Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Deer Scents- How to Use Scents to Become a Better Deer Hunter

Many people believe that scents can be one of the best ways to lure a buck or doe inside killing range. I am one of those people. I have seen countless time when I put a ‘Doe in heat’ scent and later on a buck will appear and start trotting towards the scent. They usually stop about ten yards away, since they don’t see a doe near by. This stop is the perfect time to shoot. Though scents may be a great hunting tool, you have to choose them effectively to be able to use them.

Early Season:
Once a buck loses his velvet, his mindset and testosterone levels change. During this time, bucks are looking to mark their domain and establish a pecking order among them. In other words, they want to know who the King of the Woods is and who they can beat. This is the perfect time to set out buck urine scents. When a buck smells a buck urine scent, they naturally think it is another buck. They then set out to find the ‘other buck’ and know if it is the King or just another one and a half year old. You can also combine this technique with scraping noises simulating a buck rubbing a tree. These two techniques combined will send a high testosterone level buck insane.


The pre-rut is considered the time 10-15 days before the peak of the rut. The peak of the rut is generally defined as the time when most does are receptive to breeding. This is also the time when bucks start fighting to win does and to establish their territory. There is also an increase in rubs and scrapes as bucks are getting ready to fight and are marking their domain. During this period, some sort of buck scent is still best. Buck scent combined with a decoy and some grunting and rattling can be lethal during this time of year.

Peak Rut:
This period is when bucks single out does and stay with them until they go out of estrous. During this period it is obvious that “doe in heat” scents will work the best. Bucks will be looking for a doe and if they smell one that they think doesn’t have a buck tending her; he will surely go towards the smell. This scent can be combined with a doe decoy, and it can be combined with a doe decoy and non-dominant buck decoy. The non-dominant buck will instill fire inside of the more dominant bucks making them more likely to come out from their usual deep woods habitat.

Post Rut:
This is after the time when most does are susceptible to breeding. “Doe in heat” scents still work very well during this time. They sometimes work better because bucks will be eager breed one more doe that season. Food scents might also work if the area you are hunting doesn’t have a plentiful harvest of food. Food scents work because after the rut bucks are worn out and malnourished, and this is the period where it is crucial they stock up on food for the winter ahead.

Scents can be one of the best tools for a hunter. Scents, when used right and combined with calling and decoys, will greatly increase your chances of harvesting a deer.

For more deer hunting tips check out:
Post-Rut Deer Hunting Tips I
Post-Rut Deer Hunting Tips II
Five Deer Bow Hunting Tips

For more tips check out: How to Kill Big Bucks

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