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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


By Mike Handley

PHOTO: Edward Gurka
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.

Post Rating


AR Hunter
# AR Hunter
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 10:18 AM
NIcely done!! i try to use lure too....forget to buy it most of the time!!!
dennis stewart
# dennis stewart
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:09 AM
that is a nice buck hope i will get one this year.lastyearthe water was up so i could not hunt that much last year.but i put my camera out 2weeks ago and a acorn drop block went to check my pictures got some 1 nice buck on there and my acorn wase gone. thank you for let me send this to you
Tom F.
# Tom F.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:16 AM
So, 3 out of 4 monster bucks are taken WITHOUT some form of scent. I think I will tie in with those fellers.
Mike Handley
# Mike Handley
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:30 AM
Good point, Tom. I neglected to mention that two of the three non-scent users, if placed in a "why/how I shot this buck" category, would fall under the pure luck column. I'll take luck any ol' day, but the combination of luck AND a proven technique is hard for me to resist.
# Jack
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 12:59 PM
I've been hunting deer with bow and gun since I was about 15 years old. I'm 56 now. I"Ve tried deer lure on a number of occasions when I first started hunting. The first few times I ever used that stuff, the deer blew and ran out of the county I was in. I quit for many years and then tried it again. and seldom had any luck with it. One time, I was rattling and had sent down wind of me. A 7 pointer came running down a hill and across the creekrocks and up the hill where I was sitting. Everything settled down and finally, the buck came sneeking in. As he put his nose on the sent wafer, I shot him with my .44 mag pistol (I don't believe in scopes if I use a pistol). Another time, I dipped a loose string in the bottle and hung it on a ceder limb infront of where I was sitting. Within about 2 minutes, an 8 pointer came out of the woods about 100 yards from me and walked across an open field right towards me. I busted him at about 20 yards with the .270. Well, it worked twice for me. Any other time I've ever tried any of that stuff, the deer would blow and run from it. Deer bleets and grunt calls have never worked for me. Rattling has been good to me. So, I stick to that, but never before the last day of october. In my opinion, using sents is nonscents. I've killed well over 100 deer in my lifetime so far, and only two came into the scents. I'll stick with just being sent free and leaving everything in the woods as natural as I can.
Dick Luchsinger
# Dick Luchsinger
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 3:30 PM
Nice deer - - I've had scent work both for and against me. Don't use it anymore.
Ron H
# Ron H
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 3:53 PM
Last year I had used Tinks 60 on a Tampax tied to a string. I dragged it behind me along side a 5-6 year old stand of roll planted pine trees as I was walking into a Tri-pod stand on one corner of the pines overlooking two fields. It broke off about 25 yards from the stand. It was broad daylight as I climbed up into the stand. I stood up and loaded my rifle and just as I had shelled a round a nice 8 point came running with his nose to the ground. He raised his head after the scent stopped. I had him in the cross hairs but decided to pass. (one buck rule) He never spotted me and cut down through a roll of the pines to come out on the other side. My hunting buddy was in the next stand down and he shot the buck as he came out on his field. Point made is this buck got the scent two hours before sunset and was tracking it down. I'm a beliver in Tinks and stronger strings.
Yvonne Novotny
# Yvonne Novotny
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 4:58 PM
I've hunted deer since I was 14 and I never used sent until after I was in my thirties and went to the woods the day after I had a perm put in my hair. I had 3 bucks under my tree at a time, and was so nervious that I couldn't get my bow drawn back. Talk about buck fever! My brother never will let me live that one down. I use sent, but I swear by a good stinky perm, every year the day before bow season.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:34 PM
I have been deer hunting since my mid twenties, i have never tried deer scent ,but i have several buddies who speak highly of the stuff,.....maybe this season i'll try it, who knows big boy may come drifting in.
# Scott
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 1:37 AM
I'm with Jack on this one. Been hunting 35 yrs. Only had scent work once. Shot a 22" ten point and a 15" ten point with my bow within 20 min. of each other. Both came to the scent like they were being pulled in on a rope. Used the same stuff the next two years and had no reaction. I have actually watched bucks hit a drag line and turn around and go the opposite direction. I've also watched bucks cross a drag line and act like it wasn't even there. Every deer will react differently to a given situation. It all depends on the mood of the deer. After all of this I am still a firm believer that the best scent is no scent. The element of surprise is the best bet in my humble opinion. P.S. I only used the scents during the rut at the end of October.
# jonnyo
Wednesday, September 01, 2010 1:55 AM
I personnelly enjoy using scent on drag rags to hide my scent and lure buck to my location which works real well (have had buck follow it to me - remember not to wear it all the way to tree stand), I also do mock scrape inwhich you have to use scent. If it encreases your odds in getting a big buck why not use it. The problem I see is paying $$ for peeeee. I recommend the cheaper stuff for cover scent (I found Pete Rickard's Indian buck lure with any doe pee for drag rag which works really well in different locations) I personnelly have not used the high dollar stuff and at the rate it keeps going up I may not use it at all. I also try to save any urine from deer I've shot (doe or buck) when possible
# Ken
Thursday, September 02, 2010 8:03 PM
I have never used scents and my old hunting partner always told me he he hated them.. Well out here on the western side of the cascades the Deer and Elk are scarse the couple years I have went hunting since I have got my licence we have seen next to no deer or elk save for the opposite season theary, see the deer on elk season and elk on dear season... I rifle hunt and so I am thinking when I have the money to go hunting again I might try using them scents to see if I get a diffrent reaction cause no sent has not been working. thanks for the great info.
# Lou
Saturday, September 11, 2010 11:29 AM
I personally do not use scent, but I have a lot of buddies who swear by Mike's Magic. It's the real stuff!

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