Scents & Lure 101

March 30th, 2011

Scents & Lure

With the first day of the season in site, a review of the basics on scents & lures seems appropriate for this months pro tip article. Throughout the numerous shows and seminars I attend, I see a real hunger among sportsmen for shedding light on this subject. Most hunters are often confused by the vast array and wild promises that hunting products of this type seem to offer. Mass marketing and fancy advertising has done little in way of educating the hunters on their use. Could it be that these same companies don’t understand the basics themselves?

One of the keys to your success in using these products is to understand the basics, so that you can make a sensible choice. The first key to painting the picture is understanding the difference between a scent and a lure. What are they? How do they work? How do you use them? Etc…You see, scents and lures are nothing more than odors that you use to convey a message with.

Anything that will attract the attention of an animal, and then draw it to the source of the attraction can be classified as a lure. A sound of a dying rabbit will lure coyote, fox, and bobcat to the source of the sound. A small round hole in the bank near waters edge would attract mink. A bundle of fur moving in the breeze would provide attraction to bobcat. Or last but not least, a grunt from your grunt call may be all that it takes to attract that buck within range. All these lures, per say, appeal to the animal’s senses. The above examples appealed to the animal’s senses of sight and hearing. Webster’s dictionary describes a lure as; to entice, tempt with the promise of pleasure or gain. Webster describes a scent as the smell remaining after an animal has passed (urine). It’s my opinion that a lure, which appeals to an animal’s sense of smell, is the most valuable. No matter what animal, they all use their nose to receive airborne messages. So it is safe to say that any odor or combination of odors convey a clear and usually reliable message to the animal. Odors emitted from any substance are made up of small minute gaseous particles, which are lighter than air. These particles have a tendency to rise in the air and carried off by air currents. As odor leaves it source it slowly becomes more diluted with the air itself. The greater the amount of odor released from the source, the greater concentration of odor will be at a prescribed distance. When odor is picked up by an animal it must pass through the animals nose and flow over the nerves inside. Depending on how good your lure or scent is, often determines whether or not that animal will follow its odor. The closer the animal gets to the odor source, the more stimulation he receives due to the increase concentration of odorous particles. Wow…..!

A scent consists of nothing more or less than a single odor. Any product, such as feces or urine constitutes itself as a scent. Think of this; if you and a friend sat down to have a steak dinner, the first steak was thrown into a pan and cooked till done. The second steak was thrown raw into a pan with garlic, butter, onions, mushrooms, salt and pepper, etc. and cooked till done. Which is more appealing? The Scent of the first steak or the Lure of the second?

Now that you understand that you need to know that lures can be categorized into three groups;

· GLAND LURES - Most animals communicate through the use of glandular secretions. This type of lure is usually a blend of those substances. It’s made to appeal to the competitive, sexual and territorial instincts that most animals have. Most high quality gland lures, no matter what the animal, take exceptional skill, knowledge, and much experience to formulate.

· FOOD LURES - Their primary attraction to an animal is food. Most food lures contain various plants, musk’s, and extracts, etc. animals might find attractive. Without a doubt this type of lure plays more of a role of importance among trappers than that of hunters- particularly deer hunters. Don’t confuse this with bait and check your state game laws before hunting with such an attractant. Some of the most common food odors among deer hunters are; apple, cherry, pear, sweet corn, etc.

· CURIOSITY- ‘Curiosity Killed The Cat’. Most all animals are curious by nature, especially the Whitetail deer. It’s why this lure maker puts great emphasis on the use of this type of lure. Most often this type of lure contains smells foreign to the animal’s habitat. An example of one such odor might be vanilla. Many animals like its sweet odor yet seldom does an animal come on contact with it along their daily travels. You must remember that a curiosity attraction is a relatively “short lived” attraction. Once he has satisfied his curiosity – he loses almost total interest. If you’re a deer hunter, you had best be in position when ‘Mister Hat Rack’ decides to respond!

I have to tell you that in my research, food lures where the least consistent in attracting deer. The best results they showed where during the pre rut at midmorning or early evening periods.

When choosing a scent or lure, remember that you are telling a story. The more convincing you are of that story often will result in “luring in” that animal. For instance…. When trapping coyotes I might put in a set consisting of nothing more than a chunk of bait in a hole with a liberal dose of coyote urine. The urine acts as a suspicion remover and that another coyote has moved into the area and buried some food. The bait odor, however, will hold the attention of the coyote until caught. When deer hunting, I often strategically place out our Doe Passion (in heat gland lure) around my tree stand. Once in the stand I will periodically mist my Buck in Rut Urine into the air. This combination more often than not has proven itself deadly. The best time to use this combination is during the rut and near existing dominant scrapes. What message “story” do you think your sending the buck that made those existing scrapes? Get the picture!

