Synthetic Deer Lures
Better than the Real
By Tom Fassbinder
Seasoned veterans of the whitetail woodlot know that for continued survival
a mature whitetail buck relies more on his nose than any other sense. For
decades hunters have tried to outwit whitetail noses through the uses of
lures and attractants that have been extracted from the body juices of
As a result, there are some really good deer lures which have been extracted
from live animals in pure laboratory environments available to today’s
whitetail hunters. Hunters Specialties, Wildlife Research Center, Code
Blue, Tinks, Buck Stop and Mrs. Doe Pee are just a few of the companies
that come to mind when you think of natural deer lures. Some formulas are
even mixed with secret ingredients like ground up tarsal gland tissue to
enhance their performance. Each company has their own methods, collection
systems and unique characteristics that make their products work for hunters
throughout North America.
Recently, several synthetic lures and attractants have become more readily
available and are having an impact in the whitetail woods. By definition,
the word synthetic indicates that these formulas are 100% man made meaning
they are non-urine based formulas containing no animal by-products. Additionally,
true synthetic formulas normally do not contain any plant derivatives
Will these newly engineered formulas prove to be better than the real
thing? There are an increasing number of synthetic formulas hitting store
shelves and they appear to be gaining some momentum with buck hunters.
But do they work better than the urine from an estrous doe? The information
that follows will give you some insight on a few of the synthetic formulas
available today and ultimately help you decide if synthetic lures and attractants
are right or you.
Trophy Advantage – Patent Pending Scent Systems
The Trophy Advantage Scent and Hunting Systems the most powerful and
effective Scent Systems ever developed according to owner Gary Parrigan.
While performing research for this article, Gary sent me dozens of glowing
testimonials from hunters who used his product. By my account, his approach
is one of the most radical systems ever developed.
Trophy Advantage scents are synthetic mixtures which Gary instructs
hunters to mix with his or her own 2-6 day old urine. (Contact Gary for
details on how to safely and effectively collect and store human urine.)
This allows the hunter to put out large amounts of the scent mixture for
a fraction of the cost of other scent attractants. Gary feels that putting
large amounts scent into the air at one time is the key to successful hunting.
Gary says his scents are very effective straight out of the bottle, but
mixing them with human urine turns them into a SUPER LURE.
Gary lives in central Ohio and has been bow hunting for about 30 years.
Ten years ago he dedicated himself to strictly bow hunting for trophy class
animals. Here is Gary’s story, in his own words:
"I take off at least a month a year to bow hunt in Coshocton County.
There is no problem locating shooter bucks in this area. It ranks 5th in
the state for trophy deer, but my problem was getting close enough to get
a shot at them with a bow. I would usually see 3-4 shooters a year chasing
does but couldn't get a shot.
After years of scouting, locating, and hunting these trophy deer but
ending up empty handed, I decided to rethink my whole strategy on hunting
these animals. This meant changing when, where and how I hunted. I knew
that the traditional methods were just not working for me. I knew I needed
to be much more aggressive and go after them instead of waiting for them
to come to me."
"In 1999, while walking through the hunting section of a local sporting
goods store I saw my first synthetic deer lure. Here was a product that
was extremely strong smelling and advertised an extremely long shelf life.
I gave it a try, witnessed positive reactions from deer and determined
synthetic products were something I wanted to further test."
I then decided to get radical in my approach to deer hunting. I had
been urinating in scrapes for many years and got a real kick out of the
reactions from bucks. They would completely destroy the scrape and most
of the time, destroy saplings around the scrape. I decided to start storing
up my own urine. THAT’S RIGHT, MY OWN URINE. I saved up about a gallon,
bought a brand new bottle of synthetic dominant buck urine, did a little
modifying of the formula and the rest just fell into place."
"Next, I started placing my tree stands as close to bedding areas as
I could without being detected, and placed them so the prevailing winds
would be blowing from my stand right into the bedding areas. THAT’S RIGHT,
I SET UP SO THE WINDS BLOW FROM ME INTO THE BEDDING AREA. This is much
different than conventional tree stand hunting but if you control your
human scent effectively it works fabulous. When I go hunting I pour 15
ounces of my own aged urine into a 16 ounce bottle, add 1/2 oz to 1 oz
of my synthetic dominant buck urine and shake it up real good."
"I only hunt the bedding area stands when the wind was blowing from
my stand into them, and only in the early afternoons until the end of legal
hunting hours. My theory is, let the big boys go in there and lie down
then try to lure them out. When I get to my stand I would pour 16 oz of
the scent mixture on deadfalls, let it run down the side of the trees,
and pour it directly into any scrapes that are present, crosswind to widen
the scent path. If there weren't any scrapes in the area I made mock scrapes
and saturated them with the urine mixture. I also used a forehead gland
scent for the licking branches. I am very scent conscience due to the wind
blowing my scent into the bedding area as well as the urine scent. Mix
these methods with some light rattling and soft grunting about every half
hour to 45 minutes and it is a very effective system."
"The first 5 times the scent system was used there were 5 deer shot
with bow and arrow. The first buck shot was an 8 pointer with approximately
a 26 inch spread. The second big buck was shot out of the same stand. It
was a beautiful 12 pointer with a 22-inch spread, and a 34 1/2 inch neck.
