At Kishel’s our #1 goal is your success. In order for us to meet that goal – our products must be of the highest quality available, backed by years of extensive field testing. But it also takes one more thing….education!

In my various travels I’ve had the great opportunity to meet many sportsman and sportswomen – those who enjoy hunting and trapping – like yourselves. Some have very knowledgeable experience. However, they all have had one common denominator…Questions..Questions..Questions. There seems to be a real mystery out there regarding animal scents/lures, hunting products and usage. The how to’s, when to’s, and what to’s etc. I’ve done my best to compile and answer some of the most frequently asked questions that I’ve gotten. If you have other questions you would like answered by me, use our web site to do so. Either send a request through our Kishel’s Contact Form, or comment on our blog. I will do my best to get right to answering it.

Kevin Kishel

1. Q) How long have you been hunting and trapping?
2. Q) What’s your favorite animal to hunt?
3. Q) When did you start making lures?
4. Q) What is the hardest animal to fool by using a scent/lure?
5. Q) Is there a difference between the Eastern Coyote and Western Coyote?
6. Q) What does a typical Coyote weigh?
7. Q) Are Coyote mean? What does a Coyote eat?
8. Q) What’s the difference between a lure and a scent?
9. Q) Are there different types of lures?
10. Q) How long does it take to develop a lure?
11. Q) Are thick lures better than thin ones?
12. Q) Which do you prefer, urine or lure?
13. Q) Do you field test your lures?
14. Q) How do you class deer urines as an attractor?
15. Q) Can urine collected from one region of the country be used to attract that same animal from another region?
16. Q) Does this hold true for Whitetail Deer?
17. Q) Should deer urine be frozen until used?
18. Q) Do you prefer glass or plastic bottles?
19. Q) Do cover scents really work?
20. Q) With so many scent companies out there, how do you choose?

 

1. Q) How long have you been hunting and trapping?

A) I have been trapping for about 40 years and hunting big game for about 38 years at the time of this write up.

Kishel 1973 first buck Kevin kishel young

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2. Q) What’s your favorite animal to hunt?

A) I would have to say the Whitetail Buck, but turkey hold a close second. I shot my first buck in a small town named Shinglehouse, PA at the ripe old age of 12!

young Kevin kishel with fish Young kevein kishel fox trapping

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3. Q) When did you start making lures?

A) As I mentioned before, I have always been fascinated with trying to fool an animal’s sense of smell by various odors. As early as the age of nine, I was mixing a little molasses, honey, sardines and a few drops of anise oil to catch raccoons. While this was a crude mixture at best, it worked and so began my lifetime education of scents, lures and hunting products.

Young Kevin kishel trapping Young Kevin kishel trapping

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4. Q) What is the hardest animal to fool by using a scent/lure?

A) I’d have to say the Coyote. I know many of you are led to believe it is the whitetail deer, but not so. I have personally seen where coyotes could detect one drop of an ingredient in a gallon of lure … THAT’S ONE PART PER MILLION! A deer never detected it. Just goes to show how keen a predator’s sense of smell really is. If you’re serious about predator hunting, then you need to pay close attention to keeping your human scent in control. I produce some outstanding scent elimination hunting and trapping products that are Tailor made to do just that.

Kishel's goldenrod cover scent Kishel's body wash and shampoo Kishel's Clothes Wash

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5. Q) Is there a difference between the Eastern Coyote and Western Coyote?

A) Not really. The Coyotes of the east tend to be much larger than its western cousin. This is mainly due to the fact that Eastern Coyotes are crossed with the Gray Wolf which gives them considerable size and mass. But for the most part, Eastern and Western Coyotes have the same behavioral patterns. If anything the Eastern Coyote are more cautious/shy.

Coyote Coyotes trapping

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6. Q) What does a typical Coyote weigh?

A) Most adult Coyotes range in weight from 35 to 45 pounds. I trapped a rare double on two Alpha males one year, less than three feet apart from each other (see above photo). They weighed in at 68 and 71 pounds respectfully. Obviously males tend to be much larger than females and eastern coyotes will be much larger due to their wolf strain. They were definitely big and strong!

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7. Q) Are Coyote mean? What does a Coyote eat?

A) They can be at times, most often though, a Coyote is shy and very cowardly. They eat just about anything. If it’s easy prey, he’ll take it. Including your pet cats and small dogs. They also have a real taste for fruits.

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8. Q) What’s the difference between a lure and a scent?

