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The hunting gimmicks vs. useful gear thread

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 10:43
RifleDude View Drop Down
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I've been thinking about this discussion for awhile, and thought it would be helpful to all us hunters if we could compare notes on all the various gadgets and random "stuff" that vendors claim is THE answer for bagging that trophy buck/bull/bruin/boar/tom.  I'm an admitted gadget guy, and I'll try lots of things once, but I have to admit that I've found most hunting gadgets touted to be the best things since the invention of the wheel outside of the essentials like a good rifle, good optics, good boots, and good clothes have left me very underwhelmed.

So, here's the thread to talk about the stuff that works and doesn't work, the truly useful and the ripoffs in calls, decoys, scents, scent elimination products, blood trailing lights, etc., etc., etc. 
 
I would like to start this thread by discussing estrous ("doe in heat") deer scents.
 
I've tried pretty much every major brand and form of estrous scents available today, and I've NEVER seen conclusive evidence that they really work.  I've hung wafers, sprayed atomized clouds of stink, dragged scent impregnated rags, squirted smelly liquids and gels on branches... and I've never accomplished anything from my efforts other than wasting money and making everything around me, my clothes, and my gear stink like hell!
 
Deer (and most other game animals) are very scent-oriented.  They rely on their sense of smell for food, avoiding danger, and reproduction.  So, it seems logical to me that these estrous scents SHOULD work during the stages of the rut. 
 
The fact remains, however, that despite YEARS of extensive use, they never have worked for me.  Nor have I ever talked to anyone not affiliated with an advertisement or endorsement tell me that they've positively witnessed these scents work.  By "work," I don't mean a buck walked out, happened to walk by the scent and sniffed it out of curiosity, causing him to pause momentarily; I mean a buck came trotting in directly toward the source of the scent, obviously attracted to it.
 
There are several suppliers that advertise their estrous scents come direcly from live does.  It would seem that if this is indeed true, they should work.  So, I'm not sure why I've never had any success with them.
 
I did an experiment 2 years ago.  I applied some of the "100% natural, from the source" scent to a tree limb at chest height along a well-traveled deer trail right in front of one of my game cameras.  I was wearing rubber boots and made sure that I did not actually touch anything in the area so I wouldn't contaminate the site with my scent.  The timing was in the peak of the rut, which in my area is right before and after Thanksgiving.  I retrieved my camera card 2 weeks later and saw no increased buck activity.  None of the bucks in my pics showed any noticeable interest in the estrous-scented limb whatsoever, or if they did, it happened during the delay between pics.
 
On multiple occasions during the rut, I've witnessed bucks even walk right past (within a few feet of) the scent locations, and not one of them has paid any attention to it beyond casually sniffing it and moving on.
 
I don't know what to make of this, so my theory is that there is some component (pheromone perhaps) of the scent beyond the stink itself that must be lost when it isn't fresh.  Maybe these scents are too contaminated with other agents that they no longer smell like a doe in heat to a buck.  Perhaps there is some element to a doe's estrous scent that is unique to the region they live or is affected by their diet.  Or, maybe the suppliers are just putting some random stinky liquid in a bottle and telling us hunters that this is what a doe in heat smells like. 
 
I'm open-minded enough to accept that maybe some of these scents work some of the time under some conditions and for whatever reason(s), these conditions have just never been right during the times I've used them.  Heck, I saw a video once of a buck attacking a hunter that supposedly had spilled some estrous scent on him.  Who knows if that was the real reason for the attack.
 
So... lets hear it.  Any of you folks ever had any luck with any of these attractant scents?


Edited by Chris Farris - September/16/2014 at 14:01
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 10:48
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i have seen similar results with store bought stuff, nothing.  i have however  used fresh, harvested the day before stuff and seen a few smaller bucks jump on a drag line i used it on within 30-45 min period of running it.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 10:49
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I'm with you Ted on the scents, I've actually found that at times these scents steer deer away.   Carbon Suits are another big fallacy and much of it has lead to numerous law suits.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 10:58
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 I have seen deer actually notice attractant scents twice. one was a small doe and the other was a 3 pointer. Both was tinks 69. I have used many many bottles of it.

 

 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 11:15
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Originally posted by Bigdaddy0381 Bigdaddy0381 wrote:

 I have seen deer actually notice attractant scents twice. one was a small doe and the other was a 3 pointer. Both was tinks 69. I have used many many bottles of it.

