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Rut Prep: Deer Calls, Scents & Decoys

Rut Prep: Deer Calls, Scents & Decoys

Take a look at the aisles of your local archery shop, or the nearest sporting goods store, and you'll see camo-clad zombies slowly scanning the wares. They'll be staring at the latest calls and decoys and bottles of deer pee in the hopes of spending a little cash and then duping a mature buck into range.

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These products promise just that, but we all know the reality behind the marketing speak. Most won't work for us, most of the time. This is just how it is when dealing with wild deer. Sometimes they come, oftentimes they don't.

Naturally, if you've sussed out the best spots in which to sit when things heat up in the world of whitetail love, you increase your odds of things going right. After that, if you employ the right scents, decoys and calls you may suddenly watch your recent purchases deliver on their tall-tined, wide-framed promises. There is nothing more exciting to a deer hunter than that. And if it's going to happen, it's going to happen now.


Following are 10 products that just might turn your next rut sit into an adrenaline-dumper that results in a $500 taxidermy bill.


Cherokee Sports The Bone Deer Call

This rubber-molded, four-in-one deer call is made from a real deer antler and will allow you to create every sound in a deer's lexicon ranging from grunts to growls. It can also produce seductive bleats and even snort wheezes. If you hunt in the north country, you can rest assured that The Bone Deer Call won't freeze due to it's inhale-operation design.

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Code Blue Smoke Cover Scent


In order to make any kind of setup work, you've got to keep your presence unknown. Any whitetail hunter with seven seconds of stand time under his belt understands that the biggest factor here is scent, which is why Code Blue created their Smoke Cover Scent. This naturally occurring scent is non-threatening and very common in a deer's world, making it the ideal choice for masking your personal stank.

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Duel Game Calls Double Back Grunt Tube


You really can't call yourself a whitetail hunter these days unless you go into the woods with a grunt call strapped around your neck. To fill this role, it's hard to beat the Double Back Grunt Call from Duel Game Calls. This dual-chamber call produces extremely realistic buck vocalizations through a range of volume that covers soft, subtle contact grunts to come-at-me-bro grunts that are loud enough to startle distant flocks of birds.

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Flextone Game Calls Bone Bag

Rattling is possibly the most exciting way to lure a buck into range. There is something about mimicking a buck fight and then seeing a flash of brown hide in the brush as a bruiser trots in that really can't be beat. A great option for creating that faux scrum is the Bone Bag from Flextone, which produces loud, realistic tones and is highly portable.

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Hunters Specialties Nemesis Deer Call

Most of us with at least a couple decades of whitetail hunting experience have used Hunters Specialties products. Probably quite a few of them, to be honest. This is because they work, and their Nemesis Deer Call is no exception. Through an adjustable bellow, you can create pitch-perfect calls ranging from soft bleats to dominant buck grunts. To select which call you want to produce, you simply rotate the mouth piece.

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Montana Decoy Dream Team

I love Montana Decoys. I'm a public-land whitetail hunter most of the time, and I simply can't carry in full-bodied decoys to my spots. It's not feasible. But I can carry in Montana Decoys, and I do. A lot. Lately, I've relied on the Dream Team for most of my rut hunts, which consists of a doe and a buck decoy that together weigh a shade over five pounds and will fit in a daypack. They look really good in a field, and open up plenty of options for hunters looking attract the attention of passing bucks.

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Nationwide Scents

It's hard to beat Nationwide Scents. If you don't believe that, buy a bottle and open it up. Take a good whiff. It'll be almost like a deer took a whiz straight up your nostrils. This is because they freeze their scents fresh and ship them to you that way. I've used a lot of different scents over the years and have never seen the response that I see out of Nationwide's products. They offer everything from Rutting Buck Urine to Estrus Deer Urine, to the November-perfect P.E.C. (Peak Estrus Certified).

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Rinehart Doloma Bedded Doe Decoy

There are a lot of doe decoys out there that suggest, through body language, that your fake deer has just noticed a pack of wolves creeping into her red zone. This puts other deer on edge and is a great way to clear a field or a food plot in a hurry. That's one of the reasons why the Bedded Doe Decoy is so cool. It simulates a 95-pound lady just relaxing for a bit without a care in the world. It's also lightweight and is designed with a movable head, which allows you to customize your setup.

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Tink's Trophy Taker Gels

Trophy Taker Gels are a convenient way to apply some serious scent to your rut setup by allowing you to spray a stream of scent up to 10 feet. It'll stick to whatever you spray it on, so you know that it's going to last for as long as you plan to hunt, even if you're pulling a dark-to-dark marathon. They offer three scents, but for this time of year you can't do any better than Heat, which is a sexual attractant designed to draw in passing bucks.

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Wildlife Research Center Doe In Estrus

Doe In Estrus has been around for quite a while and has accounted for a pile of dead bucks. What hasn't been around for a while is the option to buy it in an eight-ounce spray bottle so you won't run out halfway through your rut-timed PTO. Doe In Estrus is carefully collected from whitetail does and contains both urine and estrus excretions — just the kind of stuff that lusty bruisers can't resist.

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