Scent Trends 2006, pt 1
By Anthony Navarroli
Jul 3, 2006 – 6:56:00 AM
Scent In 2006
Most successful hunters are aware of the formidable scenting
ability of deer. Some contend that the
nose of the whitetail is as sensitive as bloodhounds. Combined with their wary nature, terrific
eyesight and incredible hearing, it?s a wonder we ever get an opportunity to
get within range of them. The use of
scenting technology has allowed today?s hunter to enjoy more success in both
seeing and having quality harvesting opportunities.
The main objective of this and future articles is to simply
give hunters information. One point that
I will make and repeat in future articles is that it is up the individual to
judge which products and philosophies suit your particular tastes. I will provide first hand experience and/or
information when applicable to assist in making sound choices. In accordance with this objective, it is
hoped that exposure to new solutions to old problems may get you to try
different options. The information may
confirm what you already know or it may give you suggestions for alternative
In order to gain a better personal understanding of the
overwhelming options available I decided to talk to several different
manufacturers of hunting scents, scent dispersion systems and scent
concealment. What was uncovered was both
educational and enlightening which hopefully will lead to more success in the
field. To make this article more user friendly, the products are broken down
There seemed to be two major philosophies in the hunting
scent industry. One philosophy is that
scent should be natural, while the other contends that the time of synthetic
scents is upon us. We?ll look at both in
more depth with representative companies from each.
|Border Crossing Labs
One company that believes scents should be as pure as
possible is the family owned Border
Crossing Labs. Their collection
process is so unique and effective they have it patented. They have several hundred head of Michigan whitetail to
collect from and provide the buyer with perhaps the most pure attractant and
cover scents on the market. Their
philosophy is straightforward in that pure estrus and urine is the most common
sense approach to producing a scent product.
Their family owned business is fanatical about every aspect of their
product and caution customers to place orders early and use it during that
season. Their totally pure scents are
without preservatives and will last an entire hunting season. Their top product is the highly potent VS-1
that will get the attention of deer in a hurry. Their cover scent, Deer
Herd mimics a deer bed and that not only conceals, it can also tickle
the curiosity of nearby deer.
Wildlife Research Center has a wide
array of products and scents available.
They are so confident in their scent products being effective, they
offer a no questions asked 100 percent money back guarantee! Their scent line includes attractant scents
for deer, elk and other big game as well as an extensive line of cover scents
to hide your presence in all hunting situations. Word has it that they are about to release
some incredible new products in 2006 that are sure to help fill tags
everywhere. The Trail?s End 307 is a
blended natural scent that I used during bow season this year and managed to
get a monster eight pointer to come around.
The blend focuses on infusing natural deer calling ingredients to
attract bucks during the entire hunting season.
Another product I have used to help hide my scent is the Scent
Killer line of products. They
work well and have many choices to customize your approach to being effectively
unnoticed by game.
Mention scents in hunting circles and most people will
automatically think of Tinks. Tinks offers many scents for every hunting
situation. Their #69 is a staple amongst a
lot of hunters. Its availability and
staying power are testament to the effectiveness of this product. Another inventive product is their Trophy
Buck Lure and Intruder Tarsal Gland that gets a buck going when he
thinks he has an uninvited visitor in his territory. I?ve been using their Scent Bombs for years and
have never had a problem with leaking.
They are easy to use, even with gloves on. I like the fact that they make convenient and
portable yardage markers.
A company that has been making scents for more than forty
years is Buck Stop Lure Company. From masking scents to attractant scents,
they sell something for everyone. One of
their neater products is Nozee Curiosity scent that is
neither a cover or sex scent. Rather, it
is made of natural scents that are field tested to arouse the curiosity of deer
during all phases of the season. Their Mate
Triks Doe in Heat formula has been around since the seventies and is a
time tested proven winner. It will last
you for two years if properly stored. For you bear hunters, they sell the paste
called Bear Bate that is made of favorite bear foods. The paste is convenient in that it allows you
to place it where you want.
|Buck Magic In the Can
A new line is from Buck Magic Whitetail Attractant, where the company says
their product is 50 times more
powerful than any other attractant on the market. Buck Magic is only 100% fresh
doe-urine in a moist, solidified form on the market that is not only
reusable, but according to the company, exerts 24 square inches of powerful
buck attracting scent all hunting season long. Buck Magic features a patented
texture and compilation of urine, along with the flat and vast surface exposed
to air via the Buck Magic Scent Tray.