Good Hunting,

Kevin

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

March 29th, 2011

Like most of you, August is the month where I begin to get real excited about the upcoming seasons. My mind begins to wonder about what this new season will have in store for me…maybe not much, but then again maybe the possibility to harvest one of the big bucks I’ve been scouting. The one thing we know for sure is that anticipation can be a hunter’s best motivator.

Up to this point much of my pre-season preparation is done with only a few left over “to do’s”. With the black flies in full bloom, it can become a real chore going into the woods scouting deer, and checking my mock scrapes. But it must be done!

Having over 40 mock scrapes placed out strategically across the country I try to determine whichmock scrape kit deer lures ones are beginning to show some promise. Once I select a few, it’s time to set up trail   cameras. For those of you not familiar with such items, they are simply devices used to pattern, time, and photograph animals in the wild. There are many  brands or types that I’ve relied on over the years . The most important feature I want in a trail camera is trigger speed. Most all are  fully automatic digital cameras with a combined motion detector in them .

Once you’ve tried one of these little beauties, you’re going to be astounded at what pictures/video’s  they can capture. Often times I’m amazed at what trophy bucks are visiting the mock scrapes, “the picture will prove it”! The one pit fall with these devices is that they are expensive, selling between $200 to $500 per unit. Despite the cost, they are a great tool at the your disposal for monitoring trails, scrapes, Elk wallows, Bear baits etc. With the aid of various monitoring systems your able to select areas and animals of choice.I’ll start using these devices now and right through deer season monitoring as much activity and movement as possible. One word of caution- be careful about where you place your units, they’re thieves even in the woods!

Last but not least, I use the month of August to finish off the little things. As I reminisce about seasons past and dream about the season yet to come, I use the time to prepare my equipment. Here is a partial list of just a few things I get out of the way before the season begins. Remember from past articles that the only thing I want to concentrate on when the season opens is that Buck – not equipment or paper work.

Sharpen and oil all hunting and skinning knives, saws, etc Replace batteries in GPS units, Watches, Cameras, Flashlights, Scopes, Etc. WHETHER THEY NEED IT OR NOT! Site in all guns & purchase any ammo I may  need take truck in for tune up Take 4 wheeler in for tune up Take wife in for tune up. OOPS didn’t mean it! Fine tune and practice my bow- purchase any arrows, broad heads, or other necessities for it. Make sure my back packs contain the basic, rope, flashlights, first aid kit etc. Purchase licenses if possible this early and check any state regulations to make sure there weren’t any last minute changes. Try to contact all my out of state hunting arrangements, hotels, outfitters, area cold storages, butchers, etc.

August is what I consider the last month I have for finishing up my pre-season preparedness. Much of my planning in the next months will be centered on the animals I’ll be pursuing. Provided I’ve done my homework, and got all the little things out of the way, I can concentrate on one thing “the hunt.

See you next month

Kevin

Using Buck and Doe Urine Deer Lure Whitetail Deer Urine

March 26th, 2011

Buck Urine – Buck urine is by far one of the most misunderstood deer lure scents in the industry.

Buck Urine (non-rut) is an excellent all season curiosity lure because a buck will always check out any new buck in the area to it’s determine age and dominance. In Early Season when bucks are in bachelor groups and traveling together they will investigate any new buck in the area that they do not recognize. In Pre Rut they will investigate, once again, to check out the competition. During Rut, needless to say, a whiff of another buck of any kind will usually set them off. When you are hunting a scrape (or making mock scrape) buck urine is used to “freshen” the scrape to give the presence of another buck in the area. Post Rut the buck are getting back together in bachelor groups so once again buck urine will cause them to investigate.

Buck in Rut Urine or Dominate Buck Urine. Use this during pre-rut and Rut to bring in those dominant bucks (be careful though it tends to scare off immature buck and does) in ready for a fight. Spray our Buck in Rut Urine on the ground or on brush and bushes within 2 1/2 feet of the ground in your shooting range. Do not get any on yourself or your equipment, first, because you want him looking on the ground for another buck, not up at you sitting in a tree . This is a great product to use during the rut, as rutting bucks tend to get very aggressive that time of year and very territorial .

Non Estrus Doe Urine deer attractantDoe Urine (non-estrus) this is a great all Kishels In Estrus Doe Urine deer attractantaround deer attractant, can be used anytime of the year and is attractive to all size bucks and other does. Every hunter should carry a bottle of this in their fanny packs, you just never know when you will need it.

Doe In Estrus or Doe In Heat should be used during the rut phase only.  Do not use in early season as this may scare both bucks and does who are not in preheat or heat cycles. Our Doe In Estrus Urine is as good as it gets. Always try and keep this type of urine in cool and out of any direct sunlight when not in use.

