USE SCENT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Wildlife rely on their senses to survive, and none more so than deer, which seem to be on the dinner menu of a number of predators, including hunters.
Essentially, deer use three senses—sight, hearing, and smell—as primary defenses to help them survive in a world that must seem like something is always out to get them. Predators are after them year ’round, pretty much from the day they are born. Then comes hunting season.
Fortunately for deer, their senses are highly sensitive and seem to sharpen as they age. Any hunter—and there are thousands who can attest to this—who has had a wily mature buck give them the slip, are certain deer have not only super-sensitive senses, but also get wiser with age and experience.
But back to what keeps them alive to grow old and wise—their senses. Hunters have been quick to learn they must overcome these three senses to consistently be successful. Of course, there are hunters who catch lucky breaks, some rather consistently, but for most hunters it is a matter of matching wits and combating the senses.
Let’s take them one at a time.
Hunters can camouflage themselves to blend into the environment or conceal themselves in a blind or above the sightline in a treestand (or, at times, stay completely motionless) and successfully, at least temporarily, overcome a deer’s exceptional eyesight. Likewise, hunters can overcome their keen hearing by moving stealthily and quietly or, if on stand, not moving or making any sound.
In addition, the sight or sound of a hunter does not always send deer scattering for safety, but the smell of a hunter seems to instantly strike fear and trigger the flight impulse. And deer are constantly sniffing, monitoring the air for scents that indicate danger. Watch any deer for any length of time and you’ll see them sniffing, probing the air, ready to bolt at the first scent of danger.
And while a hunter—even the most carefully prepared hunter—emits odor, there are steps she or he can take to reduce the inherent smell (or mask it with a natural odor) and buy that little bit of extra time it takes to draw a bow or pull a trigger.
But for hunters it is not just about eliminating or masking odor (theirs), but also about using natural odors as attractants.
Put another way, a deer’s sense of smell can be a powerful protectant, alerting it to danger, but it can also be used against it, for instance, playing off a buck’s rutting instinct and drawing it in to the scent of a doe in estrus.
Wildlife Research Center, considered the industry leader in research and development of hunting scents and scent-elimination products, produces a complete line of scent-elimination products, masking scents, and hunting lures. Wildlife Research Center’s experts work constantly to develop effective products, often working with leading scientific experts, resulting in a combination of top resources and expert field and lab testing.
Let’s take a look at some of the products and how hunters can use them to overcome the keen sense of smell of deer and other wildlife.
Wildlife Research Center’s aptly-named Scent Killer Spray was the first odorless scent-elimination spray to hit the hunting market, and hunters were quick to realize its potential, spraying their hunting clothing before hitting the field, essentially creating a scent-elimination suit of hunting clothes. Wildlife Research proudly points to a Rutgers University study that found Scent Killer Spray to be 99% effective at stopping replicated human odor. And, they point out, it continues to be effective days after it has dried.
Scent Killer works at the molecular level to reduce human scent. It is considered impossible to eliminate 100-percent of a human’s odor, but the Scent Killer theory is to reduce the odor level to a point it is essentially undetectable or so low it does not trigger a flight alarm in an animal; therefore, the chance of spooking the deer or other animals is significantly reduced.
Scent Killer Gold Autumn Formula Spray with Hunt Dry Technology Plus is a new offering, formulated for maximum scent-killing performance after it dries so you don’t have to hunt with freshly sprayed wet clothing. To the odor-fighting ingredients they’ve added their Autumn formula, a subtle scent of woods and forest. And it’s available in a package deal with a high-output spray bottle that will spray even when held upside down, and a refill bottle.
Scent Killer technology stretches to other areas as well, including the laundry room and shower. Scent Killer Gold Laundry Detergent not only cleans your clothes, it also fights odor while the Autumn Formula adds a subtle hint of natural smells. There are also Scent Killer Autumn Formula dryer sheets.
Scent Killer Bar Soap and Body Wash and Shampoo complete the personal hygiene package.
Wildlife Research’s hunting and masking scents have undergone extensive experimentation, research and testing.
Masking scents, like red fox and raccoon urine, can help cover or disguise human scent with a natural odor familiar to deer. These scents can reduce the level of fear of human scent and delay or even prevent the triggering of fear-provoked flight.
Hunting Scents play on the natural impulses of deer to mate, impulses triggered by scent. Wildlife Research’s original scent, the one that started it all, Trail’s End #307, an effective all-season (and rut) buck lure, now comes with Scent Reflex Technology, a proprietary advancement engineered for stronger, more consistent results, to increase chances of attracting and firing up bucks. This popular lure contains whitetail doe urine with estrus secretions as well as attraction-enhancing oils from plants and other proprietary ingredients.
Wildlife Research’s Super Charged Golden Estrus with Scent Reflex Technology is a blend of premium doe urine and estrus secretions developed to attract whitetail bucks.
This year, Wildlife Research introduced Golden Estrus and Golden Doe in pressurized spray cans for quick, easy application. It’s not as simple as it sounds. The three-ounce cans feature a high-output sprayer and will spray upside down. But the key is the “Bag on Valve” system that separates the scent from pressurized air that propels it out of the can. This is in contrast to some spray scent aerosols that may be diluted—and contaminated—with propellant.
In addition, the Super Charged Golden Estrus with Scent Reflex Technology is available in an eight-ounce high-output spray bottle for hassle-free application.
A simple design that makes scent dispensing easy and mess-free, Wildlife Research’s Key-Wick is a convenient key-shape of the synthetic felt that allows you to dip it into a bottle of liquid scent, then easily hang it on a branch or twig, letting the scent waft naturally in the breeze.
Quick Wiks are compact plastic containers that protect the felt wick inside until it is opened and hung on a tree branch; then the wick drops out and scent can disperse in the breeze. It makes for clean, easy, and convenient transport to and from the field.
By the way, the felt wicks in all Wildlife Research dispensers are made with a special highly absorbent synthetic felt that will not alter or affect the smell of the lure.
And Wildlife Research’s latest innovation in scent dispensing is the Super Charged Scrape-Dripper, with which you can create a mock scrape, a popular and effective method of attracting bucks. The Dripper will simulate intense scrape activity by dripping scent from the innovative dripper that drips as temperature rises (usually during the day, when you want to be hunting), but stops dripping when the temperature is steady or dropping, such as at night or during rainy weather, when you don’t want to be hunting. The key is an air pocket that expands and contracts with temperature change, allowing it to drip when the mercury rises and shuts off when it drops or levels off.
Wildlife Research Center has spent decades developing products to give hunters the edge over deers’ keen sense of smell. To see a complete line of their products, visit wildlife.com.