 
By "notice," do you mean the buck came running toward it, obviously excited by it, or the deer just curiously sniffed it the same as they might if you'd dumped out a chocolate sundae there?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 11:15
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One of my favorite gadgets is the shoot and see targets, even though they're alittle pricey, they sure make detecting bullet holes much easier.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 11:19
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Originally posted by Bigdaddy0381 Bigdaddy0381 wrote:

 I have seen deer actually notice attractant scents twice. one was a small doe and the other was a 3 pointer. Both was tinks 69. I have used many many bottles of it.

 
By "notice," do you mean the buck came running toward it, obviously excited by it, or the deer just curiously sniffed it the same as they might if you'd dumped out a chocolate sundae there?
 
when i noticed him he had his nose up in the air licking his chops. I'm guessing it brought him in. the doe she just snorted at it as she walked by. i think it has to do with how many doe and how much the buck has got his arsie kick for mounting another bucks doe. If you get cocked block a few times anything smells good.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 11:25
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roflmao!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 11:25
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Don't you know you're supposed to use a ghilly suit soaked in estrus?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 11:36
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Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:

Don't you know you're supposed to use a ghilly suit soaked in estrus?
Ancient Chinese secret.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 11:43
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  Killed my 1st buck with a bow over a mock scrape scented with Dr. O's.  Anyone remember it?
 
  As far as a cover scent I use red fox urine bought at trapping supply stores.  I've kept all my outer hunting clothes and boots in a big plastic tote with an open qt bottle for yrs.  Every yr something happens that further proves to me that it keeps deer calm and actually attracts them.  This yr I watched a small buck follow my trial to the tree I was in.  Sniffed around a bit and even sniffed the tree.  Went to browzing then bedded down for a good while. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 11:46
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  GOOD idea,Ted.  This should be a fun thread.  I'll have think on some gadgets that I've used.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 12:00
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I tried an experiment with popcorn once during Archery season several years ago. I popped a garbage bag full of unsalted pop corn and trailed it all the way to may stand. About 20 min. after sunrise I had a covey of quail follow it in. About 20 minutes later a large coon came in and started to munch. He didn't stay very long and left. Then the squirrels came. Lots of squirrels. The coon was gone about 45 minutes then came back with another big coon and 4 smaller ones. The frenzy is on. The squirrels didn't like the coons and a lot of racket ensued. This drew in the crows. Must have been about 20 of them. Squirrels don't like crows either. Now the squirrels are chasing the crows from tree to tree. Barking at the coons as the pass to chase the crows out of the next tree. It was one of the more exciting days spent in the woods. Problem was there was so much noise I never saw any sign of a deer. Popcorn has now been crossed off my list of possable attractants.
Loco
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 12:07
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    And how long did it take to pop all that corn?  Whacko
 
   Unsalted to!  Who says hunters don't care about the wildlife?
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Possible deer attractant, sounds like it makes for great varmint attractant!  Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/14/2011 at 12:10
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Originally posted by 3_tens 3_tens wrote:

I tried an experiment with popcorn once during Archery season several years ago. I popped a garbage bag full of unsalted pop corn and trailed it all the way to may stand. About 20 min. after sunrise I had a covey of quail follow it in. About 20 minutes later a large coon came in and started to munch. He didn't stay very long and left. Then the squirrels came. Lots of squirrels. The coon was gone about 45 minutes then came back with another big coon and 4 smaller ones. The frenzy is on. The squirrels didn't like the coons and a lot of racket ensued. This drew in the crows. Must have been about 20 of them. Squirrels don't like crows either. Now the squirrels are chasing the crows from tree to tree. Barking at the coons as the pass to chase the crows out of the next tree. It was one of the more exciting days spent in the woods. Problem was there was so much noise I never saw any sign of a deer. Popcorn has now been crossed off my list of possable attractants.
Loco
 
I did that with HAY one time at a bar out in the middle of now where. it was all fun and games till the 900 pound round bale got ate up. I did meet this nice girl who wanted me to milk her. never figured out what she was talking about. Oh well still good times. Oh it was a hunting trip too!
 


Edited by Bigdaddy0381 - January/14/2011 at 12:10
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  Wyoming Knife
 
   Years back I bought one for myself and then got one for a friend for Christmas.  I never even tried mine (kept grabbing my ol'Case folder).  My friend got real good with his.  Anyone else try 'em?
   I do have one of the small Wyoming saws that I use.  Nice!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 20:44
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Most entrenched gimmick:

 Gulp ... camoflauge.  I don't think the camo hunter has any real advantage over the non-camo.  Every year I end up getting super close to some game animal with a bright orange vest on.  If I'm not moving, they don't see me.  Game was taken for centuries before camo.

