Dennis Anderson: Doe urine a scent too good to resist

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 7, 2008 - 9:00 AM

Hunters are ponying up as much as $18 a vial to give themselves an edge during Minnesota's deer season.

hide

Craig Jaworski of Cottage Grove owns a deer farm and sells urine from does in estrus — a product very much in big demand this time of the year.

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Fantasy fulfillment can be a noble business, and even a legal one, when the women involved are deer, and the customers, deer hunters. Just ask Craig Jaworski.

The owner of a whitetail farm in Cottage Grove, Jaworski has been up late on recent nights, packaging, well, deer urine. Many of his does are in estrus, or heat, a fact their urine advertises to males of the whitetail persuasion, near and far.

Which makes Jaworski's product a highly valuable commodity on this, the eve of the state's 2008 firearms deer season.

"The doe pee business is big,'' Jaworski said. "If a hunter goes into Gander Mountain or one of the big sporting goods stores, they know where to go for doe pee. Hunters know where to find doe pee.''

That is, unless they're looking for the stuff from Ideal Whitetail Farm, Jaworski's operation.

His is packaged and sold direct, over the Internet, or at only a couple of Twin Cities archery shops, Bwana in St. Paul and Backwoods in Newport.

Price varies from business to business, but can be as much as $18 for a small vial.

Purchases other than those over the Internet go down like any other drug deal. Customers place their names on a waiting list, pony up the cash, and when a shipment comes in, phones ring.

"We sell it in real time, when the stuff is fresh,'' said John (Junior) Larsen of Bwana Archery. "Hunters come here to pick it up.''

Laying a sawbuck and change on a counter for 1.25 ounces of urine can be a difficult purchase to explain to the family back home.

And as a way to jump-start the nation's flagging economy, it's a long shot.

But urine (if it's the real thing) from a whitetail doe (not a sheep or other critter) in estrus (completing the trifecta) is worth $18 and much more if it attracts a buck, particularly a big one.

"There are no guarantees in hunting,'' Jaworski said. "But one of my customers stuffed this stuff up the butt of a doe decoy near his bow stand, and he had a 9-pointer come sniffing around.''

Such stories, of course, are legion in hunting, particularly in deer hunting, a pastime whose practitioners, when shopping, legally qualify as vulnerable adults.

Fantasy is the reason.

The 400,000 or more Minnesotans who will don blaze orange and climb into trees Saturday -- alert all day for the slightest movement -- will pass most of their time day-dreaming about wall-hanging bucks.

Yet most know they will return home with does, yearling bucks -- or, about half of them, with nothing at all.

Still, collectively, deer hunters each fall purchase hundreds of thousands of gallons of what is advertised to be doe urine -- or, at premium prices, doe in estrus urine.

But can there possibly be enough captive deer in North America to fill so many jugs?

Doubtful.

"Because I artificially inseminate my does, the timing of when they come into estrus is important,'' Jaworski said.

To ensure his animals can be bred in October and early November, he times their cycles with drugs. This process helps ensure high pregnancy rates, and ensures as well that doe urine captured in whitetail season is from animals in estrus.

"Sunlight, age, air and temperature all work to break down urine,' Jaworski said. "I'm not saying other products on the market won't work. I don't thing there is any pee that can guarantee a result. Whether other products on the market are pure or not, I don't know. I'm not a chemist. All I know is what I do.''

Jaworski, 50, has bow-hunted since he was a teen-ager. He says scent can be distributed near a hunter's stand a variety of ways. Some hunters soak a gauze wick and drag it as they walk to their stands.

But attention to wind direction is important. Better, he says, to circle a stand first, rather than approach it directly. And hanging soaked wicks from tree branches can cast urine scent onto air currents, possibly attracting bucks from afar.

Jaworski also sells buck urine (as do many others in the scent game). Deployed in a mock scrape, he said, this product might anger an otherwise nocturnal buck enough to show up in daytime, looking for a fight.

Or not.

Either way, a worthwhile fantasy to entertain.

Dennis Anderson • danderson@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Boston 0 Top 8th Inning
Pittsburgh 4
Toronto 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Baltimore 7
Washington 3 FINAL
Atlanta 0
Miami 1 Top 9th Inning
NY Mets 9
NY Yankees 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 2
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
Chicago WSox 4 Top 4th Inning
Kansas City 3
Cleveland 2 Top 5th Inning
Houston 1
Detroit 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Minnesota 2
Milwaukee 1 Bottom 5th Inning
St. Louis 2
Los Angeles 0 Top 5th Inning
Colorado 5
San Francisco 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Arizona 0
Seattle - R. Elias 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Texas - N. Tepesch 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 9:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close