First you have to try to hide your human scent. Next you have to try to trick a buck's nose and get his undivided attention. If you can do these two things with the help of scents and calls, you might just put Mr. Big on the wall!
Knight & Hale
Knight & Hale Mini Grunter
Harold Knight and David Hale have been very successful in both the art and the business of hunting. They make nine grunt calls, five bleat calls and three rattle calls. The E-Z Grunter is the heart of the call line, with four models to choose from, depending on your needs. The latest addition is the E-Z Grunter Adjustable. It has five settings to make everything from a doe bleat to a mature buck grunt. It is simple to adjust by sliding an O-ring, and it's is very affordable.
The Hands Free Soft Grunter is another interesting call. It fits easily into your mouth, and because it is soft you can hold it for longer periods without fatigue. The Hands Free Soft Grunter is ideal for bowhunters who need a method for coaxing a buck to come out from behind a screen of brush to offer a shot.
The EZ Gravity Bleat is a can-style bleat call Knight & Hale added in 2003 that makes a soft doe bleat when you tip it over. The Camo Doe Bleat is a mouth-blown bleat call. Doe bleats work especially well during the rut.
Knight & Hale makes two rattle bags and a mechanical device called the Rack Attack. It operates with a one-handed squeezing operation similar to a forearm exerciser. Call (479) 782-8971, or visit www.knightandhale.com.
Hunter's Specialties True Talker
The True Talker is among the most versatile deer hunting calls on the market. It has an adjustable reed that you can manipulate with one finger from outside the barrel of the call to produce everything from a bleat to a deep grunt. Because of its flexibility, this call has become very popular among serious deer hunters.
The newest grunt call from H.S. is the Hands Free True Talker. You can make the same full range of bleats and grunts with this small call simply by adjusting the pressure you apply to the reed with your mouth. If you want to, you can use it in the hands-free mode, but you sure don't have to. If you are looking for a basic no-frills grunt call, you can't beat the BucGrunter, another very popular, affordable grunt call in the H.S. family. Call (319) 395-0321, or visit www.hunterspec.com.
Deer hunters know Wiley Outdoors best for their soft Flextone grunt calls. Flextone makes the Original All-N-One Deer Call, which has locations along the flexible barrel that you can depress with a finger to change the tone of the call to produce a fawn bleat, a doe bleat, a young buck grunt, or a mature buck grunt. The entire call is soft and flexible. The new Fawn Bawl will bring in predators, as well as hyper-protective does. The All-N-One Magnum Deer Call is similar to the Original All-N-One except that it also features a rigid reed assembly and corrugated plastic tube "windpipe." The call also has a volume control button that you can depress to muffle the call. It comes in both camouflage and blaze orange colors.
Additional products include the Hands Free buck grunt and Hands Free Doe Fawn. The Natural Grunter features a standard design but has a soft pliable barrel, a rigid reed assembly, and a corrugated plastic tube. The Stealth Bleat is a flip-over can-style estrous doe bleat call, and the Wrist-Strap Mini Grunter is a convenient item for any hunter who doesn't want a grunt call hanging around his neck. Call (877) 9WE-HUNT, or visit www.wileyoutdoorproducts.com.
SCENTS AND SCENT ELIMINATION
Code Blue Soaps & Scents
Standing Estrous is a one-of-a-kind product that Code Blue collects during the short time frame when a buck tries to breed a doe. This is Code Blue's way of "Buck Testing" this unique scent. In other words, a buck has already come to this doe in heat in an attempt to breed her. At no point in the estrous cycle is the scent of the rut stronger, and this is the very odor found in Standing Estrous bottles. It is very expensive, however, so you don't want to use this product outside of the rut.
Code Blue makes a wide line of conventional attractant scent products, including buck urine products, doe urine products and tarsal gland products. Tarsal Gland Gel is one of the company's newest products. This is a more potent way to deploy Code Blue's popular tarsal gland liquid lure. The intention is to give bucks a reason to come back regularly to freshen scrapes and investigate a possible threat to the dominance hierarchy. The gel will last longer than liquid urine when applied
near your stand or on scent trails.
Code Blue's Stealth Dust is a powder that has the ability to latch onto and neutralize scent molecules that it contacts. The dust is contained in a fist-sized bag similar to a baseball player's rosin bag that you can pat on every layer of clothing, with an emphasis on the areas of high odor concentration: underarms, groin and inside your hat. Call (479) 782-8971, or visit www.codebluescents.com.
All of H.S.'s liquid attractant scents are in their Primetime line. These include Premium Doe Estrus, Premium Doe Estrus Plus, Dominant Buck Urine, Tarsal Supreme, Interdigital Gland, 2 Drop Supreme, Buck Lure Supreme 1, Lick 'N' Stik, Scrape Line Kit and Natural Doe Urine. They collect Premium Doe Estrus and Doe Estrus Plus urines from each doe during the 24 to 36 hours in which she is actually in heat. Outdoor celebrity Tom Miranda formulated the Supreme line of scents based on his extensive knowledge of scents gained from years of experience as a professional trapper.
