The other types of scents—often used by hunters—are the lure or attractant scents. These are not to be confused with other types of “attractant” products such as foods or supplements such as salt or mineral licks. The attractants I am referring to are aroma attractants used to draw bucks to your location such as the sex-attractant type of scents used during the rut.
The goal of a lure or attractant scent is to fool the buck into thinking a doe is in estrus and ready for breeding. During a normal breeding pattern, a doe will go through various stages of estrus. As she moves around during her daily routine, she leaves drops of urine rich with hormones and pheromones. The level of hormones and pheromones in her urine tell the buck if she is ready for breeding.
The challenge for the hunter is to create a trail that mimics what a doe would naturally do—in hopes of enticing a buck to come within range. Just as I use the string and cloth method for dispersing cover scent, you can do the same using other lure types of scents as well.
Other methods are to:
- Apply these scents by hand along the trail with a spray or dropper bottle
- Use the drip type that slowly dispenses the arousing aroma at a slow rate.
Some hunters like to apply the lure scent directly to the bottom of their boots, although this scent stinks, it is does not have the same knock-you-down effect as the urine from coyotes, foxes or skunks.
The type of lure you use is as important as the way you disperse it. If you have hunted long enough, and are honest enough, you have probably been schooled a time or two by a whitetail—I certainly have. Thankfully, I have been able to chuckle at most of my mistakes, but a mistake using lure scent could have seriously injured me, or worse.
As I applied the lure scent to a piece of fabric tied to a string for my boot, I spilled some on the cuff of my pants. Ignoring the mistake I had just made, I began the long hike to my stand. Reeking of the scent, I slowly and meticulously headed to my stand mimicking a path a doe might take. Half way to my stand, I heard a noise; I turned around to see a buck appear in the woods behind me. The lure scent worked a little too well because the buck was frantically sniffing the trail I just made.
With no time or place to hide, I knelt beside a large tree and attempted to nock an arrow. With his nose to the ground, and breeding on his mind, he quickly covered my tracks as he searched for the doe. In a matter of seconds, I found myself staring nose to nose with a rutting buck. All I could do was scream like a two-year-old.
In one sweeping movement, he crashed through the brush broadcasting his frustration for the rejection he just received. Shaking and smelling like doe pee, the magnitude of the moment left me trembling as I realized I had just escaped a close encounter with a mature rutting buck capable of causing me great harm.
Another lesson learned the hard way.
Making Senses of the Scents
Making sense out of all of these scents can help you increase your chances of success. Despite the often-unpleasant aroma, scents (whether cover or lure and attractant) can serve a purpose other than just cheap entertainment, embarrassing situations or even heart pounding encounters.
Knowing the when, why and how to use certain scent can be a game changer for you.