A) Anything that will attract the attention of an animal, then draw it to the source of 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 Bobcats. And last but not least, a grunt from a 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 defines a lure as being used to entice, tempt with the promise of pleasure or gain. Webster also defines a scent as the smell remaining after an animal has passed i.e) urine, feces, etc. It is my opinion that a lure which appeals to an animal’s sense of smell is the most valuable. No matter what animal, they use their nose to receive airborne messages, including you and I. So it is safe to say that any odor or combination of odors convey a clear and usually reliable message to the animal.

A scent consists of nothing more or less than a single odor. Any by-product, such a feces or urine constitutes itself as a scent. Think of having a steak dinner with a friend. The first steak was taken from the package and thrown into a pan and cooked until done. The second steak was thrown into the same pan with garlic, butter, onions, mushrooms, salt and pepper, etc. and cooked until done. Which is more appealing? The SCENT of the first steak or the LURE of the second?

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9. Q) Are there different types of lures?

A) Yes. Most lures can be categorized into three groups:

1. GLAND LURES – Most animals communicate through the use of glandular secretions. This type of lure is usually a blend of these substances. It is made to appeal to the competitive, sexual and territorial instincts that most animals have. Fact is, this is by far one of the hardest lures to make. Most high quality gland lures, no matter what the animal, take exceptional skill, knowledge and experience to formulate. This difficulty can be associated with the fact that animal glands, in their raw state, are very unpredictable. Each batch of glands “work up” and age differently making it very hard to duplicate one batch of lure to the next batch. Many companies will offer synthetic products because of this difficulty in working with TRUE glands. BEWARE OF SYNTHETICS THEY ARE CHEAP IMITATIONS!

Doe Passion Lure

2. FOOD LURES – This type of lure’s primary attraction to an animal is food. Most food lures contain various plants, musk’s and extracts, etc., that animals might find attractive. Without a doubt this type of lure is much more important to trappers than hunters – particularly deer hunters. Don’t confuse this with a bait, and check your state game laws before using hunting products like food lures. Some of the most common food odors among deer hunters are; apple, cherry, pear, sweet corn, acorn, etc.

Buck Thrasher Lure

3. CURIOSITY – Like the old saying “Curiosity Killed the Cat.” Most all animals are curious by nature, especially the Whitetail Deer. That is why KISHEL’S puts great emphasis on the use of this type of hunting product. Most often this type of lure contains smells foreign to the animal’s habitat. An example of one such odor might be oil of anise. Many animals like its sweet odor yet seldom does an animal come in 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 all interest in it. If you are a deer hunter, you had best be in position when “Mister Hat Rack” decides to respond!

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10. Q) How long does it take to develop a lure?

A) It really depends on how complex the formula is and the availability of the ingredients. Some lures are very simple in structure and easy to produce, while others very advanced and difficult to produce. In general, a period of about three years before there is even a thought of the lure being offered to the public. Beware of those scent companies who are always changing or improving their trapping and hunting products. Such companies are using the hunter or trapper to test for them.

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11. Q) Are thick lures better than thin ones?

A) Both viscosities of lures play an important role in their production. It depends on how the lure is to be used and, most important, the conditions it is to be used under. Odors emitted from any substance are actually made up of minute gaseous particles which are much lighter in weight than air. These particles have a tendency to rise in the air and are carried by air currents, as odor leaves its 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 first pass through the animal’s nose and flow over the olfactory nerves. Depending on how good your lure or scent product is, often determines whether or not the animal will follow its odor. The closer the animal gets to the odor source, the more stimulation he receives due to the increased concentrations of odorous particles. WOW! ARE YOU STILL WITH ME?

Skunk Musk

 

You can see here that the effectiveness of any lure or scent is totally dependent upon the wind currents to carry the odor across the animal’s path. It is my opinion that thinner viscosity lures play a much more important role to the hunter or trapper. Fact is, a lure that falls between a thin and thick lure is an ideal consistency, note I said ideal. Odors in a thin lure can be dispersed much more proportionally than thick lures. That, in effect, stimulates an animal’s nose much sooner. Thick lures on the other hand, play much more of a role of application than anything else. In the trapping trade, one such lure is known as a call lure. This lure is usually very thick in nature and applied on a branch 4-5 feet above the main set. Since most call lures contain a liberal dose of skunk musk –

it’s easy to see the benefits. By applying the lure above your set you’ve just increased the distance of attractions between the animal and the trap site. Thus the title “Long Distance” came to be known.