H.S. is one of the kings in the scent-free-products industry. Their Scent-A-Way line is popular because it includes every conceivable soap, shampoo, detergent, wash towel, dryer towel, wipes, deodorant and eliminator spray you can possibly need to rid yourself of scent before going to your stand and even while in the field.
24Seven/MDR Outdoor Group
Original 24Seven is not actually a scent lure itself but rather a new way to deliver your scent. This granular product has no scent of its own. It merely absorbs and holds your favorite liquid scent locked in a solid form until you need it. You add just a half-ounce of your favorite scent to a 9 1/2-ounce dispenser bottle of 24Seven and shake it up to mix the scent with the granules. The bottle has a shaker-style top like a condiment dispenser, allowing you to apply only as much scent as you need. It is just like a giant saltshaker.
Because it doesn't evaporate into the air like liquid lures, 24Seven releases its scent over a period of days and allows you to get by with less liquid scent. A bottle of 24Seven freshened with your favorite scent will remain effective for an entire season.
24Seven Plus is pre-loaded with an effective scent using the company's granular scent delivery media. The pre-scented granules come in the same 10-ounce shaker as the Original in three varieties: Doe Estrous, Dominant Buck and Early Buck. Call (888) 648-3718, or visit www.mdroutdoorgroup.com.
Given its long history, Tink's #69, an estrous blend of doe urines, is America's best-selling buck lure. You can get Tink's #69 in liquid, gel, scent bomb, and solid Scent Stones (they absorb and release the odor more gradually). Tink's also makes seven other liquid scent formulations that will work outside of the rut, including two favorites, Trophy Lure All Season Buck Lure and Doe-P.
Tink's Smokin' Sticks are scent-impregnated sticks that will burn for about two hours to cover human scent and attract game. You'll never have to wonder which way the wind is blowing again. The company also makes a wide selection of dominant buck urine blends and cover scents.
Tink's Odor Lock line contains everything you need to wash away human scent from your body and clothing: sprays, soaps and storage bags. Call (800) 624-5988, or visit www.tinks69.com.
Mrs. Doe Pee's
Mrs. Doe Pee's first gained national attention with its unique freeze-dried urines in 1996. But the company became much better known after its owner, Sam Collora, shot a giant 220-inch-gross-scoring typical buck in October of that year. Sam and his buck appeared on the cover of North American Whitetail in February 1997.
You won't see gimmicks in the Mrs. Doe Pee's line, just time-tested formulas: Buck-In-Rut, Special Blend estrous urine, Fresh Doe, and Continuous Scrape Set (a time-release product for freshening mock scrapes). Freeze-dried urines include the same formulations as the fresh urines with the addition of Buck Tarsal and Mock Scrape.
Mrs. Doe Pee recently came out with a line of preserved scents that don't require refrigeration. The Harvest Preserved line includes Doe in Estrus, Doe, and Buck in Rut. Mrs. Doe Pee's also makes a line of scent-free shampoo, soap and laundry detergent. Call (319) 385-3875, or visit www.mrsdoepee.com.
Knight & Hale
Hale's whitetail scents are found in the Code Blue line, as both manufacturers are owned by the same parent company. Knight & Hale does have a strong line of cover scents and scent elimination products for whitetail hunters. Cover scents include Acorn Gel, Cedar Gel and Earth Gel. The unscented soaps include Ultimate Body Wash and Shampoo and Ultimate Laundry Detergent. Ultimate Odor Eliminator Spray immediately neutralizes odors when you spray it on your clothing, packs, etc., and leaves a slight earth cover scent in its place.
No Trace Garment System
No Trace is a complete garment system made from woven poly/cotton fabric. Cyclodextrins adhere to the cotton fabric to absorb human odor. Cyclodextrins are tiny little structures that scientists can manufacture easily to have the properties that they want. In simple terms, they are little buckets that fill up with molecules that are the right size to fit inside and that also have the right chemical properties to electrically adhere to the bucket. As the molecule gets close, the ion charge inside the little bucket pulls it in and locks it up. No Trace features three sizes of cyclodextrin structures to capture the widest range of molecules.
These little buckets will release their hold on scent molecules and be ready to accept new ones when you wash the garment. According to Mike Greminger, president of No Trace, it takes about a week of regular wear before you must wash the garment. The cyclodextrins will not wash out, maintaining their scent-grabbing ability over the lifetime of the garment. Call (800)242-0025, or visit www.notracecamo.com.
Hunting mature bucks is never easy, so you have to mind the details and play the odds. Calls and scents are an important set of tools that, under the right conditions, can turn a distant sighting into a trophy for the den wall. Nothing else you can do has the same ability to reach out and pull them close. Using scents and attractants correctly is a great way to move the odds a little more in your favor.