Keith Moore is the epitome of the American Inventor. Smart, innovative, and above all, passionate about his craft.
I recently met Keith and spent some time at his ranch where we discussed everything from his product to marketing, manufacturing, family, faith, and philosophy. It seems that Keith knows the latter part well as he’s married to one of America’s premier inspirational teachers, Beth Moore.
Keith, however, is passionate about whitetail deer hunting - something he’s been crazy since his grandmother first took him as a little boy over forty years ago. Today he parlays that passion into tightly managing his whitetail herd on his Menard County ranch and taking every opportunity he can to study the mammal through his frequent hunting and observational trips.
A few years ago Keith tells me that he tired of being outsmarted by bucks on his South Texas lease.
“Bucks have such a keen sense of smell, I think they can sense how close you are to them,” he says. “If the wind was in the wrong direction, bucks on the lease would stand downwind of me and avoid my scent cone. If the wind started swirling, that would ruin a hunting place for the whole day.”
Since mother is the necessity of invention, Keith used his professional background in plumbing and created a product that he thinks beats a whitetail buck’s best defense - and he invited me to try it out.
“It’s amazing,” he beams as we watch a DVR’d television show in Keith and Beth’s restored farm house. The video features outdoor legend Hank Parker and he’s hunting from a ground blind using Keith’s product, The De-Skunkulator. “That buck walks downwind from Hank and doesn’t even smell him,” boasts Keith.
In his farm house, we take a look at his latest prototype which features a plastic box with an enclosed filtration system, a ventilation hose, and an external battery.
“This system pulls air into the blind, filters it, and sends the exhaust back out of the blind through this hose,” he explains. “So no matter which way the wind blows, the deer won’t smell you.”
Undoubtedly, Keith talks a good game but like anyone, I am curious to see how it works. So with a camera and bow in tow, I head out to a blind that he’s placed twenty yards from a feeder. As the sun comes up, light spills over the blind and illuminates the Edwards Plateau scrub. This morning, as if on cue, the wind follows the same path as the light and my sent blows directly at the feeder.
Soon, two does and two fawns eat corn that the feeder strew at sunrise. It’s not long and a nice, young eight point buck and a smaller companion buck saunters into range and hang out for ten or fifteen minutes. About half an hour later, a young six point buck walks in and begins to feed twelve yards away. Like the other deer, he’s straight downwind and eye to eye with me yet he doesn’t have a clue that I am lurking in the blind, cloaked by it’s darkness. Most amazing to me is that the deer doesn't just cruise past. He stays feeding in the same spot for half an hour.
“I call them deer-hours,” says Moore. “Or the number of hours you see deer close in. I maintain that you’ll see more deer, they’ll stay closer and more relaxed for a longer period. In all, I don’t think that the De-Skunkulator is a panacea but it is definitely another valuable tool in your deer hunting arsenal.”
I believe he’s right. During my brief visit, I had many deer hanging out just being deer - seemingly having no fear that potential danger was only feet away.
My hunt? Well, you can parse it in two ways. I definitely had chances to take a deer but didn’t ever find the one I wanted. I did, however, take some great photos of deer and most importantly, met a great guy who’s passion for the outdoors and the pieces that make up a richly-led life match mine. For that I am thankful.
For more information about the De-skunkulator, check out Keith’s website at www.deskunkulator.com. While you are there, make sure you register for a chance to win a De-skunkulator.