do any differently? By the way, tell the nuns I'm sorry. It was a Skyline thing-- they'll understand.

It's always going to be upwind somewhere. One deer's upwind is another's downwind, and if deer get an urge to go eat, they are probably not going to get really, really cagey about how they get there. Your mileage may vary, but that is how I am beginning to see it.

So, if I'm so against reading the wind, what am I for? Structure. More and more, I see the basic topography dictating more about deer movement than anything. When you couple fairly gross topological features with cover and food, there is a package that will dictate the vast majority of deer movement.

With some planning and quite a bit of perseverance, I have found structures on my farm where deer habitually move. It may be a point here, a hint of a shelf there. It may be a saddle, or just the closest approach of two creek systems for miles around. These seem to produce predictable deer movement more than anything. That is, if I post myself in sight of one of these structures, I will see deer. Add the predictability of their penchant for showing up at dawn and dusk, and the odds go up even more.

Add wind? That's what I want to know. How can I add wind when I can never see a predictable pattern to it. I can post on a given structure. Watch the sun go up or down. The deer will show or not. Nowadays, I seldom go a whole sitting without seeing at least one deer. After nearly 3 decades, I can't say if that is because I have become a great deer hunter, or that there are just a lot more deer running around than there were when Regan was president. I suspect it is a combination of both.

Give me the benefit of the doubt here, and assume the deer show up. If they do show, they're not going to come from a predictable direction. Their noses aren't to the wind or against it. I have had deer regularly show up from 3 directions to converge on the same spot. Do I get busted? Yes, not as much as before I took the mothballs out of my pockets, but I still do on occasion. Now that I am washing my stuff in baking soda and making a point to bathe myself on hunting trips, I see a lot more deer. I get busted, but it is usually from a combination of sight and sound and smell. Beyond a certain level, I know I cannot control my odor after I leave the house, therefore I concentrate on the other two and try to move as little as possible.

This has all been written from the perspective of a stand hunter. What about other methods? It all applies, but it applies in different ways. On the ground, it is all still true, only more so. If you're in a ground blind, or still hunting, the chances of getting winded are higher. I have only to look at my own experience with this, and I am sure you will agree; for every deer that comes to you on a upwind quarter there are at least one or two that come from a downwind quarter. Did they somehow sense you and circle around to double check? Are they that canny? I doubt it. Most deer stumble through life the same way we do. They were just lucky they stumbled in just the right way. We're not talking about cervid master-minds here. These are dumb deer, probably no smarter than your average viewer of American Idol or WWE.

For going on 10 years now, I've been bringing guests out to the farm and taking them on walking tours. Some are hunters. Some are not. Usually whatever we're up to, it takes us past one or more of my treestands. Most times I tell people that there are treestands around, and they are tasked with trying to spy them. The result? Most people cannot see a treestand outside of close bow range. Most have to have them pointed out. Some need me to go up and touch it. Often times we bump into deer. The deer have a nearly similar track record. Sure, some will bolt away at 200 yards snorting madly, but for each one of those stories, I've got one to match it like the deer that I walked up on holding a flashlight last fall. (That was me holding the flashlight. Wow! J-Lo gonna be a judge this year-- ain't that the shizz?) . . . or the buck that followed me down the road a few years ago. I don't know what that deer had on his mind! It must have been Hulk Hogan putting that smackdown on Andre the Giant. I know it rocked my world and left me stunned for weeks.

Stalking? Look, I'm a walking landform (Think John Wayne gone to seed) Do you really want to take the word of a guy who has Size 14 shoes on how to stay quiet and go unobserved in the woods? If so, I have an inside tip for you: J-Lo  is secretly in love with Steven Tyler, but doesn't know how to tell him. Look for the subtle signs this year. I'm sure you'll see them. Take it from a guy who's gone through five presidencies hanging out in trees-- the wind is not the most important thing out there.

One last story: One night, I was coming out from hunting. I was parked in the apron of the farmhouse (Nick and Nina's place) . Nick and Nina were long gone, and my buddy had rented it out to another family. It was a cold, frosty, November night and Jupiter was high in the sky. I pulled out my binoculars and started looking at Jupiter , and was treated to one of the best views of the planet I'd ever seen. I was able to see the 4 Galilean moons very clearly. It moved me deeply. About this time the guy who lived there came out to say hello.

