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Field Evaluation - Bill Moore's Hot Trails Scent Candles
By Keith Dunlap - Senior Field Evaluator
Nov 21, 2009 - 7:55:54 AM

The Hunter Black Mini Lantern Starter Kit comes with the mini lantern and four Doe in Heat scented candles.  Hot Trails claims their scented candles will penetrate up to 500 yards for up to 5 hours per candle, which should be enough for a typical morning or evening bowhunt.  The mini lantern walls prevent the candle from blowing out under normal hunting situations.  During my use of the lantern, the scented candle stayed lit under normal hunting settings except for the one hunt during which it was extinguished by an above-average wind.  You may have to provide a wind block or use an alternative scent product if wind speeds are higher than normal.

The ideal location to hang the lantern with the burning scented candle approximately 6 inches above ground level, since hot air rises.  Place the candle so that you can see downwind of it, and place it approximately 200 yards upwind of a bedding area.  You have to do your homework to determine that there are active game trails and bedding areas nearby, and by using a scented candle to attract the game will provide the hunter with an advantage over those who leave everything to chance.

Hot Trails Starter Kit comes with the mini lantern and 4 Doe in Heat candles.

The Hot Trails Mini Lantern has a base with three tabs that will hold the scented candle in place while hanging from a limb.  There is a metal cover directly over the lantern that prevents rain from extinguishing the flame.  I found that while I was using the lantern, the candle remained lit during a light rain shower on one of my hunts.  If it were raining hard enough to extinguish the flame, I wouldn't be in a treestand anyway.  

The lantern base holds the scented candle securely in place.

This product is easy to use, simply place a scented candle into the lantern base and stand the candlewick straight up.  Next, light the wick and place the base back into the lantern and twist to lock in place.  Hang the lantern 6 inches from ground level for best results.  Obviously you need to make sure that the scent from the candle is blowing toward an area in which you would expect game to travel or bed down.  Each Doe in Heat candle that I used burned for at least 5 hours, and would have kept burning if I stayed in my stand longer.

I noticed that the smell was stronger for longer than the liquid scents I've used over the years.  It makes sense.  Smell a hot cup of coffee vs. a cold cup of coffee and you'll notice that the hot coffee provides a much stronger smell from further away than cold coffee.  This is because heat excites molecules and causes them to smell much stronger than when they are in a cold state.

I do not have a success story to tell you about using the Hot Trails scented candles, but I do not attribute my lack of success to the product in this review.  The weather conditions and other hunters had more to do with my lack of success than any other factor.  I will be putting this product to the test again next year during the peak rut activity. More to follow.

The lantern walls prevent wind from blowing the candle out under normal conditions.

These types of evaluations can be difficult if you cannot determine with certainty that the scented product lured the animal into your area.  So this is more of a product review than a test.  I have used many scented products in the past, and I will say that the Hot Trails scented candles last longer and they have a much stronger smell further away from your location than traditional liquid scents that I have used.  This will surely provide an advantage to hunters and improve your chance of success.

Pros:  hot scent is stronger and further reaching than cold scents, no liquid spills, re-use candles multiple times

Cons:  candle is susceptible to windy conditions


Candle Scents Available:  
  • Doe in Heat  
  • Dominate Buck  
  • Deer Apple  
  • Deer Corn  
  • White Oak
  • Acorn  
  • Persimmon 
  • Earth Scent
  • Cedar Scent
  • Elk Scent
  • Anise for Bears
  • Honey for Bears
  • Cinnamon for Bears
  • Bacon for Bear

Retail Prices:
  •    Starter Kit including lantern and 4 candles is $28.50
  •    Pack of four candle scents is $13.25
Burn time per candle: 
  • Approximately 4.5 hours

For more go to:  Hot Trails 


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