When stealth and skill don’t work during deer season, it’s time for a little trickery. Homemade scent canisters can lure a buck right to your stand.
These little gadgets are so easy and quick to make a hunter can fix up one or several in a couple of minutes. All that’s needed is a 35 mm film canister or any small bottle with a lid, some cotton and a little bottle of buck attractant like Tink’s Doe-In Rut Buck Lure.
The aroma imitates the scent of a doe in estrus, one that’s ready to mate. If all goes right and Mr. Big Boy gets wind of the buck lure, he’ll follow the scent to your stand or ground blind.
Here’s how to make a scent canister: Fill the canister with cotton. Drip several drops of buck lure on the cotton and put the lid on the canister. When you go deer hunting, tie or tape a canister to a low branch, twig or bush near your stand, or just set the canister on the ground. Remove the lid and let the scent ride the breeze to the nose of the nearest buck looking for a mate.
If he’s interested, chances are that buck will follow the scent trail right to your stand. When you’ve tagged your buck and the hunt is through, put the lid back on the canister and use it again and again. It’s a good idea to freshen it up from time to time with a few more drops of buck lure.
It’s a little trick I learned many moons ago from my deer hunting mentor and neighbor, the late Jackie Rogers. Fishermen remember Jackie as the weigh-master at all the old Beaver Lake Supercasters bass tournaments. He weighed so many bass he could tell you a fish’s weight within an ounce just by eyeballing it.
Jackie played a big part when I got my first deer and caught my first big bass at Beaver Lake.
It was a cool November evening during archery season. I’d been bowhunting two years and had yet to bag a deer with the trusty wooden recurve bow. There I sat, day dreaming in my tree stand 12 feet up a cedar tree. Off to my left, from out of nowhere, stood a dandy 6-point buck. By gosh, I just might get a shot.
The deer walked toward me quiet as smoke. I started hyperventilating. It’s a miracle the arrow found its mark and the buck went down after a short run.
I was ecstatic beyond words, the most exciting moment of my hunting life, that first deer. I’d never field-dressed a deer, but had studied all kinds of photos and diagrams. Still, I didn’t want to mess up. So I hopped in the truck, drove to Jackie’s house and knocked on his front door.
Jackie was eating supper, but got up from the table to help with the chore. The neat thing was that Jackie coached me while I field dressed the buck, instead of doing it himself. That way I’d learn better. I’ll never forget that act of kindness, Jackie leaving his dinner behind to help a greenhorn deer hunter.
I was a greenhorn bass angler, too, getting my feet wet learning how to catch largemouth bass at Beaver Lake. I wasn’t much for fishing in the winter, but heard all about people catching big bass on jerk baits out by Rocky Branch park.
I motored across the lake one chilly January evening and gave my jerk bait a heave. In a twitch or two a bass nabbed it. I held on for dear life, hyperventilating again with the biggest bass of my life on the line. Another miracle happened and I got it in the boat.
It had to be six pounds easy but I didn’t have a scale. Jackie would know. I high-tailed it to his house and showed him my fish.
That’s a mighty fine catch there, Jackie said, but my bass was more like four pounds, not six. Still, a trophy for me. I let the fish go. Hopefully it grew to 6 pounds.
Nowadays I think of Jackie every time I climb into a tree stand or cast a fishing line.
NW News on 11/14/2017