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The Cure for 'Rut Hands'
By Tim H. Martin

The Cure for 'Rut Hands'

When I think back to the time I shot and field dressed my first buck — nearly 35 years ago — I can still remember the frustrations of trying to get the stink off my hands.

Mind you, these were extra funky rut hands, because I’d somehow managed to grab the buck’s hock glands while dragging it out of the woods, the classic rookie mistake.

So my hands were off to a bad start, even before diving into the whole gutting thing, which involved perforating the buck’s paunch, popping the pee sack and forgetting to use rubber gloves, among other first-timer errors.

Two nights later, the funk would wake me up from a deep sleep whenever my hands got too close to my nose. The smell made it hard for me to eat, too.

No matter how many times I washed my hands with soap or dishwashing detergent, I couldn’t get rid of my rut hands.

Three days later, a friend dropped by with a big mess of north Alabama crappie that needed filleting. I helped him clean them and told him I didn’t mind stinking up my hands with fish if it would help override the stink of hock glands.

He asked me if I’d ever tried shaving cream to remove deer funk. I told him I hadn’t, so after finishing up with the fish, he showed me how he took a can of Colgate shaving cream, squirted a generous portion on his hands and wrists, and let them soak for a minute before rinsing clean.

Much to my surprise, not only was the crappie smell gone, but my rut hands were gone as well!

My buddy explained how the shaving cream’s alcohol content, chemicals and fragrances break down bacterial odors quickly, while masking smells at the same time.

This shaving cream tip has been a part of my game cleaning routine ever since, and I’ve found it also works on fowl, rodent and onion hands.


Sometimes, You Have To Go With Your Gut
Hunting is like many sports in that there are certain practices that are the accepted standards for success. In other words, there's a correct form to throw a football or swing a golf club, just as there are correct ways to set up a treestand for ...
 

Take Stock of Your Equipment Situation Now
If you're reading this tip, then you have a computer and know your way around it well enough to at least send and receive emails. Since that's the case, now is a great time to use your computer to help keep track of your hunting equipment needs f...
 

The Role of Rubs
No one is sure of the exact purpose of buck rubs. Yes, bucks will rub trees to remove their velvet, but with velvet-drop being a fairly quick process (24 hours or less in most cases), and since most rubs are made long after the bucks have lost the...
 

Give It a Rest
Whether it's buck fever, heavy breathing from walking or just the weight of the gun, holding steady for a shot on a bruiser buck is just plain hard. While there are times when every hunter is forced to take a free-hand shot, far too many fail to ...
 

Train Your Eyes To Look For Deer
Too many hunters are looking for an animal much bigger than a deer. We call this the "horse with antlers" mentality. Magazine photos and videos make whitetails seem much larger than they are. A mature buck stands about 3 feet to his back. The top ...
 

All Deer Are 3-D
In the past we have talked about treestand shots and the possibility of hitting higher than we want to. That topic brings up another important point: shooting deer at angles -- and this information applies to bowhunters and gunhunters. First, not ...
 

Are We Having Fun Yet?
I had a pretty long streak of bad hunting luck during the 2000 through 2003 seasons. I think I tagged just one buck through those four long years, so before heading out to the woods in 2004, I decided to sit down and take stock of what I was doing...
 

It is Okay To Be Grounded
Treestands are, without a doubt, fantastic hunting tools. They help get you above a deer's nose and eyes, and today's models are comfortable enough for all-day vigils. Don't make the mistake of assuming that if you can't set up a treestand that y...
 

Shooting Lanes...Not Superhighways
If you bowhunt long enough, you're going to hit a limb with an arrow. Hopefully it happens while taking a shot a doe for the freezer and you can laugh about it later. Whether the shot is at a doe or the buck of a lifetime, though, the experience ...
 

Stop, Look and Listen After the Shot
We all put a lot of preparation into having our equipment sighted in and ready. As a community, hunters have done a great job of educating one another about the importance of making a good, clean shot. Many of us in the outdoors media have be...
 
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