Hot Weather Deer Hunting – Handling the Bugs and Human Odor with ProStaffer Mike Monteleone
Editor’s Note: Mike Monteleone lives in Westminster, Maryland, and has worn Mossy Oak camo since 1988 and hunted deer since he was 13-years old. He also is a member of PSE’s Pro Staff (www.pse-archery.com) and is the Mossy Oak area staff manager for Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and New Jersey.
The Delaware bow season opens September 1, the Maryland bow season will come in around September 7 this year, and Pennsylvania’s bow season starts October 1. By the first of August, I usually have all my tree stands up on all the properties I plan to hunt. In Delaware and Maryland, with the season opening in early September, the weather usually is really hot and humid. There are a lot of bugs to contend with, but the good news is the bucks are still in their bachelor groups. This time of year, finding and taking big bucks is much easier than it is later in the season, since the bucks are still in their summer movement patterns.
During the first 2 or 3 weeks of deer season, I put-out trail cameras on all the properties I hunt. Often I will see five to 10 bucks on one hunt, depending on where I’m hunting. This year, from one of those cameras, I have one picture with nine 8-point bucks in the same photograph.
But the two major problems with hunting in the early season in our area: controlling the bugs and controlling your human odor.
The only way I have been able to control bugs without putting on insect repellant the deer can smell is to use a ThermaCELL insect repellent product. Another tactic is only to hunt a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the afternoon. I try to hunt where the wind will be blowing at least 5 miles per hour in flat areas away from stream bottoms, creek bottoms and low-lying areas. Of course, if there’s a big buck in one of those low places, I’ll bite the bullet and decide to let the bugs bite me.
I am extremely scent conscious. I wash the towel I use after a shower in scent-free laundry detergent and put it in a scent safe, so it doesn’t collect and hold odor before I use it again. I bathe with scent-free soap containing odor eliminator and wash all my hunting clothes with scent-free laundry detergent. Then when I reach the woods, I take my clothes out of my scent-free container and spray them down with an odor eliminator right after I get dressed. I also wear scent-blocking hunting clothes. At the first of the season, I wear the scent-blocking Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity camo. As the weather gets cooler and the leaves come off the trees, I change to scent-blocking Mossy Oak Treestand hunting clothes. I spray down with OdoBan Lethal spray.