"Make Your Own" Dominant Buck Lure

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Here is a tip that was passed along to me - and I have not tried it yet - but it looks (and smells) like it will work fine! The gentleman that gave it to me regards it as his secret weapon and he is a VERY successful hunter.

Get a fresh tarsal gland off of a decent buck - I think the ranker, the better. Taking them off of bucks that are hot in the rut seem to be the best because that is when the glands are the darkest and have the most "male buck" scent...

Take that gland and put it in a good, thick sealable baggie. Add about 4-5 ounces of hot water (not boiling, you do not want it to cook the skin) and then knead the bag slowly and gently, using firm pressure.

What you want to do is to get that rank scent to transfer out into the water.

I made some today and used distilled water just to try to make it as pure and scent free from contaminants as possible - although I am not sure that did much good - this stuff is POTENT!

After you have created the mix, transfer it into a good, clean scent free storage container - I used a larger, glass pill bottle today.

I can not vouch for storage time, I am going to make the stuff as I need it - and use it right away... I do not know if it will "go bad" or not. I only made one batch and am going to use it this week. I am going to store in a cool area but not refigerate.

My buddy makes it as he needs it... and then tears a small hole in the corner of the baggie and dispenses it right on the spot.

Now... one big problem may be getting one of those big bucks to hold still while you whittle away on his back legs (everyone of the critters I asked refused)... so... I went to the local processor on a Saturday late in October and there were about 7-8 bucks there waiting to be processed. I asked for and received permission to remove the glands and got 5-6 of the best ones... off of the biggest bucks that were there.

This looks like a great scent to use in fake scrapes, to use as a cover scent on your boots or to create a scent line in the breeze with while hunting...

Give it a try and see if it works for you!



deerhunter30's picture

Thes are some great ideas,

Thes are some great ideas, but I hate using buck scents for fear of chasing off other bucks. I usually just keep to the doe scents and I am thinking of maybe using this method with doe scents.

Also arrow flipper had a good idea of using the stuff that is in your area of hunting to make your own cover scents. Never thought of doing this.

This also saves you alot of money being this stuff is very expensive in stores and you really dont know what you are actually putting on when you buy it from the store. 

arrowflipper's picture

Great tip

Thanks for a great tip.  The only thing I might change would be to use rubbing alcohol rather than water.  The alcohol will evaporate more rapidly and will leave the natural scent behind.  I did this with pine needles for a coverup pine scent and sagebrush for a different scent.  Basically, if you are in an area that doesn't have whitetails and you want a coverup scent, you can make your own with this same method.  For mule deer, all I've tried to do is cover my natural human odor.  Nasty at times I might add.

groovy mike's picture

might be worth a try :)

Well it sounds like a good idea.


I have read about using the tarsal glands as lures several times, but I have never tried it.  Thanks for the feedback on how it worked for you.  I would think that when you remove the gland there would be some blood involved and the scent of that would repel deer.  I guess if it does at all, the scent from the glands would over shadow and mask the scent of blood enough that it doesn’t have an affect.  Thanks for the idea and the information.  I just might have to give it a try next season if I am blessed with a buck in the early season.  Here in New York we are limited to just one deer in the regular season – so if you have a deer to take the glands off your hunting might already be done.  Unless you get one in the early muzzle loading season (northern zone only) before the regular firearms season begins, or use the glands from your regular season buck in the late black powder season (southern zone only).  Bow hunters would of course have an advantage of being able to take one more deer in the early archery season too. 


jim boyd's picture


Folks -

As an update to this tip, I made some of this lure and used it on a recent hunt, as a cover scent and also to make some mock scrapes.

I was not winded while there - not sure how much the cover scent helped in that regard.

I made 5 mock scrapes and was able to check three of them... two of the three had been used by deer and in one of the scrapes, the licking branch was actually torn from the tree and dropped in the middle of the scrape!

I will have an opportunity to check all of these again this weekend and will see if they either started using the ones that I have not checked or that were not used initially - and also if they continued to use the two that they had previously visited.

I will update again after my upcoming return trip, which will be next weekend.

It works... try it!


ManOfTheFall's picture

That is a very good tip. I

That is a very good tip. I just may have to give that a try. Thanks for the info.

Critter done's picture

Awesome Tip

We have hung tarsal gands from trees to lure in bucks but never used water to make a lure with them, Your idea should work better cause after a week or two ours started to rot. I'll have to go see if one will stand still for me(LOL)


jaybe's picture


You've got some good looking tarsal glands, there, Jim!

I'm told that the darker the better - and that middle one is plenty dark!

That's really a great tip.

I'm guessing that some of the commercially-made deer scent/attractants are made with various parts of deer.

I know a guy who removes and freezes the tarsal glands of bucks he tags for future use in just such concoctions as yours.

Guys - be careful to wrap, double-wrap and then place in a glass jar before storing in your freezer! You better half might not appreciate it!

Thanks for the tip.