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Buckmasters Tip of the Week

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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.


O Tannenbaum Grindings
This year I received a Buckmasters Tip of the Week about using pine needles as a cover scent. This reminded me of an inexpensive tactic I've used for a couple of seasons now.
 

Polarizing the Deer Woods
As a longtime fisherman, I've discovered that a piece of my standard fishing equipment is very useful in certain hunting situations. Several years ago, while guiding my son on a deer hunt, we had difficulty seeing into the brushy woods due to the h...
 

Vanilla on the Rocks?
Many deer hunters have caught on to how effective vanilla is as a curiosity and cover scent. Vanilla-based sprays can be expensive, so I started making my own.
 

The Stick in the Eye
I recently read Buckmasters Tip of the Week about how flashlights save lives. This reminded me of something that happened to me last year while walking to my treestand in the dark.
 

Look Out Behind You!
We've all hunted stand locations where deer will approach from any direction. It's incredibly difficult to monitor several areas at once, especially if a trail is directly behind you.
 

Just Look at the Time!
Part of ethical hunting is being fully aware of legal shooting time and adhering to the rules, but keeping up with the time can be a challenge for hunters.
 

Step Up to Your Climber
Here's a dilemma most hunters have dealt with when setting up a climbing stand: You're scouting a new area and finally locate the right tree to give you the perfect vantage point.
 

Fishing For Bucks?
We often think of fishermen as hunters seeking game in the water, but why not reverse this way of thinking? I like to bring my Ugly Stik ice fishing rod into the treestand with me. Some of you might think this is a weird tactic, but it works.
 

Spray Those Platforms and Steps
Have you ever noticed how even a small amount of moisture can make your treestand steps and stand platforms slippery? Rain, frost and even dew can cause this, and especially if mud is stuck to your boots. Mud can make your steps slick as a whistle...
 

Flashlights Save Lives
I edit hundreds of stories written by hunters each year and am constantly amazed at how many describe walking to their treestands in the dark with no flashlight. This is one of the most dangerous things a hunter can do because other hunters only s...
 
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