Spring Cleaning

May 16th, 2012

Kevin Kishel Turkey huntingWell hopefully by now we all have at least one long beard under our belt …. right?? Maybe I should reword that…”maybe by now all of us have at least one short beard under our belt”.

May is a great time to be in the woods sharing in all things that make up spring. I know its one of my favorite times of the year. There is just something real special about being part of the natural surroundings when it begins to come alive in the early mornings.

Besides being a great time for turkey hunting it’s also a time of the year to get all my hunting clothes prepared. Before you know it, deer season will be upon us. My wife likes it too, because I begin to work through those piles of camo lying all over the basement floor from last fall. To some this may sound elementary, but its great to get the little things out of the way long before a season opens.

SORT: First thing I do is sort through all my camo. Separating camo patterns, heavy weight clothing from light weight clothing, hats, gloves, vests, socks, shirts etc .etc .etc. It seems over the years I’ve accumulated a wealth of hunting apparel, I suppose you could call me a coinsure of hunting clothes!

WASH: After sorting through the mounds of clothes, its time to begin washing out all the grime and debris. Before doing so, make sure to check out all the pockets – there is no telling what may had been left in there from last season. I recently found a nicely washed $100 I didn’t know about. Next turn all your camo inside out, this will aide in preserving the pattern itself. After many washings camo tends to fade and by turning it inside out it will help in slowing down this process. Many of the camo patterns on the market today are meant to catch the consumers eye, be very careful to choose a pattern that will match the surrounding you’ll be hunting in. The wide-open pattern of sticks and leaves blends into so many surroundings, making it an easy choice for so many hunting situations. Be sure to wash your clothes in a quality clothes wash that doesn’t contain any brighteners, better yet make sure the soap you use contains a UV killer to help offset the dyes and brighteners already in Hunting and Trapping clothingthe clothing.

AIR DRY: Once you’ve washed all your clothing be sure to dry them by hanging outside. If I know nice weather is coming I’ll’ let my clothes air dry for days or until my wife gets tired of see them hanging on her clothes line. Again be sure to have them still turned inside out. We wouldn’t’ want the sun bleaching them.

STORAGE: Time to stow it away! After everything is dried and aired, I turn everything right side out. Carefully fold everything and place into airtight containers, Rubbermaid works best for me. Make sure to label each according to the contents, example1) socks, hats, gloves, facemasks, long underwear. Example 2) lightweight skyline cBin full of hunting clothingamo, shirts, pants. Before the lid is shut I’ll mist into the container a liberal dose of a quality cover scent that smells like the woods. Some people like to use natural leaves, pine etc. and that’s fine, however a good earth smelling odor will do the same and its easier to work with.

So now when the season opens you won’t be scrabbling around to find your favorite camo and clothes for hunting. Better yet your time and energy can be spent a field scouting and setting up tree stands. The little bit of effort you put out today, will take away your headaches tomorrow. Your 1 step closer to preparedness!

See you next month, be safe and good luck on the long beard!


Understanding Scents & Lures 101

May 15th, 2012

I decided that a review of the basics on scents & lures seems appropriate for this pro tip article. Over the past decade I have conducted many shows and seminars on the understanding of scents and lures. The fact is I see a real hunger among all sportsmen for shedding light on this complex subject matter. 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 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 water’s 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 Deer checking out kishels scents lure caught on tree camleaves 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 such great emphasis on the use of this type of attractant. 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!

Doe Passion deer attractant

Doe Passion and Buck-in Rut Urine: A winning combination! Click to shop.

I have to tell you that in all 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 deer lure (in heat gland lure) around my tree stand. Once in the stand I will periodically mist our fresh 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!

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