May 4, 2008

Think Like a Deer to Fill Your Tag

If you would like to listen to this Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog post as a podcast click the play button…

Discover the best place on your deer hunting land to find deer by thinking about what deer need and what your land can provide them.

Is it food, water, sun, shade, a place to rest, a place to hide or a windbreak? Or a combination?

Think about what deer need and where they will be at what time. Consider time of day, weather conditions and hunting pressure. Then head to the appropriate spot on your deer hunting land.

For example, let’s say it is cold, the wind is blowing and the ground is covered with snow in most areas.

Ask yourself, what do deer need today? The answer could be sunshine, a windbreak and easy food.

Hunt a south facing slope where the sun has melted some snow, making acorns or other browse available for deer while keeping them out of the wind. Come in so you are downwind so the deer will not pick up your scent in the wind.

If you can think like a deer, you can put more meat on your table.

Want more deer rutting secrets? Subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter  or get blog posts delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Deer Hunting Expert at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

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=========================

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March 28, 2008

Pre-Rut Deer Hunting Success by Marty Prokop

If you would like to listen to this Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog post as a podcast click the play button…

Deer hunting during the rut and being in the right place at the right time can have you shooting the monster buck of your dreams. But, which rut should you hunt?

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute Marty Prokop, have you fallen off your rocker? There is only one rut.”

Actually there are three very distinct parts to the deer rut: Pre-Rut, Main Rut and Post-Rut. Knowing and understanding each could help you bag the buck of a lifetime.

In my Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter and this blog post I will share with you secrets for deer hunting success during Pre-Rut. In the next tips I will cover Main Rut and Post-Rut.

What is the Pre Rut?

Pre-Rut is triggered by mature does, those that are at least 4½ years old, going into a very short estrus cycle. This cycle lasts only 24 to 36 hours.

In the northern areas of the USA, Pre-Rut usually begins in early October.

Up until this short estrus cycle, bucks are still wandering around in their small bachelor groups.

As soon as the smell of an estrus doe hits the air, the bucks react by making scrapes and rubs. During this 24 to 36 hour period, deer hunters who are in the woods may notice vast numbers of fresh scrapes and rubs almost appearing overnight.

Noticing these new scrapes and increased deer activity as part of the pre-rut phase, could increase your odds of tagging a big buck.

Being in the Right Place at the Right Time

Remember, Pre-Rut only last a few days, so timing is everything. Here are some options for connecting with a big buck during Pre-Rut.

Set up your deer hunting tree stand overlooking one of the new scrapes. Make sure you are downwind of the scrape. Then you simply wait him out. Eventually he will come to check his scrape.

Another way to attract the dominant buck and lure him to you is by making a mock scrape.

A mock scrape should be about two feet in diameter, with a licking branch approximately three feet above the ground.

Mock scrapes are made by removing leaves, grasses and debris off the ground’s surface and exposing fresh earth. This can be done with a stick or garden rake.

Once fresh earth is exposed, pour a good amount of Dominant Buck Urine and Doe in Heat (doe in estrus) urine onto the scrape. Saturate two scent wicks, one with dominant buck urine and the other with doe in heat deer scent, and hang them on the licking branch above the scrape.

Place your deer stand downwind of the mock scrape and wait for the big buck to come in.

During the short Pre-Rut, testosterone levels of buck deer begin to increase and very few bucks have the chance to breed the few doe deer that go into estrus. Many bucks become frustrated. This frustration is how Mother Nature alerts and prepares the rest of the bucks for the upcoming Main Rut.

We’ll talk more about the Main Rut in my next blog post.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Deer Hunting Expert at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

****************************

Find Deer Games, Pictures and Hunting Fun at: http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

=========================

*** More Free Stuff ***

Get Your Own Free Audio Deer Hunting Tips, listen to the Deer Hunting Podcast, subscribe to our RSS Feed, see Big Buck Pictures and read the Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: http://www.marty-prokop.com

=========================

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If you want to keep up on new deer hunting secrets subscribe to the weekly Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com Newsletter or get blog posts delivered to you by subscribing to our RSS feed by clicking on one of the RSS feed buttons in the right hand column of this blog.

=========================

*** Help Your Deer Hunting Buddies ***

Help your deer hunting buddies and support deer hunting…it’s free to do… Go ahead and email this Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog URL to your deer hunting buddies or use our Tell A Friend form at http://www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com/ .