Mark David Perry, Buck Magic owner says, ?While regular urine is absorbed
into the ground or scent-wicks diminished over time, Buck Magic is kept clean and clear from the
absorbing ground. The attracting element is in a 100% isolated form,
making it possible to exert the most extreme scent deliverance. It has
constant, direct contact with the air, which makes it infinitely more potent
and thus unquestionably more productive to the hunter! If a hunter were to open
up a bottle of urine and just let it sit at his or her hunting sight, it would
take over fifty open bottles to duplicate a comparable scent disbursement that
Buck Magic offers the hunter!
On the other side of the coin is Edgefield Outdoors. Owner,
Rano Harris has spent a lot of time researching scents and what makes them
effective. His solution was to produce
an entirely synthetic formula that can boost attractant components of the
scent. What Edgefield Outdoors offers is
manufactured scent compounds that have been manipulated and accentuated for
maximized effectiveness. Their boosted
trace elements found in efficient natural scents effectively zero in on the
olfactory senses of deer and capture their interest as they encounter the scent
trail. Their products include many
different formulas for pre, during and post rut situations. Edgefield has an estrus formula named, Last
Date, for all general hunting situations from the pre- to post rut, a
tarsal formula called Big Boss that is set up to attract only
big and dominant bucks, and a Lick?N Rub that is also universally
appealing to deer as a marking scent.
They also sell a handy scent called Mega Scrape that allows you to set
up a mock scrape and Acorn Plus which smells like one of
their favorite foods. Both will help to
bring deer around to investigate. Other benefits of synthetic scents are the
consistency of the product and the fact that it is completely Chronic Wasting
Disease (CWD) free. Find a scent you
like and every batch you purchase is identical to the other without fear of
having any contaminants. With no
ammonia, it has no shelf life expiration issues. Synthetics are here to stay and as they get
even more publicity their effectiveness will show in the form of filled out
tags and full freezers. Many misconstrue
that if it isn?t natural it isn?t any good.
That type of misconception and prejudice is waning fast in today?s
technology filled hunting market.
Talking with Ramo brought me back to my university days in
chemistry class as our elderly but witty professor would always laud the
benefits of synthetic materials. His
famous quote was, ?Uranium is all natural, but you wouldn?t want to take two
pills in the morning instead of a synthetic manufactured multi vitamin.? No argument here, and no argument that
synthetics are going to be a larger player in the scent market.
|Hot Trails Candles put scent on the air
A hybrid system that takes an entirely different approach is
Bill Moore?s Hot Trails candle
scents. Bill explained his
philosophy to me in this way. Have you
ever walked into a room and smelled a cold cup of coffee as you walked in? Neither had he. Brew a fresh pot or make a bag of popcorn and
everyone around you knows what you?ve got.
Bill extended the logical course and started making scent candles for
the woods. I have personally tried these
in late muzzle loading season and found it easy to use and effective. Bill started out making these candles for
himself, and after numerous requests from friends who enjoyed success with them
decided to start selling them in 1991.
Each candle has a four to five hour burn time (more or less depending on
the wind) in the available lantern and slowly but consistently releases scent
into the air. With an estimated 500 yard
range the hot scent enjoys a unique advantage; the scent released in the first
ten minutes is as strong as the scent released four to five hours later. The nature of heated scent is that it rises
and goes along with the wind currents.
Bill explained the basic principle in this manner. Think of a scent
molecule being the size of a golf ball.
When heat is applied, the scent molecule expands to the size of a
basketball. The heated scent rises and
covers a larger part of the prevailing air and becomes the dominant scent
within that current.
