It’s not too early: Get a jump on the rut with deer scents

Even though the rut is still a ways off near Franklinton, this buck shot by the author fell for fake doe urine during the third week of December.

Author brings in Area 4 buck last week with estrous urine

I started having second thoughts about putting out deer scents too early while standing in the feminine hygiene aisle at the local Dollar General.

Tim Thibodeaux, the owner of TT’s Buck Wild Deer Scents out of Church Point, told me to buy some unscented tampons and hang them on the upwind edge of the 300-yard lane I typically hunt.

Of course, he also told me to spray them down with a few generous squirts of his Doe ’N’ Heat scent.

“I live in Franklinton in Area 4,” I told him. “Our deer don’t even start thinking about rutting until Christmas week at the earliest.”

“Doesn’t matter,” he replied. “Put it out now. Think about it like this. If you see a good-looking lady walking around in front of you, and you get a whiff of her perfume, you’re going to look at her or at least turn your head in her direction.”

While it might seem wasteful to put out deer scent before the rut, he said that when a buck gets a whiff of what he believes is a hot doe, he’s going to check it out regardless of whether the rut has started or not.

“He may not come in hard,” Thibodeaux said, “but he’s going to check her out. It’s definitely not going to alarm any deer, so what is it going to hurt to put some out now?”

So last Tuesday, I headed to the lane around noon and hung four of my new “scent wicks” 40 yards apart upwind exactly as Thibodeaux had told me to.

Then I crawled into my ground blind around 3 and waited.

Even though the rut was likely more than a month away, the author used estrus doe urine and killed a buck that came in to investigate.
Even though the rut was likely more than a month away, the author used estrous doe urine and killed a buck that came in to investigate.

Thibodeaux had told me to watch how the does react to the scent, because if one doe thought another doe had come into heat early, it would leave because it wouldn’t want any part of the buck that was about to come around.

While watching a doe and fawn milling about in the lane maybe 100 yards away, another single doe stepped out farther up the lane.

The nearer doe started getting a little anxious exactly as Thibodeaux had explained it to me, and slipped away with its fawn into the clear cut. The far doe stood motionless.

Ten minutes later, a buck slipped into the lane directly downwind of one of the scent stations. It was the first buck I had seen this season, and he just so happened to have his nose in the air smelling the TT’s Buck Wild scent.

The buck didn’t come in hard, but it did come in. It really was no different than a man walking around in a mall when a pretty woman passes by — the combination of scent and sight was just too much to resist.

And like many men, it ended badly for the buck.

Being four weeks early didn’t matter one bit, and it shouldn’t matter one bit to you. If you’re deer haven’t started rutting yet, go ahead and get some scent out.

It just might be the thing that brings the big bucks out in the open before they start chasing on their own.

Chris Ginn
About Chris Ginn 779 Articles
Chris Ginn has been covering hunting and fishing in Louisiana since 1998. He lives with his wife Jennifer and children Matthew and Rebecca along the Bogue Chitto River in rural Washington Parish. His blog can be found at chrisginn.com.