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Local inventions attract deer and cover human scent

NATCHEZ — It sounds so simple.

Rex Holmes and Sammy Corley identified a specific need in the world of deer hunting and found a way to fill it by answering the question, how do you cover your own scent and attract deer? They came up with The Vapor Maker and 33 Point Buck scent and attractant, two products that seem to be made for each other.

The marriage of their inventions creates a vapor the deer can’t resist, while covering up a hunter’s smell.

“The Sports Center here in Natchez has sold a load of it,” Corley said.

While Corley has been making his scents for more than 15 years, the inventor’s wheel started turning for Holmes on a hunting trip to Alabama in 2008. Holmes had used the latest soaps and a shampoo formulated to minimize human scent and was wearing a scent-lock suit.

He saw deer approach, but also watched them catch a whiff of humans and take off.

“I thought, there’s got to be a way to cover my own scent,” Holmes said. “A deer’s olfactory senses are 1,000 times better than yours or mine.”

Corley was ahead of the curve in the world of scent covers and attractants. Before he patented his liquid lure formulas, Corley, a retired game warden, was making the product for personal use.

Corley said he was bringing home so many trophies from his hunting trips, his friends and neighbors wanted in on his secret.

“I did lots of research over the years,” Corley said. “I gathered all information I could and came up with it. Most of the scents and lures on the market will only do one thing, like cover scent, they won’t attract the deer too.”

The invention of the liquid lures created a necessity for disbursement, and that’s where Holmes and his Vapor Maker device come in.

Holmes, a boilermaker by trade, calls the merger a “God-thing.”

“I wasn’t thinking about trying to invent something,” Holmes said. “I was in a Walmart store in Alexandria. There was something called a personal mister, and I wondered how it worked. So I bought it, took it home, put water in it and tried it out. It had an atomizer, nothing like what I’m selling now, but what I was looking for. (The company) worked with us to get the bottle we have today.”

Holmes said the company, Misty Mate, manufactured the device with their logo.

The Vapor Maker is made to contain the liquid cover and attractant, and atomize the particles when the device is activated.

Vernon Smith, a sales associate at Sports Center, said he doesn’t get to hunt much, but he hears good things about the Vapor Maker from customers. The sports and outdoors store has been selling the Vapor Maker since last year.

“It’s a neat little gadget,” Smith said. “I got word it’s really great from people who hunt a lot. It does a lot with a little bit of scent. We’ve sold several for gifts, and I assume it’s going to catch on.”

Corley said the device’s capabilities exceed the usual methods of scent dispersion.

“Most scents go onto cloths or sponges,” Corley said. “But this vaporizes it and puts in directly the air. It sprays a constant, even mist and coats perfectly with one movement.”

Holmes said even in light wind, the scent can still be carried deeply into the woods because of the atomizer.

“When you spray it on bushes in a 3-mile-an-hour wind, the scent will go an eighth of a mile down in the woods,” Holmes said. “Because it is a liquid, it will stick on everything, and the buck will come looking for you and come right to you.”

The 33 Point Buck scent is made out of an organic material that is not readily available, but completely nontoxic.

“It’s all natural,” Corley said. “It all comes out of the woods.”

Holmes said while he and Corley won’t disclose the secret ingredient, he does demonstrate its safety by tasting it at exhibitions.

“The scent will even cover up the smell of gasoline,” Holmes said. “It’s slap amazing.”

In addition to 33 Point Buck, Corley designed two other scents to attract deer according to what time it is in the hunting season. One is called Doe in Heat, and the other is Dominant Buck.

The company, Vapor Trails Scents LLC, is Natchez-based and Holmes said they are ready to expand.

“We are trying to get into full-blown production,” Holmes said. “Hopefully this year we can hire two people to do shipping.”

Holmes said the company’s first investment would be renting or buying a building, and next would be purchasing a bottling machine.

“We’re just (running the business) from home now,” Holmes said.

“We did good on sales for no ads, so this year we expect to do enough business to get a building, a bottling machine and we’re ready to go.”

Holmes is so sure of the inventions that he isn’t always surprised at the feedback.

“It’s fascinating to hear the stories that we get,” Holmes said. “It’s so that when people call and tell me, I say I already knew it.”

Hunting season is over, but the Vapor Maker is on shelves at the Sports Center in Natchez. Vapor Trails products can also be found at B&H Farm Supply in Woodville, Huett’s archery in Ferriday, and the website, www.vaportrailscents.com.

“This will be the first year to really get it out there,” Holmes said. “It’s gotten out locally, but now it’s getting out farther. It was just a need. I tried to quit it several times, and God wouldn’t let me quit. I would hit a dead end, and here this person would come to say, let me help you.”

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