"Whatcha doing?" he asked. I put down my binoculars, still reeling in the sublime moment. There were the 4 moons that showed Galileo that there was a world more wonderful and wider than the Universe described by Aristotle and held as gospel by the Church. It meant we were not the center of the Universe. It was one of the greatest realizations a man had ever had, and there I was seeing it fresh again, as it had been the first time.

"I've been watching Jupiter." I said. "This is great. You want to have a look?"

"Sure." I passed him the glasses and pointed out Jupiter.

"See the moons?" I asked. There was a long pause, followed by an even longer one. Finally the fellow put down the binos and handed them back to me.

"All them pretty lights," he said. "Them's stars, ain't they?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Thought so." he said. Without another word, he went back inside to watch TV.

I submit to you all that most deer do not surpass the tenant's level of intelligence. Given the chance to travel upwind, downwind, or whatever, most will chose with the deftness of the Turtle and ostensible wisdom of the Opossum to take the path that offers the shortest, flattest path to a good meal or a good bed. The rest? I dunno. Judge Judy's coming on soon. I gotta go.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Transporting your Deer

Kenn wrote:
"...I just got my lic and permit to hunt a deer this fall. I'm using a 40lb recurve and have a place to hunt up near Marysville. I'm still a bit vague on field dressing, processing stations and such. For instance, with a small to med sized buck, will I be able to transport it in the back of my Matrix or do I need to get a truck? Do you have any sage advice?"

Congratulations! Finding a good spot to hunt is sometimes the hardest part of the whole thing. I was a bit vague on field dressing too. Go on Youtube and search "kyafield deer dressing" There's a great video there-- not quite the way I do it, but it'll work.

Hmmmm. Now we come to the part about the Matrix. Frankly I wouldn't let Morpheus catch you out roaming around. Agent Smith is everywhere these days. If you're comprimised, they may be able to trace your connection all the way back to Zion. . .

. . . Oh, you mean THAT kind of Matrix. You should be okay. However, I would make sure you have enough room in the back for all your gear AND the deer. Also, carry a 10X12 tarp to wrap the deer in. Once you're done cleaning there will always be some blood and it's a bear to get out of your trunk. You may also want to think about keeping something like duffel bags handy to take some of your gear up on the luggage rack for the ride home.

Whatever you do, don't pull the old trick of trying to tie the deer off on the hood. For one thing it really screws up the meat-- all that wind and the heat from the engine. Secondly, it is really poor taste to go around with a deer in the open. I (of course) don't mind seeing dead deer, but a lot of people take great offense, and there's really no point being in-your-face about it.

Good luck!!! Take lots of pictures.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Deer Family

So I see the guy who does my hay has been out and started work. He's late getting started. So first thing last night after returning to the farm, I go out in the truck to see how far he's gotten-- not far, but it is a good start. I was particularly interested in seeing if he'd managed to Rotovate the new food plot. The answer was no. Oh well.

I drive into the pasture that will hold the new plot . About halfway along here comes a doe and two fawn in through an opening in the fence and straight out into my path about 40 yards away. The dog and I were transfixed. The doe didn't seem to mind in the least. She was on her way across the pasture at its narrowest point and took a few steps here and there, but mostly flicked her tail and just took in the sights of a pleasant September evening.

I let my foot off the break for a moment and rolled forward to throw it in Park. That did not faze her, nor her two kids. Then I saw him. There was this big 10 pointer following them. He jumped the fence a few feet closer to the truck and came into the field and stood-- biggest deer I've seen on the place in almost two years. None of these 4 deer had the least bit of interest in my truck, myself or the dog, and the doe was only mildly annoyed by the buck's presence. They dawdled going across the pasture and disappeared.

Normally, I'd be thinking the doe and fawns would be hanging with another doe if anything. The buck? This is a tad early in the season for the bucks to be thinking about noogie. The relationship seemed entire platonic, too. It made feel old to watch them. The thought occurred to me how long its been since I had a toddler in the car oogling deer and talking in terms of "mommy deer" and "daddy deer."

