The Ultimate Guide to Deer Scents

If you are a deer hunter or love hunting deer, you would know for sure that the task is never as easy as it seems. Luring the deer and getting it in a shot is quite difficult. If you often go hunting, you must have failed sometimes.

The possible reason would be your failure in luring the deer. Now, when it comes to luring the deer, deer scents, especially the Whitetail deer scents are said to work wonders.

Do You Need Deer Scents?

When it comes to products like Whitetail deer scents that can work great for hunting, most hunters get skeptical. Only hiding in the woods and waiting for a buck or doe to come to you may work sometimes. It depends on your luck. However, to hunt a wise buck or deer, you need to get out of your comfort zone and hunt for them even wiser.

Here is a fact you should know before you go hunting- one of the greatest superpowers of a deer is their sense of smell. Deer’s can easily smell you from half a mile of distance. Other senses like hearing and seeing of a deer work the same as of a human body. They may or may not hear you from distance, they may or may not see you hiding in the woods. But, if they smell you, the hunting game is over.

Moreover, deer may not trust their hearing or viewing capabilities for once but they always trust their sense of smell. However, a superpower can also become a weakness if you just know how to turn it around. Their noses tell them so much about their surroundings, so why not use their capability to bring them closer to us? This is the reason people use whitetail deer scents in their hunting sessions.

If you are new to deer hunting or deer scents, do not worry. Here is a whole guide for you on the basic and the most common deer scents you should know. Read below and know about what, why, and how of deer scents.

Deer Scents You Should Use

Now that you know how deer scents can help you hunt the best deer and bucks, it is time for you to know about some of the basic scents that can attract the deer. You would find a lot of varieties of scents in the market that claim their product’s superiority. However, there are some basic scents that are loved by a deer.

Here, we have listed the scents deer’s love the most. Once you know what scent to prefer, you can easily choose that type from the market. So, keep reading and know about the best kind of scents that can work wonders in your hunting game.

Doe and Buck Urine

Doe and Buck Urine

As the name says, it is the urine of a deer on any given average day. This is one of the most basic and common whitetail deer scents you would find in the market. The reason for using this scent is also quite simple. Doe and buck urine will only attract other bucks and does, while buck urine will attract only other bucks to the area.


These scents are quite useful because it increases the curiosity level of deer and stimulates to them that there is a new deer in the area. This curiosity attracts them closer to your hunting area. Moreover, you can also use this scent as a cover scent as you stand behind a tree for hiding. The best part about these whitetail deer scents is that you can use them anytime anywhere while hunting because deer’s pee in the woods almost all the time.

Preorbital and Forehead Gland Scent

Deer’s have seven major glands and one of their glands lie on the forehead. Every time a buck wants to urinate, it usually scrapes the ground with its hooves for the purpose. Often, bucks look for a licking branch hanging off the ground when they can scrape the ground to urinate.

In this process, they also rub their forehead and eyes against the branch and leave the scent of their preorbital forehead gland. They deposit their scents this way to let other bucks know about their presence in the area. This scent can be easily used when you want to attract a deer. Just apply this scent to any licking branch with a real or fake scrape under it and you are done.

Buck Tarsal Gland Scent

Tarsal glands are found on the hind legs of a deer. When bucks urinate in a scrape, the urine flows through the hind legs and secretes a musky smell from the tarsal glands that lets the other deer know about its presence. This smell indicates a deer’s hierarchy in a herd and its status, and every deer has a different smell.

This smell gets deposited in the scrape while they rub-urinate as they urinate with their back legs held together at the back. Deer’s use this style to communicate throughout the fall. If you are using this scent, it will be beneficial when you use it when the deer are rutting actively.

Doe Estrous Scent

Do You Need Deer Scents

Doe estrous is simply the urine of a doe in heat or is ready to breed. This scent tells the buck that the doe is ready to mate and hence extremely lures them. When used in the right place at the right time, it can fool a deer into investigating the area for a hot dog.

You can use this scent at a place or two during the rutting period or peak rut. However, if a deer has already mated with a doe, it would not leave that doe for searching the area for a new one.

