On opening day of deer season, I got up early to get my makeup on.
I was as excited as a teenager on prom night, and decked out and anointed accordingly.
Instead of a midnight-blue tuxedo with pink-ruffled shirt (a thing of beauty back in ’64 that made Mary Sue Whattenbarger gasp in awe when I picked her up) I donned a button-downed Mossy Oak camouflage shirt and matching pleated pants.
My outfit came in an understated autumn glow pattern. No fashion-conscious hunter would be caught dead wearing garish spring sunrise camo this late in the year. That went out of style with turkey season.
I notice that wider lapels are in this fall.
Along with my camo pants and shirt, I put on my camo boots, camo socks, camo gloves and camo face mask – then over it all I donned a mandatory florescent orange vest and orange hat that made me glow like a giant highway construction cone.
I’ve never understood why we go to all the trouble to dress like an old shagbark hickory when we have to put on a pulsating day-glow vest over it.
But who can argue with fashion?
That took care of the clothing ensemble. All that was left was the perfume.
I always wait until I get to the woods to apply the deer scent, ever since accidentally dropping a bottle of hot doe estrus urine on the den carpet while fumbling around in the dark one morning.
For weeks afterward, our den smelled like a hot doe had been living in it.
It’s also a good idea to be careful when carrying the stuff in an automobile.
I once failed to tighten the cap on a tube of big buck rut musk and it oozed out on the seat of my pickup.
Whenever I drove down the street, dogs would chase me and neighbors would hold their noses.
When using deer scents, be sure to check your pockets when you get home to make sure you’ve removed them all. I speak from experience when I say that adding a bottle of hot doe estrus urine to the wash will not make your laundry come out smelling springtime fresh.
Once in the woods, I dab a few drops of doe urine behind my ears and splash some rut musk on my cheeks, like Aqua Velva.
I’m kidding; the instructions state emphatically that you’re not supposed to apply the stuff directly on your person or clothing because an excited big buck might get a whiff and, in the dim light, mistake you for a hot doe.
What you do is pour some of the come-hither scent on a rag and hang it on a branch overhead - like mistletoe.
Around a fresh scrap, I sprinkle a few drops of rut musk, which is supposed to make the buck that made the scrap suspect that somebody is muscling in on his territory to make a move on his date.
When that happens, the first buck becomes agitated and asks the intruding buck to step outside.
So there I sat, looking like a florescent orange construction barrier and reeking of doe urine and rut musk when suddenly a big buck walked right up to me.
The look on his face reminded me of the one on Mary Sue Whattenbarger’s when I picked her up for the prom – a bit surprised and startled, yet awed and amazed at the sight he beheld.