Gland / Urine Facts


Communication among deer and other animals evolves around the olfactory message contained in their internal glands and urines. These messages are picked up and translated by the smell receptors in the brains of other animals. Animals of a species are interested in the scents/smell of another animal of the same species. “Scent Messages” are translated through their glandular secretions and urine. Animal glands and urine are great attractants from members of the same or different species. They trigger various reactions in the animal. Their scent can make them sexually responsive, aggressive, curious or angry. Gland/urine scents can also replace fear and suspicion and give the animal a sense of security and confidence. It’s the natural animal odor that makes these glandular secretions and urine universal attractants.


Quality urine contains water, amino acids, solids, and over 100 separate chemical compounds. There is a greater amount of amino acids and solids in adult animals of a species. Quality urine can only be collected from mature, adult animals; preferably mature animals that have gone through a mating period. Also, a greater concentration of certain chemical compounds are present during the mating period, thus changing the odor of the urine completely in some animals.

The “in-season” estrus urines we use are the freshest and the highest quality available anywhere. They are strong, pure, contamination free, and undiluted. My predator urines come from mature, meat-fed animals, not from caged stock on cereal diets. This process ensures a natural, strong smell for the most effective protection from animal detection. Strong, rich urine has a greater cover-up effect than old, weak urine. The more concentrated urine is, the stronger odor it has. All James Valley urines are very strong and concentrated.

Beware of urines that are low-odor or “flat”. This is an indication of “watered” or “cut” urine. Also, urines that contain antifreeze are urines that are diluted at least 25%. Temperature determines the movement of odor molecules. The addition of antifreeze will not change this, only weaken the urine and make it easy to pour. Shy away from urines that have a chemical smell to them. And PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM SYNTHETIC URINE SCENTS THAT COME IN VARIOUS FORMS!!!

NOTE: My lures come preserved with a powerful, odorless powder preservative, and packaged in glass bottles with metal seals for complete quality protection. YOU MUST PRESERVE URINE / LURES / SCENTS OR THEY WILL SPOIL!


Each year I get customers who write or call me and complain about their favorite hunting lure turning to ammonia.

Ammonia is an alkali gas that develops from:

  1. Bacterial growth
  2. Heat
  3. Age
  4. Chemical Breakdown

Urine is a great breeding ground for bacteria. The rate of bacterial growth in urine is determined by temperature. High temps result in quicker bacteria development if the urine is not preserved. As urine “ages” it will also develop an ammonia smell. Ammonia will also become more noticeable as the urine’s chemical compounds start to break down (if not preserved). All of our urine lures are preserved with a powerful, odorless preservative. YOU MUST PRESERVE URINE OR IT WILL SPOIL. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM UNPRESERVED, UNSTABLE URINE LURES. Urine that doesn’t build a moderate (small to medium) ammonia odor is often diluted with water. This is a practice of some manufacturers who prefer to increase profits by sacrificing quality. REMEMBER: THE STRONGER AND MORE CONCENTRATED THE URINE, THE STRONGER THE AMMONIA.

A urine scent with an ammonia odor isn’t ruined if it’s a moderate amount. INTENSITY of ammonia should be the factor in determining if you trust using a particular scent/lure. A small amount of ammonia odor present will not adversely affect results. Throw away a urine lure that has a very strong, overpowering ammonia odor. Weak urine that never develops a moderate ammonia odor is usually “cut” with water. (To make it go farther and increase profits to the manufacturer.) Be careful of this fact. A good thing about ammonia is the fact that it is a volatile gas and it evaporates when exposed to the air.

It is important to store urines properly and to know how to get rid of ammonia problems once you have them. The best place to store your urine lures is in your refrigerator in a Ziploc bag. They will last for many years if kept refrigerated. There is not a better place to store your urine type lures. If this isn’t possible, keep them in a cool, dark place. Never store urine products in direct sunlight or keep them on the dash of your vehicle as they will be ruined in a few hours. If your urine lure or scent has developed an undesirable amount of ammonia odor, you should take the lid off and “bleed off” the ammonia for a few hours. Most of the ammonia should dissipate in 24 hours. Then add 1/8 tsp. table salt to each fluid ounce of urine and shake well. If you have doubts about your hunting scents and lures, I advise purchasing quality, well-handled scents from a respected, quality-minded manufacturer. If this procedure is followed, you will be able to get years of use out of your animal urine scents.

Remember to 1. Be Careful; 2. Stay Clean; 3. Keep cool when using animal scents/lures.