Esh Picks: Some of the Best Deer Hunting Products & Tools You’ve Never Heard Of
From knives to enhancing your food plot, covering your scent and luring deer—here’s a roundup of our favorite hunting products and tools, all available at Esh Hardware.
For gutting in the field, we like the Gerber Moment knife, which customers praise for its excellent quality and reasonable price. It enables you to work quickly, but the blade is not so sharp that it will damage intestines.
The rubber handle is comfortable and textured, enabling a secure grip. It has a fixed, full tang blade—with a gut hook on the tip that’s great for butchering and working with skin.
Tip: To keep the finish of the blade gleaming and avoid rusting— oil the blade after using, and keep it stored in a sheath.
For field dressing, we like the Gerber Vital knife for its intensely sharp surgical blade. It enables you to work quickly and replace the blade in a flash. Speaking of, the Vital has a push-button exchangeable blade system, which is one of the quickest and safest blade-switching options out there.
The folding version, pictured, comes with an additional 6 blades. It has a bright orange handle for visibility, and a generous finger choil in the handle for extra stability.
“It charges your plants, like right after a thunderstorm,” says proprietor Ray Esh of this powerful liquid fertilizer. “It gives them a boost and it actually makes plants sweeter, so the deer are more attracted to a plant or a field plot.”
Thunderstorm Fertilizer is laden with trace minerals and nutrients, including nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and phosphorus potassium. By boosting the nutrients of your plants, you’ll attract more deer, who are keenly sensitive to the differences in healthy versus unhealthy plants.
In addition to attracting more deer to your plot, Thunderstorm Fertilizer will boost antler growth in males, improve the general health of and ward off disease in the deer who consume it.
Tip: 1 gallon of Thunderstorm Fertilizer will treat 1 acre.
Tip: Plant pre-annuals in Spring, and plant annuals in Fall.
Speaking of planting, Esh also carries an array of seed blends by Ridgeline Seed, which we selected for their overall effectiveness.
Their blends are designed to perform optimally in food plots, providing a quality, high-protein food supply that’s highly attractive to deer, particularly during the food-scarce seasons of late fall and winter.
Ridgeline Seed blends are particularly effective in food plots along the edge of the woods.
This Lancaster County company has a full line of all-natural whitetail deer lures, stocked at Esh Hardware.
A few favorites:
The “Social Hub” by High Voltage is a hemp rope that you imbue with deer scents and tie to a tree branch. Make sure the frayed end of the rope is approximately 4 feet from the ground, and apply 2-3 droppers of a proprietary lure by High Voltage on the frayed end.
Tip: User rubber gloves to apply, and concentrate on working the lure into the hemp.
Clear any debris below the rope with a rake to create a mock scrape—essentially a deer communication hub—and add 15 sprays of High Voltage lure scent on the ground, depending on what you wish to attract.
Esh Hardware carries the Thunder Ridge Outdoors line of all-natural deer lure scents, including the popular Communicate, which includes everything a doe in heat and a dominant buck leave at the site of the scrape—from doe-in-heat and dominant buck urine to buck and doe interdigital, tarsal and sex gland pheromones.
Another popular lure is High Voltage’s Peer Pressure. A mix of dominant buck urine and glandular scents, the lure is meant to “trigger the aggressive buck in your area.”
Tip: While in your stand, High Voltage recommends misting Peer Pressure into the air to both attract bucks and cover your scent.
“The big bucks are very, very hard to get and he’s gotten a lot of trophy bucks—and this is how he gets them,” says Ray Esh of the Amish maker of Discovery all-in-one soap and field spray. Ohio trophy hunter, the Discovery inventor blended his own formula, had excellent results and started selling the soap and spray, both available at Esh Hardware.
“The big bucks are very, very hard to get and he’s gotten a lot of trophy bucks—and this is how he gets them,” says Ray Esh of the Amish maker of Discovery all-in-one soap and field spray. An Ohio trophy hunter, the Discovery inventor blended his own formula, had excellent results and started selling the soap and spray, both available at Esh Hardware.
“In the last few years, we’ve sold a lot of this. It’s gaining a lot of popularity,” says proprietor Ray Esh of this all-in-one soap (sold in 64-ounce and 16-ounce bottles), and field spray (sold in a 32-ounce spray bottle, and a portable 2-ounce spray bottle) that effectively removes and covers your human scent.
Before hunting, bathe your hair and body with the soap. Use it to clean your washing machine or wash tub, then use Discovery soap to wash your hunting clothes. Use also to remove scent from your boots and gear, storing them afterwards in a scent-free container. “It’s all-in-one,” points out Esh. “That’s what intrigued us.” Rather than buy separate cover shampoo, body soap, laundry soap, laundry sheets and more, a single bottle of Discovery soap is all that’s needed.
Just before you head into the woods or climb your stand, use the Discovery field spray to cover any lingering human scent on your boots, hat, hands and face.