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January 17, 2008

Do Mock Scrapes Really Work for Attracting Big Bucks?

Take a look at the pictures above. These four bucks all came into the same mock scrape I had made. Notice the licking branch above the scrape. You can see I had placed a scent wick directly over the scrape, and the scent wick has drawn a lot of attention from the four bucks that visited the site.

Mock scrapes work great for attracting buck deer to an area. A mock scrape set up properly will bring in the big bucks. It will also attract the little guys too as you can see in the picture to the left.

How to Make a Mock Scrape

Mock scrapes are made by choosing a location under a licking branch and exposing fresh earth with a garden rake or stick.

After you have loosened the soil and removed all grasses and leaves from the scrape's surface, place dominant buck urine and doe in heat scents on the scrape.

Always make sure the scrape site you choose has a licking branch above it.

The licking branch should be about three feet off the ground and directly over the scrape.

Bucks use licking branches to leave scents from their tongues and pre-orbital glands (near their eyes). A licking branch is a way for a buck to leave his calling card and let other bucks know he is claiming this territory.

Scrapes without a licking branch will be used very seldom, if at all.

After you have placed deer scent on the scrapes surface, saturate a scent wick with doe in heat deer scent and hang it on the licking branch over the scrape. The scent wick will drip onto the scrape and wind currents will blow scent into the surrounding area. Placing  a saturated scent wick over the scrape will help keep your mock scrape more active for a longer period of time.

If you want to attract more bucks from neighboring land onto your deer hunting land, try using mock scrapes. They work, and work well, as you can see in the pictures.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

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December 5, 2007

What to do When Your good Deer Hunting Stand has Gone Bad

 You very carefully approach and exit your deer hunting tree stand or ground blind. You give great attention to the wind direction and scent cover, making sure you enter your deer hunting location with the wind in your face.

Days and weeks after being pursued, no matter how careful you are, smart deer and big bucks will realize they are being hunted.

By late season, even reliable deer hunting tree stand locations can stop producing fresh signs. Here is the good news. Studies have proven that pressured deer often shift their behaviors and patterns but stay in their home ranges.

Deer stands that go cold are a great reason to pull out your aerial maps to locate your deer hunting land’s most remote and rugged area with good cover. Read your map and scout for spot that might be challenging to access because of thick cover, rough terrain or a stream.

If the terrain is a challenge to get into…this is a location that could produce deer. The deer in easier terrain may be already taken or have felt the pressure and retreated to safe cover to survive.

Identify one or two tough-to-access locations in your hunting area which may be holding these later season deer.

Watch the wind and go in pre-dawn with the wind blowing the perfect direction to move your scent away from the deer. Sit up against a blow-down or thick tree. Don’t put up a ground blind or tree stand, because the noise and motion could easily scare the already alert deer.

Make sure to enter and leave this area as quietly as possible after staying for as long as you can.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

www.Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com

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November 15, 2007

How to Attract Big Bucks

Here is a nice picture of a big buck I recently attracted onto my deer hunting land.

Here is an email I just received from a www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com reader asking how to do the same with his deer hunting land.

Marty Prokop,

I am getting so frustrated. I enjoy your tips each week and don't know if you respond to e-mail or not, especially on November 13th!

I usually consider Nov. 6 - 14 the peak of rut in Ohio, but I haven't seen the big bucks or the chasing this year. I am open to some tips on how to get deer under my stand.

I hunt in a small yard which borders thousands of acres in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreational Park. I see many deer in the woods, and many come under my stands, but I can't get the big ones off of their trails, 50-75 yards into the park. I have bow hunted here for 6 previous and have taken 13 deer and passed on multiple deer a year.

I have harvested 2 bucks, one a 7 - pointer scoring in the 100 - 115 inch range. I have seen the 120 to 150 class bucks, but can't get them to cross onto my legal shooting area. The park rangers know me and are very nice and always allow me to track the deer all over the park after shooting them.

I just purchased a Matthews Switchback and can group arrows better than ever, golf ball from 20, softball from 30 and football from 40, which I could never do with my Browning Mantis. Just after purchasing the bow last January, I shot a doe from 40 yards right at dark through the heart, so my confidence level is high if I can just get those bucks my way.

