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Hi, my name is Cavan Sullivan. I am a professor of Biology and Animal Behavior. I also own Timber Valley Fresh Scent. I want to attempt to help address some of the questions that I have received from customers and forum members over the last weeks.
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Let me first start out with a statement that I have used before, but is also one we can all agree on. "Deer scent is created equal, but it is what happens to that scent following collection that sets it apart." Deer urine is an organic compound rich in nitrogen and other byproducts of cellular respiration. Like all other mammals, the primary function of urine is the removal of these harmful elements from the body. As several posters have so eloquently put it, the excretory organ (the urethra) is located geographically near the opening of the reproductive system (the vagina). While not identical, mammals (humans included) share many of the same reproductive organs and the smells associated with it. When a female is in heat or estrous her ovaries (which are part of the reproductive system) releases eggs that are mature and ready for fertilization by sperm from a male. These eggs travel down the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. If sperm is present in the females reproductive tract these eggs will become fertilized and will implant in the uterus. All during this cycle varying amounts of chemical communication compounds (pheromones) are secreted from parts of the reproductive system to indicate to males the readiness to accept a mate. It is because of the proximity of the urethra, and the vagina that naturally secreted urine has such a valuable when used as an attractant.
The human reproductive cycle is referred as the menstruation cycle, and in this process if conception doesn't occur the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) is shed and expelled through the vagina. This material is full of many of the pheromones from the reproductive system, and being mammals many of these communication chemicals are similar between different mammal species. This explains why guys have had some luck using used tampons. On a side note a study was done recently plotting the tips strippers received from their male clients. The study found that strippers who were on a chemical contraceptive (birth control pill) which alters the natural cycle received significantly different tips than those that were still on the natural cycle. It showed that during the times of the month that the women were most fertile or likely to conceive that there was a significant increase in the attractiveness they had to the male clients. This study demonstrated that as much as we hate to admit it humans are very much animals. We cue in on many of the same chemical communications used by animals subconsciously.
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Whitetail does go through a slightly different cycle than humans called estrous. The primary difference is the fact that female deer reabsorb the endometrium rather than expel it. The estrous cycle consist of 4 phases (Proestrus, Estrus, Metestrus, and Diestrus. You can visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estrous to get more particulars of each phase, but the gist is this. During Proestrus their body matures several eggs, and the endometrium starts developing. This is what we hunters call the "chase phase". These does are not yet receptive to a males, but their bodies are starting to produce the pheromones that will soon advertise sexual readiness. The next step is Estrus. During this phase does will stand and breed with a male of there liking. It is during this phase that we see bucks tending does. This is called mate guarding, and bucks intend to monopolize a female be keeping her from mating with another male while she is in estrus. During this time a buck may breed a doe multiple times, and may last 48 hours. Following this Metestrus begins, and the effects of the estrogen start to subside, as progesterone is secreted. Finally if no fawns were conceived Diestrus commences, and the endometrium is reabsorbed to be used in the next cycle which will begin approximately 21 days later. In deer the estrous cycle is dictated by the light-dark cycle, and the shortening of day light exposure in the fall triggers the onset of the Estrous Cycle in the wild. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iaNx-Y362E

