The Genesis and History of Misting Part One

In 1963 Rick Orelli of the California State Varmint Callers Association and his partner Gary Thomas experimented with various cover scents and applications. Pete Ricard’s Rabbit Urine was commonly used by many hunters as a cover scent and many of us squirted it directly on our boots and hunting pants, which resulted in some interesting reactions from customers and staff in stores and restaurants. Rick deduced that getting the urine closer to the coyote than the hunters would possibly keep them in the light on night time stands a little longer which would give Rick a little more time for a good shot. He initially tried walking a ways downwind from the truck and squirting the urine. However, the technique of that time entailed driving down remote dirt roads with an e-caller on high volume and with a red light scanning back and forth searching for eye reflections. The dynamics involved made it clear that he needed to stop and spray downwind as soon as eyes were detected which precluded the possibility of walking out and squirting the urine. Rick placed the rabbit urine in an asthmatic atomizer and began spraying a fine mist downwind when eyes were detected. He immediately realized that the fine mist carried a very long ways downwind and that it was visible in the light and showed exactly what the wind was doing between him and the predator. Sometime between 1963 and 1968 Rick added coyote urine to the rabbit urine and immediately noticed a more positive reaction from the coyotes. His formula of mixing equal parts of rabbit urine with coyote urine, cutting the mixture with 50% water and straining the resultant mixture so as not to clog the atomizer nozzle is still used by California callers today. In 1968 Rick shared the technique with his varmint club, the San Gabriel Chapter of CSVCA, and the members quickly adopted the technique which resulted in an increase of take by the members. Rick was an exceptionally successful predator caller and he and his partners won many competitions. Rick passed away this year. He had turned in over 3000 coyotes with proof of kill in club events. The concept of misting remained solely with the California clubs for more than thirty years until the advent of talk forums on the internet. Danny Batastini, who was a peer of Rick Orelli’s in the CSVCA, posted on an eastern predator board in 2010 that he was responsible for revealing and promoting the misting concept. (_*_) Bosinski also claims that distinction. I learned of the misting in 1999 , shortly after moving to the thick woods, knobs and hollers of the Missouri Ozarks. Coyotes were difficult to call in that dense, low visibility cover and terrain. Coyotes used the thick cover and broken terrain to gain the downwind without being seen. I began experimenting with additives to the basic formula, searching for a combination of ingredients that would compel a coyote to remain in the area long after it would ordinarily depart. Rick’s formula, which was expected to stop a coyote for 2 or 3 seconds to allow a shot, did not perform to the requirements of seducing a pressured coyote to reveal itself in heavy cover. I settled on a formula comprised of 5 ingredients that would trigger several different responses. I continued to use mist after we returned to Arizona and I began researching the behaviors associated with olfactory responses. I became acquainted with several research biologists and became friends with a few. I studied and researched every aspect of coyote anatomy, physiology and social behavior. I set aside the firearms and called primarily with a camera videoing the behavior of coyotes that approached very close and remained for long periods. I shared those videos with interested callers. Many old timers with long experience stated that they had never seen coyotes act in such a manner. Tyler and I produced a video titled “Up Close and Personal” in 2005 in which was a clip called “The Case For Misting”. This generated some interest in the calling industry. Jeff Porath visited his father , who is a friend of mine, in Az in 2005 and spent a day calling with me. I shared my basic formula with Jeff who began producing it commercially upon his return to Mn. I shared the formula with two others that are now producing the mist commercially. Lance Homman wrote an article for Trapper and Caller Magazine about mist titled “Coyote Nirvana” in 2004 .. I wrote an article on misting called “Scent Confusion” which appeared in the Aug 2007 issue of Predator Xtreme. The editor, Ralph Lemeyer, was intrigued . I sent him a bottle of mist which he used in Texas, N.M. and Alaska. Ralph assigned Emory Josey to write another article. Josey is a good writer but did not understand the concept. Ralph assigned Dr. Charles Shawley to write an article. Shawley had a better grasp but still did not understand the full concept. Many threads were generated on the various predator boards and invariably generated passionate discussions. Due to a complete ignorance of animal’s olfactory systems many misconceptions were propagated and perpetuated in the many threads about misting and scent control. They are inevitably parroted by internet participants that have no knowledge of the animal’s olfactory system. The last issue of Predator Xtreme contained advertisements for three new Mist products. The ads indicated that the producers don’t understand the concept but do recognize the economic potential.