Best Deer Scents in 2022 – Buyer’s Guide [Attractants & Cover for Post Rut, Peak Rut and Pre Rut]

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When you are planning to hunt deer it is wise to consider how deer use their smell, the most powerful of a deer’s senses. The hearing range of a deer is about the same as ours but their nose is much stronger than ours. How strong is a deer’s nose exactly? I’ll compare it to a human’s nose. Our noses have five million olfactory receptors while deer have an astounding two hundred seventy-nine million. That’s why their sense of smell is so good and that’s why hunters want to use the best deer scents they can get their hands on to improve their hunting season.

There are many deer scents on the market, natural deer scents, and synthetic deer scents. You have different types and different ways to utilize them. For this buyer’s guide, we tested various scents and we applied various methods during post-rut, peak rut, and pre-rut to test them thoroughly. We came to a list of eight deer scents that we consider to be the best deer scents on the market that you can currently get!

In a Hurry? Here are our Top Picks!

Best Overall: Conquest Scents Vs-1

Best Tarsal Gland Scent: Code Blue Actual Tarsal Gland

Best Estrus Scent: Tinks Doe-in-Rut #69

Best All-Season Scent: Buck Fever Gamechanger

Best Synthetic Doe in Rut Scent: Tink’s Smokin’ Sticks Synthetic #69 Doe-In-Rut

Best Synthetic Deer Estrus Scent – Wildlife Research Synthetic Estrus Gold

Best Synthetic Deer Tarsal Gland Scent: Hunters Specialties Synthetic Forehead Gland

Best Cover Scent: TINK’S Earth Power

Best Natural Deer Scents

Conquest Scents Vs-1 – Editor’s Choice

Connquest Scents Vs-1 - Best Deer Scents - Editor's Choice

The VS-1 from Conquest Scents is a high quality hundred percent estrus urine and vaginal secretions scent stick that is collected from superior breeding does. I personally always use this lure because of its outstanding quality and effectiveness. How effective is it you ask? The VS-1 does have been synchronized/cycled into peak estrus in order to produce the highest possible concentration of pheromones, it is that good. It is one of the best deer scent lures that is personally my first choice.

The wax stick formula ensures no spills, leaks, or mess and the mixture won’t freeze. This is a deer scent that I can recommend to beginners and veterans because it is very easy to use and highly effective. The Vs-1 can be used during pre-rut, rut, or post-rut on scent pads and licking branches in high traffic areas.

ProductScentProduct TypeSeasons to Use In
VS-1Estrus urine and vaginal secretionsScent StickPost Rut, Peak Rut, and Pre Rut
Sale
Conquest Scents Vs-1 Scent Stick
  • the most powerful deer estrus secent available
  • synchronized cycle technology collection process for highest pheromone concentration
  • 100 percent estrus urine and vaginal secretions
  • wax-stick formula
  • no spills no leaks no mess and no preservative

Pros

  • Works great with a decoy
  • Easy to apply
  • Long lasting
  • No spills
  • Won’t freeze
  • Works great with a decoy as well

Cons

  • Wax may melt in high temperatures

Tink’s #69 Doe-In-Rut Buck Lure – Best Estrous Doe Deer Scent

Tink’s #69 Doe-In-Rut Buck Lure

I have been using Tink’s #69 Doe-in-Rut for about 8 years. This formula is one hundred percent natural doe estrous urine that is collected from live whitetail does during their estrous cycle. Tink’s high-quality controlled formula keeps this lure at the peak level of performance. It is one of the best deer scents on the market that produces great results during the pre-rut and rut.

ProductScentProduct TypeSeasons to Use In
Tink’s #69 Doe-In-Rut Buck Luredoe estrous urinebottlepre-rut and rut
Tinks Doe-in-Rut #69 Buck Lure 4 oz.
  • Natural doe estrous;Collected from live whitetails during the estrous cycle;Tink's special ingredient to attract bucks

Pros

  • A brand trusted by hunters for the past 50 years
  • Works great as an all-season deer lure
  • Cap seals to keep lure fresh

Cons

  • None, stuff works great!

Code Blue Actual Tarsal Gland – Best Tarsal Gland Scent

Code Blue Actual Tarsal Gland - Best Tarsal Gland Scent

If you want a hardcore real deal deer lure then Code Blue’s Tarsal Gland is a great pick. Every deer has a unique rutting odor, typically deposited in scrapes when the buck rub-urinates during the peak rut. Code Blue has captured that unique rutting odor in every bottle of Code Blue Tarsal Gland. The bottle contains a real tarsal gland submerged in pure buck urine. This scent leaves a really potent scent trail that signals to mature bucks that another dominant buck is in the area.