Ok, so what is deer estrous urine, and where does it come from?
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While I cannot speak on the methods of other producers, here is how its done at Timber Valley Fresh Scent.
By knowing the hormones that govern the natural reproductive cycle, humans have been able the manipulate reproductive cycle in multiple species. With the growth in popularity in artificial insemination in whitetail breeding, agricultural scientists have perfected the administration of these hormones along with the timing necessary for optimizing conception rates. Deer farmers can also use these same hormone injection regimens to bring does into estrous for the purposes of collection of urine. Physiologically a whitetail doe is capable of producing around 16oz. of urine per day, so given this fact and adding it to the above of an average of 48 hours of estrous. We are left with a maximum of 32oz of estrous urine available from a doe per reproductive cycle. So estrous scent is a very precious commodity, and the sheer volume of "Estrous" scent sitting on the shelves of today’s retail outlets is highly suspicious. Since there is no quality control organization for deer scent the majority of scent on the shelf sold as estrous was collected and bottled the previous year. So already the store bought pee in your bottle is in most cases a minimum of 12 months old, a long time to be sitting at room temperature. At Timber Valley Fresh Scent we use a hormone therapy to bring our does into estrous. When they are approaching the peak we bring them into collection stalls with high density plastic slatted floors. Does are left in the stalls during this 24-48 hour period and allowed to urinate naturally, which usually includes squatting and urinating through the tarsal gland (another scent communication organ). The urine drips through the floor onto a plastic floor that slopes at a slight angle toward a refrigerated collection bucket for each stall. From here we put the urine twice daily into bottles and ship it to our customers usually within 48 hours of collection.

So the urine laden with estrous signaling pheromones is now in the bottle, how long is it good for?

Most of us are familiar with the burning ammonia smell released when a bottle of store bought urine is opened for the first time. This comes from the degradation of the urea, which is excreted through the kidneys from dietary proteins. Based on my own chemical research, I have found about half urea (the nitrogen) degrades to ammonia over the course of 2-3 weeks and the attractive power (the pheromones) in the scent significantly decreases over that same period of time. Probably biggest factor influencing urine quality following collection is the build up of bacteria. Bacteria feed on the rich nitrogen molecules in the urine, and can exponentially multiply over a short amount of time. Because of this, steps must be taken to prevent the build up of bacteria. Some manufacturers who want to place scent directly on a store shelf add a preservative such as sodium benzoate to the urine which interrupts the replication cycle of the DNA in the bacteria. These manufacturers maintain that sodium benzoate is scentless and tasteless, but when used as a food preservative up to 1 in 4 people can taste it. I think it goes with out saying deer smell it. Like mentioned before, bacterial growth and conversion of urea to ammonia are the two biggest enemies facing fresh deer scent. To combat these we have found that keeping the urine cold during and after collection, and during shipment does wonders in keeping the scent fresh without having to add a preservative. Hunters are also encouraged to keep their scent bottle in a refrigerator once they receive their product. Some companies advocate freezing their product. In my personal opinion this is far and above off the shelf products, but when compared to fresh chilled scent its falls to second. If you have ever used frozen deer scent you are probably familiar with the white precipitate that forms at the bottom of the bottle upon thawing. This is actually part of the product that was suspended when the product was fresh. When any molecule is frozen then thawed the molecule swells and contracts and this can cause fractures of the highly complicated organic molecules that make up urine. A familiar example of this is milk. Milk that has been frozen then thawed is never the same.
If you have read this far, thank you. I hope this has shed more insight than confusion on to the topic of deer scent. I am happy that there are a handfull of companies who have decided not to conform to the "old way" of scent production.
For additional information visit the Fresh deer scent thread in the general bowhunting section. or visit: www.tvfreshscent.com
Thanks,

Cavan Sullivan
Timber Valley Fresh Scent
 

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Hey Mr. Sullivan...this is great info. I have been thinking about trying your product for some time now.
 

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Bowhunter Extraordinaire
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That's alot to read. However, what if the strippers on birth control were ugly? So the other ones got more tips based on principal?
 

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kill'n deer, drink'n beer
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:mg:.... I want a pet deer...

very good info! I may have to try your scents too!

or maybe Ill just buy a doe and tie 50 feet of rope to her, come "peak estrus".. yeahh, ill be in the money for big bucks!
 

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Thanks for the info. I may be able to guess your answer, but what are your thoughts on the estrus sticks that claim to reduce the degradation of urea and pheromones by having them encapsulated in wax? Again, thanks for the info- lookalike a great company.
 

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Great info...
 

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The same thing that's wrong with most fishing lures, their made to catch fishermen. Which they do quite well. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hey guys,
Thanks to all who have read the article! We will be running weekly contests, and specials so make sure you keep checking out the thread. This week we will be selecting Facebook follower to win a free Timber Valley Tribal T-shirt once we hit 350 likes! Visit http://www.facebook.com/deerscent and click like to participate!

