Breaking the Cycle of Bad Deer Scents
Here at Nelson Creek Outdoors, we make the best synthetic deer scents on the market. So it often gets frustrating when we often hear that “deer scents don’t work”. Now, I assure you our scents work extremely well and these people have never tried them. So why do they believe this? It is because the retail market chain has encouraged terrible scents from the beginning!
The first deer scents on the market were real deer urine in a little glass bottle. They started the industry and they caused the entire problem. The movement on standard retail items through the system can be a slow one. First, the deer farm must collect the urine and put it into larger containers. It isn’t cost effective to make small batches, so the earliest urine collected must wait until enough urine has been collected before it ships to the manufacturer/ bottler. The manufacturer bottles the scent. It then awaits transportation to the distributor in their warehouse. It then is loaded on a truck and takes several days or a week to get to the distributor. Once the distributor has it, it takes time to break down the larger shipment into smaller ones headed to the retail chain. Then the smaller shipments again wait until they are picked up and are shipped to the retail location, spending more time in transit. Once it is at the retail warehouse, it again takes time to break down into shipments for the individual locations and again waits to be shipped out. It gets to spend even more time on a truck. Finally, it is delivered to the individual retail location where it waits in the back until it is put on the shelf. This whole process doesn’t usually just take weeks, it often takes months! In general, this can be done at high temperatures and the urine is not refrigerated during any of this handling. This means the bottle of urine you buy in October was probably bottled in April. It has degraded into little more than bacteria laden ammonia water. Of course it isn’t effective, it is just garbage. No preservative helps. This is why that bottle of scent you bought at Wally World smells rotten, looks like black tar water and doesn’t attract a thing other than flies.
Synthetic scents have an advantage over real urine… or do they? Yes, well made synthetic scent can last for many years. This makes them resilient to all the time that passes from bottling to purchase and use. They generally do not spoil. However, they do suffer from some other issues of the supply chain: handling costs and middlemen. Most of the steps real urine goes through, synthetic urine must also endure. True, the scent does not spoil, but those costs do add up! Every time it is handled, every time it is shipped, costs are added. The shipper makes money. The middlemen and distributors get a cut before the retailer gets their profit. The retail floor space at a big store costs money. The manufacturer markets. The retail location markets… the costs just keep adding up. This leaves very little room for investment in the scent itself. It must cost nearly NOTHING to be able to keep prices low enough taht anyone will purchase it. So that is what you get, NOTHING. I have personally tested many synthetic scents. Ammonia, urea, water and salt. You do also get a bit of yellow coloring. So you take these barely urine-like scents into the woods and it doesn’t work. Is that surprising? Not at all. Basically, to make any money, there was no room to make a quality scent. They sold you cheap junk so they could reap profits while keeping the price within reason.
This has created one additional issue: bulk suppliers of synthetic scents. Lots of companies want to sell deer scents. However, even bad ones are hard to formulate (let alone great scents like our Lucky 7). It takes an excellent chemist that understands urine, glandular secretions and other natural products. They also have to understand the biology of the deer along with deer behavior. You deconstruct the natural urine and secretions and make synthetic ones that will have the same effect on the deer. It is complex. Since most people don’t have this expertise, several bulk resellers are out there selling basic junk with a little bit of odor designed simply to FOOL THE HUNTER. That adds a little cost to add that odor, but they make it up by producing it in bulk for many small “scent companies” to rebottle and sell. Those reselling “experts” have no idea what they are selling, make all kinds of claims, but they all have exactly the same worthless bulk product in the bottle. Yep, you were duped! In fact, I had a conversation with a “marketer” who had asked about reselling our scents. Here are a couple quotes: “They sit in the shelf and collect dust because for any one of these reasons. #1 is they are not social media marketed in the hands of the right people…”, “#2 you have to have it regions specific and that promotion has to be inline with that product. Meaning no way am I gonna be able to maintain sales on a product with a label on it from Wisconsin…”, ” I have to be able to label it different for each location and market it people local to those regions for it to gain traction. Yea me and you know what’s in the bottle is all the same”.. Yep, never cared if the scent actually worked, was instead worried about gimmick marketing. No, we didn’t want any part of that! It is all about fooling the customer to them. Sorry, but what is in the bottle is what matters most and with Lucky 7 in the bottle, you know it will work!
We do not do any of this. Our formulations are custom, created here by us. We have studied real urine, deer behavior and pheromones (check out Lucky 7 A.S.S. and “The Juice”). We put our investment in the bottle, not in flashy packaging or wild, expensive advertising. The scents are meant to attract deer, not hunters’ spending money. We don’t make weird regional names for products we buy pre-bottled from other companies to fool people into thinking it is good, original stuff. We avoid as much of the retail chain as we can and make sure we sell as direct as possible. Scent we do sell through retail is controlled to be as direct to the hunter as possible with no unneeded steps or middlemen. And we only partner with retailers that are serious about helping their customers be successful, even if that means they make less money per bottle than they would selling that useless junk others are peddling.
Nelson Creek Outdoors is dedicated to breaking the chain that creates these awful scents. We may not become rich with money, but both us and our customers WILL be rich with successful outdoor adventures and harvests.