I grunt, wheeze, rattle, and use Tinks 69 over mock scrapes. I haven't invested in a motion camera, but I did stoop to buying some stuff called C'mere Deer a week ago and watched a spike eat it at 15 yards.

Help, I really want a Pope and Young, Ohio Big Buck, or a B & C deer-120, 140, or 150.

Thanks,

Desperate Don

 

Don,

Thanks for your comment and questions.

I feel your frustration. Last deer season was similar for me. I needed to get those big bucks onto my deer hunting land, then do what it took to hold them there.

Do you own the land you are hunting on? Or, do you hunt land with permission from a landowner?

The reason I ask is this, to get big bucks to want to leave the safety of the park, you need to attract more does to your side of the fence. During the rut big bucks will spend their days and nights chasing does. If you can hold a few more does on your deer hunting land, odds are you will attract bucks.

I planted food plots to get more does onto my deer hunting land. The deer food plots are strategically placed near water and bedding areas. On any given day I see fifteen to twenty does grazing. When the rut is on, I see four to five nice bucks tending the does.

A good food source that attracted more does was key for me seeing and holding more bucks. Since you are facing winter in your location, food plots will be an answer for you next year.

For the remainder of your deer hunting season try the following suggestions.

First, start using dominant buck urine along with a doe in estrus deer scent. Buck Bomb™ is a great choice for filling an area with deer scent without spreading too much human odor. Once you activate the Buck Bomb™ climb into your deer hunting treestand and the wind will spread the deer scent for you.

Try using two deer decoys, one buck and one doe. Place dominant buck urine on and around the buck decoy and doe in estrus deer scent on and around the doe decoy. This will make it seem a buck has moved in on a hot doe in another buck's territory. 

With your deer decoys in place, call and rattle to entice a buck to come in to investigate. A deer call to try is The Can by Primos. This call imitates doe bleats made by a doe in estrus. When combined with the grunt and rattle calls, the scenario of two bucks fighting over a hot doe becomes more effective.

Before placing a decoys be sure to check your local deer hunting regulations for legality.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

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October 15, 2007

Deer Hunting During the Deer Rut

Late Fall is when you will generally see rutting behaviors, but in some areas, the rut can continue into December.

Doe deer coming into estrus late or those who were not bred during the main rut may catch the attention of bucks well into December. They don’t watch a calendar or care what month it is, so neither should you.

Even during deer bowhunting in December carry along your deer scents and deer calls. You may find that you are out in the field late in the bowhunting or muzzleloader season and hear a dominate buck grunt. If you have your deer calls with you, you can use them to bring in the big buck.

If you are bowhunting or muzzleloader hunting for deer later in the season, be prepared in case you find yourself deer hunting a late season rut.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

September 17, 2007

Choosing the Right Deer Cover Scent

Below is a comment I received from Marcel about a prior blog post talking about preparing his clothes for deer hunting season. You can read his first question at http://www.marty-prokop.com/archives/2007/09/how_to_prepare.html#comments

You can read my response to Marcel's new questions below.

Marty,

Thank you for your answers.

One more question.

I bought a spray bottle of human scent eliminator should I still wash the hunting clothes with baking soda? And is that scent any good?

I also bought a corn scent foam ,same thing, there is no farm or corn where I hunt . Do you think if I spray some by the tree stand 3 weeks before hunting season it would work?

I also bought a bag of food called beef mash . Is it good to put some around the tree stand ?

Thanks again,

Marcel Mclaughlin

Marcel,

Thanks for your questions.

Yes, wash your clothes with baking soda. It is by far the least expensive treatment you can do for taking smells out of your hunting clothing.

Human scent eliminator sprays will help cover your human scent. Are they 100% effective? In my opinion, no.

However they do help. There should be no real scent to the spray. If you are smelling something in the scent eliminator, then the deer will be able to smell that too.

Using cover or attractant scents that are not native to the area you hunt can be touchy. Deer are curious by nature, so they may come in and check out a new smell. But on the flip side, they may steer clear of the area too. Do you have corn fields nearby your hunting location say within one to two miles? If so, deer may be used to the smell of corn and won’t be alarmed.

As far as the beef mash is concerned, I’ve not used any such product to attract deer. You had mentioned a while back you placed some near the creek at your home and the deer ate it. If you are hunting that same group of deer, it may work fine.

