Trophy Buck - Sense and Scents -
Use ‘Buck Attractants’ With Caution

By The Field Logic Pro Staff

Minnesotan Russ Traurig know some sacrifices would have to be made to target a trophy, but in the end, those sacrifices led to his biggest buck ever.

Traurig knew his hunting area extremely well and made the dominant buck think another was horning in on his turf. By creating a mock scrape during the pre-rut period right before the big buck made his own scrape line in the same area, Traurig anticipated the big deer he’d seen Opening Day would eventually come into bow range.

He was right. Traurig used dominant buck urine with tarsal gland during the pre-rut, in a specific area that had scrapes every year. When the big buck he had targeted came looking for the "intruder," Traurig downed the eight-pointer, which field dressed at 204 pounds.

Unfortunately, many deer hunters don’t realize the full impact of using buck lures that contain urine from a dominant buck. While they may bring in the elusive, dominant buck, these scents can and do chase does and lesser bucks away. Many hunters also might not realize how crucial timing is for using buck urine appropriately.

Take a look at Traurig’s strategy and see how it applies to your hunting area.

First, Traurig knew that by using BUCK-IN-RUT, a product from Field Logic that contains dominant buck urine with tarsal gland, he was probably eliminating all but the biggest buck in the area from coming to his mock scrape. (Note: Make sure and read the labels of so-called buck lures to see what they contain. Curiosity and food scents are for all deer, doe-in-heat will chase away other does, and dominant buck urine are only for someone chasing a big buck.)

Second, from years of hunting the area, he knew he was putting the mock scrape where bucks made an annual scrape line. And, most importantly, he was creating his mock scrape just as a few other scrapes were appearing in other parts of the woods.

"Hunting scrape lines during the pre-rut is a good strategy in itself," said Traurig. "By making a mock scrape in a buck’s home range before he begins making scrapes and tending his scrape line, will arouse aggression, especially in dominant bucks."

That aggression and his desire to find the intruder will keep the dominant buck in your hunting area. This obviously increases your odds since a dominant buck will tend miles of scrape lines, but if he thinks there is another buck encroaching he will respond by checking that area most often.

A Typical Strategy For Targeting That Trophy Buck

One good strategy is to set up a stand on the edge of a thicket downwind of a scrape line. Smart, older bucks are likely to pause to thoroughly probe the scents emanating from them, and check the area for danger before moving in.

Make sure you set up your stand so the buck can’t catch your scent as he comes to investigate the scrapes. This means you must pay careful attention to the direction of the wind.

Be sure and set up the stand where you have some good shooting lanes, both towards the scrapes and into the thicket. A deer, especially the trophies, always seem to have some brush or trees between you and them, but planning can increase your odds for a nice clean shot.

Of course it helps to have a little luck on your side, as was the case with Traurig’s buck. After pawing the scrape a few times, the buck suddenly jerked his head up and stared downwind at a thicket of prickly ash 50 yards away where Traurig could hear leaves rustling. Traurig drew his bow as the buck darted toward the sound, thinking it might be a lost cause. But a bit of luck occurred when the buck stopped and arched his back in an aggressive posture—broadside and right in a clear shooting lane. Traurig didn’t hesitate to loose the arrow, and the big buck never met whatever he thought was encroaching in his territory.

To be certain, luck plays a part in killing large deer. But using the right scents at the right time can clearly put the odds in your favor.

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