I still buy it and wear it, it is part of the hunting culture now.

Best gear you'd think would be a gimmick:

Havalon Piranta Z knifes.  A folding clip knife handle that takes #60 scalpel blades.  One gets dull, pop on another.  No sharpening in the field, no sharpener in your pack.  I just bone out my elk "Alaskan-style" and save myself packing a saw as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 21:14
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On Tink's etc, I've used bottles and bottles of it and never saw a single thing that made me think it "worked."
 
I cut the glands off a hot doe once and hung it in a tree 30 yards from my stand.  I had 2 small bucks come running from downwind grunting like pigs.  That was one time, never to repeat itself.
 
Other gimmicks:
"Camo orange" and UV spray!
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2011 at 10:32
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Wahoo! A great thread idea!
For the last five seasons I have used a large variety of "estrous" scents, and have yet to see any whitetail pay any attention casually, much less seem to be "attracted" by them. Not once.
 
During the same five seasons I have used the little Primos can calls during rut peak, and five years in a row have called in and taken bucks. Three out of five came in at a trot, and the other two just walked in to find the doe. In deer talk, the cans evidently make a noise akin to "oh, hurry big boy, I don't know if I can wait any longer..."
 
These simple little devices have been amazing, and don't smell up your pockets either!
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:

Most entrenched gimmick:

 Gulp ... camoflauge.  I don't think the camo hunter has any real advantage over the non-camo.  Every year I end up getting super close to some game animal with a bright orange vest on.  If I'm not moving, they don't see me.  Game was taken for centuries before camo.

I still buy it and wear it, it is part of the hunting culture now.

Best gear you'd think would be a gimmick:

Havalon Piranta Z knifes.  A folding clip knife handle that takes #60 scalpel blades.  One gets dull, pop on another.  No sharpening in the field, no sharpener in your pack.  I just bone out my elk "Alaskan-style" and save myself packing a saw as well.


I agree about the camo thing, I think it is a waste.  I had 4 bucks once walk up on me within 20 yards. I was in kahki pants and a white long t shirt.  I was sitting in front of a brush, they looked at more for a minute then kept feeding.  I shot the biggest one.

The reason why I buy it is they have developed material that is pretty quiet and does not collect burrs and stickers like a lot of other day to day clothes I wear.  Plus they have a lot of nice waterproof stuff these day which is nice for the wet hunts.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2011 at 20:15
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Originally posted by Bitterroot Bulls Bitterroot Bulls wrote:


 Best gear you'd think would be a gimmick:
Havalon Piranta Z knifes.  A folding clip knife handle that takes #60 scalpel blades.  One gets dull, pop on another.  No sharpening in the field, no sharpener in your pack.  I just bone out my elk "Alaskan-style" and save myself packing a saw as well.
Had never heard of this before, but google it and it looks interesting.  I'm assuming you are saying that you actually use one?  Any particular model?
Do you only yse to skin or for other functions? Butchering?
Thanks
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 .



Edited by 300S&W - January/21/2011 at 20:42
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2011 at 20:36
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I have been using one for five years.  I first saw them in a taxidermy catalog.  I use them for skinning and boning in the field, and trophy care.

I have my game professionally processed, so I don't know how good they would be for all-out butchering.  I would probably use a long, flexible boning knife for doing that, but I am certain the Piranta Z would do in a pinch.

I can not stress enough how nice these knives are.  There is no need for a large knife to bone out even large game like elk and moose in the field.  I don't gut out my game, so all I need is a good sharp, precise knife.  A scalpel is perfect.

I use the black Piranta Z knife.  If I bought one now I would get the bright orange, so I could see it easier in the snow.  Just be careful changing out the blades!

The one issue I have is I occasionally have to tighten the tiny screws holding the pocket clip on the handle.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/21/2011 at 20:59
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Originally posted by 300S&W 300S&W wrote:

  Killed my 1st buck with a bow over a mock scrape scented with Dr. O's.  Anyone remember it?
 
 
OMG, that was one crazy dude. I used to stop by his booth at the Harrisburg show just to phuck with him. I honestly can't remember ever seeing that dude sober. The only thing that stuff ever attracted were flies. He did have a good scent dispenser (kinda looked like a cigar tube container with a "wick") that I used with Tink's 69. Dr. "O"................that gave me a chuckle.
 
Here's an oldie but a goodie.........
 


Edited by Roy Finn - January/21/2011 at 21:31
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