Every hunter has his or her own method of convincing big bucks to come to their stand. Here is my favorite method of luring them in.
Whenever I take a buck, I remove the tarsal glands. These are the dark, smelly patches of fur located inside the big bend of each hind leg. Some hunters call them hock glands.
I scrape off any meat tissue, rub a little salt on the skin, allow to dry, then vacuum seal them in a freezer bag.
You might want to use disposable gloves for handling tarsal glands to avoid stinking up your hands.
I use a Sharpie marker to write the date on the bag, then leave the glands in my freezer for two years or more. Deep-freezing skins for this long is almost like using a freeze-drier, and you will be surprised how well the tarsals can be preserved.
When the two years are up, I can return to my hunting area with my daytime dripper filled with dominant buck urine.
Mature bucks are very territorial and the strange tarsal, along with the strange urine, make it appear as if a truly new buck has invaded the area.
The “stranger” really ticks them off and they will often throw caution out the window once they’ve winded your tarsal.
I’ve found this tactic works wonders on those bucks that seem to always hang up on you.
Of course, if you don’t want to wait two years, you can buy one, or ask a buddy to save buck tarsals from one taken in a different area. But, freeze-drying helps preserve the tarsal so it won’t rot and potentially ruin the effect or spook an extra-finicky buck.
–Editor’s Note by Tim H. Martin
Another big fan of using tarsals is Buckmasters founder, Jackie Bushman. You might say it’s the oldest trick in The Buckmasters’ book.
Here are Jackie’s thoughts on using this secret, smelly weapon:
Tarsals! Tarsals! Tarsals!
By Jackie Bushman (as told to Tim H. Martin)
Nothing smells like a deer more than a deer. That’s why, whenever I manage to shoot one — whether it’s a buck or a doe — it’s not going to the processor until after I’ve removed the hocks and stuffed them into a plastic freezer bag.
I usually set one out on the ground beneath my stand as I walk in, and attach one to a nearby limb . . . (Read More)
Read Recent Tip of the Week:
• Living Buck Sensors - Other Deer: Like people, deer have a unique body language. Learning to interpret actions of these living buck sensors requires a willingness NOT to shoot.