It has also been probably 25 years since I finally figured out a basic truth about deer behavior was sheer rubbish. I don't know how many of you all started out with this idea but when I started deer hunting, it was widely held that if you see a doe deer, the important thing was to stay completely still, because the bucks send the doe out ahead to scout, poking them in the rear with their antler to get them to cross into the open spaces. I don't know how many doe I let slip by over the first few years of hunting waiting for that big buck I knew was lurking in the bushes. It took 30 years to finally see it come to pass.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Ninety-Niner Speaks Out about Deer Hunting

 From Deer and Deer Hunting: For the Ninety -Niners

It's funny.  I don't think a lot of guys get it.  It could be that my hillbilly girlfriend's all-to-subtle ways are rubbing off on me, and I'm getting so subtle no one can catch my hints anymore.  It could be as well that I'm the only Ninety-Niner on here.  I doubt it.  I just think most folks are trying to lay low on it.  Shoot!  It could be no one else even knows what a Ninety-Niner is, or how it relates to deer hunting.

Let me explain:  If you've been on unemployment so long that your state and federal benefit has run out, you're a Ninety-Niner.  The name comes from the Ninety-Nine weeks (just under 2 years) of benefits received.    I lost my job in July of '08. I fell off the back end of the system this past  June.  I didn't know I was a Ninety-Niner until a few weeks ago. That's when I heard the term used for the first time.  We aren't considered unemployed anymore, so we don't count towards that 9.5% unemployment rate. We're . . . we're. . . we're just Ninety-Niners. 

Ninety-Niners are not worthless lazy bums who got kicked off the dole.  Fox News reported that 50-something managers like me in hi-tech professions probably are never going to work again.  A company can't refuse us health benefits anymore, so we're just too much of a risk. I was let go a month shy of 50, and all my 49 year old cohorts were chased out or let go all in their 49th year-- thank federal guidelines for age discrimination starting at 50 for that.

So what does this have to do with deer hunting?  It has a lot to do with deer hunting this season, at least for me.  Being a Ninety-Niner will probably affect my deer hunting for years to come.  This year, I can still afford tags and still afford the trips to Kentucky to hunt. We can still keep the farm. Next year?  We'll see.  So far the truck has kept running.  The point is I know I'm feeling quite a bite.  Reloading?  All my big projects are on hold.  Gun acquisitions?  You got to be kidding. Bowhunting?  I'd already gotten my medical waiver to hunt with a crossbow, because of my shoulder.  I was at the new doctor's last week to discuss it (the old one had responded to the onset of Obamacare by demanding $1,500 cash before he'd see you)  The new doc is talking surgery and rehab, while I'm just trying to budget for extra ibuprofen. 

I'm probably not the only Ninety-Niner on here, and this is not the first time I have had to deal with a downturn in the economy and getting laid off going into season. As a result, I'm doing my best to talk about it, and I hope it does some good.

Take the Baking Soda-- The Shamanic Method thread as a for-instance.  I didn't want to just get right in folks' face, but let's be blunt.  If you're unemployed and you still think of yourself as a deer hunter, you're probably looking for ways to economize.  Some folks are appreciating the advice and saying so.  However, some folks have inadvertently hijacked the thread here and there-- once to discuss some kind of carbon sprinkles, and another to discuss Scent-Lok and various other products.  The point is that it is obvious y'all have jobs and aren't thinking the same.  It's a difference in mindset.  For some, washing hunting clothes at $.10/load is a big deal, and  $8 can be either spent on sprays removing invisible rays from your clothing or it can be spent on a youth tag.  Ninety-Niners are looking for no-cost or low-cost methods.

Two years out of work changes your perspective. Eventually you come to see those thoroughly entrenched in the hunting establishment as foreign.  Larry Weishuhn is a fine upstanding deer hunter, but a Ninety-Niner might think about throwing something at the screen if he has to sit through too many 30-minute infomercials for the Thompson Center Encore.   Ditto for all those folks who came back from Shot Show this year, and couldn't wait to tell us about the wonderful feeling they had running up their leg over Remington and Ruger's new offerings.  I ain't bitter, but  . . .

