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Hey guys...
Deer season is approaching and the stores will be filling with deer attractant scents rangiong from food scents to sex scents.I use some of them and "swear by 'em"...scents such as Tink's 69 Doe in heat and I've had great luck with them over the years. When I was young, I used to rub my hunting clothes on our cows or spruce and fir branches to cover my human scent and today I can buy "Evergreen" cover scents in a bottle or the "scent away" human body odor neutralizers...Do you use cover or attractant scents or do you not believe in them. Also, has anyone tried this Code Blue or Code red stuff?
 

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Being from a trapping background I believe scents are effective in the right situation but there is a lot of gimmicky stuff out there as well. I like them more to position an animal more than to actually draw an animal any distance.
Its funny you mentioned about rubbing yourself on the cows. I remember one time many years ago I had just got out of the barn and didn't change because I didn't have much time. I hurried to my stand and climbed in. About an hour later I heard something coming in the trail I used to get to the stand. I thought it was my brother coming to get me for some reason as I could hear it coming for quite a ways and it was following my exact path. Then I saw the antler. Here was a young 2 year old 7pt buck coming along my trail with his nose to the ground sniffing every boot track. That buck came right to the base of my stand. He still had his nose in one of my tracks when I shot him.
I know some guys who clip Trarsal glands on there pants when they still hunt. I do use scent eliminator but there is no way to totally eliminate your scent and it always plays to play the wind whether from a stand or still hunting. I won't even hunt a stand if the wind is wrong and that's why I always have a couple set up for any wind condition we may get.
We have a traditional scape up back and I always stop and "freshen" it when I go by. I found that human urine works as well as any deer urine. I even start it some years when I get to it early enough. I've got some picture of nice bucks using that scrape in October.
 

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I totally agree that scent lures and body/clothes odor control will drastically improve your chances of deer hunting success (especially if hunting at short range). However, I agree with Bowtech that these things don't replace the need to "hunt-the-wind". Also, I know that the manufacturers are great at marketting and they want us to believe that they have the only product that works, which fills us full of confidence, but I'm always a skeptic of this stuff. When you think about it, we don't know how these products work, or how effective they are. For all I know, the stuff I just bought could be a known deer repellent, and I just sprayed it all over myself with confidence because the commercial told me it would work. So I did a little research about these products.

The best article I read on odor elimination can be found at
http://www.deeranddeerhunting.com/article/the-best-way-to-inhibit-your-scent/
This article took a very scientific approach to testing scent lures and odour eliminators (sorry I can't remember the article name). Here's what they found:

Scent eliminators:
They tested all the major brands of scent eliminators, as well as a homemade recipe. They ranked the products based on their ability to kill body-odor causing bacteria. First place went to Scent-A-Way (the original), Second went to the homemade stuff, and Third went to Primos Silver Scent Eliminator. The stuff you can buy at Canadian Tire ranked last I think. The homemade recipe they used was:
2 cups Peroxide (3%)
2 cups Distilled water
1/4 cup baking soda
1 oz unscented shampoo

Buck lures:
Check out this article at http://www.bowhunting.net/artman/publish/MockScrapes.shtml
In this article they tested the effectiveness of scrapes that were treated with buck urine products, doe estrus products, human urine (men's), new car smell, and nothing. All in all, they were all equally as effective. This makes me believe that a deer's sense of curiosity is equally as strong as their desire to get laid and defend their breeding territory.

I guess it's the synic in me, but I much prefer to use products that have real tested results. Private studies tend to always get the real results. In the end it looks like I'll be using homemade odour eliminator and pissing on mock scrapes near my stand. According to research it should be just as effective at luring in the big buck, and it should be a quite a bit cheaper too.

Oh yeah, I also heard that cheap perfume works well at luring in bucks. I used code blue last year (unsuccessfully), and it really smelled like cheap perfume, so this sounds potentially reasonable to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's good to hear other opinions on using attractant scents and scent eliminator.I also enjoyed reading your tale, Bowtech,about taking that young buck. As for using your own human urine on scrapes, I have also freshened scrapes in that way and taken a buck or two that continued to use and freshen them with his own marker...so at least it didn't seem to bother them. Perhaps using a "pee bottle" in the treestand or blind does more for "us" psychologically than it does in spooking deer or bear? I picked up some "Code Blue Doe in Estrous" on the recommendation from several successful hunters from last season...to try myself this year so we'll see what happens there. It would be nice to hear more "tales" about what you use that works...or doesn't
 

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I have used a few different liquid scents over the years. Heck when I was a young lad, I would take the bottle of "Buckstop"(I think that was the name of it?)...old age setting in here.. and I would squirt it on the shoulders of my old beat up checkered hunting coat. I must have smelled pretty ripe, when I went into a store "LOL"!

I don't think it ever helped me get deer back then though. It wasn't till I learned to still hunt properly into the wind that I started consistently killing bucks.

"BUT"...There "IS" one commercial scent product that I do swear by. And that is Hunters Specialties "Buck Rut" scent wafers. They smell very similar to a bucks tarsal glands when he is rutting heavy. And the great thing is that they are not messy, won't wash away, and keep their strong smell pretty much forever!

