Deer Scents and the Nuttiness Behind Them
I’ve been looking up some stuff on deer pee. I got curious one night on which brand was “the best”. Dug up some interesting stuff. These mass produced urines sit on the shelf in a store for a long time before they are purchased. They start to break down, turning rancid and becoming blackish in color. Alcohol or some other type of preservative is added to try and keep the urine fresh. The urine is spoiling on the shelf and will not fool a mature, rutting Whitetail. But the ad says “Collected from a single doe during the peak of the rut.” This leads the buyer to believe that this urine is fresh and full of pheromones – not so. Can you imagine how many does would have to be available for collection during the 24 hour peak of estrous? This is simply not possible. There’s millions of little bottles of doe pee sitting on the shelves of American stores. do you really think there’s that many does on deer farms across the US to fill all those bottles. Anyways…
What are pheromones? Pheromones are a live product that are secreted from the doe, which signal to the buck that she is ready to be bred at the time of ovulation. The buck can detect pheromones when he does a flaming curl. A flaming curl forces the air that the buck inhales into smaller passages in his naval cavity, an area where the live pheromones can be detected by the buck. When a buck smells live pheromones, he will do whatever he can to get near the doe in estrous.
When a buck is looking for a doe in estrous, he is first looking for a good amount of doe urine. Does do urinate a lot more when in estrous. Once the buck finds a doe urinating frequently, he goes to the spot of heavy urination, puts his nose into the puddle and inhales deeply. Then, doing a flaming curl, he is able to determine if the doe is ready to stand for breeding. If you are using a 1.5 ounce bottle of old, rancid urine you are fooling no one. The urine is not fresh and you are not using enough to simulate a doe in estrous. Therefore probably not filling your tag with a mature trophy buck.
You see when you walk past a pizza shop, what do you smell? Pizza. What does a deer smell? He smells tomatoes, peperoni, the seasoning on the peperoni, cheese, the flour used in the dough, etc. You get my point. We as hunters all know that deer have an excellent sense of smell. But most hunter don’t know how good it really is. You see deer have about 296 million receptors in their nose. As opposed to a dog with 220 million and humans with 5-6 million. So when you put that little bottle of doe pee on a scrape this fall. What do you think a buck is gonna smell? He’s gonna smell the little drop of 100% doe pee yes, but he’s gonna also smell the preservatives added as well.
There’s been a few people looking into this problem and there’s been some advances that might actually just work. The biggest I could find was deer farmers collecting the pee and immediately freezing it. This stops the break down of the pee and the reproduction of bacteria in the pee. Which causes it to smell like ammonia and extremely unnatural. But it also preserves the pheromones. Which when a deer smells something unnatural we all know they avoid that area or book it in the other direction. The only problem I see with this natural frozen product. Is that I don’t think there’s enough supply to keep up with today’s demanding hunting industry.
Another advancement that has been around for quite a few years is the product Buck Bomb. I myself have actually had success with this product. If you don’t know it’s an aerosol can of all natural doe urine. The sealed off can keeps the urine from coming in contact with fresh air and causing the urine to spoil. You can lock the spray nozzle down and cover a lot of area, along with misting the air with the scent. Or spray it here and there. It’s a reliable product that I’d recommend for hunters on a budget. They have a wide variety of deer urines to use from pre-rut into the rut.
I just thought I’d bring this info up to you guys. Way I figure it, deer hunting is a sport of odds. The more you’re in the woods the better odds you have. The better prepared you are for your hunt and the more you actually know about deer from a biological stand point you increase your odds even more.