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