Early Season Benefits

The early season here refers to the first month or two of the deer seasons, that is the months of August, September, and October. In this time, the whitetails switch from their readily available summer food sources to the starting of winters where they mostly roam in the search of does. This season is one of the best times to track the pattern of bucks. The starting of the deer hunting season can create a lot of hunting opportunities for you.

How to Use Whitetail Deer Scents?

When used at the right time, deer scents can be worth your money and use. So, after reading about the types of deer scents, you now surely know which one to choose for your area. In fact, most people buy these products before they step out for hunting.

However, only a few people know how to use whitetail deer scents. Researching on this topic creates a lot of confusion. The true and traditional method of using deer scents for hunting is to hang little scent wicks and scent wafers on a limb from various spots around your tree stand. But numerous new ways have now been introduced to use whitetail deer scents before and during your hunting.

Here are a few ways and strategies through which you can know how to use whitetail deer scents efficiently. However, one important thing to always keep in mind is to make sure that your human smell is not left anywhere. As deer trust their noses the most, they will figure it out quickly if there is a human presence around them.

So, while working with any kind of deer scent, make sure that you always have latex gloves on your hands to avoid your smell from being left with the deer scent. Now, let us catch up on the best strategies you could use.

Create Fake Scrapes

Deciding to make a fake or mock scrape to fool the deer is one of the simplest things you can do to hunt smartly. People are mostly seen complicating the task and mess up with fake scrapes. However, it is quite simple if you know how to do it the right way.

Firstly, find a location with a licking branch hanging four to five feet above the ground (because that is where bucks scrape to urinate). Now, scratch the leaves and debris from the ground and make a two-foot circle of soil in the area. That is,, you are done with the scrape-making. There are few things you can fill this hole with.

The best option to choose is a buck or doe urine because that is what deer do in their scrapes. You can also fill some food or scrape starters into the hole, depending on the availability.

This spot, if set up perfectly, will make the deer check it out more often, making it a trail camera spot eventually. You will just have to set up your trail camera efficiently and it will give you amazing intel throughout the season.

Make Your Trap More Realistic

If you do not want to involve in processes like scrape making and wish to do a simple hunting session, this solution is for you. When a deer would smell another mature buck in its area, it would surely investigate and try to find out. So, simply adding the scent of a mature buck near your tree stand can help you a lot. A deer would surely come to the spot after smelling another deer.

Similarly, you can simply use a scent related to does to attract mature bucks. This trick to fools the deer into coming to the spot. You can use buck and doe urine scents for this purpose. For a better attraction and eventually great results, a tarsal gland scent would work wonders.

Rut and Post Rut Strategies

Rut and Post Rut Strategies

Using whitetail deer scents during the rut, pre-rut and post-rut periods is one of the best strategies to adopt while hunting. In the period of rutting, the hormones of a buck are quite aroused, and it vulnerably searches for does to mate with. So, it becomes quite easy to fool them with a doe’s scent.

The best way to use deer scents in the rutting, pre-rutting, and post-rutting periods is to make a trail with the scent coming towards your tree stand. This trail can be made by using a wick and the scent. Just dip the wicks into the scent bottle and start making your desired trail.

You can drag this trail as close as you want it to be and then hang the wicks on a branch. These hanged wicks will give you the chance to add more scent in the area and will distract the deer once it comes to the spot. It will also give you the time to make up your shot. This trick has proven to be effective several times and that is why people often use it.

For these kinds of traps, you can simply use a scent made of a doe. Doe urine or doe estrous scents would work the best for this hunting pattern and time.


Now that you know what deer scents are, how and when to use them, you can make an informed decision.

Whitetail deer scents can be a great companion for you when you go hunting. Just make sure that you use every scent according to its capability and type.

So, why wait then? Add all the essentials you need for hunting in your bag and step out. These essentials may include deer scents, drags and wicks.

When used perfectly, deer scents can make your hunting programs more enjoyable and more successful!

Mila Patel

Mila Patel is an expert in consumer technology and household appliances who earned her degree in industrial design from Georgia Tech. She brings over a decade of experience from her time at Consumer Reports and as a freelance product reviewer. Her professional journey includes working with major appliance manufacturers and contributing to home improvement magazines. Her hobbies include interior design and staying updated with smart home trends. She also enjoys cooking and experimenting with the latest kitchen gadgets in her free time.

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