December 13, 2016
By Tony J. Peterson
The problem with a lot of the get-rich-quick products in the whitetail market is that we use them at the wrong times. Sure, you can call in a deer during any part of the season because they are social critters who vocalize with each other all of the time. You could also kill a buck using a decoy in September or even an estrus scent at the same time because deer happen to be curious and in some situations, dumb.
Overall, especially if you happen to hunt pressured whitetails, the best time to use all of the products designed to bring a buck to you is during the various phases of the rut. With the pre-rut a distant memory, the peak chasing phase behind us, and the last vestiges of breeding upon us, now is the time to bust out your best stuff. There is literally nothing to lose at this point when going for broke in the whitetail woods because before you know it, the fun will be over and we'll be thinking food sources and late-season survivors.
Following are eight products worthy of your consideration.
Code Blue Screamin' Heat
As the eleventh month of the year ticks away, rut-worn bucks will expend the last of their reserves looking for one last amenable doe. Give them the illusion they've found just such a lady with the use of Code Blue's Screamin' Heat Estrous Scent. This attractant is 100-percent pure estrous that is specially enhanced with all-natural whitetail doe secretions (you don't even want to know how they get ahold of those).
Duel Game Calls Stretchback Elite Deer Grunt Call
No vocalization has been responsible for more blood trails than the good old grunt. But, not all grunt calls are the same. I found this out a few years ago when I tried to speak with a passing buck on a crisp November morning in my home state of Minnesota. My call's reed had frozen up, meaning I was essentially blowing on a crappy whistle. Needless to say, I didn't kill that buck. Don't let that happen to you. Get a good call like the Stretchback Elite from Duel Game Calls.
This is the Rolls Royce of calls thanks to its hand-polished swirl acrylic mouth piece, which not only looks sweet but produces clear, crisp grunts. The adjustable rubber flex tube also allows you to change the sound of the call and throw your voice at the same time. And the Stretchback Elite happens to boast a FreezeFree design, which at least to this hunter, is important.
Knight & Hale The Natural
Knight & Hale has created quite a few calls over the course of its existence, but nothing they've released, at least in the realm of grunt calls, can top The Natural. This call allows you to produce loud, perfect-sounding grunts thanks to its specially cut latex reed and hand-polished walnut tube. Pair The Natural with Knight & Hale's EZ Doe Bleat Plus and you've got a one-two punch that will convince any bucks within ear shot that they need to get over to your stand ASAP.
Montana Decoy Dream Team
I hunted three states this fall on public land exclusively, and the only decoy I even considered carrying was a Montana Decoy offering. Two of them, in fact - The Dream Team. Contained in this duo are two realistic looking decoys that weigh in total just 62 ounces (they also easily fit into a daypack). Pairing a doe with a young buck is an excellent way to enrage passing bucks during the late stages of the rut, but carting around two full bodied decoys is too much of a pain for most hunters. This is where Montana Decoy's Dream Team shines.
Nationwide Scents Rutting Buck Urine
This fall I had a legitimate Booner living in a valley on a dairy farm I've got permission to bowhunt. The deer was crazy nocturnal, but I thought I might have the chance to catch him in daylight. To test this theory, I dumped a bottle of Rutting Buck Urine in a scrape and left a camera over it to capture video of any visitors. For 10 days, I had a pile of different bucks visit including the big boy.
While I didn't get the chance to arrow him, I did end snuffing out a 10-pointer buddy of his, who also happened to visit the scrape. Nationwide's offerings are pure urine, collected fresh and shipped frozen. You'll understand why this is important when you uncap a bottle, because it will smell just like a deer peed in your nostrils. The stuff is potent, and it works really well.
Rinehart Doloma Doe Decoy
Anyone who has used decoys a few times knows that movement is important. In the past I've taped strips of a white garbage bag to my decoys to simulate a tail or ear flicker. These days, it's a better idea to choose Rinehart's Doloma Doe Decoy. Not only is this decoy compact and much easier to carry than full-bodied options, but its design allows for subtle movements and realistic head positioning, which is important. The first time I used a Doloma was with their Antelope during the early stages of the pronghorn rut and being able to turn the head and face curious bucks made all of the difference. The same rules apply in the deer woods with Rinehart giving us a unique, realistic looking option for tricking late-November bucks.
Tink's No-Freeze #69 Doe-In-Rut Buck Lure
The rut winds down, the days grow shorter, and the temperatures drop. How far depends on where you live, but one thing is for certain, you don't want your deer attractant to be nothing more than a doe-pee icicle. This is where Tink's No-Freeze comes into play. This revolutionary deer attractant utilizes an odorless additive to keep it from freezing and therefore much more appealing to bucks throughout the day.
Wildgame Innovations Dominant Buck Dripper
All-day sits are a must, especially during the last phase of the rut when some bucks are in lockdown mode and some are cruising desperately. During those sits, the typical attractant is placed on a wick in the morning and left to hang throughout the daylight hours. This can work, but a better option is the Dominant Buck Dripper from Wildgame Innovations, which will continuously drip for up to eight hours and can help keep a scrape active for up to 72 hours.