3 Deer Scents You Should Know and Use for Killing Mature Bucks

The Deer Scents You Should Use During the Rut

Whenever the question, “what is the best deer scent?” gets asked, a friendly disagreement is bound to follow. While many hunters do agree on some of the basic ideas, everyone seems to have their own personal favorite for different situations. Most of the time, it’s because they’ve had some personal experience using a scent that they will never consider anything else. But when you start looking at killing mature bucks during the rut (primarily October to November), some deer scents and applications are definitely stand-out winners time and time again, no matter where you are.

Before we jump into the top three scents, take a moment to get familiar with all the various types of deer scents in our deer scent guide. We thoroughly recommend Code Blue Scents®, as they have several options available for different scenarios and they produce high quality products that are truly the best deer scents around. Now, here are three of the best whitetail deer scents and applications you can use for getting a mature buck on the ground this fall. 

Whitetail Scrape Scents

During the early season and pre-rut, hunting near scrapes and making mock scrapes can make for a very exciting hunt. Bucks are starting to range further during this time period looking for receptive does and possible competitors, and checking scrapes is a great way for them to do that while saving energy. They can quickly check the deer scents in different scrapes as they move about to figure out which bucks and does are in the area.


In October, try using the Code Blue Grave Digger Scrape Mate in a mock scrape or existing scrape to get a buck’s attention. It contains soil that is impregnated with the urine of an individual buck, which will trigger a territorial response from mature bucks. The Time Released Scent (TRS) process allows it to slowly release deer scent over 30 days, keeping your scrape fresher for longer. In fact, rain will make it even stronger smelling.

To make this scent tactic even more realistic, apply some rack rub gel to a licking branch above the scrape site (about 4 to 5 feet off the ground). Along with the smell of freshly disturbed earth in the scrape, you can be sure bucks will stop by to check it out. The beautiful thing with scrapes is that they can also distract bucks when they stop to inspect them or add to them, which may offer the time you need to make a shot. 

Scent Drags

As bucks start chasing does to scent check them during the pre-rut to rut period, another approach can also work very well. In addition to using the scrapes above, consider using a scent drag in your hunting area. Basically, you’ll try to mimic the scent that an individual deer leaves as it walks along a trail. As you get within about 100 yards of your tree stand or ground blind, use the Code Blue Deluxe Scent Drag and one of your favorite deer scents to spread scent along your trail as you go. Periodically stop and apply more scent as you go to keep the scent stronger. When you approach your tree stand, end the scent trail somewhere within shooting distance by hanging the scent drag in a tree branch.


But for an even more realistic (and aggressive) scenario, try using the Code Blue Whitetail Double Drag System, which has two absorbent rag heads instead of one. If you’re wondering when to use buck urine, this is the perfect time to do so. When you use buck urine on one and doe urine on the other, you can really simulate a buck following a doe. If a mature buck comes across this scent trail, he will likely take up pursuit as he tries to find the intruding buck chasing a doe in his area. If you don’t have many mature deer in your area, this might intimidate younger bucks or they might also follow for an off-chance shot at finding the doe. 

Obviously, if you use this approach, you need to be very cautious about your scent control. For example, using normal leather boots that you wore to the gas station would be a bad idea for this scenario since you are specifically trying to attract deer to your access trail (where your boots will be leaving scent). Instead, use rubber boots and good scent elimination products, such as the D/Code products by Code Blue, to truly eliminate or control your human scent along this trail.


Doe Estrous Scents

If you’re looking for deer scents that work during the rut, this is many hunter’s go-to choice for a good reason. Bucks will often forego food and rest during the rut in the pursuit of one thing: does in heat. When a doe enters her estrous (or estrus) cycle, bucks will tail her non-stop until they can breed her. That’s why doe estrous is often the king – or queen – of deer scents. But many estrous scents on the market blend the urine of several deer together, producing a murky scent trail that is very unnatural. Not Code Blue. Using the One Deer to One Bottle® collection process, Code Blue deer scents offer the most realistic representation of an individual doe, which is why it is so powerful and attractive to mature bucks.

You could definitely apply this Code Blue doe estrous scent to the mock scrape or scent drag scenarios above. Used during the right season (rut period), that would likely make them even more attractive. Or you could simply hang a scent wick near your tree stand or ground blind and apply this scent to it at the beginning of your hunt. Make sure the wick is not directly downwind from you and don’t contaminate it with your human scent.

Start Using Deer Scents

From the early pre-rut conditions to the end of the rut, these three deer scents and application styles are very powerful. If you do much deer hunting at all, you need to be familiar with them and use them in the right way. And if you can pull it off, you stand a much better chance of attracting and holding a mature buck within shooting range until you can put his lights out for good. 

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