ProductScentProduct TypeSeasons to Use In
Code Blue Actual Tarsal GlandTarsal Glandbottle Early, Mid, Late
Sale
Code Blue Actual Tarsal Gland (2-Ounce)
  • A musky “intruder” scent deer use to identify dominance
  • Intense odor arouses territorial curiosity in rutting bucks
  • Use to disperse or create mock scrapes throughout hunting season
  • Made using a real tarsal gland submerged in pure buck urine
  • From One Deer to One Bottle collection guarantees every bottle contains urine from one deer

Pros

  • Bucks can smell from long distances
  • Potent curiosity and infringement scent

Cons

  • None to report, great deer attractant

Best Synthetic Deer Scents

Wildlife Research Synthetic Estrus Gold – Best pre-rut deer scent

Wildlife Research Sythetic Estrus Gold

Estrus Gold from Wildlife Research is a great synthetic doe estrous scent. The scent is engineered to smell like fresh high-quality doe estrous urine. It is supercharged with Scent Reflex technology for stronger more consistent responses. It is one of the best synthetic scents that we used. I have used Tink’s all my life. I have had a buck chasing a doe and run past the scent bottle only to stop chasing the doe and do a 180 and come back to the scent bottle. If conditions are right and he is downwind of scent he will come in to check it out, not sneaking in either. One of the best deer scents on whitetail!

ProductScentProduct TypeSeasons to Use In
Wildlife Research Synthetic Estrus GoldDoe EstrusbottlePre-rut and rut
Wildlife Research 84068 Sythetic Estrus Gold 8-Ounce Trigger Bottle
  • Engineered to smell like fresh high quality doe estrus urine
  • Super Charged with scent reflex Technology for stronger more consistent responses
  • The smell your trophy buck has been waiting for
  • Super premium synthetic doe estrus scent
  • 8-Ounce trigger-spray bottle

Pros

  • Super Premium Synthetic Doe Estrus Scent-Engineered to smell like Fresh High Quality
  • Consistent responses
  • Never spoils

Cons

  • None

Buck Fever Synthetics Game Changer – Best Bang for Your Buck

Buck Fever Synthetics Game Changer

Buck Fever Game Changer is a complete package at a special price that includes everything you need to change the game against that mature whitetail. It’s got a scent for all phases of the rut. This 3-piece combo includes 8 oz. Vanishing Hunter, 4 oz. Pre/Post Rut, 4 oz. Forehead Gland.

You can apply pre/post-rut synthetic to the dirt at any primary or mock scrapes for a long-lasting lure that keeps bucks coming back to scent mark their dominance. Spray Forehead Gland synthetic to overhanging branches. The overhanging branch is key at any scrape or mock scrape. From this gland, deer deposit scent secretions that communicate age, social ranking, dominance, and breeding status.

ProductScentProduct TypeSeasons to Use In
Buck Fever Game Changer Gland Scent, pre/post/rut, Vanishing HunterBagAll
Buck Fever Synthetics Gamechanger Pack All Season Scent, Black
  • Synthetic blend
  • Will not spoil
  • All season pack
  • Pre/Post Rut, Gland Scent, and Vanishing Hunter

Pros

  • Best bang for your buck
  • Attractants for pre, peak and post-rut
  • Simply works great
  • Never spoils

Cons

  • None

Hunters Specialties Synthetic Forehead Gland Scent – Best synthetic Forehead Gland Scent

Hunters Specialties Synthetic Forehead Gland Scent Attractant

Dominant bucks don’t like other bucks coming into their area. Big bruisers will come in to defend their territory when they get a whiff of Synthetic Forehead Gland Scent from Buck Bomb!

Forehead Gland imitates the scent that comes from the forehead of a whitetail buck when he makes a rub. Perfect for use over mock scrapes or existing scrapes to make local bucks think there’s an intruder in the area. This synthetic formula can be used in areas where natural urines are not allowed, including Canada.

The easy-to-use dropper bottle contains a liquid scent that is perfect for use with the Buck Bomb Detonator retractable scent wick (sold separately) or the included spike wicks. This is a great attractant for mock scrape.

