Harmon Scents by Cass Creek makes Sense

14 12 2013
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Triple Heat Scent Stick, Female in Heat Spray and Death Mist
Photo: Diane Hassinger

Everyone knows that a deer’s sense of smell is much more fine tuned than ours.  Trying to trick that sensitive nose is sometimes a recipe for disaster, but not this year. As whitetail deer season rolled around with everyone is trying to figure out what lure scents and cover scents would work the best for them, I chose Harmon Scents by Cass Creek. Cass Creek makes a complete line of products designed to help you bring in your buck.

In the Harmon Triple Heat line, I used the Female in Heat spray, Death Mist and Scent Stick. All of these scents use a combination of the estrus urine of several does to create a natural and alluring blending of the scents to tempt any nearby bucks. The Female in Heat spray comes in a 2 ounce spray bottle. I used it to spray onto the ground, brush, leaves, on a wick and on a drag.  The scent is derived from at least 3 different does in estrus; sure to make your big buck think he is hot on the trail. The MSRP of the Female in Heat spray is $9.99.

Death Mist is an aerosol spray can containing 6 ounces of the strongest combination of the urine of at least 3 does in estrus. This can be utilized by spraying brush, grass, scrapes and even into the air. Just watch that you spray the mist downwind from you, this is very important! It suffices to say that the wind wrecked havoc with me one day, swirling and turning, causing the mist to swirl right back onto me. I can attest that this tastes terrible to a human, but really turns on the bucks!

Also if you happen to get the mist on your cell phone, use a hunting scent eliminator and baking soda to remove the smell, or you will get some strange looks in public; I found out the hard way. Keep this and all scents away from children, they are not made to be ingested, and keep away from your eyes. Although, I suffered no long term effects from my accidental exposure, just really terrible breath and needing a shower bad when I got home. The Death Mist comes in a 3 pack with a MSRP of $20.

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One of several buck that were attracted to the Triple Heat in Pennsylvania
Photo: Diane Hassinger

The Triple Heat Scent Stick is also the combination of the urine of at least 3 does in estrus. This product will not leak or spill. You can apply it by rubbing onto limbs or rocks or you can shave small sections onto a trail.  The MSRP of the Triple Heat Scent Stick is $11.99 and is a great value because it does not dissipate as quickly as liquids and of course, you will not have issues with wind swirls. I used the Triple Heat Stick on several trees and logs. Since the product leaves a milky looking waxy stripe on them, I was able to use this to help mark my yardage; a really nice unintended benefit.

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Jennifer used Triple Heat Female in Heat and Death Mist to help her tag her first buck during archery season.
Photo: Diane Hassinger

The first week that I used these attractants in Pennsylvania, I had over 1200 pictures on one game camera alone. Generally, I have only does and young bucks showing up at that time of year; this time I had several bucks. Those bucks have stayed in the area since early October. I am also getting some transient bucks who are making their way to check out the Triple Heat.

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This 200 pound doe had to stop and sniff at the Death Mist
Photo: Diane Hassinger

Ladies in Camo hosted an archery rut hunt in Illinois and Harmon Scents were passed out to the hunters who attended.  Every one saw trophy bucks and by the end of the hunt 3 hunters had harvested 2 bucks and a huge doe over the scents. The doe was walking out on a trail to the feeding area when she stopped to sniff the Triple Heat Death Mist to figure out her competition. That was all of the opportunity I needed! Because of the Death Mist, I have a 200 pound doe to put into the freezer! One huntress had never shot a buck before. When he stopped to check out the Harmon Scent doe urine, the huntress was able to harvest her first antlered deer.

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9 point buck that just had to investigate the Triple Heat!
Photo: Diane Hassinger

Recently I was hunting the Illinois 2nd firearm season, and had several buck come into my wicks coated with Triple Heat. Finally as the season was winding down, I had a nice wide 9 point “stop and smell the roses” or rather the Triple Heat! He had positioned himself broadside to me, and stayed that way for several minutes!  A well placed shot from my slug gun, and this buck will help feed my family all winter long. The scents kept his attention to give me a few minutes to determine his size, and place my shot.

I still have several weeks of hunting left before our season ends, you can be sure Harmon’s Triple Heat will be going with me! The cost is reasonable and it produces!

You can purchase all of the Harmon line of scents at http://www.casscreek.com/Harmon-Scents, and at many sporting goods shops located around the country.

Harmon Scents by Cass Creek Logo is the sole property of it’s rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.

Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

This post was originally published at http://ladiesincamo.com/licpr/2013/12/05/harmon-scents-make-sense-diane-hassinger/

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My First Big Game Animal-How I got started hunting.

10 10 2013

This post originally appeared on Ladies in Camo website at http://ladiesincamo.com/lictoth/2013/05/04/diane-hassinger-my-first-big-game-animal/

Life is not fair!  Or at least that is how it seems to a twelve year old.  Add to that wanting to hunt and fish when neither of your parents enjoys either.  Add to that being a girl in 1972.

I wanted to hunt so badly, I would check out every magazine and book on hunting I could find at our local library.  Outdoor Life and Field and Stream became my educators.  I asked so many dumb questions of anyone who even vaguely knew anything about hunting.  I spent hours weekly riding the deer trails on our horses, observing the patterns of the deer.  I could ride right into a group of deer without them taking too much notice.

It seemed like divine intervention when my friend Cheryl talked her father into taking us for our Hunter Safety Certification.  We had about 30 participants in the course; 28 boys, me and Cheryl.  We took a lot of ribbing from the boys, and even a few of the fathers.  They felt we had no place in a “boys” class.  We didn’t mind, or at least didn’t let on to anyone that it bothered us.  Cheryl’s dad, having 6 daughters, was very supportive of girls being able to hunt.  His support made a huge difference in the tender sensibilities of a teenage girl.  By the end of the course, only 2 students rated a 100% on the test; me and Cheryl.  Instead of the boys being happy for us, they made sure we knew that hunting was a male sport.

I spent my teenage years fishing, hunting small game, riding horses, and high school sports.  I didn’t have the opportunity to do a big game hunt (anything bigger than a turkey) until I married Dale in 1979.  Both of us hunted to feed our growing family, and after the kids got big enough they joined with us.

My first BIG game hunt was for Elk of all things.  I had always enjoyed shooting my bow, but lacked the courage to try to hunt with it.  Finally I gave in to my need to go further with hunting and scheduled a hunt.  To say I was scared is an understatement.  I had studied shot placement till everyone was sick of listening to me question them.  I was shooting my bow hundreds of times a day to build up to a higher poundage.  I have the need to over study and research anything I am doing.  I guess that is my OCD.

Finally the day arrived and we took off on this next chapter of my life.  Dale was and still remains very supportive of me.  So I needed to do this not only for me, but to prove to him his support was not wasted.

I remember climbing into the “tree stand”, which was an old pallet nailed into a Y of a tree.  I had to watch where I placed my feet, for fear of slipping through the slats.  When I think of this now, I have to wonder “What the heck was I thinking!” No harness (no one wore them then), no pull up ropes, you toted everything up on your back, no cell phone, radio or gps (GASP!).  My tree stand was on a well-worn trail on the side of a steep embankment.  I tried to listen to every little noise, and kept glassing, looking for any sign of movement.  I did have a range finder with me, and had ranged several trees and rocks in hopes that I could use them as a range indicator.

Suddenly I hear what sounded like a stampede.  There were several cow elk and a 4X4 bull elk coming into range-fast!  I drew my bow and waited for the 4X4 to get close enough, and shot!  He turned tail and ran back down the hillside.  My guide who was a short distance away, heard the commotion, and headed over to me.  I still don’t know how I got down that rickety wood ladder; my knees were shaking something terrible.

We waited a short while, all the time my guide was asking was it a good shot.  HUH??  I think so, I don’t know, I was so nervous I couldn’t even remember.  Finally he gave up trying to get any useful information out of me, and we started after my bull.  We found him about 60 yards below my stand.  However he was still on his feet, although he was swaying back and forth.  The guide said to stick him again when I had a shot.  I told him I could shoot now.  He said “no you can’t”.  I said I could and released the arrow.  My shot was perfect!  He dropped instantly, of course rolling further down the hill.  “I can’t believe you made that shot” to which I replied “I told you I could”.

diane elk

The bad part of all this was that my elk was now at the very bottom of a very steep incline, and the truck was at the top.  By the time we had it loaded onto the truck, I was exhausted, but still exhilarated!  Later when we butchered the elk, we found that my first shot clipped the heart.  He was dying, just didn’t know it yet.  The second shot was right through the heart and 1 lung.

My 4X4 was mounted and hangs on our living room wall.  He is not a trophy to a lot of hunters, but he is a trophy in the true sense to me.  He was a big part of my confidence in my hunting abilities to be able to go on any hunt that catches my attention.