Again … it is important to realize that viscosities play an important role in lure composition. Don’t jump to conclusion that thick lures automatically outlast thin lures, or that you get more by buying thick. The truth is that there are many thickeners on the market at the disposal of the lure makers. A prime example of this is the Gel Type Deer Urines used in the hunting industry. I absolutely see no benefit for such an item. At best they minimize odor dispersion and create a fallacy that they last longer. The gel powders used to thicken are nothing more than fillers, they actually dilute the urine itself! Have you ever had a jar of jam with mold on the top of it? Why isn’t that mold formed at the bottom of the jar also? Conclusion … odor is a two way street, if it can’t escape, then bacteria can’t destroy it. The bacteria forms at the top of the jam jar because the viscosity of the jam is too thick to penetrate. That’s just how your thick Deer lures act! The gel acts as a capsule not allowing the odor to get out, much like a piece of chewing gum, the only smell coming off the gum is from the surface. The absolute best way to disperse urine odor is in a fine mist pump spray bottle … period! A trapping and hunting product I have used successfully in helping with scent dispersion are DAVE’S “POP UP” SCENT CANISTERS. Available in our catalog and it will help you to maximize your scent’s effectiveness.

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12. Q) Which do you prefer, urine or lure?

A) Both. It depends on how I intend to attract an animal and what message I want to convey. Odors are communicators and you need to use them as such. 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.

Coyote Trapping 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 dominate scrapes. What message do you think you are sending the buck who made those existing scrapes?

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13. Q) Do you field test your lures?

A) Absolutely! If I am not satisfied with the results you won’t be either. Field testing is often a long drawn out event, but it’s something we take very seriously at KISHEL’S. Every trapping and hunting product formula is tested in the wild under every conceivable weather condition, terrain and different animal densities. We want our lures working most, when you need them most. We don’t hunt animals in pens, so we don’t test on animals in pens!

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14. Q) How do you class deer urines as an attractor?

A) If you are talking about using it by itself, then I would often think of it as over rated. As a boy, I relied heavily on the fur check I received for animals I caught trapping. Trapping in those days was very competitive, so using the right attractors was a must. I needed to catch the most animals in the least amount of time. Yes, it took “know how” and quality supplies, but a lot of other trappers possessed those qualities, also. Using the right attractor was simply necessary. Truth is, if I had to rely on just urine as an attractor to make my Fox and Coyote catches around the country, I would have been out of the game business long ago. Instead I needed to formulate lures which would convince the animals to work my sets first. I had to not only convince them, but also entice them to the point they actually started digging, licking or biting for its odor. The idea was that the longer the animal stayed at the trap site the better chance I had to catch them.

I carried this theory of lure making into my big game attractors like Elk lures, Deer lures, etc. Most urines I use for hunting is minimal at best. I prefer to use urines in real or mock scrapes and also misting them directly from my tree stand. If I find an Elk wallow, I love to pour urine right into it, then wait. It’s important to note that urine collected from “grazing” animals (Deer, Elk, Cow, etc.) is much different from that of Fox, Coyote, etc. Urine from grazing animals lacks “body” that urine from meat eating animals, such as Fox and Coyote contain. This body is usually associated to the extent of protein or amino acid in the urine itself. Pure (clean) unadulterated animal urine, though mostly water, has a significant amount of amino and solids.

Diet, age and control of impurities determine the quality of any urine. It seems today that most of the information on deer urines is written by those seeking a fast buck or self recognition. The fact is, you are almost made to feel like a second class citizen unless you own a herd of deer in your backyard. KISHEL’S URINES ARE HIGH IN QUALITY, CLEAN OF IMPURITIES, BOTTLED FRESH AND FULL STRENGTH!

Kishel's Buck in Rut Urine Kishel's Non Estrus Urine Kishels In Estrus Urine Kishel's Wolf Urine Kishel's Mountain Lion Urine

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15. Q) Can urine collected from one region of the country be used to attract that same animal from another region?

A) This question by far is one most often asked of me. The answer is yes – as long as you intend to attract that same species in the other region. Let me explain … if you were trapping Red Fox, would you be using Gray Fox urine to do it? Both are Fox – or are they? While the Red Fox urine is attractive to the Gray Fox, most Gray Fox urine is not attractive to Red Fox. In many ways the Gray Fox is by nature and by habit more like a cat than a Red Fox. Remember that as long as the urine collected is from the species you are after, it doesn’t matter which region it is collected from. A Red Fox is a Red Fox no matter where you go. Know the species you are after so that your choice of urine is correct.

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16. Q) Does this hold true for Whitetail Deer?

