Larry Case: Deer hunters, it's later than you think

David Healy poses with a nice buck taken using Wind Pro attractant. Wind Pro's powder form synthetic lure is designed to be placed in mock buck scrapes well in advance of hunting season, writes outdoors columnist Larry Case.
photo Contributed photo / Larry Case

Don't ask me. I don't know where it went. Summer, that is.

One day we were in a cold drizzle on a fruitless spring gobbler hunt in April. It seems like the next day it was July and hotter than a $2 pistol. People tell me time seems to go faster the older you get. Enough said about that.

I don't know if you have noticed, but around here the cicadas are singing pretty good (this denotes late summer to me), the katydids are whooping it up at night and I'm even seeing a few errant leaves begin to fall on certain trees.

Summer ain't over, boys and girls, but I can't deny the truth: We are looking right down the gun barrel at fall. I don't have to tell you what that means for a lot of us.

Hunting season. It will be here before you know it, and we all have some chores to do in preparation. Even though I am the absolute worst procrastinator in the world (just ask my editors), I thought we better talk about some things that need your attention:

Dig out all of your gear and put it in one pile. Unless you keep all of your hunting gear immaculately stored and cataloged like I do (yeah, right), the first thing you have to do is simply find everything.

Don't wait for the night before opening day to do this. All of your camouflage clothing, hunting boots, arrows, rifle slings, range finder, hunting knife - everything - get it out and look it over, wash what you need to, replace things that should have been replaced two years ago.

Be brutal about this. You'll be glad you did when it's time for a piece of gear to hold up in severe conditions.

Take care of your feet. Those boots are not going to last another year.

I think I have told you this before. Your boots may be the most important piece of gear you have. If you are going to walk any distance at all, a failure with your footwear will ruin the day. Don't skimp on buying good boots.

Check your tree stands and practice with your bow. For you thousands of bow hunters out there, the clock is ticking even faster.

Archery season for deer hunters begins next month in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia, and Virginia is right behind in October. If you don't have your tree stands up yet, you better get with it.

Putting up tree stands means checking them for safety. Make sure all straps and other parts of the stand are serviceable, and replace anything that isn't. Part of the check includes your safety harness. Don't get in a tree stand without one. (Learn more at

If you are a bow hunter, I should not have to tell you that you need to be practicing, and by the middle of August it should probably be at least three times a week.

Try something new. Besides getting all of the gear you presently have in order, there are a few things that you may not have but need to look at.

One of them is Wind Pro synthetic deer attractant, another of the synthetic lures that have come about in the past few years. The synthetic aspect is significant because more states have opted to ban the use of natural deer scents (those made from the urine and glands of actual deer).

Minnesotans David Healy and Brian Trachsel have spent years testing this unique form of attractant. The lure is sold as a powder, and the company claims this not only dispenses the lure well but that the attractant is actually rejuvenated when it comes in contact with moisture.

Some of you suspicious deer hunters out there may doubt me when I talk about a new scent, especially a synthetic one. I will just say the hunters I have talked to have reported some remarkable results with Wind Pro ( The basis of the company's system lies in the making of mock scrapes.

This is when you make your own buck scrape (male deer scrape out such spots in the ground to leave their scent) in the woods. That's nothing new, but what I'm about to tell you is - and it will really get some arguments going at the barber shop and water cooler.

Healy and his crew have been advocating making mock scrapes with their scent very early in the year - like now, summertime - and they get visited regularly by buck deer!

Some of the Wind Pro acolytes will tell you they have scrapes out year round that are visited by bucks. In the hunting product world, where you may think everything that can be done has been done, this is news, folks.

I don't expect all of you hunters to believe this right now, but I think some of you should try it and see for yourself. Now is the time to try this scent, put up some trail cameras and see what comes to call. You may be pleasantly surprised.

"The Trail Less Traveled" is written by Larry Case, who lives in Fayette County, W.Va. You can write to him at