Photo: Whether the leaves are green, turning colors, or there is snow on the ground, doe-in-rut (estrous) lures attract bucks year-round.
I've been bowhunting deer for 30 years, and I’ve heard many hunters argue that using deer scents out of season, particularly when there’s no rut, is a waste of time.
After several experiences I’ve had, I don’t believe this. In fact, I now believe it helps to apply lures like Tink’s 69 to my hunting area and myself whenever I’m doing anything in the deer woods, even in the spring and summer.
During the spring two years ago, I first put my theory to the test in Ohio.
After spooking a nice buck while I was searching for edible wild mushrooms on my cousin’s land, I decided to use estrus lure every time I went into the area and load up the place with mock scrapes and scents each trip. I even wore the same clothing, which also had lure applied to it.
I wanted that buck to stick around for bow season!
When the Ohio season arrived, I played tag with that buck several times, but couldn’t seem to get an arrow in it. The main thing was, it had remained in the area and was used to my odors.
I told my cousin I’d have that buck by the time the rut arrived. A couple weeks later, the buck got a ride in the back of my pickup truck!
Believe it or not, I have found this tactic works with blacktails in California, too.
While using doe-in-heat scents, I’ve had blacktails chase me down and practically climb into the stand with me trying to find the doe. I was surprised whitetail lures work on blacktails, but it does.
Try my tip for yourself and see if using estrus lures year round will keep deer interested in your area and help disguise your odors better when the season finally arrives. Scent usage will arouse buck’s curiosity and keep them from straying during the off-season.
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