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Sniff Test: The Best Whitetail Scents and Lures This Season

Sniff Test: The Best Whitetail Scents and Lures This Season

There is only one time of year when I use deer scents extensively — during the rut. My forays into early-season curiosity scents and lures have left me nonplussed; however, when the calendar turns to November everything changes. This is no secret to bowhunters, but exactly how we should use estrus scents sometimes seems to be.

For instance, whether you drag a rag soaked in doe pee or hang a scent wick, if you're not vigilant about your own scent you might be in trouble. A buck's nose is better than a bird dog's, and if he is snorking up loads of ready-to-go doe scent and then catches a whiff of fresh human scent, it might be all for naught. A serious scent-control regimen is a must for using scents.

Of course, you might just hang a wick or touch off a 'bomb' near your stand site to stop cruising bucks. This is a tactic I use often when I'm worried a buck might get downwind of me. The wick, positioned to halt his progress before he gets into my scent stream, will either turn him in a better direction or buy me extra time to shoot.

You may also wish to spruce up a decoy with some scent. In this case, slathering your favorite faux doe with scent might seem like a good idea, but it's not. Instead, place the scent on the ground by the decoy's rear end.


No matter how you use them, now is the time to carry a couple of ounces of doe urine into the woods with you. Used correctly, you might just trick a buck into thinking he is tantalizingly close to an amorous encounter with one sweet smelling lady — right before you perforate his lungs.


Following are 10 products worth checking out for rut hunts:

Buck Bomb | Ambush

Ambush from Buck Bomb boasts a full 6.65 ounces of premium deer urine, which is ideal for pre-rut and rut hunting. Ambush is designed to not only draw in bucks, but does as well, which in turn draws in bucks (circle-of-life hakuna matata stuff here). Capable of traveling up to 1/4 of a mile, Ambush is ideal for drawing in bucks well out of visual range. To further enhance your setup, consider using Buck Bomb Doe In Estrus for a one-two punch that will tickle the nostrils of all passing deer.

Price: $12.99

Code Blue | Platinum Standing Estrous

Platinum Standing Estrous scent from Code Blue is collected at the precise time a buck stands to breed a doe. This, as you can probably guess, leads to a limited supply and a hefty price tag of $40 for a 1.5-ounce bottle. This may seem crazy, but having used truly fresh doe urine on a few occasions I can say it is extremely effective at drawing in and holding bucks.

My first experience occurred during November in Illinois and the doe urine I used was so fresh, it was absolutely pungent each time I sprayed it. The bucks went nuts in a way I had never previously witnessed in my 20 years of bowhunting. Platinum Standing Estrous promises similar results, which is something I can't wait to witness for myself.

Price: $39.99

Conquest | Rutting Buck In A Stick

Should you groggily wake up after a week of dark-to-dark sits only to accidentally roll Rutting Buck In A Stick on your armpits, you better walk through the woods very carefully and be ready to bust out your best MMA moves should a buck catch a whiff of you. This scent is collected from mature bucks during the rut while testosterone levels are at their peak.

Use with decoys or on mock scrapes to tick off other mature bucks. Aside from the potential for accidental underarm usage, the design of Rutting Buck In A Stick allows for no-mess usage. If this doesn't seem like a big deal then you have never spilled four ounces of estrus scent on your truck seat like I have.

Price: $19.99

Hunter's Specialties | 2 Hot Does Estrus Scent

Why settle for one doe when you can have two? That's the thought process behind Hunter's Specialties new 2 Hot Does Estrus Scent, which is collected from two peak-estrus does and then blended. This blend convinces bucks they are about to live out rock-star-style fantasies and raises their territorial ire which in turn translates to more daylight movement. Each contains a three-ounce bottle with four Spike Wicks.

Price: $12.99

Hunter's Specialties | Premium 180 Day Estrus

Collected during whitetail does' peak estrus cycle, each 3-ounce bottle of Premium 180 Day Estrus is designed to encourage repeat visits and trigger territorial competition. Using science that you'd not expect in a bottle of deer pee, Hunter's Specialties employs Stabilization Technology to ensure every bottle of 180 is chock-full of elevated levels of doe estrus pheromones. Each contains four Spike Wicks for easy scent dispersal.

Price: $11.99

Tink's | No-Freeze #69 Doe-In-Rut Buck Lure

A few years ago a good buddy and I awoke in whitetail camp in central Nebraska. A cold front had blown in overnight and our tents were covered in a thick layer of frost. Our five-gallon water jug was a solid block of ice. And of course, the box of assorted deer scents I packed along was frozen solid. Being a Minnesota resident, I'm familiar with brutal cold and its effects on doe pee.

Thankfully, Tink's has released the No-Freeze #69 Doe-In-Rut Buck Lure, which utilizes an odorless additive to keep the scent from freezing - a simple solution to a common problem.

Price: $13.49

Tink's | Hot Shot #1 Doe-P

The minds behind Tink's products knew there was a better way to disperse scent than typical aerosol cans. Their solution involves an internal bag that separates the scent from the pressurizing agent, meaning each Hot Shot gives you the chance to spray a contaminant-free scent at any angle. During the rut, consider the #1 Doe-P or #69 Doe-In-Rut Mist for all of your estrus scent needs.

Each Hot Shot contains three ounces of 100 percent pure urine and is without doubt one of the easiest products to use in the scents and lures category. On top of that, after using Hot Shots extensively, I am confident in saying that it's hard to find any doe urine product that smells as strongly as Hot Shot does due to how it mists the scent for maximum coverage.

Price: $12.99

Wildgame Innovations | Wild Estrus Bomb

It's getting harder and harder to find a deer hunting product that is not contained in the comprehensive lineup from Wildgame Innovations. One of their latest, the Wild Estrus Bomb, could be a rut-hunters best friend.

Containing five ounces of 100 percent pure whitetail deer urine, each Estrus Bomb utilizes a proprietary UV additive and is capable of burst spraying, or if you'd really like to convince passing bucks that there is something crazy going on at your stand site — continuous spray.

Price: $9.99

Wildlife Research Center | Active-Scrape Golden Scrape Value Pack

My personal preference for hunting scrapes is mid-October, but there is also nothing I love more than a downpour in November to wash scent off of scrapes. Even when bucks are cruising they'll stop to freshen their scrapes after a good soaking. During these times I use a combination of estrus scent and scrape-specific scent like Wildlife Research Center's Active-Scrape or Golden Scrape.

Fortunately, both of these products are now available in a value pack that provides four ounces of each, which should be enough to cover all of your scrape-hunting activity from the chase to peak breeding.

Price: $19.99

Wildlife Research Center | Golden Estrus Xtreme

Golden Estrus scent from Wildlife Research Center has contributed to countless gutpiles over the years, and they've now amped it up to the Xtreme. This intensified scent contains both premium doe urine and estrus secretions, which means it smells stronger and has a farther reach than the original Golden Estrus. Choose between either a one- or four-ounce bottle of Golden Estrus Xtreme and utilize any of Wildlife Research Centers scent wicks and drag systems to ensure all passing bucks get a snootful.

Price: $6.84 (1 ounce); $22.50 (4 ounce)

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