December 08, 2023
Even after 25 years, I can still vividly remember every detail of my first November buck. I froze when his 160-inch frame surprisingly appeared just 10 steps from the base of my old Kansas cottonwood. When he walked behind a screen of brush, I pressed my Hoyt into service, and the rest is history.
I still consider myself an old-school bowhunter, but without question, the gear we have at our disposal today has certainly made the process a whole lot easier. Take scent management, for example.
For over 15 years, Ozonics has been changing the way bowhunters think about scent-elimination, and the HR500 ($499.99) is their latest version of this proven scent-management technology. The HR500 is 40% quieter than its predecessors in Boost mode while also giving users the additional "ozone juice" conditions sometimes demand. For added ease of use, it also offers Bluetooth remote operation via the Ozonics app, and the same extended battery life we have come to expect from this ozone pioneer.
Keeping your duds and equipment as scent-free as possible can be a battle, but making the process easier is the +Plus Humidity Generator ($299.99) from Scent Crusher. It generates a clean mist that engages Scent Crusher’s Ozone Activated Technology to keep your clothes/equipment sanitized. Couple the +Plus with any of Scent Crusher’s line of Halo lockers, bags, or trunks.
Although ozone has been proven to be extremely effective, don’t discount scent-eliminating field sprays. Adding to their mix, Dead Down Wind introduces the new Black Premium Series w/NidorX ($15.99). This innovative 3-step formula traps/destroys odors for immediate and long-lasting protection. It’s also offered in the Premium Black Kit ($29.99), which contains DDW’s Black 3-in-1 Body Wash and Laundry Detergent.
Turning tap water into an odor-killing mist in seconds is what Scentlok’s NFuse Ozone Sprayer ($129.99) is all about. One press of a button is all it takes to infuse tap water with ozone to effectively destroy odor-causing bacteria. It’s equipped with a rechargeable battery and a revolutionary InfiniCote 360 nozzle that delivers a fine mist for maximum coverage and spraying capabilities.
Adding yet another product to their popular Grave Digger line, Code Blue introduces the Grave Digger Scrape Mate and Doe Estrus Drippers ($12.99, each). These unique disposable drippers feature adjustable nozzles for controlling flow rate. Each dripper is certified to contain buck/doe urine collected from a single deer.
Wildlife Research Center sets the bar higher with its Next Generation Bio-Synthetic Scent Series ($7.18–$27.25). These advanced formulas are bioengineered to simulate real deer urine. This series is available in Ultra-Premium Estrus Gold, Ultimate Buck Lure, Synthetic Estrus, and Hot-Scrape in three spray sizes.
Makers of the original CWD-free deer scents, Inventive Outdoors now gives hunters the FUZED Series ($12.97) of whitetail deer scents. Composed of natural urine collected from non-cervid animals, they are then treated with a neutralization/conversion process to eliminate the risk of CWD, making them legal in most states.
Tink’s Peak30 Heat Doe Estrus ($15.99) is pure doe urine collected during the 2-day window when a doe is in estrus — and bucks know it! Every bottle is certified/tested to contain 30pg/ml of estrogen.
Operating on what they call “PureION” technology, Wildgame Innovation’s ZeroTrace PureIon Field Generator ($199.99) generates plasma ions and dispenses them into the air from your treestand or blind. These positive and negative ions attach to human-scent molecules, effectively eliminating your scent. In addition to destroying odor molecules, it also kills viruses, bacteria, and even mold.
Calls are also a must once November rolls around, and I don’t know how many bucks I have coaxed into range with a Hunters Specialties call. Their Buck Bark Deer Call ($24.99) is equipped with new internals that allow greater airflow, so users can “bark” enticing growls/grunts to passing bucks, while also producing an aggressive snort-wheeze with the molded upper chamber. For rattling, check out their compact Rack Jack ($29.99).
Flextone is another provider of can’t-miss deer calls. Their WTF Grunt’r ($20.49) mimics the natural inflection bucks make when grunting. Its flexible material allows you to compress/expand/bend the sound chamber to instantly change the call’s volume/pitch. It also sports a snort-wheeze chamber and Tru-Touch buttons for quickly adding doe/fawn sounds into the mix.
The Buck Roar II Grunt Call ($22.99) from Primos combines crisp grunts with the ability to deliver realistic snort-wheezes. Its repositioned barrel and reed enhances airflow, while the updated snort-wheeze tube is equipped with an internal baffle and flared exit port.
Tuned to emulate a middle-aged buck, Phelps broke the mold with the Beta Pro Grunt Call ($74.99). It sports a machined acrylic barrel and a custom-designed rubber bellow with a hand-tuned tone board to guarantee perfection. Its specialized reed works in any weather.
Tree Thrasher teamed up with Duel Game Calls to create the Tree Thrasher and Grunt Tube Combo ($54.99). By combining Duel’s Double Back Grunt Call with the 3-in-1 Tree Thrasher Deer Call, you’ll be able to take your November sounds to the next level.
Ultimate Predator Gear’s Stalker Whitetail Buck ($84.99) is perfect for mobile bowhunters. Constructed from a durable microsuede fabric, it features a built-in shooting window and attaches to your bow in seconds. It folds down to the size of a pie plate, and then quickly expands for attaching it to your rig.
The Scrapper Buck ($149.99) decoy from Flambeau represents the body size/rack of a 2-year-old buck looking to sow his oats. The ears can be adjusted, and its faux tail moves with the slightest breeze.
Sometimes, two is better than one. Enter Montana Decoy’s Dream Team ($129) — another lightweight 2-D decoy that includes a buck and doe. Like all of Montana’s 2-D dekes, it’s constructed from a durable polyester fabric with a deer’s image printed on both sides.
Making the all-important tracking job a little easier, Covert Optics thinks outside the box with the Thermx HS1 ($769.99). The HS1 generates a high-resolution image displayed in real-time on a freeze-resistant OLED screen. A variety of thermal-viewing options are available to help your recovery efforts.
Capsule Feeders ($669.99–$1,699.99) from Feradyne Outdoors are set up low to the ground, so you don’t have to lug heavy feed sacks up a ladder, and they are constructed from materials guaranteed to provide years of supplemental-feeding use. A solar panel eliminates any worry of failure, and it’s available in six sizes.
If you need to boost the edge of your food plot or just want a buck to pause in a shooting lane, Moultrie’s Deer Magnet ($14.99) is a can’t-miss option. Simply make a pile and watch it go to work. It’s available in Peanut Butter, Earth, Green Apple, Persimmon, and Acorn.
Browning adds another gem to their lineup with the new Dark Ops Full HD Extreme ($129.99). Featuring adjustable trigger speeds with 24MP image/1080p HD video capabilities, it provides definitive proof about the subject matter it captures. The new 55-degree field of view and HDR night images, coupled with Browning’s invisible Radiant 4 LED system, translate to a camera that works flawlessly day/night. Other notables include an 80' detection range w/90' flash range, and technology that automatically adjusts the IR’s flash.
SpyPoint fitted the Flex-S ($189.99) with an integrated solar panel to charge its internal lithium battery. Eight AA batteries or the LIT-22 battery pack can be used for backups. Constant Capture takes photos/videos, even when in a non-transmitting mode. The Flex-S connects with the most substantial network available.