View Full Version : Campfire scent

Eric Bailey
02-16-2013, 02:51 PM
I have never been backcountry hunting before. I was not planning on building a fire, because I figure elk and deer would be able to smell it, or me the next day. Does that make sense, or am I just going to be cold for no reason?

Bitterroot Bulls
02-16-2013, 05:39 PM
Don't worry about it. I have had elk walk right up to the campfire, and watched them roll in still smoldering ashes of a wildfire.

Plus, if you smell like firesmoke, you probably smell less like a human.

02-17-2013, 06:41 AM
so glad you said that BB. i agree. alot of people swear by no fire, i just cant seem to justify not having a fire, kind of completes the experience. now if i am putting a herd to bed and decide to camp from where i glassed them from ill usualy not build one unless i put another ridge between us. dont know if it makes a diff but just dont know how theyd react to watching that glowing orange thing across from them all night.

02-17-2013, 09:29 AM
I have mixed felings on this one. In my younger days I hunted with a group that cooked over a fire in the morning and evening, we did get into elk off and on so I guess a little fire doesn't hurt. I also think that if you smell like campfire and an elk gets a nose full of that and hasn't smellled if for a while then I think they would be alerted. I think campfire cooking is pretty ineffficent compared to a jet boil or some sort of gas. Cutting, splitting, worrying about the wind and blowing embers, putting it out, all take time and I think time is better spent on just cooking over some sort of gas. There is an old saying " your never alone if you have fire"

02-17-2013, 09:29 PM
I personally dont like having a fire unless it is absolutely necessary for some reason, like drying out gear after a nasty storm or getting warm when things get really bad. However, I don't think that its going to make them smell you any more. If your going to get winded they will wind you with or without the campfire on your clothes. I try not to use fires or headlamps at night if I can avoid it. In my opinion it is the little things and the attention to detail that makes all the difference in terms of success.

02-18-2013, 12:54 PM
After 5 or 6 days on the mountain, you'll be "smoking" your clothes on a nightly basis...especially any components that aren't 100% merino as they will have taken on an unnatural odor - to say the least. IME, Critters don't care.

02-18-2013, 02:58 PM
I don't do it myself, but, for whatever it's worth, I know of whitetail hunters who will deliberately "smoke" their clothes as a cover scent.