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Help with scent use

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/16/2006 at 00:37
Canyon Runner View Drop Down
Optics GrassHopper
Optics GrassHopper

Joined: January/05/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 10

Fellow Deer hunters,


First let me thank you for reading and hopefully responding to this e-mail. I understand that everyone’s time is valuable, and I sincerely appreciate any help/suggestions that you can give me.


I wanted to keep this short for you, but felt I should give you some background/setting information in case it influences the decision. Sorry for the length...


I have been watching, well, got lucky enough to see, a young mule deer buck grow up into what I consider a wall hanger for the past three years. This summer I saw him only once just before dark and he is the biggest buck I have ever seen on the hoof. I got so excited that I put up a trail camera and set a mineral rock in the immediate vicinity of where I last saw him, and plan to retrieve the film during midday the day before muzzle loading season starts.


I hunt the Cascade Mountains above Yakima, Washington. Season is October 7-13.  Elevation for this particular stand site is 3600 ft. Location is a fairly steep clear cut burn area (4 years old) that is growing back with a lot of feed and a spring on the top of the ridge at 4000 ft. It measures approximately 2000 yards long by 200-500 yards wide depending on where you are with four distinct changes in inclination from near flat to too steep to drag a deer up, with the middle rise probably qualifying as a small ridge. The edge of the clear cut is heavily forested and almost immediately begins to drop severely to the river bottom at 2190 ft. I plan to set my new tree stand just below the middle rise a few feet back in the forest. Somewhere over that edge is where he beds I assume, I have not walked the area in fear of spooking him and alerting him that he’s being watched.


I have done a ton of reading on how to hunt this buck, and with the wife’s blessing have spent $$$ trying to improve my odds (the mineral rock and trail camera were gifts from her). I recently purchased mule deer estrous scent, mule deer buck urine and a scent dragging setup that I am supposed to put one or both of these scents on, walk around or at least from my vehicle to my new tree stand (which I plan on putting up when I get the film), and entice the big boy out at the crack of dawn. I have also purchased scent away bar soap to shower with, and a scent blocking spray with carbon scent eliminator, an adjustable grunt call (fawn, doe, buck, and dominant buck) and a bleat call. Some say that mule deer do not react to scents and calls like whitetails do, and some say it is too early to use the scents, others say it’s not?


Here is my dilemma. A LOT of the reading I have been doing talks about being so careful not to disturb any animals that may be in the area on the way to my stand…walking a mile around to get there quietly or downwind, leaving no trace of human scent, not walking through the clearing edge I plan to watch, etc. How can I get the scent out to attract him without spooking him? I don’t think I should walk through the clearing, or even down the edge of it in fear of spooking any deer that may be feeding, etc. If I put the scent out when I get the film, might I miss him at night if he comes to explore and lose my one and only chance? Or it may not be working well enough or at all by the time morning comes around?


Any thoughts, ideas, recommendations are very much appreciated!

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/20/2006 at 23:52
Sneaky View Drop Down
Optics Apprentice
Optics Apprentice

Joined: February/24/2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 79
Here's what I'm going to tell you from experience.  I hunt in ND and we have a good population of whitetail and mulies.  I hunt a section of land that has both and spotted a big muley in July and watched him until the middle of August.  Our bow season opened Sept.1.  The end of August he moved out of the area I had been watching him in.  Mule deer are very hard to pattern and I have never tried to set up a stand for them, but you do have a water source close by and that is huge.  Around here spot and stalk is the most effective means.  As for any scents I would just use a regular doe pee scent nothing that smell like they are in heat yet,  I'm assuming bucks start rutting around the first or second week of November for you also.  When you walk to your stand periodically soke the scent wick in the doe pee as a buck will follow the strongest scent, if you don't the strongest scent will lead back to your vehicle.  Walk by your stand and make a J-hook in a clearing where you have a shot. For dragging your scent a three foot stick with a string tied to it  works well so you can walk off to the side of where you are putting the scent down.  I forgot to mention rubber boots are a must, I also spray raccoon pee all over my pants and boots as a cover.  If you are worried about walking into an area but want to put out scent they do make that silly spray stuff that shoots out strings of scent, never used but have seen it in magazines.  I hope something from this can help you out a little bit and I wish you the best of luck, post a pic if you get him on your trail cam or even better yet are kneeling by him after you get him.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/22/2006 at 10:32
lucznik View Drop Down
Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: November/27/2004
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 1436

The only thing I can offer here is to suggest that you be very aware of the laws related to the use of your mineral block.  I know that in both Utah and Wyoming, setting out a mineral block to "entice" the buck would be considered hunting over bait, which is illegal.


I'm not trying to discourage you.  Just suggesting you check to make sure your plan is legal where you hunt.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/23/2006 at 15:03
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
Resident Redneck

Joined: June/20/2005
Location: Iowa
Status: Offline
Points: 14268
The water hole could be a prime spot if it is a dry season. I have used sent with only minor success and find that raddling horns or calls have worked better for me (at least with white tail deer). I do continue to use cover sent  earth or autum to hide human odor.  Stand placement is the most important factor. If you find  terain that works as a funnel where deer are more likely to cross that is what you want. Deer will take what they think is the easiest path from one place to another. They will move from bedding areas to food and water except in the rut when they act entirely different. You might want to consider taking a small tent and walking in the afternoon before camping not too far from your hunting spot and slipping the rest of the way in in the early morinig.  One other plan is that it is often not illegal to plant a food plot such as ladino clover  turnips and sugar beets which will draw them in so that might be a project for you next summer. The idea is that if it is grown there rather than being hauled in as bait that makes it allright ask DNR first though as laws vary by state. When I was in Wa most of the hunting I did was stalking but not terribly successfull due to the rough terain on the Olympic Penn.
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