If you can test the beef mash on a small scale by pacing some about 100 yards or so from your stand give it a try. After you place the beef mash, let it sit for a couple days before you recheck it. When you go back to check and the beef mash is eaten, then I would say you are fine to place it near your stand.

Before you place any bait or food out for deer, make sure you check your local rules and hunting regulations.

Have you ever tried making a deer mineral lick by your deer stand? Deer will visit them year round. There are a few companies that offer deer minerals and they are easy to establish. If this is something of interest to you, let me know.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

September 7, 2007

How to Prepare Your Deer Hunting Clothes for Deer Hunting

Preparing your hunting clothes has been a heated topic of debate for many years.

Should a deer hunter wash his/her clothes in expensive UV inhibitor detergents and no scent soaps?

Does it matter if a deer hunter, after washing his/her clothes, dries the clothing in their home dryer or should you hang your deer hunting clothing outside to air dry?

Once dry, should you place your deer hunting clothes in a vacuum sealed bag?

In my never ending quest to find out what works best for every deer hunter I tested many different ways to clean my deer hunting clothes and store them for my next hunt.

I will share my tips for preparing your deer hunting clothes in an upcoming newsletter.

Here is what Fred Vorrasi of upstate New York does for his deer hunting clothes every year. It works for him. He always gets his deer.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Preparing Your Camouflage Deer Hunting Clothing by Fred Vorrasi

I personally get all my camo deer hunting clothes out around mid August and make sure it fits. I suggest you do the same. This will allow you enough time prior to your bow season opener to buy new clothes if need be.

Once you have determined your deer hunting clothes fit, here are 9 steps to prepare your clothes for deer hunting.

  1. Set your wash machine to its large load setting.

  2. Set wash cycle for COLD water wash and rinse.

  3. Fill wash machine with your deer hunting clothes.

  4. Add two cups of baking soda only and start wash cycle. Do not add any other detergents.

  5. When the wash cycle has completed, find a shaded area out side to hang a clothes line.

  6. Be careful that the area you hang the clothes is away from odors such as grills, car exhaust, pet odors, or chemical sprays.

  7. Hang your clothes outside, out of direct sunlight, for one to three weeks until dry.

  8. After your clothes have dried outside, place into a thick clear plastic bag containing one to two pine branches, or two apples cut in five to six pieces.

  9. Seal the bag with a twist tie or if the bag is so equipped, with its zip top type closure.

Placing pine branches or cut apples in the bag will omit a natural odor to your clothing. When you open the bag for the first time after sealing it you can smell that your clothing has been naturally scented.

Through out the season keep placing your clothing in the bag when not in use and place new pine branches or apples every other week. Changing the branches or apples regularly insures the scent on your clothing is strong.

This really works, I bow hunt in NY state hard woods and pine forests and have had great success.

Good luck hunting.

Frontier Fred.

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (2)

April 5, 2007

“Do High Priced Deer Scents Really Work?” by Marty Prokop

I am frequently asked, “Which works better, deer scent collected and made from a single deer or deer scents collected from multiple deer?”

In other words, when it comes to deer scents, is there a difference that results in more deer or bigger deer?

A deer hunter could spend a small fortune on deer scents. I wanted to know what kind of deer scents are worth my money.

I decided to field test this.

Deer scents collected and made from one deer are often much more expensive than deer scent collected and made from multiple deer. Is the higher price worth it?

I purchased two different brands of deer scent. One was collected and made from many deer and bottled. The other brand stated it was collected from a single deer.

So off to the deer hunting woods I went to test.

The results actually surprised me.

I tested these two types of deer scent, at the exact same time, during the peak of the rut on my deer hunting land in Wisconsin. I used natural deer scrapes as my testing sites. I set up my trail cameras to monitor results.

Marty Prokop Reveals Results from Multiple Deer Attractant Scent

So how were the results of attractant scent from multiple deer?

At the first site, over a natural deer scrape, I placed a scent wick saturated with doe-in-heat scent made from several deer.

What did the camera catch?

In one week, it photographed one small spike buck on the third day, and the same spike buck several times after. That was it.

Marty Prokop Reveals Results from Single Deer Attractant Scent

At site number two, over a natural deer scrape, I placed a scent wick saturated with a doe estrus scent collected from a single doe.

