Hawbaker's Lures & Epler Fur Co. Smell Testing
I was at John Epler's shop (Epler Fur Company) yesterday to replace a broken groundhog (3 in 1 tool) and pick up some red fox lure and urine.
As most know, Edwin Hawbaker sold to Sterling Fur. Many have noticed the quality of the Hawbaker's lures and urines (available through Sterling Fur) has gone downhill. While at John's yesterday I did a bunch of smell-testing, sampling different lures and urines.
The most interesting comparison was between my old stock Hawbaker's gland lure and the new stuff, completely different smell. Same with the urine, the new stuff is light-colored, weak and watery Not the dark, strong-smelling urine from Bob Wendt's meat-fed red fox that I used to get before the sale.
I'm sad to say that after a dozen years of using Hawbaker's as my go-to lure and urine, I'll not be using it any longer.
The good news is that John sells some red fox urine that comes from one of Hawbaker's old suppliers (not Bob) and it looks and smells just like the old-stock Hawbakers. Also, there are plenty of good lures out there. I bought another bottle of Carmen's Canine Call which I've been using the last few years with good success, a bottle of Carmen's Pro's Choice and a bottle of Epler's Red Delight.
Now if it ever stops raining and gets cold, I can start stacking up the fox again.