The deer field dressed at 230 pounds. The 12 pointer grossed 162 5/8's
netted 149 7/8's and made Pope and Young and Buckeye Big Bucks."
"One of my buddies, Matt Lehnhart, decided to give my scent mixture
a try. Matt was actually hunting in a bedding area. The first time he used
the scent he nailed a beautiful 20-inch wide 9 pointer."
"I also used the scent system to kill a 20 in wide 8 pointer on my first
bow hunt in WV. It's quite a story, that deer watched me stand up,
turn in the stand, draw back and shoot."
Wildlife Research Center
Ron Bice, from Wildlife Research Center in Anoka, Minnesota says that
their extensive research has produced several synthetic products including
Hot Musk and Moon Fire. Ron explained that certain scents attract whitetail
deer and noted that some scents do it much better than others. Wildlife
Research Center has identified, duplicated and successfully incorporated
these proven attractor scents into their products.
Ron says Hot-Musk is a unique mixture of secret synthetic musk scents,
blended together to create a highly effective buck lure that is also irresistible
to does. It has been extensively field tested with remarkable results,
Hot-Musk is said to be highly effective from October through December.
Moon Fire is a secret synthetic formula that the key people at Wildlife
Research Center have used for years. Ron says it is extremely effective
with a unique deer attractor and penetrating, totally unique musky smell.
Moon Fire is formulated without urine or deer by-products
Ron does not personally advocate using any human urine in conjunction
with any of their synthetic or animal based products. Ron states that his
personal experience with using human urine in hunting situations has not
produced desirable results.
Wildlife Research Center has a vast array of proven testimonials from
successful hunters and significant photo library of whitetail bucks responding
favorably to their products.
ProScents Synthetics Deer Lures
Rano Harris of Edgefield Outdoor Products says that surveys show more
than 70% of hunters who pursue whitetail deer utilize attractant or cover
scents to improve their odds for success each year. Rano goes on
to explain that until very recently, practically all deer attractant scents
were largely made from natural whitetail deer urine or other deer-based
fluids, such as "extracts" or "tinctures" of ground-up tarsal gland tissue.
The most popular of these is “doe-in-estrous” urine, which is urine
from a doe deer collected during the peak of the estrous cycle. The idea
behind such lures is that the urine of a doe that is ready to breed is
a powerful attractant for bucks during the rut. Other urine-based
scents and many different glandular scents are widely marketed, and can
be found in hunting country everywhere from large discount stores to the
smallest roadside gas station.
Do natural scent products work? Many hunters say that they do.
However, if you use a scent, and bag a deer, do you really know that the
scent was responsible for bringing it in for the shot? There's often
no clear-cut answer, but clearly some scents do appear to work, and
some seem to work better than others, in different situations.
Because of variables like freshness, bacterial contamination, and different
diets of the deer herds, natural deer scents are not all that consistent in
composition or effectiveness. It was the need for a clean, scientifically
formulated, all-synthetic deer scent that could regularly outperform the
"real" stuff that led us to develop our line of ProScents Synthetics.
Our field studies have demonstrated that the scientifically-formulated
synthetic attractants and special scent boosters in our ProScents products often
produce far better results in attracting deer than many natural
Because they contain no animal fluids, these synthetic products won't
spoil and can maintain their potency far longer than animal-based
Rano said that the world-renowned chemists and animal behavior scientists
who helped develop their ProScents Synthetics have identified ways to make
their synthetic scents stronger and more effective. In Edgefield's field-tests,
the scents produced deer responses at levels that they've not seen before
with any other natural or synthetic scents.
I asked Rano why he felt that ProScents Synthetics deer lures might
outperform the other scents. Rano said “First, since they contain
no animal waste products or tissues, they're not subject to the rapid decay
and spoilage that's a common problem with natural scents.
Therefore, ProScents will stay just as effective next season
as this season, and consistent from bottle to bottle”.
"Next", Rano added, "the "stink" of deer urine is well known to hunters
- but that is not generally what makes the scent effective. In most
cases, it's what you can't smell that really attracts the deer.
Our ProScents synthetic scents include key chemical attractants that
have a very strong appeal to deer, along with fragrance "boosters" to increase
the power of the scents. They may smell like natural deer scents
to humans, yet they produce totally unique smells to the deer. These
unique odors appear to be easier for a deer to single-out and locate in
the woods than "just another bottle of deer urine".
They increase the animals' curiosity, and seem to cause them
to seriously lower their guard. Often, deer have been seen to
approach from considerable distances. "We have seen them come straight
up into the wind toward a hunter's location, apparently completely
ignoring the scent of the hunter”, Rano said. \
Rano added that ProScents Synthetics are cleaner and safer to handle
than natural deer scents, which can contain harmful bacteria like Staphylococcus,
Listeria, and E.Coli. It certainly makes sense that synthetic
scents should be safer and more hygienic to deal with than natural deer-fluid-based
If you’re using natural deer lure and attractants and have experienced
great success, you may want to continue using them. (If it ain’t broke,
don’t fix it!) If you’re the adventuresome type, or have had mediocre
results with your current set up and want to try something different, you
might want to give one of the synthetic formulas a try.
To learn more, visit:
For more go to: www.whitetailfanatic.com
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