Last year in the heat of summer, DDH Editor in Chief Dan Schmidt captured this video on his Wildgame Innovations game camera of a buck checking scent on a sapling.
It wasn’t just any scent, though. Schmidt had doctored the sapling with Smokey’s preorbital gland lure, one of the hottest and most effective lures you can use. It didn’t take long for this young 10-point buck to become attracted to the Smokey’s lure and check it out.
If you’re using mock scrapes or freshening existing scrapes, you absolutely can’t forget about the licking branch. Deer chew on the branch to leave saliva and rub their faces on it to leave scent from the preorbital gland near their eyes. This identifying combo of scents is the buck’s calling card and identifies it from other bucks. In layman’s terms, it allows deer to understand their rank in the pecking order.
What many hunters don’t realize is that bucks keep tabs on one another by using licking branches, and they do it year-round. Why? Before bucks ever scrape the leaves away under a licking branch, before they ever deposit urine on the bare earth, and long before the does come into estrus, the bucks are watching, testing, and paying close attention to one another by depositing scent from their pre-orbital gland to licking branches. Bucks regularly visit licking branches and become aware when a new rival shows up — the licking branch has the scent of a buck they don’t know.
The ingredients of Smokey’s gland lures are proprietary, but are extracted from the pre-orbital, tarsal interdigital, and forehead glands taken from harvested deer, and processed to enhance and retain the properties of the scent. This is the only lure on the market that has a patent pending on its process. Smokey only uses glass bottles, because plastic tends to leach out the scent and degrade over time. Diluting shortens the shelf-life of the scent, and all of Smokey’s gland lures will only get better with age – they will not lose their potency, and will be as fresh as the day they were bottled. Store in a cool and dark area, and out of direct sunlight.
Check it out here along with five great tips to make your mock scrapes even better!