There are so many scent control products on the market today that keeping them all straight is pretty much impossible. The claims they all make are difficult to understand, let alone test. You end up having to take their word for it and hope that the product delivers as advertised when you are in the field. Some scent elimination products are effective, but expensive (i.e. Ozonics). Others are cheap but only partially effective (like washing your clothes in baking soda). As always, wind is the most effective (and cheapest!) tool for hiding your scent, but modern scent control products can help give a bit of forgiveness when the wind isn’t just right.
I recently ordered a kit of Scent Kapture’s Odor Encapsulating products in order to test their effectiveness in the field. The science behind their products is different from other products on the market so I thought it would be good to evaluate their products and share my findings with all of you.
How it works
Negatively charged odor in ambient air can be detected at concentrations as low as 1-100ppm (Parts of Chemical Per Million Parts of Air). Positive charged Scent Kapture active molecules are then introduced as vapor particles through diffusion. The molecules attach to one another to form new molecular pairs. This chemical process renders the odor essentially ‘orderless’. Following this chemical process, the molecules evaporate and are ultimately eliminated.
Does This Actually Work?
Quite a bit of research has been done in the area of odor encapsulation and the research has shown that this technology does in fact work. The technology is used in bio-chambers that remove unwanted odors from fabrics (such as cigarette smoke from a car interior). Interestingly enough, it is also the same technology that is used in scratch-n-sniff odors to keep them scentless until scratching makes it unstable and the scent releases. Long story short, from a scientific standpoint the technology is completely legitimate and works.
Testing the Effectiveness
In order to test the effectiveness of the product, I could not just leave it to my own nose since a deer’s nose is far more sophisticated. I had to use the closest thing I could get my hands on… my dog, Watson. He is a 5 year old chocolate Labrador Retriever who I have trained for bird hunting and recovering sheds. While he does not have a nose as sophisticated as a deer’s nose, it is close enough to give me a good idea as to whether or not the Scent Kapture products work.
I took his practice shed with which he is very familiar. Since he knows the scent so well, if the Scent Kapture products keep him from detecting the location of his shed then I can be confident that it will prevent a deer from detecting my scent, a scent that he may or may not have ever smelled before.
As a base for the test I timed how long it would take for Watson to find his shed with no odor control treatment. I placed a series of containers in a small section of a room and placed his shed inside one of the containers; the containers were not air tight. It took him 11 seconds to locate the correct container.
After treating his shed with Scent Kapture’s Field Spray, we did the same test. Same containers, same room, same conditions. The only difference is the shed was treated with Scent Kapture and it was placed in a different container. It took him 40 seconds to find the right container.
Now, if you know anything about dogs who have been trained to located scents, an extra 29 seconds in a confined area with which he was already familiar is astounding! Clearly, Scent Kapture products work and work well.
It is important to note that although it took longer, he did still find the right container. This means that while Scent Kapture delayed his ability to identify the scent, he was still able to identify it. This will be true of any scent control system as it is scientifically impossible to completely eliminate scent so that a deer or elk (or dog) cannot identify it. Scent control technology gives you more time, but it won’t give you an eternity. As said before, scent control will give you more forgiveness when the wind isn’t perfect but at some point a deer’s nose will bust you if you don’t take advantage of the opportunity.
Ultimately, I was pleased with the results of this test as it confirmed that these products work. Let’s take a look at each product:
Hair and Body Wash
The hair and body wash is the first step in the Scent Kapture system. It should be used exclusively before and during a hunt when showering. It is not as thick as I would have hoped but it does lather well so hopefully that will allow it to stretch so that you will only need one bottle for the duration of your hunt. It has absolutely zero detectable scent so that is a big plus.
The laundry detergent is for all of your clothes before a hunt. You must take precautions to store your clothes in an air tight container after washing and drying in order to ensure they are not contaminated with foreign scent after the wash. There are no UV enhancers in this formula so no worries there. The detergent disperses well in water and will treat an entire load with ease.
Honestly, my favorite part about this product is the bottle. It is a solid, thick-walled bottle and the nozzle functions well. Some bottles leak when spraying due to cheap nozzles, but this bottle is a quality piece of equipment. The spray itself does have an initial smell that dissipates once it dries so don’t wait to spray yourself. As soon as your ready to start walking, spray down so that you can dry before you get into hunting territory.
After the Hunt Hand Scrub
This product is just plain cool. It is a hand cleaner scrub that is gritty so it will take anything off. You can use it with or without water. Once you finally do rinse your hands with water your skin is smooth and clean. It is mint scented which is no big deal since you won’t be using this product until you are out of the woods. The odor encapsulating technology mixed with the mint scent will make sure that you are not carrying any foul odors with you (blood, fish, etc.).
I have been very pleased with the Scent Kapture line of products and and how they performed. I will be taking this system with me into the whitetail woods of Oklahoma on my hunt 10 days from now. Hopefully I can add my hunt to the list of success stories associated with the Scent Kapture line of products.
Jan. 2016 Update: I used these products on my November whitetail hunt in Oklahoma and had multiple deer downwind from me with no idea I was there. I shot a buck at 25 yards from a tree stand and he never smelled me. Products tested and approved.