Five Tips for Using a Buckstik
Over a decade ago, I started experimenting with mock scrapes. I have had a great deal of success harvesting bucks out of these scrapes, but it took a great deal of work. I still create and run some mock scrapes, but not as many as I have in the past.
Two years ago, Chris Strussion introduced me to a revolutionary product called a Buckstik. From the first time I placed it in the woods, I was impressed with how well it attracted deer. I could not believe the amount of bucks, does, and fawns leaving their scent on my Buckstik.
Why did I have such great success? I believe because of my knowledge of building mock scrapes; I was able to place the Buckstik in the precise location that was favorable for deer activity. Please let me share with you five essential tips for using a Buckstik.
Tip #5: Don't Be Tempted!
The crew at Buckstik builds all of the products in a scent-free environment. Each Buckstik is shipped in a cardboard tube with three gland lure bottles and directions. They want each Buckstik product ready to be placed in the woods without any scent on it at all.
When your order arrives, do not be tempted to open up the tube. Leave the Buckstik in the container until you are ready to put it in the woods. This simple action cuts down on unwanted scent getting on your fresh Buckstik. Don't be tempted; play it safe and open the tube in the woods. Everything you need will be in the container, and this will ensure your Buckstik product is fresh.
Tip #4: Dress for Success
Now that you have your Buckstik, you are ready to go out into the woods and find a place to put it. Before you go into the woods, make sure you dress for success.
Making sure you are scent-free is critical!
Every time I go into any of my hunting spots, I make sure I have scent-free clothes, and I have sprayed down my boots. The last thing I want to do is signal to the deer that a human has been in their area. If I place my Buckstik in the woods and the deer smell my human odor, they will not come to investigate the Buckstik.
Remember this little trick when you are ready to head into the woods. Take the #3 Interdigital Gland Lure and spray a tiny bit on the bottom of your boots. The Interdigital Gland Lure will introduce a new deer to the area and keep your human scent covered.
Tip #3 Location, Location, Location!
Making sure you have followed the two previous tips; you are now ready to find a unique location for your Buckstik. I prefer to set up my Buckstiks in funnels, staging areas, and just outside bedding areas. For the Buckstik to be successful, it must be placed in areas that deer visit.
It is not the best idea to just put the Buckstik in a random spot. Deer are creatures of habit and will stick to a routine and follow familiar paths. For this reason, I often place my Buckstik just outside of bedding areas along well-worn paths. I know deer will be traveling in and out of the bedding area, and the gland lure from the Buckstik will catch their attention.
Once you believe you have found a promising location for your Buckstik, make sure there are trees to hang a trail camera. When setting your trail camera, make sure you avoid placing the camera too close to the Buckstik. Also, pay close attention to the direction the camera is facing. I like to put my cameras pointing north or south. If your camera is facing east or west, you will probably pick up a horrible glare from the rising or setting sun.
Tip #2: Addicted to Gloves
Tip #2 is essential if you want optimum success for your Buckstik. If you have followed the previous tips carefully and skip Tip#2, you will not see much action at your Buckstik. I always carry plenty of rubber gloves with me when I go to set up my Buckstik.
The importance of wearing rubber gloves is crucial. I wear rubber gloves into the woods to make sure I do not leave my scent on anything. Once I have located the spot to set up my Buckstik, I will finally open the Buckstik tube and take all of the pieces out of the container.
While wearing rubber gloves, I will locate the two pieces of the Buckstik and put them together. Using my boot, I will carefully step the Buckstik into the ground. Next, I will separate the braided rope, the leaves, and the vine. I like to take a few minutes and make the top of my Buckstik look like a real tree. I want to make sure all the braided ropes are on different sides of the Buckstik and that the vine hangs to the correct height.
You can now see the importance of rubber gloves. Without gloves on, you would be putting a ton of human scent on the most critical parts of the Buckstik. Make sure you have a few pair of gloves with you because they become even more vital in Tip #1.
Tip#1: Less is Best
With every Buckstik, you will always get three gland lures and a set of directions. Please read the instructions carefully to ensure you use the correct amount of gland lure. If you overuse the gland lure, you will risk scaring away deer.
Locate the PreOrbital Gland Lure spray that is labeled with a #1. With your rubber gloves still on, make one spray into the palm of your hand. Hold the PreOrbital Gland lure in your hand and take each braided rope and rub it in your hands. Following this step will ensure you do not overuse the gland lure. Repeat the process while placing the PreOrbital Gland Lure on the vine.
Now it is time to change gloves and put on a fresh pair. Locate the Forehead Gland lure in Bottle #2. Again, place one spray into your hand, and this time rub your hands together. Take both of your hands and rub them up and down the Forehead strip on the Buckstik. Doing this will ensure that you place Forehead Gland Lure evenly on the Forehead Strip.
Find another set of rubber gloves and get ready to set up the last piece of the puzzle. The last gland lure to use is the #3 Interdigital Lure. You already used a little bit of it on your boots when you walked into the woods. That gland lure introduces a new deer to the area. When deer cross that scent, they will usually follow it to the Buckstik.
At the very bottom of the Buckstik, you will see a scent pad. Place the spray bottle near the pad and put one shot of spray directly on the pad. Next, using a small garden rake clear away all the debris from under the vine and expose the fresh dirt. I like to clear out a large circle under my vine before I add the Interdigital Gland Lure. Using the spray bottle put two small sprays under the vine as if a deer had stood underneath the vine. Lastly, hang your camera and get ready for the action.
These five tips can help you set up your Buckstik for optimum success. If deer frequently hit your Buckstik, there is no need to continue adding any of the three lures. Bucks will routinely check back at your Buckstik to see who is trying to claim the area.
When it gets closer to the rut, don't hesitate to add a little more Forehead Gland Lure. Older, more dominant bucks, produce more forehead gland lure and create most of the large rubs. When a dominant buck notices more forehead gland lure on your Buckstik, this will tell him another large buck in the area.
I wish you the best of luck with your Buckstik, and I hope these tips help you inventory, pattern, and kill a great buck!
Brian R. Kightlinger
About the Author
Brian Kightlingher is an avid outdoorsman, middle school social studies teacher, and official whitetail deer scorer. He has had a passion for everything in the outdoors since his youth. Brian enjoys shooting archery and competing in 3-D archery competitions. He enjoys talking about whitetail deer, turkey, exotics and meeting others who have the same passion that he does. As a staff writer for bowhunting.net, Brian's column is read by people all over the world. Many of his articles are about his personal hunting adventures and product reviews. Brian's work has also been featured in the Northeast Big Buck Club Magazine and the Pennsylvania Game News.
Brian speaks to hunters about Field Judging Whitetail Deer and Scoring Deer. He has created "Left In The Field Outdoors" where hunters can read his weekly blog, watch videos, and check out bucks harvested in Northwest Pennsylvania. Visit him at LITFOUTDOORS.com