Hot Trails offers a lot of choices as well. They have cover scents, attractant scents for
as well as predator scents for coyote and fox. For you bear hunters, order up now and pick
from his wide range of scents tailor made for bear season with scents in anise,
and bacon. Bill assured me that his scents stay fresh
for years as the wax seals in the aroma and protects it from
The lantern is very compact and easy to
use, even with winter gloves on. It
comes with a camouflage colored housing and a very user friendly handle. I like to set it up and use it as an
additional yardage marker. As always, be
careful when lighting. Nothing spooks a
deer like the smell and yelling of a burning hunter! The candles are small enough that you can
pack extras or different scents easily in any fanny pack or pocket. I?d recommend you at least put them in an air
tight zip closure baggie to prevent the pack (or clothing) and its contents
from smelling like the candles. Their
scent is strong enough and genuine so it really becomes an added safety
measure. You definitely don?t want to
disappoint an angry buck looking for a fight or love and finding you with your
candles hanging out of your bag!
|Buck Bomb Spray Lures
Another unusual product on the market that took a completely
different approach to releasing scent into the air is The Buck Bomb. Actually it
tackles two of the biggest problems when dealing with natural scent. Have you ever notice how scent companies sell
their products in either dark glass or totally solid colored plastic
containers? How many of us use a scent
that has a wax seal or some other air tight cap? The reason is that light and air can spoil a
scent quicker than a deer jumping the string on a shot. The makers of The Buck Bomb use a special
lined can that is completely air tight and blocks out all ultraviolet
rays. They utilize a filtered, natural
liquid urine scent and an odorless propellant to turn the liquid scent into a
gas. That gas has a much more effective
range than static scent sitting on a pad or poured on a rag. A partial misconception of the product is
that it a single use only product. I say
partial misconception because The Buck Bomb can be operated like a conventional
spray can. All that is needed is a
little pressure on the spray tab. You
can spray a little on your boots or trail as needed. Press the spray tab all the way down and it
locks in place expelling the contents in about 100 seconds. A full two ounces of scent hits the air in
about a minute and a half! If you quickly
change your mind you can stop the spray as well with a little dexterity.
A word of caution when using this product; it is under
pressure so never try to release the scent by taking a shot at it! It will definitely not give you the results
you were looking for in addition to being extremely dangerous. Also since it uses a pressurized accelerant,
the can should be kept as close as possible to body temperature. That means it rides inside the vehicle and it
should be in your pack or coat when walking in.
If it gets too cold, it won?t deploy until it is of sufficient
temperature. Don?t be the hunter that
gets it too cold and tries to use it and puts it back in their vehicle or coat
(or pack for that matter). If the tab is
depressed to the ?bomb? location it will deploy the scent as soon as it warms
up. That could mean a smelly coat, pack,
vehicle or worse, garage or basement!
Your friends will laugh at you, your significant other will deny any
knowledge of you, and people at the diner on the way in will make you eat in
the parking lot. It?s not worth it. Like all of these products, read all
directions before using it.
Aside from the cautionary aspects of this product, it has
numerous advantageous points as well.
First, it is very economical. I?m
told for a two ounce can the retail price is less than most other scent
products. The entire system is very
portable allowing several cans to be carried depending on how mobile you plan
on being. Use the wind correctly and
you?ll enjoy a 1/8th mile range with little more than a three mile
per hour wind. With scent choices of young
buck, estrus, doe urine, dominant buck (it will scare
smaller bucks), elk, Sitka deer, bear, predator, and their own ?curiosity
scent? they have every type of big game hunt covered for North America. As
for expiration issues, The Buck Bomb is guaranteed fresh for three years. This will allow you to take advantage of any
bulk purchases (which the company claims more hunters do with this economical
product) and save them for hunts as needed.
