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Our friends at Leaf River have arranged with the folks at C’Mere Deer to send us a new product to lure old Mr. Big into camera range. They have been using it with some pretty impressive results, so they wanted us to try it and see if we have the same results. The product that we received is a palletized mixture of tan and maroon pellets (see picture)
I stuck my old nose down into the bucket and got a good sniff of it and it did not have any kind of an unusual odor. Anthony said that he thought it smelled like Granola with raisins. There is supposed to be something about this mixture that will give off an odor that will bring in the deer from a distance. The folks at Leaf River said that they seemed to have a greater ratio of Bucks to does that came in to the area. The way to set up your area for your pictures or hunting is to spread a 20 food area with some of the product on day one and do it again on day two and again on day three. The animals that come to the scent will return because of the smell so by the third day there should be some visitors hanging around with their noses to the ground. We have a testing area that last year gave us some good pictures but this year we have not any luck in that area. We just pulled the last camera out of that area two weeks ago and after two weeks we only had 3 pictures so it should be a good test as to the effectiveness of this product. Our setup will be with two RC-60 cameras and one LR 7ss. The LR will be our long range cam because of the red flash and RC 60s will be on top of the product. Absolute scent control will be used on the application so we hope this will not be a deterrent. The cameras will be well disguised so they will not present themselves as being a foreign object to the area. This should be a fair and interesting test. As time allows we will be doing additional setups as we find other areas of limited activity. This is strange to us because we have always searched and scouted for the areas with the most activity. If this product will pull the bucks into these areas we will most definitely have a use for it and it will keep us out of the far back briar patch we have to wiggle through to do our setups. We will report as we count off the days the product has been put out.
11-08-2008 update: Three long trips to the application site has not showed us much as far as having good results so far. Our cameras showed that on day one a couple of hours after we put out the first application we had a single young doe come into the area and just sniffed around but slowly walked off and did not return. The second day I re energized the area early and the only activity was two coons sniffed around for a few minutes and then left the area. The third day (today) the area was freshened up before daylight and about ten AM a buck came through but did not stop and just kept moving and paid no attention. Later a small fawn walked through but did not even stop and smell. We pulled the card and reset the cameras for the next round to see what happens day four, five, and six. We are going out this afternoon to an area that is much closer so we do not have that long daily trip to refresh the site. This way we can easily make daily refreshes much more easily without that gasoline bill.
11-12-2008 update: This new area was not far from where we have fed corn daily for years. We had not put any corn out for days and on day one we had does and fawns find the area and searched for the pellets. Night visitors were bucks and some does. Day two we had the same with small bucks coming in. Day three was about the same and the night visitors were the large bucks but the does and fawns came and searched the leaves for the pellets. The attractant was spread over an area and not put in piles. The next test will be an area away from our feeder area where we have had nothing so if they find it then we will know. Be advised these are the same crowed of animals that have visited our feeders and have little fear of cameras other than the filter clunk or the click of the white flash that sometimes makes them jump and pay attention. Our other area that we originally tested in has been left un disturbed for a week and the cameras are in place to see if the animals do finally find the attractant and how long it took. There is one thing that we noticed with this product. There is a lot of the powder that settles to the bottom of the bucket. We turn the bucket upside down and gently shake it with the lid held tight and make sure that this powder coats all the pellets prior to making the application and that seems to make it work better.
11-17-2008 update: We have four sites up and running and this week it rained and rained to the point some dude down the road started building a big boat. We can let folks know that even though we managed to keep things fresh during the rain we had zero results with this product once it has been rained on. We have pictures of many deer crossing the area with no indication of any interest. This seems to be mostly a dry weather product. The acorns are falling to the max rite now and that is some pretty heavy competition for this product. This week is colder and will be dry so we will see if the interest comes back once things dry out.
11-20-2008 update: We were not scheduled to
check the areas for a couple days because the rain had just stopped. One of
the areas we are testing in is near a residence that is about 70 yards away
and 20 yards from a dead end road (paved). This morning the resident of that
home had nature call and was on his way to the bathroom when he happened to
look out the window and down through the woods there was someone in the area
with a flashlight, walking back and forth as what appeared to be a search
for a blood trail. On this particular area we had a black flash XIR Buckeye
set on video and 10 second delay. The video sequence was set to 15 seconds.
The person in the residence made the mistake of turning on a light which
caused the trespasser person to run away in the direction of the dead end
road. The time of the first sighting was around 4:30 AM. We did not have the
camera secured but the poacher had no idea that there was a camera there so
the whole sequence was caught on the camera from the presents of a pretty
good buck to the guy shining his flashlight through the woods and then
coming into the area as to be looking for blood. An extensive search by us
with flashlights in the dark and after daylight did not find any blood trail
so we feel he had missed. There was no gun shot heard so we feel this was
done with a bow. The game warden was called but was not very prompt in
responding to the situation and still had not replied by 9 AM. Around 9:15
we received a call and they only ask that we send his secretary the videos
and she would review them. This was a bit of a letdown. You will be able to
see that the person is dressed in camo and it is evident he was up to no
good at 4:30 AM on private property. C’mere deer seems to work pretty good
on another critter that we were not expecting.