A) Again the answer is yes. I have heard it mentioned that you cannot use Whitetail Deer urine collected from Northern Whitetails if you are hunting Whitetails in the south or vice a versa. FALSE! I can assure you that I’ve harvested many of Southern Whitetails using Northern deer urine. Many novice scent companies would have you believe that Whitetails from different states or regions in some way smell different and emit different glandular secretions. FALSE! A WHITETAIL IS A WHITETAIL – NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO. PROVIDED IT IS NOT A SUBSPECIES OF THE WHITETAIL. To my knowledge the Virginian Deer (Whitetail Deer) has 38 subspecies which vary considerably in form. The more northerly varieties tend to be larger while those subspecies further south tend to be medium size and small. So what’s a subspecies? The Key Deer of the Florida Keys. Does this mean you will use Whitetail urine to attract them? Most likely not – if you could hunt this endangered species I would hope you would use Key Deer urine. What about Mule Deer? The Mule Deer and Whitetail are in the same genus and have many similarities. Does this mean you would use Whitetail urine to attract the Muley? Of course not. Use Mule Deer urine. How about the Blacktail Deer of the Northwest Pacific Coast? Hopefully you would use Blacktail urine. Are you getting the picture? It doesn’t matter where the urine is collected provided the urine collected is for the species you intend to attract.

AT KISHEL’S WE SELL A COMPLETE LINE OF PROPERLY COLLECTED ANIMAL URINES. CLEAN, FRESH and UNCUT.

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17. Q) Should deer urine be frozen until used?

A) If you are going to hold the urine over from one season to the next, then it’s best to freeze it. The idea of freezing deer urine is to preserve its “freshness” or longevity. The problem is that freezing deer urine over time will actually age the urine. Have you ever noticed how soup tastes better after it has had time in the freezer? The reason for keeping deer urine fresh as possible is to eliminate its exposure time to the air. Bacteria are carried by air and the culprit to destroying urine is the Alpha Strip Viridaus. It has been written that deer urines will spoil within two to three days at room temperature or about one week if refrigerated. What they don’t tell you is this is open and exposed urine. Deer urine collected fresh and bottled airtight will be effective all season long!

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18. Q) Do you prefer glass or plastic bottles?

A) It depends on the composition you are trying to bottle. Both types of bottles have their function. Many lure makers have suggested that amber colored bottles make the best lure/scent bottles, as such bottles protect the lure from the sun’s rays. It’s my opinion that a lure which is so fragile, would surely not hold up well once applied to a set or hunting location. If seems to me that the use of colored bottles are probably used to cover up color variations that occur from one batch of lure or urine to the next. It’s easy to cover up mistakes in colored bottles. The important thing here is that whatever container is used, the lure or urine odor should not leak out. Did you ever walk past a store counter only to gasp because there are all sorts of smells emanating from the bottles? Well the product is leaking out! Those companies did not choose the right container. If you can smell it “leaking” out of the bottle, don’t buy it!

At KISHEL’S we use air tight clear glass and plastic bottles to package all our lure and urine products. We do this so that you, our customer, can see our CONSISTENCY and QUALITY, not to cut costs because whatever the color, the bottles cost the same. We have nothing to hide!

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19. Q) Do cover scents really work?

Kishel's Goldenrod cover scent

A) Not only do they work – but I believe they should be used whenever you’re in the woods. The idea behind any good cover scent is effectively masking human odor so you can slip in and out of the woods undetected. One myth about urine is that it has been thought to have excellent cover abilities, when in all actuality this is one of the worst things you can do. Urines all have attracting capabilities. Putting these scents on yourself or at your stand will inevitably draw attention to you rather than allowing you to remain undetected. That is why trappers have learned to put their attractors beyond the trap and not right on it. They do this so that the animal is unaware of the trap’s position. Our GOLDEN ROD COVER SCENT is a mild blend of various plants and extracts which I found extremely effective in masking human odor. Using it will help you to remain hidden, because it smells just like the woods!

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20. Q) With so many scent companies out there, how do you choose?

A) First, choose a lure maker who is an experienced hunter and trapper themselves and ask for proof! They should substantiate their claim by pictures and or references. There is no quick study to becoming a quality lure maker – but to be one you must first be an accomplished hunter/trapper. You can’t produce a lure without knowing animal behaviors and the various conditions hunters/trappers must endure. Do your best to find out more about the company. How long have they been making lures or how long have they been collecting urines? Beware of the hype! KISHEL’S is a direct mail order business. MANY OF OUR PRODUCTS ARE SHIPPED WORLD-WIDE. GIVE US A TRY!!!

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