posted on August 30, 2010 07:53
By Mike Handley
Photo: Edward Gurka
I’ve used Eau de doe in almost every form imaginable. I’ve poured it in scrapes, on foliage, on rags and boots. Used incense sticks, heated scent dispensers, regular scent droppers and pee-scented candles (one of my favorites). I’ve sprinkled impregnated granules on trails, hung cookie-sized wafers up- and downwind, and I’ve used fake pee.
I’ve dished it out sparingly, and I’ve emptied entire brown bottles.
I’ve shot a bunch of deer that were so into it, their faces looked as if they were about to sneeze.
I believe in the stuff, whether it’s garden-variety, lab-made, from one doe wearing lipstick or from a herd of ugly ones, with maybe an effeminate buck or two thrown in for good measure. I’ve been hooked on “buck lure” since the very first time I used it.
Take it from me: At least one of four hunters who shoot monster bucks has used some form of scent, whether or not they give it full credit.
Texan Edward Gurka will quickly give credit where it’s due. His Lone Star State record (Semi-irregular by shotgun) died with a curled lip.
The day before the 2002 gun opener, Edward drove to his cousin’s place and chose a spot where deer had been crossing a gully. He picked out a small oak tree with a limb “big enough for his butt” and nailed three boards into it as steps. The limb he would sit on was 10 feet off the ground, and the tree was growing along an old, single-strand fence.
Edward returned the next morning before sunup, planted his butt on the limb and unscrewed the cap to his new bottle of estrous doe scent. Every 30 minutes, he poured a single drop onto the bushes below him.
He’d seen nothing by 10:00, so he decided to call it quits and return later that afternoon. He was back in place by 3 p.m.
At 5:00, he glanced at his bottle of scent, which was only a quarter full, and decided to spill the remainder around the base of his tree. Nearly 45 minutes later, despite hearing some unusual noises nearby, he turned and stepped down onto the highest board – ready to call it an uneventful opening day.
He glanced left as he laid his shotgun across a couple of limbs and saw the source of the noise. A buck was no more than 25 yards away, grunting, pawing the ground and hooking a bush.
“He was going crazy,” Edward said. “And he was downwind from all that scent I’d poured out, which was heavy in the air. That smell was so strong that it had even got into my clothes. I have no doubt the buck was smelling it.”
With the deer facing him and daylight fading fast, Edward aimed his 12 gauge at the whitetail’s throat and squeezed the trigger. He was elated when the animal crumpled immediately, a testament to what No. 1 buckshot can do at close range – the distance a testament to the phew factor.