I don’t know about you, but I love my dip! or at least I used to. The relaxing feeling it brings over you while sitting in your treestand waiting on the perfect buck to walk past almost makes your hunting experience 10 times better.
But, unfortunately, with all good things comes issues as well, so we’re going to get into what these issues are (even potential health issues) and what you can do to make sure it doesn’t ruin your experience out in the woods.
Can I dip while hunting?
Yes, you can, but it is important that you take the necessary measures needed so that you don’t come home empty-handed. As you may know from a previous post I covered why hunting deer at night is illegal, deer have pretty sensitive senses, so doing what you can to be extra careful while hunting can make or break the outcome of your trip.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO DIP
I’d say the best time to dip while hunting is whenever the wind is not in the deer’s favor. There are ways to help keep the smell down while you’re out hunting, but getting rid of it completely is impossible. If deer can pick on the natural scent we have (human scent) to up to 1/4th of a mile, then just imagine how much further they can pick up on the smell 0f chewing tobacco.
WILL DEER BE ABLE TO SMELL IT
Deer can already pick up on human scent pretty easily, so the added smell that the tobacco gives off only increases your chances of being busted. Some dips have a stronger scent than others, but many hunters that I know have complained of losing a shot because of the little scent that their dip gave off regardless of what brand it was or how little of a scent it had.
So, in my opinion, your dip should be left in the car or at home until you’re done with your hunt. I personally have found that the satisfaction of bagging a buck is much more pleasing than being able to chew while in the field.
Like stated above, another factor to keep in mind is that sometimes wind can play in the deer’s favor. If you have a strongly scented kind of dip and the wind is high and heavy on the day of your hunt, then the chances of you being spotted or spooking a deer go up by a million.
If you’re new to hunting or just have extremely bad nerves and feel like you absolutely need your dip in order to stay calm, then invest in a dip that preferably isn’t loaded and avoid hunting while winds are high.
An effective way that I use to keep my mind off chewing is to bring gum. It may not seem very helpful now, but chewing gum can trick your mind into thinking that you’re chewing dip when you’re actually not.
Of course, you won’t get the effects of the nicotine that you would typically get from chewing if your chew does, in fact, have nicotine in it, but, chewing gum can help you take that first step towards successfully quitting chewing tobacco while hunting. This is what I started doing when I first stopped dipping and is still what I do to this day. Gum has an odor as well, but it is not nearly as strong as a dip.
THIS IS HOW YOU CAN HELP STOP SPOOKED GAME
Spitting in a bottle is probably your best bet when it comes to scent reduction. I know a lot of hunters who spit straight from their stand onto the ground, but you’d be surprised at how effective just simply bringing an empty Gatorade or water bottle to spit in can actually be.
And this is not really something I myself can stomach, but an alternative to spitting in a bottle can actually be to just swallow your dip spit instead. I personally don’t recommend this, but I do know that this way has helped a couple of fellow hunters I know. It’s not the best-tasting thing to do, but the main goal is to avoid doing anything that will spook the deer away.
Not only will these tips help you stop creating more of a scent than you want, but will also help stop the constant movement from having to adjust your body to spit as well. Remember, deer have amazing hearing, so the little movement in your stand can be enough to scare them away. Also, noise from spit-hitting leaves below is another thing to think about as well.
WHY DOES THIS HELP ME RELAX WHILE HUNTING
The reason why a lot of hunters dip is because of the calming effects that come with doing it. For some people, hunting can stir up a whole slew of nerve-wracking symptoms that you normally wouldn’t deal with beforehand. So, popping a little dip in your mouth while you’re out there can not only reduce a little nervousness but also help with anxiety, panic, and stress as well.
This is because it calms us down due to the amount of nicotine that it contains, and this is exactly why I used it. I didn’t dip a lot, but when I did, it would always be while I was in my stand looking for a “good” way to relieve stress.
At the time, I didn’t see much harm in it because I was mainly only using it right before and during a hunt, but the more I used it, the more I realized how dependent I was becoming on it. This was an uncomfortable feeling for not only myself but for close friends of mine who dipped too.
Thankfully, after telling them about the feelings I was having when I wasn’t dipping and the sore that had formed on my lip because of it, it encouraged them to quit as well. Yes, it did help a lot when it came to hunting by helping me keep my nerves down, but the way it was affecting me was not worth it, at all.
I’ll go a little more into detail about why I ultimately chose to stop dipping and why you should too.
DOWNSIDE OF DIPPING
I know, I know, this isn’t what you came here for. But this is one of the reasons I stopped dipping, so I want to share it with you. I used to think dipping was awesome! but after stumbling across some information on the internet after searching up how to treat a small sore on the inside of my lip that wouldn’t go away for weeks, I ran across some pretty scary side effects that eventually turned me off of ever using dip again.
Now, I probably wouldn’t have been as worried as I was if I didn’t have that sore on my lip, but looking back on it, I am very thankful I did, because who knew what could have happened between then and now if I continued to chew.
Remember that sometimes a little bit of pleasure is not always worth the risk of continuous usage of something that is harming our bodies. Aside from the obvious risk, which is nicotine addiction, here are other risks and side effects that eventually scared me away from ever dipping again after my search…
Deer get spooked by EVERYTHING, so keep these useful tips in mind the next time you plan to go hunting. Since I’ve made the switch to not dipping a little over a year ago, I’ve noticed that it has helped with not only my health but with my luck catching deer as well.
Dipping while hunting is completely okay if you use it in moderation, but if you find yourself needing it more and more over time before a hunt or even when you’re not hunting, then I think the best idea would be to go ahead and kick the habit before it gets even worse.
Luckily, I did not have too hard of a time letting go of dipping, but everyone is different and a few things play a role when it comes to whether or not you’ll be physically addicted to something or not, so consult with your doctor if you’ve already tried to stop or are currently having a hard time stopping so that he or she can give you what you need to make the process a little easier.
If you are a naturally stubborn person like I once was and feel that you cannot be affected by dipping long-term, then use it in very small amounts and only when needed so that you can relax yourself while out on your hunt.
I understand that a lot of individuals suffer from mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, so do what you have to do to get you through, but remember to be smart while doing so, so that you don’t run the risk of being somebody who does end up with a potentially deadly disease from the dip.