Guru Huntress: She Gives the Credit to Northern Whitetail Scents

What a season this has been so far! My days are running together and the weeks are flying by, but not without excitement and success. We just returned from hunting whitetail in northwest Kansas.

Prior to our trip, I spent some time researching current deer activity online and studying the moon phase and it looked promising that we would be hunting during the rut. With this in mind, I set out researching scent attraction products and the companies that sold them for product field testing. I ran across one company that piqued my interest. Not only did this company get my attention from its success rates, harvest photos and testimonials, it also is  female owned and operated.

The Guru Huntress credits Northern Whitetail Scents for her success on her 2010 Kansas bow season harvest. This buck came in to investigate a scrape that had been sweetened up with NWS products just 20 yards from her. Photo credit © 2010 Life in Camo

Northern Whitetail Scents (NWS), located in Akron, New York, is owned and operated by Pati Vacanti. NWS specializes in daily single animal urine collection from hand-raised herds in a state-of-the-art collection facility. The products are collected and shipped fresh daily from the deer to your door so that customers can be guaranteed high quality, potent products when they receive them.

Northern Whitetail Farm, located in Akron, New York and Northern Whitetail Scents retail store is located in Clarence, New York. Photo courtesy of Northern Whitetail Farm.

No preservatives or additives are used and the herd is grazed on the same type legumes, roughage and browse as compared to deer that are free roaming. Because urine contains several substances that vary from what is introduced into the digestive system, it is important to mimic the type diet free roaming deer consume. This diet insures that the urine collected from the collection herd is comprised basically of the same assortment of inorganic salts, proteins, hormones and metabolites in the correct pH balance that you would find in free-roaming deer.

The first thing I noticed when I received my shipment was that the color of the product was correct — not tinted like some of the other products I have tried. When I opened the pint bottle to fill up the smaller squirt-top bottle, the urine did not have that harsh ammonia smell that I found with other commercial brands sold at the big box stores or sporting good stores.  This led me to believe that the pH balance in the NWS urine product was still close to that of freshly expelled urine, which is typically 6 to 7.5. The higher the pH balance in urine, the more equivalent it would be to ammonia’s pH balance of 12 which in-turn emits an ammonia smell.

Northern Whitetail Scents Products: Buck Urine, Doe Heat Urine and Fighting Mad Gel Photo credit © 2010 Life in Camo

I received my shipment two days before leaving for Kansas, so I stored my stock of Buck Urine, Doe Heat Urine and the Fighting Mad Gel in the refrigerator [but, not next to the bottles of Mountain Dew — Editor’s note] to help keep the temperatures stable and to keep bacteria from breaking down the products changing the natural pH level. The degree of break down is based on varying circumstances and the changing of pH levels can vary dramatically. Fresh urine stored in a cool, climate controlled environment typically has a 4-8 month shelf life. I can assure you that most of the products that are prepackaged and labeled for the store shelf have been expelled from a deer longer than that and more than likely collected and held in a holding tank of urine from a conglomeration of deer. Add to that the fact that most of the other commercial packaged products will make your nose hairs burn and your eyes water when you open the bottle; if you are lucky enough not to gag from the smell.

Well after my observations of the actual product, it was time to take it to the field and put it through the tests. After scouting and finding the area that I planned to hunt, I looked for rubs in the area and any scrape lines. I had a scrape line that ran right down the edge of an alfalfa field leading right to the area of my stand.

Squirting a little Buck Urine and sprinkling a few drops of Doe Heat Urine in a scrape. Photo credit © 2010 Life in Camo.

I donned a pair of gloves, found me a good stiff stick and grabbed my squirt bottle of  Buck Urine, Doe Heat Urine and jar of Fighting Mad Gel. I used the stick to scrap the ground several times to freshen up the dirt and I sprinkled a little buck urine in the scrape followed by a few sprinkles of doe heat urine.

Dipping and dabbing Fighting Mad Gel on licking branches. Photo credit © 2010 Life in Camo.

I opened the small jar of Fighting Mad Gel, a glandular gel consisting of tarsal, pre-orbital and interdigital gland oils, and dipped the end of the branches in the gel and wiped the gel on the limbs.

I had plans to freshen the scrapes with new scent every other day through my hunt. Fortunately, it was not necessary—my second day hunting in this spot, I had a nice buck walk right down the edge of the alfalfa field checking each scrape as he stopped to work licking branches. He stopped at one sapling at about 60 yards from me, rubbing his antlers for about 6-8 minutes. When he walked by the scrape that was 20 yards in front of me, he stopped, smelled the ground and the scent held him in that area long enough for me to take the shot.

This buck came into the natural scrape scented with NWS products and curiosity kept him in the area.  Photo credit © 2010 Life in Camo

In the past, I have used products that have actually spooked deer; I am suspecting that it was because the urine’s pH balance was incorrect or there were additives in the product. That was not the case with NWS products. I am so pleased with the success I had using Northern Whitetail Scent products that I plan to use the products during the Alabama rut in late January.

You can read more about Northern Whitetail Scents, see all the products available and even order your own supply online at; make sure to check the website weekly for specials. I will no longer waste my money or time using store displayed scents after seeing the results of premium freshly collected, shipped to my door urine, gels and oils.

To follow along with the Guru Huntress’ adventures and see how these products work for her in the field, see her blog:

Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, this product review is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Ken Baney says: February 23, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I sell “Northern Whitetail Scents” at my shop and on my website. The results have been fabulous. My customers are in full agreement this is the best buck lure they have come across! I myself have had success with it as well, and I have no plans of using anything else!

  • Women's Outdoor News says: December 7, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Me, too, Pat. It’s on my list for our next whitetail rifle season in the Ozarks. We need all the help we can get!

  • Nancy Jo Adams says: December 1, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I am now definitely a firm believer that “fresh, premium” urine is the only way to go with scents. I cannot tell you how many times I have had deer come into a scented area and spook. We had does, bucks and even mule deer investigating the scrapes and licking branches the entire week. We did sweeten up the scrapes for Richard’s hunt and he passed on a lot of really great deer holding out for the big boy.

    Let me know how the product works for you. Good luck with the rest of the season.

    Nancy Jo

  • Pat Hendrixson says: December 1, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Reading about your experience and research review made me a believer with this product. Will be anxious to be using this for my next hunt.
    Thank you for such great information.