posted on June 11, 2012 06:50
By Mike Handley
A New York incident has me wondering how many thousands of dollars I've tossed in the trash following a day in a deer stand.
For more than 40 years, in an effort not to booger up my hunting spots, I've been peeing in soft drink bottles -- being VERY careful to uncork the right Mountain Dew when thirsty.
Because I value scents and scent control, I start each season by buying dominant buck urine, never once considering that I could generate my own and not have to sniff the 20-ounce green bottles before quenching my thirst.
Sure, I've heard about guys who urinate in scrapes. But the notion of doing so has always struck me as risky, at best, and stupid, at worst. While deer might encounter all manner of urine in their environment, I doubt they regularly sniff the urine of something that eats cheeseburgers and drinks more coffee than Juan Valdez.
I'm not so sure now. Maybe I've been sending the ultimate buck lure to landfills from Alabama to Saskatchewan.
Before last season, Mike Canale had never peed in a scrape. Now, however, it's a pretty safe bet that he'll hit every one he encounters, even if he's made the scrape himself.
"During the summer of 2011, I read articles extolling the virtues of licking branches and mock scrapes. That inspired me to purchase some olfactory gland scent, doe urine for the dripper and to make a mock scrape complete with licking branch doused with the new glandular scent," the New York hunter said. "I also read some studies that suggested deer can't distinguish human urine from deer urine."
So he made one and doctored two real scrapes on his Ontario County farm. Every four or five days from the middle of October to mid-November, he peed in all three. As a result, the deer activity soared.
A few days into the shotgun season, Mike shot a new runner-up to the state record as it was walking toward a scrape about 50 yards from his stand. As a Semi-irregular, the deer's composite score is 207 1/8 inches.
The complete story will appear in Rack magazine in August.