ProductScentProduct TypeSeasons to Use In
Hunters Specialties Synthetic Forehead Gland Scent AttractantForehead GlandSynthetic Pre-Rut Rut Post-Rut
Hunters Specialties Synthetic Forehead Gland Scent Attractant, The Buck Bomb, one Size
  • Synthetic whitetail Buck forehead gland scent.
  • Simulates an intruding Buck from an outside area.
  • Use in mock scrapes or existing scrapes
  • Can be used where natural lures are illegal (including canada)
  • 4 oz dropper bottle

Pros

  • Good synthetic whitetail buck forehead gland scent
  • Use in mock scrapes or existing scrapes
  • Use throughout the season and during pre-season to condition bucks to hit a certain scrape
  • Can be used where natural lures are not allowed (including Canada)

Cons

  • None

TINK’S Earth Power Cover Scent – Best Versatile

TINK'S Earth Power Cover Scent

TINK’S Earth Power Cover is a great versatile cover scent that I always take with me on a hunting trip because of its versatility. It is a great cover scent that also works great as a deer lure. Just put a few sprays on your hunting clothing and tree stand or blind. This powerful cover scent conceals your tracks and scent signature. It works in any hunting area that you’re allowed to hunt.

The pump spray bottle is very easy-to-use and gives good control over the spray. This is a versatile cover scent because it can also be used as a deer lure; deer are attracted to fresh dirt. Tink’s Cover Scents are formulated for stronger and longer-staying power.

Tip: When you are hunting, use boot pads and drag rags to help cover your tracks. Spray a little on your hunting clothing as well.

ProductScentProduct TypeSeasons to Use In
TINK Earth Power Cover EarthSpray ScentAll
TINK'S W5906: Earth Cover Scent Spray
  • Formulated for longer and stronger smell
  • Easy application spray top
  • Effective when stand or stalk hunting
  • Scents: Earth
  • Easy to use

Pros

  • Formulated for a longer and stronger smell
  • Easy application spray top
  • Effective when stand or stalk hunting

Cons

  • The spray bottle is not the best quality

Tink’s Smokin’ Sticks Synthetic #69 Doe-In-Rut – Best Deer Scent Sticks

Tink's Smokin’ Sticks Synthetic #69 Doe-In-Rut

Simply light, and allow the smoke to travel downwind for long-range attraction. The scent-infused smoke adheres to everything it comes in contact with, leaving a scent trail right to your stand. These smokin’ sticks last for approximately 2 hours. The doe estrous urine scent sticks to everything it comes into contact with to spread the scent with no mess and no freeze. Simply light, and allow the smoke to travel downwind for long-range attraction.

The scent-infused smoke adheres to everything it comes in contact with, leaving a scent trail right to your stand. Worked great to bring in bucks from all around us. The smoke drifted far and brought the deer in close. This no-mess scent lure solution is perfect for cold climates! Tink’s Smokin’ Sticks Synthetic #69 Doe-In-Rut is formulated to smell like fresh doe urine at the peak of their breeding cycle.

ProductscentProduct TypeSeasons to Use In
Tink’s Smokin’ Sticks Synthetic #69doe urineScent SticksRut
Buck Fever Synthetics Gamechanger Pack All Season Scent, Black
  • Synthetic blend
  • Will not spoil
  • All season pack
  • Pre/Post Rut, Gland Scent, and Vanishing Hunter

Pros

  • Smokes for approximately 90 minutes
  • Scent will stick to everything it comes in contact with

Cons

  • Not as effective as the original recipe

Deer Scent Accessories

Scent Bombs – Tink’s Scent Bombs

Tink's Scent Bomb

The Tink’s Scent Bomb is easy to use, extremely effective and a great no-mess means of getting the most from your scent lures. Each blaze orange-colored Scent Bomb has a lid with a retaining strap so it’ll never get lost and a reflective strip for locating it in the dark. Inside the Scent Bomb is a super-absorbent wick that when deployed, puts out scent on wind currents, to be detected by downwind bucks. You can also use them as yardage markers and as a trail marker.

To use, unscrew the cap and fill with your favorite Tink’s lure (holds 1-ounce). Reattach the cap until you reach a hanging location. When you’re ready to deploy, remove the cap, pull the wick up by the hanger (do not remove wick and hanger from Scent Bomb), and hang. When the hunt is over simply push the wick and hanger back inside the Scent Bomb and close the resealable lid.

Sale
Tinks Scent Bombs 1 oz. 3 pk.
  • The most efficient and convenient way to disperse scent today
  • Reflective strip makes them easy to find after the hunt
  • Use as yardage markers and as a trail marker
  • Works with all cover scents and lures
  • Hangs in a tree to put more scent in the air

Dripper Scent Dispenser – Wildlife 381 Magnum Scrape-Dripper Scent Dispenser

Wildlife Scent Dripper

This advanced scent dripper normally shuts down during rain and bad weather, saving your valuable scent. The Wildlife 381 Magnum Scrape-Dripper drips daytime only, to get bucks to come during daytime hours. It can operate for up to two to three weeks on four fluid ounces of scent depending on temperature swings. A nice feature of this dripper is that it gradually intensifies scent output to get bucks even more riled up.