I used these for many years when rifle hunting on crown land. And on many occasions I had bucks follow my scent trails through the woods. I have found rubs made at night after I have been through an area the day before.

Near home one fall I was cutting alders on a Sunday for a shooting lane to just sit and watch with my bow. It was on a well used deer trail and I had the same hunting pants on that reeked of these wafers. The next day I found a buck had rubbed one of the alders I had cut off about two feet high.

Then one fall I was hunting near Malarchy brook for a week, And very day I would still hunt the same area. Every year bucks would lay a scrape line over the same route. I would tie the scent wafers to my boot laces. Every day I hunted it, a few new scrapes started showing up along the route. I even found a rub one morning about 20 yds down the hill from where I parked my truck. The buck had followed my route in the night right to my vehicle.

A couple days later on a frosty (no snow) "corn flake leaves" morning, I was doing my stop and go timed still-hunt. I was stopped with my rifle resting against the tree in front of me. And I heard something coming in the leaves through the hardwood. There was a small knoll to my left, so I couldn't see what it was. But my brain said.. too big for a squirrel. I remember a little voice in my head saying..."pick up you rifle stupid"! And just as I did a huge buck came over the rise! He was going left to right only about 30 yds from me. And I could tell he was on a mission. Eyes straight ahead scanning the woods for the other "Buck" in his territory that he had been running around looking for at night.

I got ahead of him with the crosshairs and the 7mm did the rest. It was only about 8:00 am and I had 210 pounds of venison on the ground! What an exciting morning!

I am convinced that that buck was running around all night looking for "ME"! And that I would never have had that opportunity if I had not been using them.
Another fall, the last rifle buck I shot , and again on public land. My wife and I started hunting on Monday of the last week. As we left our truck we saw a buck track on the woods road heading to the left side. I preferred to hunt my favorite haunts on the right side.

For days all we saw were a couple of does, two coyotes and a few old unvisited scrapes. We did not cut a single buck track in the woods.

On Thursday we spent the morning sitting on a little steep knoll watching the hardwood below. Then in the afternoon we still-hunted a big circle down into the softwood and back around. On our return trip we jumped a deer. I could not tell if it was a buck until we got to his tracks and I backtracked to where we jumped him.

He had been making a rub as we approach him. He was headed right towards the little knoll we had sat on that morning. And since I had my scent wafers on, I thought he might get a wind of our back trail and follow it back around to us. We waited till dark and no dice. So the next morning were on the knoll again at first light watching the scent wafers I had hung over a mock scrape. It wasn't more than two hours that a buck ( most likely "our" buck) came up out of the softwood, and right up to within 60 yds of us.

The shooting part of this story is just pathetic. I was sitting at a very awkward angle and had to lean around a small tree to shoot. I was canting my rifle. I missed that buck twice, (at 60 yds) and he never moved an inch Then I got rattled and pulled the trigger on an empty chamber as well.

Finally I said enough of this and went to the other side of the tree and made a killing shot. That buck must have been plumb deaf!

I tell you, These scent wafers are the real deal!
I don't know if you can still get them here in Canada. For a while there was this thing that Cabelas wouldn't ship them to Canada because of some crazy regulations to do with the wild animal diseases or something. Didn't understand it because liquid scents were. But I think the wafers are available again now.

Try them! They are the best thing that I have ever used. They also make a doe estrus wafer as well, but I have not these enough to comment on "their" effectiveness. I still use the Buck Rut wafers some when bow hunting, but not usually unless I am unsuccessful in bow season and end up hunting with my bow into late November. I don't like to use scents when baiting deer.

We do shower with apple scented soap and shampoo though. I also rub apples all over my stand grate and in the tree around my stand. And sometimes even use a spray bottle filled with cider.

Sorry for the long ramble Cuz…but you "did" ask for it! "he he"
 

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Great stories Archerynut.

Do scents work during the early bow season (aka October)?

I presume that doe estrus would be almost useless in October because it is pre-rut, but what about buck scents? Do bucks even care if another buck is in their area in October?

The reason I ask this is because I have been watching these two bucks near my house for two years, and they are always together during October. Most October evenings there will be 10 does/fawns in one corner of the field, while the two bucks graze in the opposite corner. They don't seem bothered by each other at all. This makes me wonder if October is too early for using scents.

Any opinions?
 

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Thanks Murray!

Bucks will respond much more aggressively to "sex" scents when the rut is in full swing. But that doesn't mean they won't work in early October as well. It all depends on the individual buck and his mood at the time. Bucks start making rubs to mark their territory pretty much as soon as the velvet falls off. So they are always in competition after that time. But they will often tolerate other bucks they grow up with.

The thing to remember is that big woods deer, and farm deer behave differently. Farm deer usually share feeding areas, and grow up in very close proximity all there lives. Bucks will often bunch up in bachelor groups in late summer. This I think is for the "safety in numbers" aspect(the more eyes and ears the better). The same reason bucks will also feed near does, and use them as early warning indicators of approaching danger.

