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

San Francisco - LP: J. Peavy 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: K. Herrera 7
San Diego 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 92 FINAL
Memphis 96
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 117 FINAL
San Antonio 107
Portland 86 FINAL
LA Lakers 94
Phoenix 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 108
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Washington 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
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