Sale
Wildlife 381 Magnum Scrape-Dripper Scent Dispenser, Camouflage
  • Normally shuts down during rain and bad weather, saving your valuable scent
  • Drips daytime only, to get bucks to come during daytime hours
  • Can operate up to 2 to 3 weeks on 4 fluid ounces of scent depending on temperature swings
  • Gradually intensifies scent output to get bucks even more riled up
  • Sport type: Hunting

Deer Scent Types

Various Deer Scent Types

Natural Scents

Estrous Scent of Doe

What scent attracts deer the most? That would be an estrous scent. The best deer scent to lure in that trophy buck. The purpose of a mature buck during the rut is of course to find a doe that is ready to be bred. The buck picks up pheromones in a doe’s urine with its nose. This tells the buck that a doe is ready to mate. The doe only produces this scent for three days. On the second day, she is ready to mate. Estrus doe scents are ideal to lure bucks in peak rut.

Tarsal Gland Scent of Buck

Tarsal glands, found on the hind legs of deer, secrete a musk deer use to identify other deer and learn their status. He does this by urinating on the glands. The urine then interacts with bacteria that are found in the hair around the tarsal glands to produce an odor that is unique to the individual deer. During the pre-and early-rut phase tarsal gland scents work great to lure bucks. This is because they think another buck (competitor) is nearby and they will search for it.

Buck Urine of Doe or Buck

Bucks use their urine for territory marking and social status. The animals dig into the ground to then urinate there. This is how a buck lets other bucks know that this is his territory.

Combination/Full-Spectrum Scents

Some hunters go for scents that combine various scents. These scents contain both estrus doe urine and buck urine with tarsal gland.

Forehead Gland Scent

Forehead Gland imitates the scent that comes from the forehead of a whitetail buck when he makes a rub. Perfect for use over mock scrapes or existing scrapes to make local bucks think there’s an intruder in the area.

About Synthetic Scents

Synthetic deer scents are made to mimic the applications that their natural counterpart accomplishes. A lot of hunters think that synthetic scents are not as effective as natural scents. This is not true, well not from a certain perspective. Deer are curious creatures. Synthetic doe estrous may not make a buck think there’s a doe that is ready to be bred. However, it does get his attention and he will likely follow the scent.

Synthetic scents have proven themselves to be highly effective from the early season until well past the rut.

When to use Deer Scents?

Every deer has a unique rutting odor, typically deposited in scrapes when the buck rub-urinates during the peak rut.

Pre-Rut

Before the rut bucks begin marking out their territory, getting ready for when the does go into estrus. They do this by making scrapes and investigating the scrapes of other bucks. You can make mock scrapes with buck scent to attract curious bucks who want to know the newcomer to their area.

Deer urine also works well before the rut and can have a calming effect on both bucks and does. Deer are social animals and usually want to be with other deer.

Peak-Rut

Every deer hunter knows that peak rut is the time for action. It is the time of year when deer scents have the biggest impact.

Post-Rut

After the rut, the deer are preparing for winter and are very cautious. During this time period, it’s best to be conservative with scents and stick to covering up your own scent. That said doe estrus can sometimes still lure in a dominant mature buck who’s looking for the last few does that haven’t mated.

How do you use deer scents?

When to Use Deer Scents

There are various ways of implementing deer scents. We’ll go through them all below.

Dripper

If you intend to hunt over natural or mock scrapes, a dripper is the way to go. We like a full-spectrum scent for these setups to simulate a buck and doe visiting the scrape. This can tickle the territorial instincts in the resident dominant buck and appeal to the curiosity of smaller bucks. Our choice in drippers is the Wildlife 381 Magnum Scrape because a 4-ounce bottle will work for two or three weeks, enough to cover the core rut in our area.

Laying a scent trail

Scent trails are not the most efficient way of luring deer, but it is fun to see a deer follow the trail you layed out for him. To do this, simply take a drag-rag and douse it with a doe-in-estrous scent. What you do is you drag it behind you when you walk to your hunting stand or blind.

Hunter laying a scent trail

Scenting a decoy

A great way of attracting deer is using a scent on a decoy. How you do this is you water the decoy bait with doe estrus scent. It is recommended to act fast when a deer is attracted to the scent and in the spot where you want it to be because it will get spooked when it is distracted and you lose your kill.

