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Faking Out a Deer's Senses
Sometimes you want to bring a whitetail within range; at other times, your goal is to keep it from knowing you're around. These calls and scents can help you either way.
By Bill Winke
Nothing beats being in the right place at the right time, but in hunting that sort of precision isn't always possible. Unfortunately, being off by just a few yards in your stand location can spell a missed chance if you aren't able to bring the deer closer.
Fortunately, there are many attractants to help shift the odds your way. These products give you a set of tools that can narrow the range between you and a big buck when your stand isn't exactly where he wants to walk on his own. Combine these attractants with scent products that can help you stay undetected by deer, and you have a winning combination.
I've divided this broad overview into two categories of products: scents and calls. Both serve an important purpose in the strategy of successful deer hunters....
Understanding The Scent Factor
Mature bucks use their noses in ways that hunters often fail to understand, and this lack of understanding comes with a heavy price. By learning as much as we can about the way bucks use the "scent factor" as a survival tool, we might just increase our odds of filling a tag.
I thought I had the perfect setup to take advantage of bucks using the area. The property that I was hunting was once a cattle pasture but had since turned into a thick growth of saplings, weeds and grasses under a sparse stand of towering bur oaks. It was perfect whitetail habitat; the thick vegetation hid bedded deer, the big oaks provided some food in the form of acorns, and a small creek meandered through the cover, offering the deer a secure drink at any time. To complete what had to be an ideal situation, just outside the heavy cover stood several fields planted in a wide variety of tasty agricultural crops.
At one point, the creek within the cover made a sharp bend and came within 35 yards of an old fence that surrounded the thicket. The high bank on the outside of the creek bend helped to funnel deer movement between that point and the old fence. My stand was situated near the ...