Every great idea has an inspiration. This one came last November when I was sitting in the kitchen at Copper's Creek Outfitters in Illinois City, Ill., gnawing on a piece of home-cooked fried chicken. The smell of the farm bird cooking completely filled the room — it damn near wafted over to Iowa — saturating every inch of air in deer camp. While nobody was complaining about the fine post-hunt meal, we were all aware that this odor spelled doom if it were to find its way onto our hunting gear.
Not to worry, Beau Carlson, owner of Copper's Creek, had the cure to all the scent and odor challenges that plagued this hunt and, for that matter, every hardcore whitetail outfitter in existence. Carlson has created a scent-free chamber on his place, essentially a shed that acts as a staging ground for his clients, a sterile environment to stash their hunting gear.
This ultimate hunting room is about 280 square feet and comes complete with a full dryer unit, an ozone machine mounted in the corner of the enclosure, lockers created for each individual hunter, enclosed boot dryers, hooks and shelves to hold just about anything, and it's just about 20 feet from the front door of the lodge. As every Copper's Creek hunter finds out, this room becomes the core of their preparation and an essential part of bringing that big buck home.
Inspired by Carlson's creation, we set out to build our own ultimate scent-free deer hunting room. Here's how she'd look.
Your whitetail room doesn't have to be a full-on shed; you can use an out cove, closet, or even a sealed clothes wardrobe that can be quickly attached to an ozone machine. But if you want to get serious about this build, you can spend $1,399 on a Lifetime 8-foot by 12.5-foot Outdoor Storage Shed featuring high-density polyethylene plastic, powder-coated steel, and stain resistant polyethylene plastic flooring. Just cover the vents, build a foundation, and you're ready to roll.
No matter how you build your whitetail room — you can pick up shelving, hooks, and lockers at Home Depot, too — or where you choose to put it on your property, you have to outfit this chamber with the right stuff.
Just like the porcelain throne in your bathroom, the ozone generator you use in your whitetail room sets the mood. For larger rooms we suggest you go with the Jenesco Inc. FM-14
($383). Jenesco claims this is the best O.G. for the money — meaning it's got the highest output. The unit can neutralize odors in rooms up to 6,000 square feet and fight mold and mildew in spaces up to 1,000 square feet, which would be more than enough to tackle the odor picked up from a day in the whitetail woods. Not to mention it only weighs 8 pounds and can be used anywhere there's an AC plug-in.
The Complete Scent-Elimination Kit
There are more than a few sprays, washes, and soaps to get the day-to-day scent elimination job done. All work fairly well considering cost, but we'd suggest you go with the Code Blue EliminX system
. Keep your shelves filled with copious amounts of Code Blue's body wash, shampoo, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, earth scent spray, and field wipes, to make sure you never miss a beat.
Scent Removing Ozone Generator with Garment Bags
Beyond the odor-killing power of a full-size ozone generator, you've got another, more cost-effective option for treating just your clothes. We know that every time you wash and dry your scent blocking garments it lessens their effectiveness to some degree. The Eco3 Log6 ($129) allows you to skip a few rinse cycles and still re-treat your clothes after every hunt. The Log6 comes complete with a plastic hose you can hook into a garment bag and a timer to set your desired length for treatment. Hang the garment bags in your lockers and call it a day.
Portable Boot Dryers
Any scent-free area has to be moisture free, too. The PEET Boot Dryer
($85) is famous for its ability to eliminate odors caused by perspiration and bacteria in your footwear. Pick up a couple of these units and stash them in your scent-free chamber and you'll be able to store your boots without worrying about moisture. Just let the ozone generators do the rest.
Scent Blocking Clothing
Not long ago, I took a look at the long-standing carbon clothing debate
and some of the new scent blocking gear hitting the market. Whether you think it works or not, you better have some on hand if you're going to go this far with the project. Scent Blocker's Trinity Technology uses a new synthetic polymeric resin at its core to produce what the company says will be the new standard of scent blocking garments.