Scent Dispersion Products
One area that has been on the steady incline in the big game
hunting community is the development of different scent dispersion
systems. For years people relied on
using rags, cotton balls, sponges, and other porous materials to hold their
choice of scent in the air currents around them. I remember camping and finding a lot of uses
for 35mm film canisters since they were light and relatively waterproof. One thing that was always a concern was that
the film companies cautioned using the containers for food products due to
residual chemical compounds possibly impregnating the plastic. Whether it was based purely on legal advice
due to an ever increasing litigious society or genuine concern for the public,
I always limited my use of these to durable, non edible goods. I am also aware of the chemical odor present
in some containers as well. It made
sense that if my nose could smell it, a deer would certainly pick up on it and
the tainting of scent was a strong possibility.
Hence it was only a matter of time before the hunting industry found a
way to serve the buying public.
New materials along with old standbys have made the scent
dispersal market one of the fastest changing and evolving segments. Rather than being limited to just pouring
scent on a rag, there are a myriad of devices designed to efficiently disperse
scent for both concealment and attracting game.
I like versatile items that can serve multiple uses so when I saw some
of these products I was amazed at how good they were at serving more than one
We?ve already discussed some new hybrid products like the
Hot Trails lantern and The Buck Bomb.
Both are new ideas of old problems.
More importantly, both are very user friendly; a big plus when dealing
with dark and often cold conditions that require wearing gloves. This section will focus on other new and more
traditional means of smelling like anything but a human in the woods.
has a new scent dispersal device that first reminded me of my tent camping days
as a kid. We camped in the hot and humid
summer near a lot of water and wetlands.
Mosquitoes, black flies, and common flies were everywhere. We had a lot of fly paper traps set up around
our eating area. The Wickster
from Edgefield Outdoors looks like these fly paper dispensers. You simply role out the wick, much like the
fly paper would release from the roll, apply scent and retract it until you are
ready to use it. With heavy duty o rings
it is neat and easy to use. It is priced
around $12 so it is very affordable. It
is large enough to be seen and used as a yardage marker and holds enough scent
to last an entire hunt. Edgefield
Outdoors also sells a nifty scent pad and hanger system called the ScentLeaf. It is a plastic shaped leaf and scent pad
(Leafwick) that simply opens along the long edge and holds the Leafwick
exposed to the wind. The Leafwicks are
disposable and replaceable so you can use them with any scent of your
choice. An advantage to the ScentLeaf is
that is very easy to use. You simply
open it and drape it over a twig or branch of your choice. It would also work equally well placed on
rock or stump as well. The ScentLeaf
comes in your choice of yellow or orange.
The good people of Pine
Ridge Archery have a new product that is to scent dispersion systems what
the Swiss Army knife is to the cutlery world.
Their Wick Stik is an incredibly inventive, stoutly built scent
dispersion tool that does a lot of things and unlike a lot of multi use
products, does those things well. The
Wick Stik is an all in one system that combines many features that are
essential for setting up a scent trail.
The Wick Stik is a long cylinder that has two robustly threaded ends on
either side. In the middle of the
cylinder is a six foot length of cord with a plastic clip all neatly rolled
into a recess for use as drag.
Unscrewing one end of it reveals a scent wick that holds about a half
ounce of scent. This half also is
threaded on the other side to secure it to the main cylinder and has a large
loop just after the threads for use as a hanging wick when trees are the option
of choice. Attach the loop to the cord
clip and you have a scent drag. In the
event there are to suitable trees, the Wick Stik keeps you in business by
unthreading the other side which reveals a very strong spike that also threads
into the main cylinder creating a long scent stick that gets scent high enough
into the air without being too high to start raising the heads of deer. Another advantage of the Wick Stik is that
because of its height, it is perfect for those who hunt over bean and alfalfa
fields. It will stick up high enough to
be effective when bottles and other dispersal systems aren?t practical. A final use for the Wick Stik is it makes an
easy to see yardage marker when staked at a known distance from your
stand. As mentioned before, it is a very
well made and extremely durable product that uses multiple o rings to keep
scent secure within its thick walled PVC like body. Best of all, it works as advertised and is
quiet to use to boot!
|Triple R Boot Buddy
Speaking of boots, for those that like to drag a scent but
have had less than memorable experiences with losing the scent pad or rag, a
new and innovative company by the name Triple
R Outdoors decided to help us all out with the creation of the Boot
Buddy. The Boot Buddy eliminates
the need to deal with the cumbersome details of a scent drag. You simply fill the bottle with your choice
of scent, put the bottle in the boot holster and attach it to your boot. When you are ready to start putting down a
scent trail you just open the tab on the bottle and start walking. It is that simple! I have used this product this year and can
attest to its simple and effective design.
