Calls and scents on public land?
Ive hunted public land all my life. Ive occasionally called but never used any scents except scent killer. Have any of you ever had great success with calls or scents (preferably scents, ive already had some success with calls.) and if so, what did you use, and how did you use it? I hunt full rifle/shotgun season, which where im at is the end of post-rut, full peak-rut, and post-rut. Im looking to try scents this year to try and get the big 8 point we call "big daddy". i have pictures of him on my trail camera, and his territory is near my stand, i just need to lure him in.
I firmly believe in rut scents for bucks. Doe in heat works, period. I like Golden estrus, code Blue, but others may work as well.
Scents and calls should be your last option, using scents or calls in an area where you don't normally use scents or calls could cause an alarming effect to the deer and set them on a higher alert than they already are.
I would hunt the area the same way as you normally would keeping in mind your 8 pointer could appear any second, slow movements and keep the wind in your face.
That's how I would handle it.
This is one area that BB and I probably see it differently. During the rut I prefer to locate fresh scrape lines close to thick bedding cover or security cover, set up on a natural travel corridoor using doe-in-heat scent wicks. If a passing buck or the scrape maker comes to check his scrapes bingo the scent wick draws him in to see which direction the doe that let her calling card, traveled too. This tactic works last few days of pre-rut and early stages of prime rut. After that the dominate bucks will be tending does and you still might lure in a satelite (spell)? buck. This is my bow hunting tactic for PA. Our group all use doe-in-heat products. I like to use a couple of different ones to simulate different does. This may not be for everyone it just works for me.
I agree with all of the statements above but I'm going to go in a different direction. I'd double it up. Use 2 drag lines and apply doe in heat urine to one and buck urine to another. I'm a Code Blue fanatic but its not the only thing that works. I also like to hang some of each on scent wicks around my stand. If the dominant buck comes in and smells another buck tending a doe in his territory, he's gonna get upset and come investigate. Of course having a lot of does to every buck can lessen the effects here. I've had good success with this on public lands but I try to avoid calling because a lot of people here do it.
Here's my 2 cents- don't over do it. There are guys out there who use TOO much scent or too many calls. You already said that the buck you are hunting is in your area near your stand. My question is, why do you need scents or calls then? Keep monitoring him and if he's still showing up regularly, I'd de-scent myself and go hunt him.
Now, as far as BB and HM are saying- I agree with both of them. BB said that using scents can alarm deer- this is VERY VERY VERY VERY true. Think of it like this, if you walk into your house and you wife has boughten a new air freshener... what are you going to smell as soon as you walk in the door? The difference in odor, that's what.
HM said that using scent wicks or drags can help during pre rut or rut. This is very true as well b/c bucks are up and moving and they are in other "houses" then. Just like you go to your friends house and maybe his house smells like CRAP, that's what you are going to smell when you first walk in. Well, if a buck is in a new area and smells a hot doe, he knows, hey, this is the place I want to be.
Now, I personally, use drags occasionally but once again, I don't over do it. I don't spray too much. The buck bombs are a total waste of money- in my opinion. I've used them stupid things countless times and not ONCE have they ever produced ANYTHING for me. In fact, I have used them on scent wicks in front of trail cams, and the deer leave it alone. I'm guessing, it is a foreign scent to them and they want no part of it. Now, the code blue is good scent and I have had success with it. I especially like how they use ONE deer's urine and not a community urine pool.
All bucks are looking for just one thing, use it to your advantage.
to touch on your scent bomb issue tator, ive seen the exact same results. i dumped code blue buck urine out and put a camera on it and 4 bucks actually started making a scrape there. ive done the same thing with the buck bombs and seen nothing at all. i strongly believe that the aerosol messes with the urine. i dont doubt that it smells perfectly fine going in but i know the deer notice a difference from what ive seen. i also hunt in VA, not the midwest. populations are a little lower and bucks are a little shyer.
I guess what we have all indicated that when you hunt carries a lot of weight as to how you would hunt a buck. If I was hunting in early October, I would do my best to locate his travel route, and not use anything to call or scent him in, just set up in a perfect position to take him (near) his bedding area. However, in the pre-rut and early prime rut, doe-in-heat products can tilt the odds in your favor. I carry a set of rattleing horns or a bag of rattleing sticks as well as scent products during the rut. They are all tools and some days they work other days they don't. Why would you not try something different? How else do you learn??? Be comfortable in how you hunt but don't get locked into a set style that's prohibits you from learning new tactics.
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