What did the camera catch?

The first night, four hours after I placed the scent wick, it photographed three bucks at the scrape. One buck was a nice 8-pointer. Another was a fork buck. And, yet, another was a spike buck.

On day four, a heavy racked six-pointer also visited the scrape.

There were 15 different bucks photographed in a week at site number two. The sizes ranged from a spike buck to a very respectable 10-pointer.

The Bottom Line from Marty Prokop

Here are the one week results:

The trail camera at the site of the single doe estrus scent captured 15 bucks.

The trail camera at the site of the multiple doe estrus scent captured the one spike buck on several different days. So the camera was working during the entire time.

Is it a coincidence?

Possibly.

But based on what I saw, I chose to use the deer scent collected and bottled from a single deer for the rest of the deer hunting season.

Marty Prokop Tests Again

I began to think maybe I had placed the single doe estrus scent in a better location than the other. So this year I will be carrying out the same test with one modification.

The only change will be that I will place the multiple doe scent where the single doe scent was last year and the single where the multiple was. If the bucks move to the new location, then I know it is the scent.

The Results So Far…

I’ll report the results of my new test as soon as it is completed.

Deer hunters in our community would love to hear your experiences and thoughts. You can comment, share your experiences and read more at the Free Deer Hunting Tips blog at www.marty-prokop.com .

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Find Deer Games and Hunting Fun at: www.Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com
Great Pictures and Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: www.Marty-Prokop.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (4)

April 4, 2007

Attract Deer to Your Deer Hunting Tree Stand by Marty Prokop

On April 3rd I talked about how to get deer, and even big bucks, to follow you out to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind.

Today I am going to talk about how to attract more deer and bigger deer to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind.

Marty Prokop asks, “How Many Times Has This Happened to You?”

You are sitting in your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind. You see a big buck walking in front of you, just out of range.

Suddenly, the big buck stops and begins to circle your tree stand or blind location. As you sit in your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind watching the buck, you notice the wind direction has changed slightly and is now blowing your human odor in the direction of the big buck.

No worries, you figure, he will keep coming towards you, because you have sprayed cover scent all over your deer hunting gear and deer hunting clothing.

Then it happens.

The buck stops in his tracks, throws his head into the air and snorts loudly as he catches your human odor. The big buck turns and runs deeper into the woods, not once offering you a clean shot.

Your deer hunt doesn’t have to end this way.

In order to attract more deer and big bucks for a clean shot from your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind, you must keep your human odor as minimal as possible.

Marty Prokop Reveals Using Deer Attractant Scents to Lure Deer Closer

In addition to my cover scent, I hang multiple scent wicks around my deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind location.

During the pre-rut, I used doe urine and buck urine scents. During the rut, I use doe estrus and dominate buck scents.

Here is how I make handling these scent wicks less messy to make and quicker to hang in the field.

The scent wicks I hang in the field around my deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind are saturated with the same scents as my drag lines. (We talked about this in a prior newsletter and blog post.)

The day before I go deer hunting, while preparing my deer scent drag lines, I saturate six additional scent wicks and place them into the zip-top bags with the drag lines.

One bag contains three additional scent wicks saturated with buck urine during the pre-rut and dominant buck scent during the rut.

The second bag contains three additional scent wicks saturated with doe urine during the pre-rut and doe estrus during the rut.

In The Field with Marty Prokop

In a shooting lane directly in front of my deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind, about 20 yards out, I hang one doe-based attractant scent wick and one buck-based attractant scent wick. I make sure all scent wicks are four to five feet off the ground so wind can help disperse the deer scent.

Then, I walk twenty yards to the right of my deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind and do the same. I move twenty yards to the left of my deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind and hang the remaining buck and doe scent wicks.

What is the purpose of hanging the scent wicks to either side of your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind?

It is to help cover your human odor if the wind currents change and to stop deer from catching human odor and bolting when they circle behind you or are down wind of you.

I’ve had big bucks circle to the side of my deer hunting tree stand, catch the smell of the scent wick and turn back towards my tree stand. This allowed me good shots before I was winded by the deer.

The next time you head into the deer hunting woods let deer attractant scents and the wind currents do some of the work for you. Place your scent wicks in front and to the left and right of your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind.