 . . .let's just say the arrival of the big NEW GEAR issues along with the Cabela's catalog were not the big event they used to be.  Walmart dropping their price on underwear and tube socks was. 

For some, there just is not going to be enough they can spend to get that winning edge this year.  A federal judge has declared Scent-lok's advertising fraudulent, but there will be some that won't think twice about plunking down $300 for a new set. For others,  the idea of taking RIT dye to take out the fading in their old camo coveralls may be a godsend.  That is a huge and growing disparity.  Meanwhile the deer don't care if you're wearing HD, 4D or 1.5D camo.  Fact of the matter is I filled my tags wearing brown duck Carharts.

I'm not trying to be coy about this anymore.  If you can't afford a new ghillie suit or even a new hunting coat, take your old work coat and give it the baking soda treatment.  Then go out to the fabric store-- bring your wife or girlfriend if it will make you feel better.  Buy 2 yards of cotton duck camo.  Put a hole in it, the way I described in the thread on ponchos and have your woman hem it up for you.  I hunted that way for years.  I didn't have dedicated cold weather hunting duds for the first 20 years of hunting, but I did have a green freezer suit from working in the frozen cheeseburger factory, and I could afford $10 worth of close-out camo fabric.

You don't need Barnes TSX or Federal Premium or Hornady Custom to kill a deer.  Forget the fancy poly carbonate nosecones and all the other plow-whistles.  Watch the ads.  Remington Corelokt and Winchester Power Points go on sale. They will kill deer just fine.  I used Remington Sluggers for years in my shotgun.  They kill just fine. Don't let ammunition costs keep you home.  Lordy, if you look at the price of beef and the price of a resident tag. . .Last season, I bagged two doe that went +170lbs  live weight, and I was glad I went for the meat rather than holding out hope for antlers.  Frankly, I've got several racks sitting around the house that are waiting for the taxidermist, but it may be years before they're staring back at me from the mantle.

I may be all wrong.  It may just be our deodorants, but I've noticed a lot less traffic on here this year than previous years.  It may be the Ninety-Niners are giving up on hunting, not buying tags and not hitting the forums any more.  It is a shame if it is so.  D&DH magazine relies heavily on ad revenue, so I am sure there won't be much in the way of homebrew solutions and make-do articles the way there was back in the Thirties.  Back then Outdoor Life had an article a month on that sort of thing-- building your own knapsack to building your own cabin to repairing your own waders.

Nobody is going to use an old pant leg for a quiver (except me).  Probably no one will want to read about using a wheel barrow inner tube for a ground cushion.   On the forum, however, we've got more latitude.  JPH's forum piece on doing a homebrew camo job was  spot-on.  MSBadger's cardboard deer blind was right there. I always was a bit of a shade-tree gunsmith.  Here's a pic from my piece two seasons ago. Yes, that's a 1/4-20 hex bolt on the scope:

. . . and here's Angus' custom youth rifle:

The whole project cost under $80. For some, a cheek piece made from duct tape is a joke.  For my kid, it meant having a deer rifle that fit him.  This year it got re-stocked and I taught Angus how to refinish.  That was our big father/son project over the summer.

I didn't mean to rain on anyone's parade with this rant.   I figured if I came out straight on it, y'all would understand. My only advice to D&DH is that if you're stuck for ideas a Ninety-Niner's Guide to Deerhunting might be a good one.  I'd offer to edit it.  This sport can no longer be about the cargo we carry and the cargo we consume.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bambi Killer!!!

James P. Reilly: Bambi killer


Remember James, If the Good Lord had not wanted us to eat deer, he would not have made them out of meat.

Yes, I kill Bambi. Mostly I try to kill Bambi's aging grandfather, Bambi's spinster aunts and his older sisters. However, if Bambi shows up on the wrong day, he may get it. The sad thing of it is that about 50% of the herd's new cohort suffer mortality in the first year. Some of that is due to hunting, but there are a whole slew of other causes.