Coyote Hunting – Article on Camo, Guns, Calls, Decoys to Use

March 25th, 2011

Coyote Hunting

For most of us, deer season is over and with a little luck were all sitting down enjoying the harvest. From the sounds of things, hunters from across the state have taken some monster bucks. While I haven’t heard if the take was up, I can only assume it was from all the calls I’ve received from successful hunters.

While it’s easy to become couch potatoes during the months of January and February, it’s also a great time to hone your hunting skills, chasing coyotes. New York State has been blessed or cursed (depending how you look at it) with an explosion of these cunning, but evasive creatures. In a lot of ways this ultimate predator has taken a bum rap. I know that comment will raise a few eyebrows, but he really has. I think most of that is because of our lack of true knowledge as to his persona.

DNA studies have suggested that our Coyote have been crossed with the Grey wolf years ago. This would explain his considerable size compared to his western cousins and numerous color phases. I have personally taken coyotes in the 70-pound range and in just about every color, except white.

Much of what you read, would have you believe, that all you need is a call (mouth or electronic), camo, light and of course a decoy to take coyotes. Not so fast! These Eastern bad boys are tough, But not impossible. If I was to give you one point to remember about our coyotes, is that they are one big fat coward and very shy! Once you understand this about him you are on your way to taking them consistently.

Tips:

  • Scent Elimination: I’m often amazed at the great extent people will go through to eliminate their human odor while deer hunting and this is good! But if you’re going after coyote you’d better take even better care of your odor, or just stay home! I guarantee coyotes will smell you if you don’t. Never … never … never underestimate what a coyote can smell.
  • Camo- Choose a camo pattern for the conditions your hunting in. It’s hard to beat a quality snow pattern this time of year. No matter what the pattern I always try to sit near trees and bushes to breakup my outline.
  • Guns – Two guns I use religiously is my 22 hornet and my Remington full choke 12 gauge with #4 shot. Since the majority of the coyotes are shot up close and personal both types serve my purpose.
  • Calls- While there are numerous calls on the market, my personal favorite is Wood Wise Game Calls. I would really recommend the fox in distress mouth calls for coyotes. Quaker Boy game calls also make a cottontail screamer, which works well. One of the biggest mistakes a caller can make is calling to loud. You don’t have to! Keep it mid tone and pleading. Remember also to give the coyote time to respond to your calling. I have killed many of my coyote waiting 30 minutes or longer after I’ve stopped calling. For me, mouth blown calls seem to work better on coyotes than electronic calls. Sometimes all it will take is kissing the back of your hand to imitate mouse squeaks. I’ll also do this if a coyote begins to hang up.
  • Night or Day- If I had a preference I would choose daytime hunting. For one I can use my 22 Hornet and usually I know he is close by. At night, I’m not always sure which direction he’s approaching. Over the years my best luck came between the hours of daybreak to 11 am.
  • Wind- Know your prevailing wind and set up accordingly, 9 out of 10 times that coyote will want to get a whiff of you. Wind direction can be your greatest ally.
  • Locations- Since most of my calling is in the daytime, I like to set up in close thick cover. The thicker the better for me. A system I have used for years was to go out at Dusk and give a few calls on my holler. If I got an answer, I was usually sure that coyote was getting up from his bedding area, or areas he felt most comfortable in. Then it was just a matter of sneaking in the morning before he or she got back there and try calling. It’s a great way to get these eastern bad boys, plus eliminates a lot of wasted time. Remember to make the coyote feel comfortable when he starts to come in. Don’t just try to call him out into the wide open. Let him approach near cover, shadowed areas or maybe by multi floral rose bushes, etc. The more comfortable he is, the less suspicious he will be. Try to think like the coyote and always assume one is coming in.
  • Movement- Keep all your movement to a minimum! They have great eyesight.
  • Decoys – They work if you’re willing to put up with the extra gear. I guess I’m getting older because I’m always looking to leave stuff behind. In all honesty, I feel a good scent in the air is as much, if not more, of an attractor to the coyote than the decoy. Often time’s coyotes caught wind of my scent attractor and just came a running. Good fresh Bobcat Urine, Rabbit Urine, or Red Fox Urine is all that is needed. You can dispense it into the air or place it into a dispensing unit. Of the three, I love to use Bobcat Urine, coyotes eat cats and they love the smell! It doesn’t matter if you have Bobcats in your area or not, it works.

Well ..There you have it. Coyote hunting is a lot of fun, but it can also be very disappointing. Never give up, but keep at it and things will begin to happen. Hopefully a few of these tips can produce results for you, better yet “fur on the board”.

Till next time, Good Hunting! ………. Kevin Kishel

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