Like all bow hunters, Brandon Nettles would rather not see one of his targeted bucks approaching his stand from a dead downwind path.
But, Nettles doesn’t give up hope ... quite the contrary.
Instead, the 30-year-old Woodville hunter simply readies his bow, nocks his arrow and waits for the unsuspecting buck to walk right into his trap.
His confidence has been boosted in recent seasons by a Mississippi-made product, 33 Point Buck scent and the Vapor Maker scent delivery system.
“This stuff is the best, and I should know, I take scent control very seriously and have probably spent several thousands of dollars in the past on many products,” Nettles said. “The 33 Point Buck and the Vapor Maker not only cover my scent, I swear deer are attracted to it.”
Nettles has used it to beat a pair 150-class bucks this season, both of which came out along with other deer from dead downwind at his hunting camp in Wilkinson County.
“And, my wife Ashley, she had a 130-plus buck come from dead downwind and she got it, too,” said Nettles. “She had four does come out downwind and was watching them at close range when an 8-point came out, and then the big one followed him into the opening. None of them had a clue that Ashley was there.
“It’s unbelievable that we have killed three big bucks this season, and all three of them came from downwind and never picked up our scent.”
The stories seem unreal, sharing the same theme.
On opening day, Nettles was hunting a place where trail cams had captured a huge non-typical buck in velvet sticking to a routine.
“I was hunting the edge of a cow pasture, with the wind blowing straight down a fence line,” Nettles said. “I had a bunch of photos of him walking that line and hitting that fence every day. On opening day he came right up it and my wind blowing straight to him.
“I already had had nine deer pass me on the same line. They never had a clue I was there. The big buck came out of a corner about 100 yards down wind, started walking up the tree line and I shot him at 18 yards.”
The buck, still mostly in velvet, was a 13-point with an odd brow tine that sticks straight out in front of the head like a third main beam.
Four days later, on the first Sunday of the season, his wife was sitting in a stand about 400 yards as the crow flies from where Nettles had taken his opening day trophy.
“She said the four does came out directly downwind, and they stuck their noses in the air and caught a scent,” Nettles said. “That’s happened to me before, but the thing is, they can’t identify that scent. If anything, they like it and they go looking for it.”
Ashley Nettles shot her 12-point buck, with a palmated right main beam, at 20 yards.
On Oct. 22, Brandon Nettles was hot on the trail of another trophy buck, this one a 150-plus 11-pointer.
“On the latest buck, I just went and got in a stand on a food plot that hadn’t been planted,” he said. “It was just dirt. About 30 minutes after I got there, nine does came out, and were just hanging out. Ten minutes later, an 8-point came out and the big one came out behind it. I shot it at 20 yards. He walked out downwind, and I didn’t even have time to range him. He was right on top of me.”
Nettles gives a lot of credit for the trophies to Rex Holmes and Sammy Corley, two Natchez area men behind the 33 Point Buck scent and Vapor Maker atomizer.
Holmes said Corley, a former conservation officer for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, came up with the key ingredient for the scent while Holmes came up with the delivery system.
“What the Vapor Maker does is break it down to the molecular level so that Sammy’s scent is better delivered,” Holmes said. “You get an even spray and it coats everything it touches.”
Nettles said his wife’s recent kill should be all the proof one needs.
“If you look at the picture of her with her deer, you will see that she is wearing full makeup; she always does,” he said. “That’s how she went to the stand, and you know that the makeup carries an aroma. She insists on it because she wants to look good for the pictures after she takes a big buck.”
That’s confidence, for sure.
“Once she gets to the stand, she sprays all over with the Vapor Maker, and I mean she really saturates herself,” Nettles said. “This stuff works.”
Nettles said the clincher to him is what happened the day he killed the latest buck, the one that came into the dirt field.
“I had walked out and sprayed some of the 33 Point Buck in the dirt,” he said. “All those does and the two bucks came right out and felt comfortable. They stuck their noses up in the air, smelled it, and then went about their business. It’s like they smell it and like it.
“I also use the clothes detergent and personal soaps that 33 Point Buck makes, but I don’t wash my clothes in the washing machine and I don’t use the dryer either. I hand wash them and air dry them. Think about it, using a machine picks up all the scents from previous loads.”
*Don't forget to enter photos of your bucks in the Big Buck Photo Contest to be eligible for monthly giveaways.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.