Consistently winning at the whitetail game is difficult. Make it easier by adding some scents to your hope-to-tag-Mr.-Big game.
by Jace Bauserman
I’ve made my living as an outdoor writer for 20 years by being honest. Savvy hunters spot a fake — a poser — a liar.
I want to preface this article by writing that I wasn’t always a big fan of scents. Scent elimination products, yes. Estrus/rut scents, not so much. I labeled them snake oil, useless, a waste of money.
Yikes. Not what you were expecting after reading the title? Pump the breaks, and keep reading.
An Eye-Opening Experience
I don’t skimp on scent elimination. I have a routine. It’s always followed, and I credit my reduce-human-stink routine to much of my whitetail success.
My go-to scent-elimination products are from Wildlife Research. I wash all of my clothing in Scent Killer Gold Laundry Detergent, air dry the hunt garments outside, and spray them with Super Charged Scent Killer Autumn Formula Spray. All clothing goes straight into a scent tote after drying. I shower with Scent Killer Gold Body Wash & Shampoo and coat the underarms in Scent Killer Gold Antiperspirant & Deodorant. After dressing in the field, I apply a quick dose of Autumn Formula and hit the woods.
One day, in mid-October, while walking to my Colorado treestand, I came across a new scrape. The scrape was small. Only a few deer had hit it. For grins, I pulled a bottle of Special Golden Estrus from my Alps Impulse pack and dumped half the bottle in the scrape.
Then, I walked off. I thought nothing else about it. It had been years since I’d done anything but take a pee in a scrape.
I had yet to have much luck with scents. Early in my whitetail career, I set up scent drippers over scrapes, used drags, etc. My efforts produced no tangible results.
I walked by that same Special Golden Estrus freshened scrape a week later, and it was the size of a car hood. I put a camera over the scrape. Deer of all sizes were hitting it and hitting it regularly, and multiple saplings around the scrape were blazed. I got excited.
On November 2, I slipped into the area early in the afternoon, hung a Lone Wolf 28 yards from the scrape, and settled in. Two hours later, I shot a buck. He wasn’t the best buck using the scrape, but he was good enough for me.
It was the first time in my whitetail tenure that I could credit using a specific scent product to my success.
A New Perspective
Today, I use scents all the time, and Special Golden Estrus is my number one go-to come mid-October. Until the pre-rut starts to kick and bucks begin to scrape, you can’t beat Trail’s End #307. I use this all-season deer lure around my trail cams and in areas of high deer traffic.
Branded as a pre-rut buck lure, the ingredients in Trail’s End #307 appeal to deer instincts other than breeding, like curiosity and hunger.
OK, back to the pre-rut/rut. Special Golden Estrus is a scent win. Initially, this scent was only available to industry insiders, but now, you can purchase it anywhere deer attractant products are sold.
Each bottle has a “Use By” date, which I appreciate. I like knowing the urine with estrus secretions I’m laying down are fresh.
I use Special Golden Estrus in scapes — mock and pre-existing — and I love that it comes in 1- and 4-ounce bottles and an 8-ounce spray bottle.
The 1- and 4-ounce bottles are great for drags, filling scrape drippers, etc. However, you can’t beat the 8-ounce spray bottle for dowsing existing scapes. I also take the spray bottle into the tree with me. Every so often, no matter the wind direction, I send a few sprays downwind. I’ve had excellent results doing this.
Another Great Spray!
I can’t say enough about how many deer olfactory systems I have fooled using Special Golden Estrus Spray and Golden Doe Spray with Scent Reflex Technology. If my scent-elimination game is solid and I use my Ozonics HR500 in concert with spraying puffs of Special Golden Estrus and Golden Doe downwind, I can get away with a lot.
My problem with scents was my own. I’ve written many deer articles about this product or that product not being Harry Potter’s magic wand.
I needed to heed my advice. Looking back, I expected scents to be my magic wand. They are not. They are a tool — a tool that, if used effectively, can up your whitetail buck body count.
One More Special Golden Estrus Tip
I want to leave you with one more Special Golden Estrus Tip. After you read this one, get off the computer and get in the woods. It’s late October, after all.
When bucks start cruising and chasing, I dip a few of WA’s Magnum Key-Wick pads into a 1- or 4-ounce Special Golden Estrus bottle. I hang these wicks exactly where I want a buck to stop for the best possible bow shot.
These wicks stop a cruising buck in his tracks. More than once, I’ve had a buck hot on the heels of a doe scream by my stand, only to slam on the breaks for a brief moment. That moment is all I need to run a Sevr-tipped Easton through his chest.