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Also just FYI if you use the code "fresh" for the rest of Oct. you will get free shipping on all orders over $50.00! Just letting you know
 

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Great information.

In your opinion can one bottle of your urine stay "fresh" long enough to last an entire season? For example if you bought a 1 ounce bottle to use in some kind of dispenser like a wicking system that you can seal (Tinks scent bombs), would it last?

I understand if you want the best you have to spend the money, but man I could only afford one bottle of your stuff. You can shoot me a PM if you prefer.

Thanks for the info...great read!
 

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Great information.

In your opinion can one bottle of your urine stay "fresh" long enough to last an entire season? For example if you bought a 1 ounce bottle to use in some kind of dispenser like a wicking system that you can seal (Tinks scent bombs), would it last?

I understand if you want the best you have to spend the money, but man I could only afford one bottle of your stuff. You can shoot me a PM if you prefer.

Thanks for the info...great read!
I would like to read a response to this post.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We recommend using our products with in 2-3 weeks of bottling them. We go to great lengths to provide the freshest scent humanly possible to our clients, and in my own research have found that the attractiveness of the product is reduced after that time. The pheromones in the product are very volatile so the sooner you can use the product obviously the better. Further more, you should be using a minimum of 1/4 of the bottle each time you use the product to achieve satisfactory results. Please remember when a deer urinates it products usually between 4-10 oz so you must use enough of our product to make an impact. I have seen where some guys use 2 drops and not see a response. Remember you must use enough of the product to put scent into the air. Drag lines used in combination with mock scrapes are the very best way to achieve maximal effectiveness. We strive to offer the best customer service in the industry so please don't hesitate to ask questions.
Thanks,
Cavan Sullivan
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We recommend using our products with in 2-3 weeks of bottling them. We go to great lengths to provide the freshest scent humanly possible to our clients, and in my own research have found that the attractiveness of the product is reduced after that time. The pheromones in the product are very volatile so the sooner you can use the product obviously the better. Further more, you should be using a minimum of 1/4 of the bottle each time you use the product to achieve satisfactory results. Please remember when a deer urinates it products usually between 4-10 oz so you must use enough of our product to make an impact. I have seen where some guys use 2 drops and not see a response. Remember you must use enough of the product to put scent into the air. Drag lines used in combination with mock scrapes are the very best way to achieve maximal effectiveness. We strive to offer the best customer service in the industry so please don't hesitate to ask questions.
Thanks,
Cavan Sullivan
Great info. Thanks for the response.
 

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We recommend using our products with in 2-3 weeks of bottling them. We go to great lengths to provide the freshest scent humanly possible to our clients, and in my own research have found that the attractiveness of the product is reduced after that time. The pheromones in the product are very volatile so the sooner you can use the product obviously the better. Further more, you should be using a minimum of 1/4 of the bottle each time you use the product to achieve satisfactory results. Please remember when a deer urinates it products usually between 4-10 oz so you must use enough of our product to make an impact. I have seen where some guys use 2 drops and not see a response. Remember you must use enough of the product to put scent into the air. Drag lines used in combination with mock scrapes are the very best way to achieve maximal effectiveness. We strive to offer the best customer service in the industry so please don't hesitate to ask questions.
Thanks,
Cavan Sullivan
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You know what, I never really thought about the amount of scent I put out. Good point. A simple oversight on my part. I guess because the stuff get a bit pricey, I feel that I must make it last.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You know what, I never really thought about the amount of scent I put out. Good point. A simple oversight on my part. I guess because the stuff get a bit pricey, I feel that I must make it last.
Ya, perceived cost is a concern. But here my sales pitch for the day. HAHA How much would you pay if you could increase the odds of a successful shot at buck rather than him passing by just out of range.
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Cavan - Love the info here and your product. My brother and I probably need some for this season. You can just bill Buddy.
 
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