Fool Bucks with a Figure-Eight Scent Trail

Text and photos by Todd Amenrud

The author harvested this buck after it followed his scent trail in the wrong direction. After a short time, the buck came back in the right direction.

The author harvested this buck after it followed his scent trail in the wrong direction. After a short time, the buck came back in the right direction.

With his nose to the ground, the buck followed my scent trail away from my stand. My binoculars told me this was one of the bucks I was after: a respectable eight point with massive antler bases. I didn’t like to see him head the wrong way, but I wasn’t too worried since I had planned accordingly. About a half hour later, the buck reappeared following the same scent trail, this time in my direction. When he passed behind a tree 22 yards away, I drew my bow. The rest is history.

Many bowhunters see plenty of deer, but just can’t get shot opportunities. Laying a scent trail is among my favorite tactics for pulling bucks in close. The dilemma with scent trails is this: bucks follow them the wrong direction 50 percent of the time—even trails made by real does. You can cure this problem by laying scent trails in a figure eight.

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