To this day I feel the pressure to prove myself capable, to prove my abilities, to compete with ghosts of my past.  Now I know I am up to the challenge!

Photo Credit:  Diane Hassinger

Excerpts from Huntingmotherearth.com in Hunter Safety Course 1972  https://huntingmotherearth.com/2012/03/15/hunter-safety-course-1972/





My Meatloaf Deer

24 04 2012

During the archery season of 2008, I managed to tag along with my husband and his friend Dan on their guy time hunt.  We all were wanting to fill some of our tags.  They both like to spot and stalk, while I am less comfortable doing that with a bow.  Dan shot an 8 point buck at 15 yards, that had worked his way around an oil tank. He also shot a doe at a nearby creek, as she made her way down to drink.  I finally convinced them to let me sit in a stand, so we picked one on the backside of Dan’s property.  I could hear the deer making their way toward me.  Mostly quiet, but the occasional shuffle of leaves.  Finally 3 deer, 1 small buck and 2 doe came into my view.  I was going to shoot the big doe, and drew back my bow, when I noticed the button buck was missing half of his front shoulder.  At that point, I changed position and sent my arrow into the button buck.  He ran a few yards, and dropped.  When I went down to him, you could tell someone had shot him during muzzle-loader season, and you could fit a grapefruit into the hole that was left.  I couldn’t let that little guy suffer anymore.  I took some ribbing from the guys, because I wasted my tag on a mercy kill.  I am sure I could have called the Game Commission and explained the situation, but I made my choice freely and had shot my buck.  While he was not yet gangrene, he was not far from it.  We only kept the hind quarters, and that equated to one meatloaf dinner for our family.  Thus my meatloaf deer was named.

This buck was not the biggest, and definitely not the nicest, but I will always remember this little guy.  I am glad I could be in the right position to help put him out of his misery.  Practice with your weapon at many different yardages.  Know your shot placements for the species you are hunting.  Use a range finder if unsure of how far you shot would be.  And always make ethical shots.





Eagle Lakes Outfitters Ladies Archery Deer Hunt

21 04 2012

Last October I had the privilege of joining Vicki Cianciarulo of tv’s The Choice, and her posse, at Eagle Lakes Outfitters in Pike County, Illinois. She was trying to film footage for her show, so we had camera crews going out with hunters to the fields, and filming our everyday activities too. Andrea Main, Teresa McCullough, Jillian Donabauer and my daughter Shannon also were included in this hunt. This was the first archery hunt I had been on since my mastectomy, and I was using a Ten Point crossbow with my handicap designation. It galled me to have to have a handicap license, but I was still unable to pull a compound bow at any weight.
My guide, Jim Halliday was wonderful. I connected instantly with him, and we had a great time together throughout the week. Everyone was seeing lots of does, and several small bucks, but nothing shootable. After 2 days and nothing happening, I had a really nice buck working his way into my area. I also had a group of does feeding 15 yards from my tree stand. Just as the buck was getting close enough to consider taking a shot, I had a doe snort and stomp her foot. There went my buck-gone! I turned to the doe and released my arrow. She ran up the small hill, and collapsed right in the middle of the lane. I texted Jim that I had shot a doe, to which he asked “is she dead”, I replied most definitely! He said this was the easiest tracking and dragging of a deer he had ever done! He was able to pull his truck right up to her.
With the ice broken, hunters started to fill their tags. One of Vicki’s posse shot a doe, her first. Then a girl from Ameristep shot a doe right before dark. It was decided to back out and come back in the morning. Unfortunately by the time the sun came up, the coyotes had eaten most of the doe.
For lunch one day the entire group went to a local Mexican Restaurant, Vicki’s treat. We had a great time, and great food. It is strange to be eating with video cameras filming you.
We had high winds the one day, with some of the hunters opting to stay in camp. I was put in a clamp on 20 foot high. After rocking and rolling for hours, I was afraid the only way I was going to hit a deer was to throw up on them. This is the only time I have gotten sea sick in a tree!
The last evening I had the buck from earlier in the week come back to my stand. I watched him make his way across the crp field. When he was at 30 yards, I took a broadside shot. He took off toward the top of the hill, veering to the left. I was hoping he would be piled up in the lane like my doe, but it was not to be. We looked that evening, but could not locate his trail. The next morning we tried again, but never did find him. Because we were walking through the woods and fields, Shannon had been placed in a nearby stand to take advantage of any deer pushed in that direction. It worked! She had a nice big doe come into her stand. She connected with her shot, but broke the front shoulder with the shot. She put a second arrow into the doe and was waiting for us with her doe when we got there.
Three doe were taken during this week and recovered. One doe was lost to coyotes, and my buck not recovered. Lots of wonderful memories were made, and lasting friendships started.

