By Mike Handley
Dennis Adams Buck
Imagine letting your eyes wander the gymnasium in search of a dance partner. You’re just about to ask a pretty girl or handsome guy, and then you glance left and see the sexiest kid at the prom giving YOU the once-over and smiling like you’re the catch of the decade.
To be good looking in a world where appearances are everything is like being in estrus in the world of whitetails, where looks mean nothing.
What if you had the power to be the king or queen of the deer prom?
You can get it in a bottle, if you want it.
Dennis Adams and Rusty Moore know the potency of estrous doe urine.
Dennis enjoyed that prom king high during a 2001 trip to Saskatchewan (before the province banned deer urines). Normally, an outfitter hunt in Canada involves sitting in one place from dawn ’til dusk. About midmorning, however, Dennis could no longer take the minus-20-degree temperature and biting wind.
When he was ready to brave the elements again, he was taken to a new place that had been avoided all season. He doctored the area with estrous doe scent before settling in for the afternoon.
He twice passed on a great 8-pointer. And within minutes of the second decision not to shoot, he spotted a buck chasing a doe 150 yards distant. An east wind carried the scent straight to Romeo’s nose, and he left Juliet high and dry.
“The deer obviously winded the scent, because he turned and came straight toward it,” Dennis said. “I had (the illusion of) a doe out there. The buck thought she was in heat, and it came to check her out.”
At 2:45, Dennis radioed the outfitter to come collect him and his estimated 350-pound buck, which was too big to ride on an ATV. They wound up bringing in a sleigh. It’s the No. 10 Typical in the BTR’s rifle category.
Rusty Moore Buck
Rusty Moore of North Carolina is another fervent believer in the power of Eau de doe. His 64th deer with a bow was his biggest, a state record (Typical by compound bow), and he’s sure it was scent that put it 18 yards in front of him.
Rusty was convinced that, in the wake of the previous day’s rainstorm, any self-respecting buck would probably want to clean out and refresh the earlier-than-usual scrape he’d found while scouting. He couldn’t leave work fast enough for his second hunt on the property, and he was aloft in his stand shortly after 5 p.m., within bow range of the scrape.
He also took along a new toy – a battery-powered dispenser that sprays a mist of scent every 3 1/2 minutes – and loaded it with an estrous blend.
A little more than an hour into his vigil, a doe fed to within 10 or 12 yards of Rusty’s tree. She was almost standing beside the dispenser.
“I just knew that she would hear the thing go off, but she never paid it any mind,” he said. “And then I heard a twig snap behind me.”
When Rusty turned, he saw an enormous buck between 30 and 35 yards away. The deer was staring at the doe and obviously savoring the scented breeze.
“He put that scent and the doe together, and he started toward her at a full trot,” Rusty said. “I clipped on my release, and by the time I could whistle, the buck was at 18 yards. Luckily for me, he stopped in a perfect shooting lane.”
The Guilford County buck’s BTR composite score wound up 177 5/8 inches. Rusty says the 192-pound 11-pointer wasn’t even rutting hard. Its neck wasn’t swollen in the least, and its tarsal glands weren’t black. Still, when it came across the irresistible smell and saw the doe, its buttons were pushed.
Such is the power.