The rut is an incredibly exciting time to hunt. Are you geared up with the right tools for this November?
The buck emerged from the thick swamp and marched across the open marsh toward my stand. I’d just doe bleated, grunted, snort-wheezed and rattled, and he was clearly on a mission to investigate the commotion, his ears laid back and eyes squinted. Before my calling sequence, I’d done two others, spaced 30 minutes apart, that went unanswered. Until that 9 a.m. sequence, my view had been entirely deerless.
As the buck approached, he picked up the estrous trail I’d left while accessing my stand that morning. When he stopped quartering away at 30 yards, my arrow found its mark, and I had a beautiful whitetail buck down. That hunt unfolded 13 years ago, and it taught me that if you hunt without tools – calls, scent, etc. – you could miss out on bucks you never knew were nearby.
Arguably, the rut is one of the most productive times to hunt, if not the most. Every second you spend on stand counts for something, as a mature buck is liable to show himself at any time. However, the game isn’t over once you have a buck in your binoculars. He could take a route that puts him out of range, or he could smell you and bust before he hits that 20-yard shooting lane. Whatever the case, dozens of variables can lead to missed opportunities.
The products listed below can turn the tables in your favor. Check them out and get geared up before the rut arrives.
Tink’s Hot Shot #69 Doe-In-Rut Mist
Tired of spilling deer urine on your hands or hunting gear? Tink’s Hot Shot line solves the dilemma. For the rut, few things attract like Tink’s #69, and this unique mist bottle helps you dispense it with the push of a button. And, there’s no need to worry about fillers, aerosols or other propellants, because the Hot Shot sprays 100% pure doe estrous collected from live estrous does. Tink’s achieves this by separating the urine from the pressurizing agent.
The system dispenses the entire 3-fluid-ounce product, ensuring zero waste. Plus, it sprays when held at any angle, including upside down! Now, with this clever dispensing system, you can quietly mist the downwind airstream with one of the market’s most powerful attractants. ($12.99)
Visit www.tinks.com for more information.
Montana Decoy the Freshman
Tired of lugging that heavy, cumbersome 3-D deer decoy in and out of the woods? Why not trade it off for a more mobile companion? Enter The Freshman by Montana Decoy. Including the leg poles, The Freshman weighs merely 35 ounces. This 2-D decoy features the realism of a live buck thanks to an HD photo of a real buck. The decoy’s aggressive posture instigates a challenge to passing bucks without intimidating them. The Freshman folds flat for easy carrying in your backpack or strapped to the outside of it for easier access. This decoy is perfect for spot-and-stalk applications in open country, and it’s compatible with Montana’s Quickstand, a product that further expands this decoy’s usefulness in ground-swat applications. ($69.99)
Visit www.montanadecoy.com for more information.
Rinehart Doloma Bedded Doe Decoy
The easy-carry option from Rinehart’s Doloma Series of decoys makes the Bedded Doe a great option for hunting the rut. The Bedded Doe piques curiousity and invokes confidence to approaching deer.
The decoy’s head moves with the slightest breeze adding irresistable realism to rutty bucks. The quiet foam construction eliminates unnatural noise so you won’t spook game while hauling in and out of the woods, as well as when setting up. The decoy features a 25.5″ height and 43″ length. ($139)
See more at www.rinehart3d.com
Knight and Hale Sneeze Wheeze
Knight and Hale breaks ground with its Sneeze Wheeze Deer Call. Designed to mimic a deer sneezing as it eats, the Sneeze Wheeze calms nearby deer by pitching a sound that’s completely natural to the deer woods.
It also doubles as a snort-wheeze with outstanding volume and reach. The Sneeze Wheeze is fluorescent green, making it difficult to lose, and it’s part of Knight and Hale’s Bone Collector call line. ($9.99)
Visit www.knightandhale.com for more information.
Scent Crusher Ozone Tote
Things get fast and furious when the rut breaks loose. But that shouldn’t mean that you get careless with your scent control. Scent Crusher makes the job of keeping your gear scent-free with their Ozone Tote. Store everything in this easy stow and go unit. Toss this rigid container in the back of the truck with no worries about the weather or wear and tear. All your hunting items will be fresh and ready for your next hunting excursion when you arrive. The Scent Crusher is a heavy duty 40 gal. container that can be used for permanent storage or for traveling. Constructed from polypropylene and polyethylene that is even safe for food storage! ($299)
• Ozone Tote: 35” L x 21” W x 18”
• Oversized handles with lid and wheels
• Includes 12V Adapter and 110V Charger
• Airport/TSA compliant
• Maintenance Free Digital Ozone Generator Included
• Two-year warranty
Check it out at www.scentcrusher.com
During the rut, bucks are liable to approach your stand or blind from any given direction. Why risk busting bucks approaching from downwind when you can flood the downwind airstream with odor-destroying ozone? The HR-300 is a powerful unit that distributes 45 percent more ozone than Ozonics’ smaller HR-200 unit. The new design also incorporates Integrated Pulse Technology, which deploys the optimal oxidant concentration. The HR-300 features a rechargeable battery, and an extended life battery is available separately. O2 molecules bond to your human-scent molecules to destroy your scent footprint. The HR-300 can even be used to dry-wash your hunting gear and clothing, erasing sweat and other bacteria that would otherwise be contaminating it. ($399)
Visit www.ozonicshunting.com for more information.
Hunter’s Specialties Instigator Grunt Call
Wildlife Research Center QUIK-WIKs
Most scent wicks offer one-time use, plus when you retrieve them – don’t litter, ya’ll – the scent can contact your fingers, clothing or other gear. Wildlife Research Center offers the QUIK-WIK, which has a screw-on seal to contain the wick in transportation so scent doesn’t leak onto you or your stuff.
QUIK-WIKS feature a patented rain-shedding design, and the wick itself is a non-reflective felt wick. Each pack includes three units. Scent dispensing has never been cleaner or more convenient. ($5.99)
Visit www.wildlife.com for more information.
Lacrosse Alphaburly Pro
Sure, boots are a matter of personal preference. But when it comes to some of the best boots for hunting the whitetail rut, the Lacrosse Alphaburly Pro boots are surely at the top of the list.
Built from a proud tradition of innovation, the Alphaburly Pro is Lacrosse’s premium hunting boot. Better yet, it is now available in the really cool GORE OPTIFADE patterns. Combining high quality, scent-free rubber with naturally insulating neoprene, the Alphaburly Pro will keep you warm, scent free, and ready for the rigors of the rut. These boots feature a thick cushioning EVA midsole for added comfort. An embossed liner for better air circulation. And an adjustable rear gusset for the perfect fit. ($200)
See more at www.lacrossefootwear.com
Tink’s Power Scrape Combo Kit
The Tink’s Power Scrape kits have proven effective throughout the season, but particularly during the weeks in and around the rut. The Tink’s Power Scrape combo features 2 Scrape Bombs. It’s a powerful synthetic buck lure designed for the entire season.
Power Scrape can be used on natural or mock scrapes to condition deer to frequently return to your stand location. This revolutionary formula is designed to capitalize on a buck’s curiosity in the early season and their drive for territorial dominance during the rut. ($19.99)
Check it out at www.tinks.com
The whitetail rut brings on the most exciting days to be in the deer woods. Will you be ready this year? The tools mentioned above were designed to help tip the odds for success in your favor this season.