Annual Shamanic Baking Soda Rant


10 pointer
This is about the time of year when I start preparing my deer hunting duds for the upcoming season, and this is about the same time of year that I give y’all my Shamanic Baking Soda Rant. Every year, I get a lot of flak for it-- always from guys who never tried it. It has not stopped me so far. In fact, the naysayers just keep pushing the thread up to the top. One of these days, they’ll catch on and just ignore it.

Here it is: Baking Soda-- The Shamanic Method

Does it work? I’ve been using this regimen in one form or the other since the late 1980s. What I can tell you is that when I spend the time and make the effort, I really do get deer approaching right up close. When I’m short-cutting the process too much, I’ll get deer busting me at 200 yards. The basic moral is that a little personal hygiene goes a long way. Every year, I get a few more converts.

Years ago, I opined in an article that skewered the rise of Fartlok Suits and their ilk that the most useful part of scent reduction clothing was the hang tag. If you read the instructions for the suits, it told you to shower in scent free product, use scent free detergent on your clothing and to shower and change your underclothes as often as possible. It still holds true. Baking soda is just a cheap alternative to all those other expensive scent reduction preparations. It works in a variety of ways, but most importantly, it inhibits the growth of the bacteria that causes body odor. If you stink less, even a little less, a deer is less likely to take your scent seriously.

Does Baking Soda make you invisible to deer? Hardly. However, if you are like me and hunt amongst deer that regularly interact with humans, you’ll know deer get somewhat used to our smell-- otherwise, we’d never seen them. If you’re looking for a theory on how baking soda works, my guess is that it reduces it enough so that the average whitetail may guess you’re 300 yards away instead of 30. Your level of stench may be low enough for him to discount the threat.


10 pointer
May 15, 2010
I have used it for years also. I sprinkle on my clothes in an air tight bag mix with a little water and spray my boots !


12 pointer
Nov 13, 2003
Foster, KY, USA.
Baking soda is a main ingredient in almost all the commercial scent control products. I'd say just using baking soda is just as effective and about 1/100th the cost.


10 pointer
Yeah i dont know why anyone gives you a hard time over it. Makes sense to me.
Mind you, I've been posting something about Baking Soda for decades. The article whose link I posted was from 2010. That was back when I was on the D&DH pro staff. The method itself I gleaned from a magazine article from back in the late 80s. This was about a year before I saw the first scent reduction products come on the market.

The main objections have come from two main camps. First off, you have the high-tech guys who claim their suits and brand name products do a much better job. They are in there with the mfg's shills. The other camp claims there is no way you can fool a deer's nose and the only way to win is by playing the wind.

To some extent, the latter argument is correct. Ultimately, you can't fool a deer's nose. However, practically, you can reduce your stink enough that you can get a shot.


8 pointer
Oct 18, 2013
To some extent, the latter argument is correct. Ultimately, you can't fool a deer's nose. However, practically, you can reduce your stink enough that you can get a shot.
This goes along with my experience over 45 years of deer hunting. While I'm not much of a bow hunter, I have killed many deer with a gun at less than 50 yards, and more than a few at 30 or less, well within bow range. I do use cover scent, usually a combination of earth scent and acorn scent (the area that I hunt is loaded with oaks). I wash my clothes in regular unscented detergent, and that's about it. But here's one thing that I believe plays a big part in all this: I do not perspire heavily. Not that I don't sweat...I do. But even when I played sports back in the day, I was never one to sweat the way a lot of the other guys did. And it might just be my nose, but I don't think the odor of my sweat is as strong as some other folks. When I walk in to my stand, I always unzip my coat and under layers, to keep myself as cool as possible. Let my body cool down ASAP after getting on stand, so that my scent doesn't persist any longer than necessary.

Anyway, that's my .02 worth. It's worked so far. Just for curiosity's sake, what is your mixture for spraying?

Little FR

12 pointer
Nov 10, 2021
West Kentucky
I wash my clothes in hypoallergenic detergent (year round) and hang them on the clothesline before season. I think most folks scent is more in their hats/face mask, boots and gloves. Boot dryer helps as well.

Your mouth produces tons of bacteria also.

I use an ozone unit when it’s hot or wind is fighting me and it’s my only day off work.

I’ll try the baking soda this year on clothes, always used it in my socks, can’t hurt. Cover scent isn’t very effective unless it’s smoke and people burn wood around you, never used to get busted when we heated with wood.


8 pointer
Mar 25, 2010
This was all my uncle use to use and he has killed several nice bucks all with a bow. I miss hearing his hunting stories . He would have nothing but a bow and tree climbers and just climb up and sit on a limb.

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