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Late Season Scent Strategies

Late season is a great time to intercept bucks cruising for that last receptive doe. If breeding has been finished for some time you may be better off appealing to their curiosity or hunger, but estrus scents like Special Golden Estrus or breeding scents like Active Scrape can work well this period. Plain buck or doe urine or food smells like corn scent, essence of apple or acorn lure can also be successful. (I am referring to the “smells” of these items, not baiting with the actual food.)

Warm and humid creates the perfect conditions for whitetails to use their sense of smell. During cold, crisp air odor molecules move more slowly the colder it gets. Experts say to increase the amount of scent that you use during these conditions. 

There is one scent that has produced especially great results that is a complex blend of over twenty ingredients called Trail’s End #307. It appeals to hunger, curiosity and their urge to breed - you really can’t go wrong.

Although there are many scent scenarios you can create, during late season your application methods may be limited, especially in northern latitudes. Cool tools like Magnum Scrape Drippers will now freeze up (unless you know a little secret) in the late season temperatures and with deep snow, scent trails are more difficult to create. Atomizers are another option or simply soaking some felt wicks and placing them upwind of a target area can also do the trick.

As long as your daytime highs make it above freezing, Magnum Scrape Drippers will still work during cold temps… pending you hang them in the correct location. These cool tools are actually “heat activated.” The expanding and contracting of the air pocket in the dripper causes it to release scent when temperatures rise, then shut down when it cools. Temperatures rise almost always during daylight hours. This advantage means it conditions bucks to show up during legal shooting light if they wish to experience the peak of the attractive aroma. Normally you would want to hang the dripper in the shade, in cold temperatures; however, deploying it in a warm, sunny spot can make the dripper an effective tool until the end of the season.

With minimal snow, scent trails are still a very effective late season tactic.  The idea is to make it seem like there is one last hot doe the bucks have missed.  In deep snow, try making a scent trail right off of your ATV or snow machine.  

A simple scent wick set-up crosswind from your position to try and lure deer from downwind is also a very simple, yet effective ploy.  Place the wick at your maximum confident shooting range crosswind. You obviously want to draw in the deer into the scent before they get directly downwind of you. 


This tip is courtesy of the GameKeepers Field Notes, a weekly wildlife and land management email newsletter produced by the Mossy Oak GameKeepers.

A GameKeeper by definition is someone who truly loves AND lives the land, the critters and nature…not just during hunting season but all the time. A GameKeeper wants to be outdoors every day and work the dirt while living their personal “obsession”.

Find out more about what makes a GameKeeper by visiting our website

Dec 27, 2016

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