Every great idea has an inspiration. This one came last November when I was sitting in the kitchen at Copper’s Creek Outfitters in Illinois City, Ill., gnawing on a piece of home-cooked fried chicken. The smell of the farm bird cooking completely filled the room—it damn near wafted over to Iowa—saturating every inch of air in deer camp. While nobody was complaining about the fine post-hunt meal, we were all aware that this odor spelled doom if it were to find its way onto our hunting gear.
Not to worry, Beau Carlson, owner of Copper’s Creek, had the cure to all the scent and odor challenges that plagued this hunt and, for that matter, every hardcore whitetail outfitter in existence. Carlson has created a scent-free chamber on his place, essentially a shed that acts as a staging ground for his clients, a sterile environment to stash their hunting gear.
This ultimate hunting room is about 280 square feet and comes complete with a full dryer unit, an ozone machine mounted in the corner of the enclosure, lockers created for each individual hunter, enclosed boot dryers, hooks and shelves to hold just about anything, and it’s just about 20 feet from the front door of the lodge. As every Copper’s Creek hunter finds out, this room becomes the core of their preparation and an essential part of bringing that big buck home.
Inspired by Carlson’s creation, we set out to build our own ultimate scent-free deer hunting room. Here’s how she’d look.
Your whitetail room doesn’t have to be a full-on shed; you can use an out cove, closet, or even a sealed clothes wardrobe that can be quickly attached to an ozone machine. But if you want to get serious about this build, you can spend $1,399 on a Lifetime 8-foot by 12.5-foot Outdoor Storage Shed featuring high-density polyethylene plastic, powder-coated steel, and stain resistant polyethylene plastic flooring. Just cover the vents, build a foundation, and you’re ready to roll.
No matter how you build your whitetail room—you can pick up shelving, hooks, and lockers at Home Depot, too—or where you choose to put it on your property, you have to outfit this chamber with the right stuff.