Do this and you could attract more deer to you, without them knowing you are even there.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Find Deer Games and Hunting Fun at: www.Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com
Great Pictures and Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: www.Marty-Prokop.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

April 3, 2007

Get Deer to Follow You to Your Tree Stand by Marty Prokop


In yesterday’s blog post, I talked about cover scents. Today I am revealing how to use attractant scents to get deer to follow you to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind.

First, let’s talk about what scents to use when.

When deer hunting is open, I deer hunt as many seasons as possible.

This means I am archery hunting long before the deer rut begins. During pre-rut few, if any, does are in estrus.

Using deer urine or buck urine, I’ve had great success drawing in nice does for the freezer and big bucks during the pre-rut.

But I wondered about using doe-in-heat scents during the early pre-rut. So I field tested it.

During the pre-rut, the days I used a doe estrus scent, I saw zero bucks.

When I switched back to a plain buck urine or doe urine scent during the pre-rut, I saw more deer.

I feel the bucks were confused or turned off by doe estrus scent when used too early in the deer hunting season.

Marty Prokop Reveals How to Get Deer to Follow You

What is the secret to getting deer to follow you to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind?

Make sure deer can smell the deer attractant scents you are using. And how can you do that?

As you walk to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind use drag lines and multiple scent wicks to disperse the deer attractant scents.

I use scent wicks and drag lines with two different scents, one for each of my boots. I use a doe-based attractant scent tied to one boot. I use a buck-based attractant scent tied to the other.

Let me explain. First let’s make sure we are all on the same page by quickly talking basics.

What is a drag line?

A drag line is a three to four foot, fairly heavy-duty string with a scent wick tied on the end of it.

For the drag line, I choose string which is the thickness of bootlace.

Prior to using the string, I make sure it has not been exposed to smells that would be unnatural to deer. I would not use string that has been sitting in an area exposed to household or garage smells.

I purchase two coils of string specifically for drag lines.

When I get it home, I place the two coils of string into two zip-top bags.

I pour a different deer attractant scent into the two bags. In one bag I pour a buck-based deer attractant scent. In the other I pour a doe-based deer attractant scent.

Now another question…what is a scent wick?

It is a small piece of material usually made of cotton felt or wool felt with a hole in it. The hole is where it is tied to the string. They are pretty inexpensive. I purchase scent wicks from the store. But I bet you could also make them, if you desired.

Preparing Your Scent Wicks and Drag Lines

Prepare your scent wicks and your drag lines the day before you go deer hunting.

Cut a three to four foot string for your drag lines from each bag of scent…one from the doe-based attractant bag and one from the buck-based.

Tie one scent wick to one end of each of your strings.

You’ll need two additional, new zip-top bags.

Place the scent wick, now tied to your drag line with the doe-based attractant scent, over the top of one of the new, open zip-top bags.

Pour the doe-based attractant scent, enough to saturate, onto the scent wick that is attached to the drag line with doe-based attractant scent. Let the extra liquid fall into the open bag.

Place the scent wick and drag line into the zip-top bag. Make sure the scent wick is at the bottom of the zip-top bag.

I pour in enough matching deer attractant scent so there is a small amount of liquid remaining in the bottom of the bag around the scent wick.

Through the zip-top bag, hold the scent wick between your index fingers and thumbs. Place pressure and release on the scent wick to make sure you can see the scent wick sitting in and absorbing the remaining deer scent liquid. Seal the bag tightly.

Do the same with the buck-based attractant scent wick and buck-based drag line.

Let both bags sit overnight. You can place both bags in your hunting pack. You’ll be using them in the morning on the way to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind.

Marty Prokop Reveals How to Attract Deer with Your Deer Scent Drag Lines

When you are about 150 to 200 yards from your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind, open your zip-top bags. Tie the doe-based drag line to one of your boots with the scent wick trailing and the buck-based drag line to the other.

Let the saturated scent wicks drag behind you as you walk to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind.

This allows deer to smell both the buck urine and the doe urine scent as they walk on the trail. Deer passing by may be fooled into following the scent trail you left behind and walk right up to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind.

Marty Prokop is asked, “What Scent to Use When?”

During pre-rut, I use deer urine and buck urine.

