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Curiosity Scents are No Laughing Matter

Back To "Ask The Biologist?"QUESTION: I'd like your input on a trick I heard about a long time ago and have used on a few occasions.

Mix oil of anise with peanut butter and cover a tampon (don't laugh) with the mixture. Hang it from a low limb near known trails. I've seen squirrels go crazy over this stuff and have shot bucks near this setup. Usually, I shot them before they could get to the setup, so I'm not sure if they were coming to it or just happened to be in the area. What do you think? -- Earl D.

Curiosity Scents are No Laughing MatterANSWER:  I have to admit, Earl, it did make me chuckle, but you're not off base here.

Anise oil is a common ingredient in attractant scents for deer and bear. They are grouped under the heading "curiosity" scents because, though they are not commonly found in the deer woods, they do sometimes attract deer.

It may be simply because of the strong odor, or because deer somehow recognize it as a food extract. Either way, they reportedly work - though I can't honestly say I have had much luck with them.

Peanut butter is a new one to me. I suspect it would also work as an attractant because deer probably recognize it as food, particularly where peanuts are grown. I would caution however that an overzealous warden might interpret it baiting.

As for your means of presentation, that would certainly work too. In his book, Hunting Rutting Whitetails, Gene Wensel recommends something similar, although he employs a slightly more offbeat "scent."

If you don't want to draw the ire of your significant other and the ridicule of your hunting mates, simply use one of the many commercial scent wicks designed expressly for that purpose.

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