Bambi ( the antlerless bucks) and Bambi's Mom (dominant females) are my least favorite targets. It's fairly obvious why Bambi is not a good idea: you want the young bucks to survive long enough to grow into big bucks. In these parts, a big mature buck may go 300 lbs live weight and yield 90 lbs of venison. Little Bambi might only yield 20 lbs. Sadly, It is hard to tell Bambi from a young doe, especially at a distance and especially in low light. There are behavioral cues, but sometimes. . . well, sometimes things don't go as planned. The good news is that Bambi tastes about as good as you're going to get.

Bambi's Mom is another story. Deer are very matriarchal . The does have a hierarchy. The older does have a lot of experience in rearing young and keeping the doe herd safe and well fed. You'll see doe in little herds of 3-7 individuals, and these are usually a mature doe, her daughters and their fawns. Taking out the lead doe in one of these herds leads to considerable stress and confusion in the group. The better tactic is to shoot for the second doe in a group, or one in the middle. The trailers are often times buck fawns (Bambi).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baking Soda-- the Shamanic Method

Jake Simon August 12 at 3:36am

I hope all is well with you and yours!
I am curious as to how you use baking soda. Do you dump it on everything or do you just put it in with your clothing like you would use it in your refrigerator?
I am looking to try using it this year and am looking for any tips you would kindly share.

His Blessings,

Thanks for asking. Now that Scent-Lok has been unmasked, I was meaning to write something about how to kick it up old school.  My method is based on an article I read probably 25 years ago. Prior to reading the article, I was going afield in wool that stank of moth balls and I smoked a pipe on the stand.  I got turned around and got headed in a better direction immediately.  Back at that time, there were no special Scent-Lok clothes and no scent killing sprays.  I was frankly surprised when those all came on the market few years later.  Baking soda seemed like such an simple, easy solution.  A little bit of the stuff does an amazing job. 

First let me talk about what goes on before the baking soda gets used.  Right now I have a pile of dirty hunting clothes down the basement .  Yes, it might be better if they were all stored in scent-tight tubs and all that. The point is that dirty clothes, left since turkey season can be cleaned up.  Just don't let them mildew. 

Second, let me talk about the baking soda itself.  Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, is used in baking and in certain industrial processes.  It is a gentle alkaline.  The exact reason for its effectiveness on odor is unclear. However, I have used it on everything from cat pee to pit stink to cigar smoke.  If you can get it on the scent and you're willing to let sodium bicarbonate take its sweet time, it will take anything out of anything.  Buying it in the supermarket in little yellow boxes gets a little expensive.  However, for years I was able to find large sacks of the stuff at the local chemical supply house.  It ended up costing me about $0.10 a load and a sack would last me three years or more.  Most recently I found a good cheap source at Sam's Club next to the flour.  It isn't quite as cheap as the 80lb sack, but it is still cheaper than laundry detergent.

As a detergent, it is not all that good, but nobody really wants their clothes bright and shiny when they are deer hunting anyway.  If I walk through heavy wet clay and get mud stains on my pants, sodium bicarbonate will not take out the stains right away, but over time the clay and just about everything else leaves.  Blood?  If I get blood on my hunting clothes, I wash in regular detergent and then give them the sodium bicarb treatment I am about to describe.  I use unscented detergent anyway. UV?  Sodium bicarb has absolutely no UV brighteners.  It will also keep you immune to elephant attack and alien abduction.  Don't get me started on this UV hooey again!

First I take a cup of baking soda and throw it in the washing machine and send it through one short cycle  empty.  If I have some clothes that had blood on them, I may throw those in too to wash out any remaining detergent.  This cleans out the machine, and gets it ready for the subsequent loads.

Sort your clothes  in the following way:   Outer layers to inner layers.  Do the outer layers first. The theory is the most amount of human scent will be on the innermost layers.  In the first load, I'll do jackets, bibs, pants, etc.  In the last load, I put in underwear.   You have to understand I have two sons hunting with me, and that is a lot of wash.  It is okay if you just have one load, but if you are going to have to split it up, best to have it segregated.  I usually do my socks as a separate load no matter what; I can line-dry them indoors too.