Making a mock scrape

A great way to lure in bucks and even does is to make what appears to be the scrape of a dominant buck. Expose the bare earth and scrape into it a little with your boot. Then spray some buck urine in the mock scrape. You can even place a dripper above the scrape to make it appear active.

Boot pads

Hunters cover their boots with deer scent to attract them to the place they want them to. Apply the deer scent to the boot pads and walk a trail towards the place you want the deer to be.

Hunters covers his boots with deer scent

Using gel or a stick

Gels and sticks are great because they cling to where you want to put them. Liquid sprays can dissipate into the wind or be washed away by a drizzle, but gel and sticks are a lot more resilient. That way you can be sure the scent you want is where you want it.

Lighting a scent stick

Scent Bombs

Scent bombs are a very easy way to spread a scent when hunting. It is much suited for beginners. The bombs contain an absorbing fuse that causes the smell of a doe. To properly use a scent bomb you’ll have to fill it with deer scent. Then, you hang in on a tree.

Placing One of The Tink's Scent Bombs

Sprays and wicks

The advantage of sprays is that you can spread them with little effort, and the scent can cover a larger area. Also, the scent can catch the wind more easily if you spray it.

Wicks do the same thing. They’re sticks that you saturate with scent. Then you hang the wicks. The wind easily catches and carries the scent to the surrounding deer.

Best Brands

ConQuest Scents

Conquest Scents logo

QonQuest Scents has experience in developing premium hunting scents for various animals for more than fifteen years. They also make great scent dispensers, scents for dog training, and more hunting merchandise. They also have a TV show that is called; Conquest 200. It can be watched on Pursuit, the Sportsman, and Hunt Channels. They also put out Youtube videos that are worth watching.

Tink’s

Tink's Logo

Tink’s has been one of the best brands that always put forth a well-performing line of deer scents and lures. The company is trusted by generations of hunters for nearly 50 years! Tink’s lures meet the needs of every phase of the hunt along with a broad variety of dispenser options. Their natural whitetail lures are certified CWD-free, extensively tested for effectiveness, and very simple to use. Whether you’re hunting trophy whitetails, black bears, big bull elk, monster moose, pigs, or predators, we have a product to help you succeed.

Buck Fever

Buck Fever Logo

Buck Fever Synthetic Scents completed the acquisition of the Buck Fever line of synthetic hunting scents and attractants back in January 2019. Previously, the product line was owned and manufactured by Michigan-based Synthetic Scents LTD. The Buck Fever brand, formerly known as HAWGS scents, has been producing a full line of pure synthetic deer and big game attractants for more than 20 years. Buck Fever is now one of the oldest synthetic scent companies in existence!

Nationwide Scents

Nationwide Scents logo

Nationwide Scents is a family-owned wholesale and retail deer urine collection farm that was established in 1988. The family owns two farms where they care for more than five hundred whitetail deer. They also have two stainless steel collection facilities. Nationwide Scents never disappointed me and I hope they will make great deer attractants for years to come!

Wildlife Research

Wildlife Research Logo

Wildlife Research was founded by two brothers. In 1983 they made Trail’s End #307, available to their fellow hunters. This was a great success. The brothers decided that the name Wildlife Research Center best described what their business was all about. The company developed attractant scents and masking scents for hunting Whitetail Deer, and other kinds of big game. Today they are one of the biggest players in the market.

Final Words

Using the right deer scents is extremely important for a successful hunting season. We recommend using them in combination with deer calls. I hope this post has sufficiently informed you regarding the use of deer scents and which ones to get. Thanks for reading this post, happy hunting!

Deer Scents FAQs

Q: What about Food Plots?

Food plots are a highly effective method to lure deer from long distances. They also provide deer with nutritional substances. If you can set up one, then we highly recommend one. If your hunting area is not suited for a food plot then it is better to use other methods of luring deer.

Q: How to keep deer from smelling you?

With a cover/masking scent.

Q: What are deer cover scents?

Deer cover scents are also called masking scents. They are specifically developed to disguise smells on a hunter to help them go undetected by deer and other game. You can also use deer cover scents on deer decoys.

Q: What smell repels deer?

You can repel deer by using smells they dislike, such as marigolds, putrescent egg solids, mint, wolf urine, tansy, garlic, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, and lavender.

Photo of author
Scott Christensen is the co-founder and COO of ForgottenHunter.com. He’s a wilderness/urban survival, disaster preparedness, awareness instructor. “Surviving in the wilderness is all about preparation. Follow this blog to learn how to survive in any environment, with any gear.”

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