11-24-2008 update: We managed to make it down to the other areas and checked the cams and this report will not be by the day because things changed and the results were very positive. We feel that the term “three day harvest” is somewhat off. What we found was that in areas where we have had feeders and we used this product within a couple hundred yards the deer would find it much faster. Some times this has been as little as one day and most of the time it was on the fourth or fifth day. In the wild and very rural areas we had an occasional visitor but not much action until the product was out over a week. In these wild areas once the product was found the deer would stay in front of the cameras until the memory cards would be full and the product was gone. We are going to adjust the delay period on the cams so we can make it past a week so that we can get a better feeling as to how long the animals will keep coming back looking. The area where we had the night poacher visitors is going to be re set up with some new security cages wrapped around the cams and some sneaky secret cams watching the cams watch the deer. So, as of now lets call this product “Three day + Harvest” depending on the area that you choose to use it. All new setups will be done this coming weekend.
12-7-2008 update: Rain rain and more rain has plagued things again. We have logged more miles than we could have ever done on a camera review doing the three trips to the site to evaluate this product. We have managed to get that little evening shower that spoils everything. Our big set up with the Leaf River IR-7 is where we have paid the most attention and as of today we still have not got any positive results. There were just a few deer that stroll through the area and did not stop and pay attention. The past few days have remained dry and the product is on the ground but the results were still negative. The best results were when we had the XIR Buckeye set up and had the visitors at night that forced us to make some changes. These were good dry days with out a lot of morning dew. The temperature has dropped to the high 20s/ low 30s at night and we hope this has not also affected the results. We are going back to our original setup and see if we can duplicate the results we had on day one, two, and three.
Lucky Buck Mineral Attractant
Wow, the taste of salt is all it takes and they will come a running. Well yes that is true, which is what managers have used for years. Then they found that there was more to just the need for salt to make that animal grow into a better specimen. Those old brown blocks that when hauled around on the ATV makes everything rust unless cleaned off. We have been using them for years and have been well satisfied but the rumble that is being generated on the out door forums and the out door magazines has proven that if you are going to use an attractant then use something that is a strong attractant and also contain some of the minerals that will give some very positive results. On top of the bucket is a big orange sine and it states “If the whitetails on and around your property don’t have bigger racks (and you be the judge) after feeding Lucky Buck for 2 years year around, we will give your money back". This is based on usage of at least 5 $20 buckets per year, per household. We, at Chasingame have the people that love to hunt but can never find enough time to get our needs satisfied. We do though have a special need to draw as many deer in front of cameras as we can possibly manage.
We have done a number of these types of tests in the past and some were positive. During my daily scan the hundred or so forums I happened across this product as being one of the favorable draws to get deer in front of cameras. We made the effort and the good people at Mar-Vo minerals sent us some to review and post the results. The truck arrived today and off loaded the buckets and now I have to go to work. The buckets are 20 lbs and have a pull tab to open. This task is not as easy as I thought. I had to swallow the contents of a couple of those special ice cold brown bottles in order to get the tab off. When the lid came off I was immediately hit with the aroma of apples. Now who would think deer would come to apples? It is a rust colored powder about the same consistency as table salt. This powder contains the calcium, salt, iodine and selenium in portions to promote good antler growth. This company tells stories about finding some unbelievable sheds as proof of the results that Lucky buck can produce. Well we are hoping that we will not have to wait until the horns to fall off to see the results. We intend to get a history as the horns grow through the use of one of the new 09 trail cameras that are getting ready to be released. The stories told on a couple of the forums talked about some large holes dug in the ground where the product had been dumped and even though these holes had not been refreshed the animals still visited the holes for more. This was some pretty strong evidence as to whether we would take the time to try this in the field. We have an area away from our feeders and licks that I have cleaned up and got ready for this test. This area has been where we have seen the most bob cat action and raccoon/rabbit presents on the property. We feel that because of the odor the deer should not have any problem finding it and moving in fairly fast. We are waiting for some last minute instructions from the company and we will be moving to the field to get this test started.
Truck loaded, cameras ready, scent control taken care of, Rain started,
and here I set on my duff waiting watching the weather channel. Looks
like we will be into next week before we get a break in the weather
where we can get out to finish the setup for this product. Just keep
watching because it is going to happen as soon as things clear up.
