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Big Buck 411 Blog


Mike Canale

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.

Post Rating


# Hos
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:28 AM
I'm a believer in the idea that use of human urine will, at the very least, not frighten off a buck. and that maybe human urine will work as well as deer urine. A friend of mine (Tim) and his hunting buddy were in the woods hunting deer during the peak of the rut. About noon they met back at a spot where together they would hike back out of the woods. On the way out, Tim, who had been sitting for hours overlooking a scrape he knew had been made by a big buck, but having no success in even spotting any deer at all, decided out of frustration that he would spoil the scrape by peeing in it. He did so, and then he and his buddy resumed their exit. After having walked no more than 40 yards from where he had taken peed into the scrape, they heard such a commotion behind them that it was a bit unnerving. The buck was back at his scrape, and was furious at the fresh urine that had been put down over his own. The buck was growling, stamping about the site, and trashing the bushes with his antlers. Tim thought about going back into the woods to see if he could put a scope on the buck, but his buddy cautioned against it: "He'll kill you." Tim's buddy was unnerved, butTim says that even though he wasn't concerned, he decided to stick with the decision to leave; he would hunt the buck another day. This anecdote tells me that a buck will not be frightened off by a man's urine, and maybe cannot even distinguish between buck and human urine, and will behave accordingly!
john herbert
# john herbert
Thursday, June 14, 2012 7:04 PM
I'm not sure about anyone else but, to me, there is a distinct difference in the smell of human urine and that of what I pay BIG bucks for at the local sporting goods store. I have many a success story using scents for deer hunting. In fact, I have a pretty good nose for which ones work better(I think). I don't know. A farmer once told me that if you want the deer to stay out of your home garden you should relieve your bladder near the garden. Never did try it. What I do know is, I will certainly entertain the idea of(human buck lure) to my bag of tricks. Lets face it, harvesting a mature whitetail buck is no easy feat. Further, if some fresh "man pee" could even, maybe work, I guess it is worth another sniff.
Ray Ciancagllini
# Ray Ciancagllini
Monday, June 18, 2012 6:55 PM
I use to be an avid hunter before my health problems and I can truthfully say that this is a one in a million rack. I have seen the mount in person and the pictures don't do it justice. I have known Mike a long time and he is very deserving of this accomplishment. For the people that don't know Mike Canale, he was an exceptional athlete in high school, a teacher and retired athletic director and hall of fame football and track coach. The positive, hard work ethic that he taught his players is the same attribute that is responsible for him bagging this trophy. He is a real credit to the sport and I hold his friendship in the highest regard. Congratulations, Mike!

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