Monday, February 1, 2010

Questions and More Questions

What do I do with my underwear? No! Seriously! Why can't I seem to find an answer? I suppose to an old hand it would be an easy question. I'm not, as you recall, an old hand. I don't have an "old hand" in the family anymore. So who do I ask and why isn't it part of every "here's what you do" manual?

This was to be the year of the deer. Back in July I decided, rather unceremoniously, that I would not only start hunting again this year but to start with deer and my bow. I had only tried deer a couple of times in my youth and never got to see one let alone make a shot. So I wandered down to my local Canadian Tire, bought my bow tag for deer, grumbled somewhat that I had missed the antlerless draw date and then headed home to try and find my bow and assorted bits and pieces. Being the precise and modern day keener that I am, I immediately began to spend hours with that all knowing tome, the internet. The land of never ending conflicting answers.

So scent control became the big thing for me. I soon realised that, according to the internet, I needed to smell like dirt. No, an apple or rather some cedar, although maybe pine was better. I had to get scentlock or maybe it was scent blocker although it could have been that I was simply supposed to drown my clothes in rancid deer urine. What i did know was that after they came out of the scent free washing machine (unless you did it by hand, on a rock, in the sun out back, which is better according to some) that it had to go into some sort of scent proof bag. I did this faithfully. I guarded those bags like they were the most holy of sacraments from some new religion. I had a system down and had nothing but confidence that it might, according to the internet, be the correct plan of action out of numerous correct but sometimes conflicting ones. The one question I couldn't figure out was what to do with my underwear? Was I supposed to head for the hunt naked? Opting not to test the patience of my neighbours or the local constabulary I decided to keep the underwear out of the bag and risk contaminating myself by wearing an outer layer of less than perfectly de-scented clothes.

This system worked ok when hunt season started. Arriving in the darkened hours of the early morning I would quickly strip down to my underwear, retrieve all my carefully prepared hunt clothes from their bag, dress and be off. It worked perfectly until that faitful day when the mercury dipped below freezing to a balmy -5 C. Suddenly i needed not only more layers of underwear but i needed them long before i could have survived retrieving them from the bag in the dark. So I tried washing them like the rest of my clothes but giving them their own bag until finishing my shower on hunt mornings. A little risky I suppose. I have two dogs in the house that seem to ignore me until I'm in scent control mode and then they want to cuddle. Yet, I still don't know what to do? Is it over kill? Underkill? What do I do about my underwear? And why can't the internet tell me? Mike Waddell where are you? Why haven't the Bone Collectors done an underwear segment? Tom Pigeon? Taylor Wright? Anyone?

I have to admit my attempts to get help offline didn't go so well. I spoke to a couple of guys who pretty much dismissed the whole notion of scent control. Not the best timing when one of them did it in front of my wife. I got that raised eyebrow look. You know the one. That look that tells you she's just confirmed that you've lost your mind and have been putting her and the kids through misery with your insane rantings about odour for the few weeks. The one that leaves you scrambling to justify all that money you spent on fancy scent control stuff. I'm pretty sure she missed the part where he was smoking a cigar. What better cover scent could there be than a smoldering Cuban?

Turkey season is coming and that is going to be my next project. Maybe moose next year as well. So my journey continues. I keep working to rapidly expand my knowledge base. I try to practice at the range faithfully with my bow. My deer hunting clothes are in scent proof storage and surprisingly I'm still worried about my underwear.

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