WOODY: The look (and SMELL) of hunting


On Opening Day of deer season I got up early to get my makeup on.

I was as excited as a teenager on Prom Night, and decked out and anointed accordingly.

Instead of a midnight-blue tux with pink-ruffled shirt (a thing of beauty back in '64 that made Mary Sue Whattenbarger gasp in awe when I picked her up) I donned a button-downed Mossy Oak camo shirt and matching pleated pants.

My outfit came in an understated Autumn Glow pattern. No fashion-conscious hunter would be caught dead wearing garish Spring Sunrise camo this late in the year. That went out of style with turkey season.

I notice that wider lapels are in this fall.

Along with my camo pants and camo shirt I put on my camo boots and camo socks and camo gloves and camo face mask - then over it all I donned a mandatory florescent orange vest and orange hat that made me glow like a giant highway construction cone.

I've never understood why we go to all the trouble to dress like an old shagbark hickory when we have to put on a pulsating day-glow vest over it. But who can argue with fashion?

That took care of the clothing ensemble. All that was left was the perfume.

I always wait until I get to the woods to apply the deer scent, ever since accidentally dropping a bottle of Hot Doe Estrus Urine on the den carpet while fumbling around in the dark one morning.

For weeks afterwards our den smelled like a Hot Doe had been living in it.

It's also a good idea to be careful when carrying the stuff in an automobile. I once failed to tighten the cap on a tube of Big Buck Rut Musk and it oozed out on the seat of my pickup. Whenever I drove down the street dogs would chase me and neighbors would hold their noses.

More advice: when using deer scents be sure to check your pockets when you get home to make sure you've removed them all. I speak from experience when I say that adding a bottle of Hot Doe Estrus Urine to the wash will not make your laundry come out smelling springtime-fresh.

Once in the woods, I dab a few drops of Doe Urine behind my ears and splash some Rut Musk on my cheeks, like Aqua Velva.

I'm kidding; the instructions state emphatically that you're not supposed to apply the stuff directly on your person or clothing because an excited big buck might get a whiff and, in the dim light, mistake you for a Hot Doe.

What you do is pour some of the come-hither scent on a rag and hang it on a branch overhead. Like mistletoe.

Around a fresh scrap I sprinkle a few drops of Big Buck Rut Musk, which is supposed to make the buck that made the scrap suspect that somebody is muscling in on his territory to make a move on his date. When that happens, the first buck becomes agitated and asks the intruding buck to step outside.

So there I sat, looking like a florescent orange construction barrier and reeking of Doe Urine and Rut Musk, when suddenly a big buck walked right up to me.

The look on his face reminded me of the one on Mary Sue Whattenbarger's when I picked her up for the prom - a bit surprised and startled, yet awed and amazed at the sight he beheld.