Deer Sex Based Lures

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History Lesson

I will explain my first experience with sex based lures (doe-in-estrus lure) and maybe it will help you avoid your own possible future discomfort. Back in 1976  I was on a weekend hunt in Llano, TX. There were four of us carpooling from Houston to llano in a old 4wd Bronco. One of the guys had invited his 16 year old son to hunt with us. The son who lived with his mother in Ft. Worth was to meet us at the bus station in Austin on our way through. When he got off the bus he was all decked out in a new Camo suit and had no other clothes with him. What we did not know was he had a bottle of doe-in-estrus urine in his pocket.

The next day his dad gave him a bow (we were archery hunting) and put him on a stand. When he got on the stand apparently he reasoned that if a little of the liquid would do something good a lot would do a lot of good. He also reasoned that he should put the liquid on his clothes. Of course that morning there were no deer in his area that wanted to pick a fight but it did rain. He got soaked and by 9:00AM it was raining so hard that the Bronco owner started picking the hunters up.

Jamey was first and then everybody else. By the time we got back to the campsite - which was just that, no tent or building - the Bronco was steeping in the smell of stale deer urine. Since he had no dry clothes we decided to go into Llano and try to find a public laundry. We all put on clean dry clothes and after stripping off and wrapping Jamey in a canvass all clothes were put in a single washer. Now the laundry was unattended and there was only one little box of detergent in the dispenser. After going through the washing machine the clothes were dried. After coming out of the dryer all the clothes smelled like a Mr's Doe Pee factory. We put everybody's clothes bur Jamey's in a plastic garbage bag.

Jamey's wet clothes had bled into the Bronco seat and between his so-called clean clothes and the Bronco the rest of the trip was a real experience. We were even asked to leave a cafe later that evening. This was before the discovery of the PetZyme type deodorizers so his dads Bronco smelled like spilled urine until the heat of the next summer drove it out. (I understand his mother threw his clothes away when he got home.)

James is now a very successful hunter now with a family interest in a Texas Hill Country Exotic Game Ranch but his first day learning curve made a couple of us so sick we almost did not go back hunting that season. Even then we made sure there was a camper or camp house to change in.

Fresh Scents

Moral of the story a little rotten urine goes a long way. Experience since the above debacle has led me to believe that gland and urine based scents can be a great asset to the hunter especially when sex based lures in combination with food attractants and plant based cover scents.

  • A small shovel can be used to move part of an existing scrape to some other site as desired.
  • When the bucks are creating scrapes and rubs the does in the area are in estrus. This means that if you kill a doe at this time you can harvest the bladder contents for future attractant use. To prepare for this acquire a clean, empty bottle or jar and a large hypodermic syringe. The bottle is no problem but you might have to go to a vet or feed and seed store that sells veterinary supplies to get the syringe. As you field clean the doe you can use the syringe to extract the urine from the bladder and put it in the bottle for future use, store in the refrigerator. Freeze part of the “doe pee” for use next year also.
  • Do the same with the bucks you take, except along with the contents of the bladder harvest the tarsal and meta tarsal glands. Prior to storage trim as much material from around the glands, slice them up with a knife and place in the buck urine container to dissolve the musk from the musk glands. Caution do not mix the urine and musk glands from different individuals. No sense in confusing your prey. After giving the urine a few days in the refrigerator to absorb some of the musk remove the tarsal and metatarsal glands. Double bag them in separate freezer bags and freeze them. Save the urine in separate containers, label and quickly freeze for future use. After freezing for long time storage the author suggests putting the small containers in glass bottles or jars unless you have a dedicated refrigerator freezer for this use. The reason should be obvious to anyone who has smelled the concoction.
  • Prior to a hunting trip prepare a couple of soft rag wicks by tying them to a short length of cloths line cord or such. Make the line long enough to tie around the ankles and have the cloth wick trail behind about a foot or so.  Put a few drops of doe urine on one wick and the buck musk gland urine solution from above on the other. This will get the bucks trailing you so be sure the boots are clean and rubbed with some natural attractant.
  • When getting to the stand untie and remove the wicks at some distance. Leave them on the ground you don’t want the deer looking up in the air for the source of the attractive fragrance. Prior to climbing the stand you might want to drag them on the ground to a good target location.
  • Urine from any animal native to the hunting area can be harvested and used as cover scents. Fox, rabbit, squirrel, raccoon and etc. all urinate on the trails which the deer travels so they are natural and usually strong enough to confuse the deer's olfactory when mixed with the hunter's especially if the hunter has followed the laundry and clothes storage methods described elsewhere.
    Happy hunting and if you have a successful, pleasant or cautionary story about use of scents, lures and attractants you would like to share with others e-mail us via the contacts page.