After finding the first scrape of the deer hunting season, I switch from doe urine and buck urine to dominant buck scent and doe-in-heat scent, sometimes called doe estrus.

During the rut phase, follow the steps above using doe-in-heat scent and dominant buck scent as you would doe urine or buck urine during the pre-rut.

Once the rut has begun, using the smells of doe estrus and dominant buck scents just may help attract and hold bucks to your deer hunting area.

Put these deer scent strategies to work for you the next time you head out deer hunting. You could have the big buck of a lifetime walk right up to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind as he follows a scent trail you left behind.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Find Deer Games and Hunting Fun at: www.Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com
Great Pictures and Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: www.Marty-Prokop.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (2)

April 2, 2007

Making Sense of Deer Cover Scents

Making Sense of Deer Cover Scents by Marty Prokop

A deer hunter could spend thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest products. Over the past 24 years I have tried many…some worked great and others went directly to the trash can.

I have been asked by our www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com community about types and styles of deer hunting supplies I use for deer hunting.

So in the next few blog posts I’ll talk about deer cover scents, deer attractant scents and bust the myths around high priced and low priced deer scents.

In this blog post I’ll talk about deer cover scents.

In the April 3rd blog post, I’ll reveal a great, little-known secret for how to get deer to follow you to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind.

On April 4th, I will cover how to attract more deer and bigger deer to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind once you are there.

And make sure to read the April 5th blog post about the experiment I did in the field to see if deer attractant scent collected and made from multiple deer or single deer is better.

You’ll be amazed.


So let start uncovering the secret of deer scents.

We start with cover scents…

Marty Prokop is asked, “Do Cover Scents Really Make a Difference for Deer Hunters?”

I have been asked, and often wondered myself, if using deer cover scents really makes a difference to a deer hunter’s success.

Here is what I found…

I did field tests with and without deer cover scents.

For the first two weeks of bow hunting season, I bow hunted without the aid of cover scents or deer attractant scents. I saw plenty of deer, but none came into range.

The following week I applied a cover scent to all of my deer hunting gear and deer hunting clothing. I chose a cover scent that I felt would work no matter where in the country I was deer hunting.

The first morning, using cover scent, two does walk within 10 feet of me. Why? I believe it was because both deer smelled the cover scent I applied to my clothing and not my human odor.

I continued to apply the cover scent to my deer hunting clothes for the rest of the deer hunting season.

In my personal experience, cover scents work very well as long as you know this most important secret: Make sure the deer hunting cover scent you use matches the scents found naturally in your deer hunting habitat.

For example, if you deer hunt in a pine forest with no oak or acorn producing trees, acorn cover scents may actually alarm the deer in your area and keep them from coming to your deer hunting tree stand or deer hunting blind.

The same holds true if you hunt in an oak forest with no pine trees. A pine cover scent may not be the best choice to use.

Match your deer hunting cover scent to your deer hunting area.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Find Deer Games and Hunting Fun at: www.Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com
Great Pictures and Deer Hunting Secrets Blog at: www.Marty-Prokop.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

February 12, 2007

Deer Scent Question

Below is a great comment I received from Marcel regarding a prior blog post which talked about using natural cover scents for hunting. In his comment, Marcel, asks another great question. Below Marcel';s comment you will find my answer.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty

Thanks for your answer. I’m glad I wasn’t doing all that work for nothing.

You asked me what kind of deer scent I use to put on the deer droppings I bring back to my tree stand from other places. Before I started talking to you, I did not think it made a difference. I always thought as long as a deer smelled any deer scent it was ok. Could you remind me and every body else what is the best deer scent according to the time of the rut right. Thank you.


P.S. I told one of my nephews about you saying a fake scrape should have a branch above the scrape to look more real. He is a good hunter and he didn’t know about that.

After I told him, he said, “You know, now that you mention it, every time I watch a deer hunting program on TV, there is always a deer rubbing a branch with its face or its eyes.” “Thanks,” he said.

He also laughed at me every time I told him I bring deer droppings in a plastic bag to my tree stand. I got him this time. I’m going to show him your reply on that one. We’ll see how he laughs then.

Marcel

Marcel,

Thanks for the comment.

A person can spend a small fortune on deer scents. There are three main deer hunting scents I use when I deer hunt. During the pre-rut, I use a plain doe pee. If a buck is passing by and smells the scent of a doe he may stop just long enough to give me a shot.