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Hunter Safety Course 1972

15 03 2012

Life is not fair!  Or at least that is how it seems to a twelve year old.  Add to that wanting to hunt and fish when neither of your parents enjoy either.  Add to that being a girl in 1972.

I wanted to hunt so badly, I would check out every magazine and book on hunting I could find at our local library.  Outdoor Life and Field and Stream became my educators.  I asked so many dumb questions of anyone who even vaguely knew anything about hunting.  I spent hours weekly riding the deer trails on our horses, observing the patterns of the deer.  I could ride right into a group of deer without them taking to much notice.

It seemed like divine intervention when my friend Cheryl talked her father into taking us for our Hunter Safety Certification.  We had about 30 participants in the course; 28 boys, myself and Cheryl.  We took a lot of ribbing from the boys, and even a few of the fathers.  They felt we had no place in a “boys” class.  We didn’t mind, or at least didn’t let on to anyone that it bothered us.  Cheryl’s dad, having 6 daughters, was very supportive of girls being able to hunt.  His support made a huge difference in the tender sensibilities of a teenage girl.  By the end of the course, only 2 students rated a 100% on the test; myself and Cheryl.  Instead of the boys being happy for us, they made sure we knew that hunting was a male sport.

To this day I feel the pressure to prove  myself capable, to prove my abilities, to compete with ghosts of my past.  I know I am up to the challenge!





Safari Anticosti

11 02 2012

Diane's velvet 8 point

Anticosti Island has long been a big draw for whitetail hunters.  With only a little over 3000 square miles and more than 160,000 deer freely roaming the island, this island is a hunter’s mecca.

Dale and I had the opportunity to travel there the fall of 2011.  You are limited to only 70 pounds of clothing and gear, which makes packing a bit difficult.  We arrived on the island in a downpour of rain, making us wish our rain gear was on our backs and not in our bags.  We were met by a school bus, and transported to the lodge that would be our home for the next week.  There were 5 other hunter’s besides us, 4 longtime friends and longtime hunters on this island, and a Canadian who was paired with Dale and me.  Martin was extremely easy to get along with and we had a great time together.  Christian was assigned as our guide, which was also a good fit!

The first morning I got to hunt alongside Christian, while Dale and Martin hunted on their own.  We must have seen 50-75 deer that morning.  Putting a stalk on several nice bucks, but with 100-150 eyes on you, it is not as easy as you would think.  That evening I was on my own.  At home I mainly hunt stands, so the spot and stalk was not what I was comfortable with.  I found a stand of pine trees that were on a shelf about 75 yards above a river.  I waited for 2 doe to come out to feed, and waited, and waited.  I could have shot either of these doe many times during that hunt, but I wanted their boyfriend.  Right before dusk, he came out.  I let him settle in feeding with the does, which put him about 80 yards from me.  Finally he gave me the shot position I was waiting for, and I squeezed the trigger.  I watched as he crossed the river, and then lost sight of him in the tall grass.

Since my guide and Dale would not be back for another hour, and the light was fading fast, I decided to go looking for him.  Finding the blood trail was easy, until I got to the river.  I marked the last location with orange marking tape and crossed the shallow water.  I looked up and down for 10-15 yards before I finally found the blood on some tall weeds.  I had to cross the river a second time, before I found him buried in the river muck.  He must have died in mid leap and buried himself up to his chest.  I couldn’t even see any of the antlers.  I dug enough to get his head out, and was thrilled to see my nice big 8 point in the velvet.  Other than digging him out, I could not move him at all.  After marking his spot with orange tape and with my GPS, I headed back up to wait for Christian.  After a lot of dragging up the face of the shelf we finally got the buck to the quad.  When we got back to camp, several other deer had been shot, but mine dwarfed them!

The next couple of days were in the 80’s.  The deer were not moving and the hunters were moving slowly.  We were all hunting hard, but it just wasn’t happening.  It took the rest of the week for our tags to all be filled.  I took a doe the last day, a perfect broadside shot at 20 yards.  She fell right where she had stood.  That last day our group took a buck, a doe, a salmon and a whale bone.  Dale had been hunting the ocean side and found the remains of a whale.  That had to be the coolest find all week.

Our group of 7 filled all 14 of our tags, and had a lot of fun doing it.  I look forward to returning to the island to hunt with our new friends again.

