One of the most debated topics in the hunting world is whether or not products that are geared to hide or mask human scent while hunting are effective, but a recent HunterSurvey.com poll is shedding new light on the topic.
And with the Pennsylvania archery deer hunting season set to open this weekend in WMUs 2B, 5C and 5D and the statewide opener on Oct .5, here’s what the folks at Southwick Associates' HunterSurvey.com found in their survey.
They found that 88 percent of hunters believe scent control products are effective for their intended purpose, according to Southwick, the leading market research and economics firm in the outdoor industry. Among those hunters, 51 percent use them.
So, which products are used the most? Scent control sprays, applied just prior to going to a stand or into the field, are the overwhelming favorite choice of today’s scent-conscious sportsmen with 85 percent using them. Following directly applied sprays, the survey found these other products to be quite popular:
• Scent-Control Detergent and Dryer Sheets, 71 percent
• Scent-Control Hygiene Products, 54 percent
• Scent-Control Hair Products, 47 percent
• Scent-Control Clothing, 28 percent
• Scent-Control Bags or Containers, 27 percent
Field wipes (20 percent), ozone products while hunting (4 percent), ozone products while stored (3%), and unspecified “other” items (2 percent) rounded out the survey results.
Among those hunters who don’t use scent control products, the top reasons for taking a pass on them include: the belief that they do not work (42 percent), cost (21 percent), prefer the challenge of hunting without them (10 percent) and lack of product awareness (4 percent). More than 32 percent of respondents cited “other reasons,” including not needing scent control for species, such as waterfowl and wild turkeys.
“This survey may not settle the debate on the effectiveness of these products in managing scents, but it does show the majority of sportsmen do believe in them and in fact use them to gain an edge in the field,” says Cody Larrimore, research analyst at Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com.
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.