For centuries hunters have been trying to outsmart a deer’s keen sense of smell. They’ve tried a little bit of everything in the hopes of hunting undetected. Centuries ago hunters developed ways to mask their scent and obscure human odors. Some of these methods that have been passed down for generations actually seem to work. While there commercial products available, nothing beats homemade deer scents. So instead of buying fancy commercial scents this year you should make your own.
Best Home Made Deer Scents
Recipes for homemade deer’s scents have been passed down from generation to generation. From the very basic to the downright disgusting there’s a recipe for everyone. Not all of these options are going to be for everybody. I don’t know how much you’re willing to work and what you’re comfortable with so choose the option that’s best for you.
Basic Dryer Method(Easiest)
If you’re comfortable with some of the more involved recipes in this list the basic Dryer method is perfect for you. Do Dryer method all you’re going to need is a pillowcase and a ton of aromatic debris. Just go out into your backyard or local forest and pick up anything that has a strong scent. Stuff your pillowcase with all kinds of debris. Throw in some acorns, leaves, moss, bark and even a little bit of dirt. The goal is to make your clothing smell as much like nature as possible.
Once you’ve filled your pillowcase it’s time to bring it home and get to work. Take your pillowcase and tie a firm knot in the top. Trust me you do not want to have to clean out a bunch of pine needles from the bottom of your drum. Set your pillow case off to the side and forget about it until you’re ready to hunt. Never wash your hunting gear with a scented laundry detergent. I’ve had a lot of success the past couple years using The Dead Down Wind Hunting Laundry Detergent. It’s hard to tell how well the detergent works, but I’ve gotten lucky the past couple hunts and don’t want to change things up. Day before you hunt you’re going to want to dampen the pillowcase and toss it in your dryer with the rest your hunting clothes. Unless you have a lot of time try not to get your pillowcase completely saturated with water.
Boil and Spray (Easier)
With this method you’re basically going to make an all natural cologne deer attractant. The basic method is going to be to boil a bunch of pine needles and acorns down into a spray. It’s a little harder than the Dryer method, but you won’t have to deal with anything that’s really nasty.
- Gather a small bucket of acorns and two or three handfuls of pine needles. Only use this method if there are natural pine trees in your area. If there are no pine trees you can do the same thing using just the acorns and apple cider (just extend your boil to 4-5 hours).
- For the natural pine scent boil your pine needles and acorns in 1 gallon of water. Put this concoction on the stove for 30 minutes on high. Just make sure you use a large pot or watch to make sure it doesn’t boil over. A sappy stove is no fun.
- After the 30 minutes leave the mixture to cool and remove the nuts and pine needles. Transfer the nuts and pine needles into a strainer making sure you don’t lose any of the water.
- Mash your acorns and needles and place them back into the water and boil. After a few minutes of boiling the mashed up mixture remove from heat and let cool.
- Run the mixture through a cheese cloth and store until ready to use.
- To use the pine scent place into a spray bottle and spray over your gear. You can even do this method in conjunction with the other methods on this list.
Pantie Hose and a Scent Gland(Moderately Difficult)
Before we get into this this method is going to be a little bit harder than the previous methods. Don’t worry it’s not as complicated as it looks. You’ll also need to have prepared a deer the year before for harvest. If you don’t already know how to remove the tarsal gland the video below should help.
- To do this method you’re going to have to prepare a year in advance. I would suggest using the above methods or by a commercial product your first year hunting.
- By a pair of pantyhose and snip off one of the legs.
- Remove the Tarsal gland from a bucks hind legs. To remove the Tarsal gland simply cut the patch of skin behind a bucks leg and around each gland. Once you have a cut lift the flap of skin using rubber gloves and separate the connective tissue. Watching the video below should give you a much better idea on the process.
- Now you’re going to have to deal with the bucks bladder. Gain access to the bladder and remove urine using a 10cc hypodermic syringe.
- Place the gland in the single leg of the pantyhose and tie a knot to seal. Spray the hose with deer urine and store in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer. At this point you’re probably either going to get a divorce or need to buy a freezer for your garage.
- Hang it by your stand during while you’re hunting.
Create a Scent Drag(Very Difficult)
Follow this method to create your very own homemade scent drag. You’ll use your drag just like any old commercial drag. The main advantage this has is the glands slowly releasing pheromones. Once you get past removing the tarsal glands like in the above method this really isn’t all that hard.
- Follow the directions listed above to remove the tarsal gland.Instead of creating a hanging gland you’ll make your own all natural drag.
- All you have to do is thread a 5 foot length of monofilament line through your gland and tie it off. Then vacuum pack your two gland separately and wait until you’re ready to hunt.
- Before your hunt thaw out your drag and spray a bit of buck urine onto it. Unless you want to store a jar of nasty buck urine in the fridge I’d recommend buying store bought. After you spray the urine it will be ready to be used as a scent drag.
Wash Your Clothes With Pine Extract(Very Difficult)
This is another method that is going to be much more involved, but it really works. You’re going to create a natural pine scented laundry detergent.
- Fill a 5 gallon bucket filled with pine needles and place them in a large kettle. If you don’t already have an oversized kettle I’d highly recommend a turkey fryer.
- Boil all of your pine needles in a large kettle with six or 7 gallons of water. Once the water comes to a boil strain out all of your needles.
- Pour the remaining liquid into your washing machine and set it at a small load setting. Throw in your hunting clothes and wash using your presoak setting. At the end of the cycle all of your hunting clothes should have a extremely strong pine scent.
- Get rid of the smell of pine in your washing machine by washing a bunch of towels with a lot of detergent. You may have to run through a few cycles of towels before the scents fully eliminated.