Do scents, lures, and cover scents really work? Are mock scrapes effective? The simple answer to these questions is YES! But remember, all of these are tools, and like all other tools you have use them properly to get the desired results.
Covering your scent can be a long process that takes discipline. One month prior to deer season, I start using scent free soap, deodorant, shampoo, and laundry detergent. I also refrain from wearing cologne and store my gear in scent free totes. Then, once I’m in the field, I spray odor neutralizer.
Even though all of this won’t eliminate 100% of my odor, it does mute it to a point where it is much less likely to place game on high alert.
Scents and Lures
With so many companies claiming to have the best, purest, and most effective brand of scent or lure on the market, it can be difficult to make a choice. You also have to consider the laws in the state in which you’ll be hunting, as they vary. Some states ban the use of natural urine-based products.
Prior and during deer season, I spray doe urine on my boots as well as around my stand/ blind area. This calms deer into a sense of ease as they wander close, thinking other deer have safely come before them.
As the season nears the breeding cycle or rut period, I begin to switch to an estrus-based lure as well a buck tarsal scent. This matches what’s appropriate for the season. It should be noted that not all deer will be attracted to these scents; in fact, it may spook some animals off. You should see an increase in the number of deer curious as to who the "new" girl is.
Deer will use scrapes throughout the entire year. They may not use them as frequently as when in the rut, but they still like to keep tabs on one another. You may have a scrape line just out of bow range or where there are no sufficiently sized trees to hang a stand — if so, consider making a mock scrape.
I typically begin mock scrapes in mid-summer. I locate a tree with overhanging branches and spray or drip straight doe urine on it liberally (again, conform to your state laws). Then I place a trail camera such as a Reveal cell camera to check the progress and traffic, so I can adjust as needed. Once traffic is consistent, I will hang a stand and eagerly wait for the season to begin.