3-20-2009 update: We managed to arrange things so we could get down south a day early. We have very pretty weather right now so we were able to make it down to our southern testing area and checked all field equipment and feeders. We ran a GPS track on the whole property and then marked all feeders and licks that are presently in operation. We then measured out and picked the point as far away from all licks and feeders. This area is on a slight hillside above a thick bottom that has water in it. We cleaned back the leaves and pine straws so we had fairly clean clay like soil showing. I applied about a little less than a half a bucket to the area (see pictures) and hung the camera about 18 feet away. We had originally planed this setup to be used with the new Bushnell Trophy camera, but they failed to show up this week so we pulled one of our RC-60’s (Reconyx black flash) from another area and set up on this site. I want to tell you that this stuff has a smell, a very strong smell that is very hard to ignore. It is very much like apple but very strong version. Do not do like I did and open the bucket in the house unless you want the whole house to smell like apples. It is not an unpleasant smell but it is a strong smell. With a little breeze I would think it should draw critters from way down wind pretty fast. Should the Trophy cams arrive I will run down and switch out the cameras so we can be doing two 09 reviews together at the same time. I am going to leave the area alone for at least a week and go back and check for initial results.
Pics of the setup:
03-28-2009 update: This past week has been very rainy and this has kept us from getting to some of the things we needed to do. This morning I started about 4:30 AM looking at the weather to decide whether or not to take the boat or truck to go check cams and this product. There was a hole in the radar that said we were going to have plenty of time to make it down country and collect cards and gather some data. We arrived at the testing site and managed to get one feeder filled up before the down pour started. We decided that at least we would go ahead and get wet and check the Lucky Buck site. As you can see by the two pictures we felt that nothing had touched the area because it looked undisturbed. The product was still on the ground but rained down a bit. We pulled the Python and got the cover off the Reconyx just long enough to change the card and fire it back up. With everything locked up the bottom dropped out and the rain started to pour. We headed to the truck and loaded up and headed back to the shop. Thinking we only had one card to look at because with all the rain the other 12 cams would have to wait until next week. Into the card reader went the card and the screen popped up the indication that there was at least one picture on the card. To our surprise, there was actually a bunch. It took 4 days for the deer to find the product and there after we had both day and night visitors. This is a good sign that the rain did not kill what ever it is that causes the animals to come around. We have had a very heavy rain all day today and next week we will see if we are still getting the same results. We are impressed so far, but we will have a better idea as to the longevity and if weather kills the effect. The product hit the ground on 20 March and we had visitors on the 24th proving that anyone can expect some lag time to begin to see results. So far it is doing an excellent job.
04-04-2008 update: We have had a gully washer of a week. When we arrived at the site here was no indication of any of the product on the ground. There were no tracks or evidence scraping or digging. (see picture) We swapped out the card on the camera and did not disturb the area at all. Once back at the shop we viewed the card and again we had pictures of deer at the site but so far it appears they are doing a lot of sniffing and just a little licking of the ground. If the area is still undisturbed and tore up by next week we will again re apply more and see if we get a better reaction. We have several well established salt licks and last week I put a Leaf River camera on one of the sites and today we viewed the card and found during that period we had seven visits by deer. This week at this site I moved over six feet and established an area with Lucky Buck side by side with the established lick site. We will now see which area gets the attention. The Lucky Buck is in the area with the square of wood around it as shown in the pictures. This will hopefully show which is a stronger attractant, the salt or the Lucky Buck. Keep in mind that the salt lick is what they have been use to at that particular site, so this is probably not a fair test but should prove to be interesting.
Original Lucky Buck Application Site
New Lucky Buck Application site
04-13-2009 update: At the original test site we had visits by animals (not all deer) on only 4 days during this 9 day period. We have one strange coyote that seems to think that this is his home away from home and wants to roll around to get some of that stink on his back. We refreshed the area with another third of a bucket and now that a few animals are finding the place maybe we will start to get regular daily visits. Time will tell and so far it seems to be working at the original site. During our last visit we made an application that was beside one of our well established mineral licks. The camera we chose for this was the Leaf River IR 5 because it also has sound with the video. I had sent this camera off to the factory to have the nighttime illumination peaked up so this test would be top notch. Well our pictures show that the video quality coming from this camera is still very lacking and needs a lot of help in the flash department. We had found this out last visit and this week we installed a Leaf River IR-X flash extender to see if we can get some much better night videos. The results of putting the product next to the salt proved to be pretty amazing. During the nine day period the deer that normally visit only one deer went to the original lick and that was on the first night, there after they only visited 5 of the 9 days and hit the Lucky Buck only and did not bother the mineral block. This area was also refreshed today with about two cups of product. It is bad that the camera has such sorry illumination because I also like to see if there is anything passing in the area that did not bother to stop at the test site. The visits are about one third day time and two thirds night time. If we can get these animals hooked it is going to be one he-- of a draw for getting animals in front of a camera.