In talking to Eric Dickinson at Triple R, he told me that an added
advantage (and perhaps the biggest advantage of the product) is that the scent
is consistent; meaning the first drop of the scent is as potent as the last
drop. With drags the scent starts off
hot (strong) and gets cold (weak) the farther you walk. One tip Eric shared
with me is that once he gets to where he plans on hunting he stops a few yards
from his stand and walks in a small circle and shakes his leg wearing the Boot
Buddy to create a mock scrape. On those
occasions you want a cover scent along with your attractant scent, Triple R
also sells extra bottles that only need be filled with your choice of cover or
supplemental scent and easily inserted into the boot holster. Open the bottle
and you have created a complex scent pattern that mimics multiple deer and
|Wildlife Research Lures Draws Bucks
Wildlife Research Center sells a
patented dripper that makes a mock scrape seem active by adding just the
right amount of their Active Scrape scent to keep big
bucks interested and assists in developing helpful patterning of these bucks so
that you can set up the ideal hunting spot and tag a trophy. One of the more well thought out dispensers
I have found has been the Quik Wiks. Like familiar plastic bottled designs it uses
a scent laden wick that is pulled from the container. Unlike the other familiar plastic scent
bottles, it hangs upside down which allows the scent to keep the wick active
and most importantly does not allow rain or snow inside the bottle keeping the
scent from being diluted. Look for them
being sold in three unit packs and very reasonably priced.
Using scent is one thing.
Using it effectively and economically make for an ongoing conflict. How much should you use and can you use too
much? If you struggle with trying to
find a balance perhaps you should consider 24/7 and 24/7 Plus
from MDR Outdoor Group. This new
and unusual product bridges the gap between scents and conventional dispersal
systems. As discussed earlier, liquid scent starts off strong and diminishes as
time goes on. Other environmental
factors, like excessive wind, rain and snow can change the effective range of
the scent. Adding 24/7 can make your
scent more effective by allowing it to remain more concentrated for a longer
period of time.
A frequently asked question about 24/7 is how does it
work? The easiest way to describe it is
to picture the granules as tens of thousands of micro-sized sponges. These sponges are scentless but once the
hunter adds the scent, they get absorbed into these granules and release the
scent without drying out like liquid scent would. All it takes is a mere half-ounce of scent
added to the nine and a half ounce container of 24/7 to maximize your luring
scent trail. The scent trail lasts as
long as the granules last. That means
even in the cold or during rainy weather.
The scent is locked into the granules and scent is preserved in the
interior of the granule free from ammonia build up. The main advantage of this product over their
other, 24/7 Plus, is that it is customizable.
If you want to hunt fox, add a fox lure scent to the bottle. If you are hunting elk, add an elk scent to
another bottle. Each container readily
adapts to what you are hunting by allowing you to use whatever scent you
MDR also offers 24/7 Plus, which already comes
charged with a natural scent. This
ten-ounce shaker bottle is all set to go right out of the package. Simply apply it to where you would normally
place scent and walk away. It lasts just
like the unscented 24/7 and offers the benefit of not having to purchase a
separate scent. MDR offers an estrus and
dominant buck scent. Best of all, once
you apply either 24/7 or Plus, you are not contaminating the ground with
anything toxic. The granules are simple
dissolved over time into inert material.
The end result is you get to save money by maximizing your purchased
scents and you get lasting performance.
NEXT: SCENT TRENDS PART 2.
Scent Dispersion Systems:
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