Big woods deer don't usually bunch up the same way because their home ranges are so much bigger. They seem to respond more aggressively to the scent of another buck.

One of the reasons that I do not use sex scents while bow hunting in farm country, is because I don't think it will work as good as in the big woods. There are so many "other" smells that deer are exposed to every day, such as farm smells and dogs cats, cars etc. I think that deer don't trust there noses as much as they do in the big woods, and so may ignore sex sets a bit more. Unless a buck is really rutting crazy of course!

But you never know. Just like they say, you can call a bull moose just by turning on a radio if he is in the right mood..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Murray!

Bucks will respond much more aggressively to "sex" scents when the rut is in full swing. But that doesn't mean they won't work in early October as well. It all depends on the individual buck and his mood at the time. Bucks start making rubs to mark their territory pretty much as soon as the velvet falls off. So they are always in competition after that time. But they will often tolerate other bucks they grow up with.

The thing to remember is that big woods deer, and farm deer behave differently. Farm deer usually share feeding areas, and grow up in very close proximity all there lives. Bucks will often bunch up in bachelor groups in late summer. This I think is for the "safety in numbers" aspect(the more eyes and ears the better). The same reason bucks will also feed near does, and use them as early warning indicators of approaching danger.

Big woods deer don't usually bunch up the same way because their home ranges are so much bigger. They seem to respond more aggressively to the scent of another buck.

One of the reasons that I do not use sex scents while bow hunting in farm country, is because I don't think it will work as good as in the big woods. There are so many "other" smells that deer are exposed to every day, such as farm smells and dogs cats, cars etc. I think that deer don't trust there noses as much as they do in the big woods, and so may ignore sex sets a bit more. Unless a buck is really rutting crazy of course!

But you never know. Just like they say, you can call a bull moose just by turning on a radio if he is in the right mood..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi archerynutNB...
Thanks for the stories... good ones and I can recall some of the big bucks you took out on the "John" ground. I have never tried those scent wafers although I've had good luck with my Tinks 69. I am gonna give them a "shot" this fall and see what results I'll have with them. I find that deer are curious critters and I've sat and watched them lick "peanut butter" off a tree I smeared with the stuff. I've also watched them approach, sniff and lick a cloth smeared with one of our home made anise oil based bear attractants...which was a bit of a surprise too but deer hunting is a "forever" learning experience. I recall one late fall for him and listening to him share some of his hunting experiences. We arrived near his home built tree stand and he asked me to dump the apples at the base of a big spruce tree some sixty yards from his stand. From the apple pile to his tree stand he'd have a good clear shot. I hesitated to dump the apples at the base of that tree, statingg that it wasn't an "Apple" tree and spruce trees don't grow apples. He laughed heartily as he turned towards me and "matter of factly" replied..."Deer don't know that...Ray." Oh yes, and a couple of days later,I followed him into that site once again to help him drag out a heavy racked ten point buck he bagged as it ate those "spruce apples." Lesson learned!
 

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"spruce apples" LOL LOL I always thought deer were more tropical like and preferred
"pine apples" LOL LOL.

I use HS Scents Doe Estrus wafers with great results in late october early november. Many a dead buck to back this product up. Quickest kill with them: 45 minutes in stand, 8pt 174 lbs at 8 yards with the bow. He was trotting in so quick I barely got my bow off the hook. He came in head first at me. We played you look away I get positioned "forever".LOL I said in my head "he is way too close for me to draw" and had pretty much wrote it off. Finally I said now or never and drew back, he looked up at me and just stared...LOL I love it when they place each front step down a little harder than normal trying to turn so they can run, with the "oh crap" look in their eyes..LOL He knew what was about to happen, oh yeah, He knew..LOL

I've also used cronks buck joy with unbeleivable results attracting doe, never a buck though. Whether there were no bucks in the immediate area I dont know, but doe would literally run up to this stuff and get very upset, stomping feet and pacing around.

As far as scentaway products I use only HS Unscented and do not use any type of commercial cover scent. I wash my hunting clothes then bag them with Real NB fir, cedar, spruce, boughs. You cant replicate the "real deal".
 

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Predator One: Thanks! Yes those were the good old days when I rifle hunted that area, in the 80's and 90's. It was a big chunk of barely untouched deer "Heaven" back then! A lot has changed for sure.


nbguide: That's the whole "essence" of Bowhunting right there. Nothing gets the heart pounding in your throat like having to wait for the right opportunity to draw on a buck that close!


I also put fresh boughs in the tub with my hunting clothes a few weeks before the season.
 

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I was talking to a guy the other day that takes fur boughs and boils them in a pot and uses the juice for cover scent. He said it worked very well but you have to boil the s--t out of it.
 

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For deer, I only use Tink's 69 and for cover scent, I use Scent Killer Autumn or the No Scent one. I have found that they work well. Sometimes when I forget my cover scent, What I will do is pick up leaves and dirt and rub on my jacket, pants, hat and whatever else. I will also use fir boughs and wipe myself when in the field.
 
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