What the Heck is Nose Jammer?
Russ Chastain 03.07.17
I’ve been hunting deer since I was 13 years old, and that adds up to more decades than I might want to admit. And I’ve seen a passel of hunting products come and go, but somehow I’d managed to miss out on Nose Jammer until now.
It’s a product that they claim, “Jams big game animal’s ability to smell,” and it does so by overloading the critter’s nose with strong odors that are not alarming to it.
What is Nose Jammer?
Nose Jammer contains Vanillin and other natural aromatic compounds that have the ability to effectively jam an animal’s sense of smell. The compounds used in Nose Jammer are not alarming to game animals because they are found in lignin, a major support structure for all trees, grasses, and shrubs. The key is taking these prolific compounds game animals are conditioned to and delivering them at concentrated levels to overload the olfactory gland found in an animal’s nose.
Jamming the Sense of Smell
In the nose, once a molecule has triggered a response, it must be disposed of and this takes time. If a molecule comes along too quickly, there is no place for it on the olfactory hairs, so it cannot be perceived. Olfactory Fatigue is the temporary, normal inability to distinguish a particular odor after a prolonged exposure to that airborne compound. For example, when entering a restaurant initially the odor of food is often perceived as being very strong, but after time the awareness of the odor normally fades to the point where the smell is not perceptible or is much weaker.
Just like an overly bright light can wash out a photographic image, Nose Jammer overwhelms the olfactory system and overpowers an animal’s ability to detect and track human scent.
According to one 2014 review, Nose Jammer makes you smell like vanilla (no surprise, since the key ingredient is vanillin). The whitetail hunter who wrote the review became a believer in short order, when a mature buck sauntered towards his stand along the same trail the hunter had used, and never showed any sign of alarm.
It makes sense that vanilla extract would have a similar effect, and hunting forums contain numerous tales of vanilla extract acting as an attractant. That’s not what Nose Jammer is advertised to do, but who’s to complain if a cover scent can also attract deer?
Use caution in bear country, though. Bears have better smellers than deer and are likely to follow the scent right to you. And I’ve seen at least one hunter warn that in hot weather, it attracts yellowjackets.
Back to Nose Jammer. The product has been around for several years now, and that usually doesn’t happen with things that don’t work. But the practical and economical guy in me wants to maybe try vanilla extract first.
What do you think? Ever tried Nose Jammer and/or vanilla extract? I’d love to hear from other hunters on this.