Ask The Biologist

You New in Town?

You New in Town?

By Bob Humphrey

It probably doesn’t matter where a deer is from when it comes to scent.

QUESTION: There are so many brands and types of doe-in-heat scent, so I’d like to know if one works better than others. Do deer smell different from region to region? For example, will an off-the-shelf doe in estrous scent work the same in Wyoming as it would in Illinois? Do you have any suggestions when picking a brand/type? – Greg P.

ANSWER: I’ll begin by acknowledging that I don’t know if deer recognize the difference in scents from deer in different regions. From a single deposit of urine, we suspect they can recognize several things including fitness, probably sex and possibly individual identity of the deer that left it.

A better question is: Does it matter?

Commercial deer scents come from captive deer facilities. A company might get their urine from one location, yet their product is shipped and used throughout the country. A good analogy might be whiskey. Some folks prefer single-malt scotches, while others are content with blends. However, if you were to serve a particular brand that they were unfamiliar with to either individual, they would be hard pressed to distinguish whether it is single malt or blended.

In short, it’s most likely a buck would simply think he stumbled across a doe he’s never smelled before.

As to purchasing advice, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Many of major-brand scent companies get their urine from the same facilities. There could be differences in how the urine is handled and stored during the bottling process, but my best advice is to find a brand that gives you confidence, or one that comes in a format you feel comfortable using, and stick with it.

— Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
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Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd