By Tim H. Martin
When I think back to the time I shot and field dressed my first buck, I can still remember the frustrations of trying to get the stink off my hands. That was nearly 40 years ago.
Mind you, these were extra funky rutty hands, because I’d somehow managed to grab the buck’s hock glands while dragging it out of the woods — the classic rookie mistake.
So, even before diving into the whole gutting routine, my hands were off to a bad start.
My mistakes only got worse. I popped the pee sack, perforated the buck’s paunch, and forget to use rubber gloves, among other first-timer errors.
Even two nights later, the funk would wake me up from a deep sleep whenever my hands got too close to my nose. The musky smell made it hard for me to eat, too.
No matter how many times I washed my hands with soap or dishwashing detergent, I couldn’t completely get rid of my hock gland hands.
Three days later, a friend dropped by with a big mess of north Alabama crappie that needed filleting. I helped him clean them and told him I didn’t mind stinking up my hands with fish if it would override the deer gut smells.
He asked me if I’d ever tried shaving cream to remove deer funk. I told him I hadn’t, so after finishing up with the fish, he took a can of Colgate shaving cream and squirted a generous portion on my hands and wrists. I let it soak in for a minute, then rinsed them clean.
Much to my surprise, not only was the crappie smell gone, but the medley of deer funks on my hands were gone as well!
My buddy explained how the shaving cream’s alcohol content, chemicals and fragrances break down bacterial odors quickly, while masking smells at the same time.
This shaving cream tip has been a part of my game cleaning routine ever since, and I’ve found it also works well for de-stinking hands reeking of elk, dove, rabbit, pheasant, wild hogs, duck, squirrel, and even red onions.
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