Anticosti Island - Landsat satellite photo (ci...

Image via Wikipedia





Rack Nine Outdoors

7 02 2012

Diane's 8 point buck

This is a reprint from a blog that originally appeared in “Shenanigans from the field”.

I happened to see a post on Shenanigans from the Field about a Ladies in CamoLadies Only Hunt at Rack Nine Outdoors in Clio, Alabama.  What caught my eye was that it was a buck, doe, coyote, hog and bobcat hunt.  This was just too much to ask for.  I had found this post only 2 ½ weeks prior to the hunt, so a lot had to fall into place for this to happen.  I am a firm believer in fate and it would work out if it was meant to be.  Well things fell into place perfectly and on December 7th I flew into Montgomery Airport to catch a ride with Richard and Nancy to the camp.

Pulling into the camp I immediately felt at ease and knew this had been a good choice.  The lodge felt like home, and the few huntresses and guides that were there felt like family from the start. While everyone pigged out on pizza, we made our plans for morning.  There would be 3 of us hunting, while the rest were to come in staggered over the next 2 days.  Four a.m. came early the next morning, with temperatures below freezing, and having not brought all of my cold weather gear, freezing is what I did too!   Terry put me in a tree stand overlooking a food plot.  It wasn’t long before the show began and I forgot all about being cold.  I had a nice 8 point bucks  with 2 girlfriends come thru, just pausing long enough for me to know I could not get a shot off at him.  What a tease!  Shortly after that another 8 point entered my view, and took his good old time about entering the food plot.  He was joined by 2 spike buck that entertained me for almost an hour with their sparring and play.  Meanwhile my 8 point was raking the trees nearby and making a scrape right in front of me.  After 15 minutes of wonderful memories, I decided that if I would shoot this guy on the last day, the first day was a good day too.  Almost right on cue the buck turned broadside then quartered away just slightly.

As I pulled the trigger, I was thankful I was able to be here at this time.  You see 2 ½ years ago I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, and underwent a bilateral mastectomy.  They also removed some lymph nodes to check for the spread of cancer.  Following my surgery, no one could answer whether I would ever be able to fish, bow hunt, or shoot shotguns and rifles again.   No one had ever asked these questions of my doctors, I was the first!  Well I am delighted to prove to everyone, that not only is it possible, but you can still be successful as well!

My buck tucked his tail and hunched up telling me I had hit him good.  I sent a text to Terry and continued watching the two spikes play.  They never even flinched when I shot, and I videotaped them for the next 15 minutes.  Unreal!  In Pennsylvania I would have chased off every deer for a half mile with that one shot.  When Terry and Doug arrived, we started looking for a blood trail, and panic started to set in.  I knew I had hit him good, but there was no blood to speak of.  We finally found 1 drop 10-15 feet from where he was shot and then 1 drop at a time, at 5-10 feet intervals, for about 70 yards.  I was just about heartbroken when Doug said “there he is”.  He had only gone 75 yards and was piled up under a pine tree.  He was nice high 8 point, and I was thrilled.

The next evening I was placed in a ground blind, in a tract of woods near a food plot.  Both Terry and Doug had said to feel free to spot and stalk hogs, so that was my goal.  Coyotes were howling nearby as I slowly hiked about ¼ mile down a logging trail from the blind.  Before long it sounded like a football team racing thru the woods.  Slowly and quietly I inched into a position to see the hogs.  It did not take long to find a big sow, and with a lot of luck she walked into the one sight window that I had that was big enough to shoot thru, about the size of a coffee can.  Holding my breath I took the 75 yard shot, and was rewarded with watching her drop not 3 feet from where I shot her.  I continued to look for my next shooter, but this group turned tail and ran.  After texting Terry that I had a hog down, and that I was going to continue looking for her friends, I marked her location and started tracking the whole herd.  It did not take long to locate them across the logging road.  I had to go into the cramped quarters of the paper mills pine forest.  At one point I had 3 groups pretty much surrounding me, easily 100 wild pigs, all squealing and rooting and paying no attention to me at all.  As much as I tried to, I could not down another pig, but what a rush to have that many wild pigs around you!

I am already planning my next trip to Rack Nine with my husband this time.  I hope he gets to experience situations like I had here.  And I will be excited to be here to share it with him.  I am proud to not only say I am a cancer survivor, but I am enjoying life!  Everyone should get out and do what they love every opportunity they can.  “Love the Life you Live, Live the Life you Love” (Bob Marley)