By ProStaff Kinsey Edmunds
If you're new to bow hunting, at first it can be a little intimidating. But think about it, it’s no different than learning to ride a bike, or learning to play guitar for example. These are all things that take practice. The more practice you allow yourself, the better you're going to be! You're going to make mistakes and mess up from time to time, but that’s how you learn! Some of the most valuable hunts I’ve been on was when I had made a mistake. Those mess ups in the field helped me to be a better hunter in the future. One of the things I love most about hunting is that there are always opportunities to learn more about the outdoors. No hunting experience will ever be the exact same. The more you get out there, the more you will experience and learn!
I would like to share a tip with you that I learned that helped me in killing my first archery buck. Last year, I was out bow hunting. I won’t ever forget it because it was the day before my birthday! Bucks were starting to chase after the does as the pre-rut was beginning, and soon the rut would be in full force. The rut really picks up in Missouri around into the first few weeks of November. Prime time :) My friend had told me that using Wildlife Research Center Golden Estrus was a great way to attract those bucks running hard in the rut. I decided to try it out.
I started at the base of my tree stand and drug the scent wick I had dipped in golden estrus out about 30 yards in the field. I did this directly in front of my stand and then to the right of my stand as well. An important thing to remember when doing this is to start out dragging the scent at the base of your tree and then drag from there. The scent will be stronger when you first put it on the ground, than when you get done dragging it out. You want to lure the buck in closer to your stand. Which is exactly what happened with my buck!
I was sitting over a clover and cow pea food plot which is surrounded by timber. He came out one side of the timber and crossed the field to the other side. He began marking his scent while rubbing his antlers on some trees and then proceeded into the edge of the woods that he had crossed over to. Not going to lie, I was a little bummed, but knew anything could happen. I sat eagerly in my stand hoping he might come out again. I’m pretty sure he caught wind of that estrus and went down into the timber he crossed over to. He made a circle back around putting him now directly in front of my stand where I had drug out the estrus to. He slowly walked closer towards that estrus as my heart was beating harder and harder. I couldn’t have planned it any better! He ventured in closer because the estrus lured him closer to my stand, and continued to stay on that scent. He got to around 18 yards and I shot! This was my first time using the golden estrus and I was highly impressed as it helped me shoot my first archery buck!
Another thing you can do is dip a scent wick in the golden estrus and leave it hanging from or near your stand. There are many products out there that are the same thing, but I have only used Wildlife Research Center, and it definitely worked for me. Like I said, I killed this buck in the pre-rut and I had sat in that same stand the night before and watched that same buck I killed run those does. It was one of the coolest hunts I’ve been on. There were multiple does that night in that food plot, and he was having a hay day chasing them around! The next night he was the only deer I saw and was in search of those does to chase again.
I hope this has been a helpful tip and got you excited to get out there and try something new! Remember, just because you didn't kill on a hunt doesn't mean it wasn't a successful hunt. Each time in the stand is a chance to observe nature. Watch and learn! That is the best way to become a better hunter, by learning first hand from personal experience. I wish you all the best this hunting season!