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The Monstrous Scent-A-Way Bull Elk with Wayne Carlton

More Lessons Learned from Carlton’s Big Bull Elk

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Wayne Carlton, host of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s “Elk Country Journal” TV show, has hunted and guided for elk for more than 32 years. He recently took a bull elk that unofficially scoredClick to enlarge 410 points on Boone and Crockett. This bull was the biggest he’d ever taken with his bow and the biggest bull elk ever filmed by Hunter’s Specialties “Primetime” video crew. This year, Carlton has been on a mission to learn more about elkhunting than ever before, and some of his insights will change the way we all hunt elk.

Question: What else did you learn, Wayne?
Carlton: I’ve always known that the more time and patience you take to prepare the stand site, the better your odds will be for taking the bull, especially when you’re hunting from a tree stand. I know for certain that since my cameraman Phillip Vanderpool and I had to walk 1/2-mile to the water tank where we were hunting, we created a lot of perspiration and odor not only on our bodies and our clothes, but in the area where we were working to prepare our tree stand. So, I back-tracked up the trail we’d walked in on and sprayed Hunter’s Specialties’ Scent-A-Way spray everywhere. I walked back down the trail, covering any human odor with Scent-A-Way. Then, with Scent-A-Way spray, I sprayed the region all around the tree stand, the sawdust from the limbs and the limbs we’d cut out of the tree to eliminate as much human odor as possible. Finally, Phillip and I sprayed down our Medalist clotClick to enlargehing with Scent-A-Way. If we hadn’t taken so much time to get ourselves and the area where we hunted scent-free, when the elk started coming to the tank, they would have smelled us, thelimbs we’d cut, and the ground where we stood. We had an entire herd of elk right under our tree stand for what seemed like an eternity, and we never spooked a single elk. Even when I saw one cow sniffing the entire area where we’d beenworking, the elk never alerted and never knew we were there.

If you’ll take a little bit of extra time before you get into the tree to spray-down the trail you’ve walked in on, the area wheClick to enlargere you’ve laid down your backpacks and the tree stand, the place where you’ve been moving, and the branches you’ve cut for shooting lanes, you can be far-more effective and scent-free. I always carry a bottle of Scent-A-Way with me, but because I had a larger bottle of Scent-A-Way than I normally carry, I had enough to decontaminate the entire area around our tree stand where Phillip and I had been working and climbing. When you can be right in the middle of a herd of elk, like we were, and not a single animal smells you, then you know your odor-elimination system is doing its job.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to hunt smarter. I try not to chase elk as I once have, and instead spend that time scouting for the places elk will come and where I find fresh elk sign. Then, I go to those sites and am patient enough to wait on the elk to come to me. Like everyone else, I like to blow my elk calls, chase elk and try to get them to come to me. But I’ve learned in the past 2 years that this tactic isn’t as effective as locating the spots where the elk want to be, getting there ahead of them and making sure that when the elk do come in, they can’t smell me.

Check back each day this week for more about "The Monstrous Scent-A-Way Bull Elk with Wayne Carlton"

Day 1: Elk Pie
Day 2: Leave the Bull to Take the Bull
Day 3: No Sight, No Shot – The Almost Miss
Day 4: Time to Reflect
Day 5: More Lessons Learned from Carlton’s Big Bull Elk


Entry 478, Day 5