As the rut reaches its peak, I will use both doe estrus (also sometimes called doe-in-heat) and rival buck scent.

During the peak of the rut most doe deer have come into cycle and are ready to breed. Big mature bucks are also on the move looking for these does. Here is what you can do.

Saturate two scent wicks with doe estrus/doe-in-heat scent and two scent wicks with rival buck scent.

Place the doe estrus/doe-in-heat scent wicks in a shooting lane approximately 20 yards from your deer hunting tree stand. Try to hang the wicks on a small tree branch or shrub, so the wind can blow the scent farther.

Place one of the rival buck scented wicks fifteen yards to your left, and the other fifteen yards to your right. Again, use a small branch or twig to hang your scent wicks off the ground.

Not only will an approaching buck smell the doe estrus/doe-in-heat scent, but he will also smell the rival buck scent. A big buck, smelling both scents, could come running towards your deer hunting tree stand.

When the main rut is over, I switch back to plain doe pee as my deer hunting scent of choice.

I am glad you shared the mock deer scrape tip with your nephew. Having a licking branch over a mock deer scrape makes the scrape more realistic to deer. I have seen lots of scrapes in my deer hunting woods. Ninety-eight percent of the deer scrapes I have seen have licking branches over them.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!
Marty Prokop

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (0)

February 6, 2007

Natural Cover Scents for Deer Hunting

Marty,

During deer hunting season when I’m walking anywhere in the woods and see fresh deer droppings, I usually pick it up with plastic sandwich bag I carry with me all the time. When I get to the place where my tree stand is, I put the deer droppings on the ground and spray deer scent all around. Am I doing all this for nothing?

Marcel

Marcel,

Thanks again for the great deer hunting question.

I think your idea of placing fresh deer droppings near your deer hunting tree stand is a good idea and here is why.

By placing the deer droppings near your tree stand you are adding more of the deer’s natural habitat to your deer hunting location. The deer droppings could help cover some of the human odor you have left behind as you walked to your deer hunting tree stand. When a deer sees the droppings near your stand, it could assume another deer has come through the area.

Spraying your deer hunting area with deer scent will also aid in masking some of the human odors present. Are you using a deer urine or doe-in-heat type scent?

In the past, I have seen mock scrape building kits that contained freeze-dried deer droppings along with deer scent and scent wicks.

The reasoning for the deer droppings in the kit is to make your mock scrape appear more natural to the deer visiting the area. One downside to freeze-dried deer droppings is that they do not retain as strong an odor as the fresh droppings you picked up in the deer hunting woods.

Overall, I think placing the droppings around your deer hunting tree stand along with scent can help mask the human odor and could be a plus.

Marcel and I have shared our experiences. I’m open ears to hear about your deer hunting and deer scent experiences. You can post your questions and comments here at the Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog by clicking on the “Questions and Comments” button just below to the right.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop
www.free-deer-hunting-tips.com

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (4)

January 11, 2007

How to Tell an Active Deer Scrape

Here is a great suggestion and question Marcel posted to the Free-Deer-Hunting-Tips.com blog:

Hi Marty,

When I see a scrape on the ground I break a small branch and put it across the scrape and put a bit of deer scent in it.

That way if the deer goes there again to scrape, I know because the branch would be removed or pushed away. Is that a good thing?

Some questions I think I asked you about before, but I am just going through my note book that I was writing in when I was in my tree stand. So this time I check them off as I go through it. I hope you don’t mind.

What do you mean when you say 200-inches?

Marcel

Hi Marcel,

Thanks again for the great comment and question.

Let’s discuss the scrape question.

Yes, I think placing some leaves or a twig in the scrape and adding a little scent to the area is a good thing.

Here’s what I’ve found.

I’ve placed twigs and leaves in a scrape and used scent in and around the scrape site.

After putting the twigs or leaves in the scrape, I either hang a scent wick saturated with deer scent over the scrape or I drop doe-in-heat scent directly onto the scrape.

If a buck is still using that scrape, the twigs and leaves will be moved.

I’ll answer the scoring question in tomorrow’s blog post.

Good Luck and Great Hunting!

Marty Prokop

Posted by Marty Prokop | Questions and Comments (3)