Chemical Signals: The Whitetail’s Communication Key

Chemical Signals: The Whitetail’s Communication Key

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This buck in north-central Wisconsin was caught on camera checking a scrape doctored with Smokey’s Preorbital Gland Lure. Bucks will check rubs and scrapes — their signposts — throughout the season.

Popular hunting literature is filled with claims regarding the attractive powers of certain deer lures. “Estrous urine” lures, in particular, are advertised as being packed full of “hormones” and “pheromones,” reputed to be irresistible to a buck in rut.

Just what is a so-called pheromone? And what do scientists have to say about this intriguing subject, referred to as chemical communication, used by white-tailed deer during the rut?

Communicative…



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