Add a cup or so of baking soda to each load. Wash on Cold/Cold with nothing but the sodium bicarb.  If  you can catch the load as it is going into the last rinse cycle,  throw in another half-cup of sodium bicarb as it is filling.  Otherwise when it is all done,  go back and then run a separate rinse cycle and add in baking soda.  This puts some extra chemical into the fabrics before you dry them.  This extra dose of sodium bicarb may or may not be necessary.  If I'm packing clothes away for a long time, I may not do it; the dry chemical will have time to work on them over the intervening weeks.  If these are clothes I will be certain to wear the next week, I'll definitely try to hit them with the extra dose.

When a load is done, I take it outside to the back yard and hang them up on the line until dry.  This is usually not a problem in the summer, but as the season wears on it can be a pain.  The trick is to find enough time between Sunday night and the next Friday to get the clothes dry. If it is going to be raining in the early part of the week,  I may hold off doing the wash until Wednesday.  I have even packed wet clothes down to camp to dry.  It is a problem, but it has to be done.  Do not let the clothes dry in a dryer.  Do not hang them up in places where they will pick up a lot of extraneous scent.  A normal suburban back yard is usually okay, but watch out for your grill and smoker.  In a pinch I have used my garage.

After stuff is dry, I pack everything in either a plastic leaf bag or a plastic tub.  Tubs are nice, but when I'm trying to jam gear into the back of my truck, they are not necessarily the easiest to fit.  Bags compress well. As I am packing the dry clothes away, I'm sprinkling a little bit of baking soda as I go.  Into one big bag of clothes I may put half a handful or so.  When I was first doing this regimen, I was always overdoing this part of it.  It really does not require all that much.  Again, if you have the chance to do so, keep the outer layers separate from the inner layers.   Keep socks separate.  In fact, I usually throw them in a plastic grocery bag and take them in my regular baggage.

Now for me.  Before each hunt I try and take a shower and use sodium bicarb either as a replacement for or as a touch-up after soap and shampoo.  When I'm done, I throw a bit of it into my still-wet hair, work a pinch under the armpits and into my crotch and then give myself a quick dusting of the stuff while I am still somewhat wet.  Then I towel off.  Here is another place where I used to go wild with the sodium bicarb.  It does not take all that much.

I try not to reuse clothing, and especially not the innermost layers.  Down at the camp, I eat breakfast in my long-johns and then dress out on the front porch.  When I come back in the outer layer I might want to reuse later in the day gets hung up to air outside. Boots are not worn in the house and get a pinch of sodium bicarb in them between uses.  Any clothes that are done for the day are taken off and put in a leaf bag for the trip home.

I have a set of insulated camo, a coat and bibs, as well as a set of boot blankets, a wool balaclava, and wool sweater that never see a washing machine.  In fact, I have had all three for 7 seasons and they have never been cleaned or washed.  However, I wear them throughout the latter part of deer season. These present a challenge, but sodium bicarb will do wonders used dry.  What I do is air out the clothing immediately after use.  After that, I pack them in their own nylon duffel with sodium bicarb.  I pay particular attention to the crotch of the bibs and the armpits of the coat and sweater.  Over the intervening week, the baking soda does its magic. A couple of years, turkey season has been cold and snowy starting out.  I used these clothes for a week or two in the Spring, aired them out, packed them away in baking soda and they were just fine come fall.

Another trick I use keeps these outer layers from getting soaked in sweat and acquiring a stink.  Let's say it's down around 32F and it's still an hour or so before sunrise. I take everything that constitutes my outermost layer, stored in its own duffel and schlep it out to the stand IN the duffel.  This is one of those heavy nylon duffels they issue to the troops.  It has pack straps.  The duffel is a bit bulky, but it is relatively light and it beats wearing all that stuff on my body. I go out to my stand dressed in something like uninsulated bibs and a sweater. The weather is cold enough that I don't have to worry about working up a sweat.  I get into the stand, haul up the duffel and climb into the last layer. Not only do I keep from sweating (and stinking), but I stay warmer as well.

How effective is my  method?  I have been busted at 200 yards by a deer downwind when I was not observing any scent control.  I have also had deer bust me on the upwind side of a stand at 70 yards. When I'm doing everything I can with the baking soda, deer pay absolutely no attention to me-- upwind or downwind.  I have been on the ground and had deer practically walking on me.  Last year, I went through all season with only one hard bust on the stand, and this was a doe that caught me standing up to stretch.