A brilliant quarter moon and the North Star hung directly overhead as I climbed into my ladder stand for a first day vigil in my deer stand in the Missouri Ozarks.

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Cooper: “I have hunted deer for several decades, but the sound of crunching acorns sent a shiver up my back.”

The cold air stung my earlobes as I settled in for the morning.

I arrived at my stand an hour before daylight, because I knew a decent buck was using the area. My early arrival would allow things to settle down after my initial noises of shuffling through the leaves, climbing my stand and getting my gear situated.

I had lured the buck into the area using a mock scrape technique that Dan Sanazaro, of Route 66 Outpost, in Cuba, had taught me. Sanazaro described a simple procedure that he swore would work.

A month before I had planned to start hunting, I made a mock scrape using a Kishel’s Mock Scrape Kit. Sanazaro was adamant about wearing rubber boots and gloves while making and refreshing the scrape.

After scratching out a spot on the ground, I squirted 2 pumps of interdigital gland and 5 pumps of tarsal gland into the scrape. Two squirts of pre-orbital gland on an overhanging branch completed the process. I refreshed the scrape about every 5 days. Does began visiting the scrape almost immediately.

Five days before I planned to start hunting the buck, I placed a few drops of Code Blue Dominant Buck Lure into the scrape. I checked the scrape the next day. A buck had worked it during the night. I refreshed the buck lure two days later and again the day before I planned to begin hunting..

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