How To Attract Deer – 7 Best Ways 2023

Spotting a deer after hunting around for hours and then shooting it successfully is indeed a success. But being able to attract the deer will make the process much easier for you and also less time taking. Besides, you might be able to hunt more than one deer at a time.

To attract a deer, you must know about the spots where deer are mostly found or hidden. Also, you have to understand the nature of this animal for this purpose.

how to attract deer

All the methods and materials used to attract a deer are known as deer attractants. The tools can be either homemade, or you can find them in stores. Also, none of the methods used are difficult for anyone who truly wants to hunt a deer in the upcoming season.

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We have made a list of all of them in this article. Read this article carefully, and you won’t need to research anymore. We will begin with the most common way:

How to Attract Deer? 7 Best Ways

1- By Using Food Plots

The first technique that every hunter opts for to attract deer is by using food plots. You can use a number of different natural foods as attractants. These include turnips, alfalfa, acorns, apples, and much more.

Food plots are not at all difficult to set up. You only have to find the right spot where the deer may come searching for food in the deep woods. It’s necessary to properly make a cover at that spot because, without any cover, the deer will fear going there.

For making proper coverage, make a food plot by cutting a few trees at a spot that is surrounded by some more trees. As deer need to find food for themselves two to three times a day, this is definitely a clever technique for hunters.

Make sure you are not visible to the deer at the food plots. You can use cameras to view deer and hide at a distance or on the tree stand so that you don’t scare them away.

2- Scents

After food, scents attract the deer the most. There are different scents specifically used for this purpose. You can ask an expert in your profession to advise you in this regard according to the type of deer species you want to hunt, public or private land, and the season.

Deers have a great olfactory sense which lets them find food easily, but this attribute of theirs can be a benefit for hunters. By using the doe or buck urine on a scrape dripper, you can invite the deer to a hunting trap. They can sense any scent 500 times better than you and will come to find potential competition or prey.

Besides the doe or buck urine, you can also use the scent of foods for the same purpose. Apples are the most recommended and easy-to-find food for this. Other than that, you can also use peanut butter or vanilla extract.

This technique is most helpful in the hunting or rut season when the deer are outside. Also, keep in mind that deer are most active during the twilight and dawn, but if you use these attractants at places around the hiding spots of deer, you can make them come out easily.

3- Mineral and Salt blocks

Another tactic to attract a deer for hunting is to use mineral or salt blocks. This is known to almost all hunters how much deer love salt and mineral blocks.
These can be found easily at an animal feed shop, and they don’t even cost a lot.

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Not only when searching for food, but a deer will also arrive at a spot and eat the minerals or salt blocks. But also, the deer will be attracted by their scent, and you can easily hunt them.

However, this technique is more beneficial if you hunt on private land as compared to public land. Also, in many states, there are some laws regarding using minerals as a deer attractant. So make sure that you know yours and don’t do something illegal.

Bovine, apple, and cider salt are some of the most popular salt blocks. You can use any of these that you find at the shop easily. Also, it would be best if you put the salt under the soil a few hours before hunting so that the deer arrive when it’s time to hunt.

4- Fruit and vegetable plants

If you own private land, this option is for you. The easiest way to make your land more attractive and invite the deer for hunting is to fill your land with as many fruit trees or other plants like hydrangea, impatiens, clematis, sunflowers, and a few others as you can.

For this purpose, apple trees will be most suitable as they go all seasons round and are an attractant for the deer also. Not only will they come to the trees to eat apples, but they will also get attracted by their scent.


Besides, you can also plant any other fruit that is best for attracting a deer or even vegetables. The most used vegetable plants by different hunters are beech, persimmon, crabapples, oaks and a few others.

Most importantly, planting a tree or vegetation is a permanent attraction for deer whenever the season starts. These will keep the deer coming again and again to the spot.

5- Water spots for drinking

Just like food, deer move around in search of water to quench their thirst. Therefore, making a spot for drinking water for them will attract them to that spot, and you will be able to hunt them on any of their visits.

water pots for deer

As the deer will come again and again for water, there is less chance that you will miss a deer on any day. You will have to hide at a distance like you would from the spot of food.

If you hunt on private land, you can also mix up both. You can grow plants and vegetation surrounding a pond so that it would be a reliable spot for deer.

6- Less lightening

On private lands, try to keep the lighting as little as possible. Because lights will give the deer a hint of a human being at a spot, they would stay hidden in their spots.

They would come out and move around searching for food as soon as they observed that the lights had gone less or off.

7- Attractive yards

When you want to attract an audience towards something, you prefer to do everything according to their liking. The same will be done to attract deer to hunt them.

Try to make your land or yard as beautiful as possible. You can grow plants and trees, make a water pond, and grow tall grass.

8- Deer sounds

Did you know that there are three different types of deer sounds that deer use to call and alarm each other? These sounds can be made by hunters using different instruments. You can easily find these at a shop for hunting accessories.

9- Open fields

Besides making your yard attractive, don’t put any fences on it. Although fences are used to protect private land, they would prevent the deer from entering the fields.

If you wish to, use those fences that will be easy for deers to pass through and won’t stop them from moving around on your private land.

Important Considerations for Attracting Deer

While using any of these techniques, make sure to keep the following considerations in mind to make your hunt successful.

Legal ways

A few of the techniques mentioned above are illegal in some states, like using minerals or salt blocks absorbed in the soil as bait for hunting deer. Therefore, you need to know all the laws relevant to hunting in your state.

Not making too much noise

Try to see the deer come to the spot without making a noise. Even the slightest sound can scare it away. Besides noise, avoid using any perfumes or scents when going to the yards because deer are cautious of human scents.

Stay hidden from the deer spots

When you have prepared a trap for your prey, don’t go there to check again and again. Instead, use cameras to spot any prey coming to these spots and monitor them quietly.


Attracting deer in public or private lands is not at all difficult. Use these at the beginning of hunting or rut season so that the deer arrive at the spots on time.
You just need to be careful not to scare them by making noise or being near the spot. You can use more than one technique if you want to, but you should be aware of the laws of your state before choosing any.

Additional Common Questions

What is the most effective method to attract deer?

When it comes to drawing deer into your property, food is king. To manipulate deer movement patterns and ensure a robust population, one can follow a very effective planting ratio of 60%, 20%, and 20%. This ratio dictates what you should plant in your food plot: approximately 60% should be cold-season perennials, while cold-season annual plants like rape, kale, and turnip should account for the remaining 40%. Filling your land with the crops deer love to eat is the simplest and most effective way to attract them. I’ve spent numerous seasons testing and experimenting with different deer-attracting strategies, and time and again, food proves to be the irresistible lure. Setting out a smorgasbord of their favorite foods makes your property a haven for deer, which they’ll frequent throughout the year.

What is the insider secret to attracting deer?

Always remember, food plots are the secret weapon in the deer hunter’s arsenal. From vast expanses of over 10 acres planted with forage soybeans, to tiny clearings amid the tree canopy teeming with brassicas, a diverse and nutritious food plot can become a magnet for deer. Crops such as corn, milo, turnips, peas, clover and alfalfa all have their role to play in a balanced deer diet. Through my many years of hunting and observing deer behavior, I have learned that to lure and retain deer on your land, providing a constant and varied source of food is key. The result is a healthy, robust deer population regularly returning to your property and the increased chance of a successful hunt.

What is the most attractive bait for deer when hunting?

Over the years, I’ve tried many different types of baits and tactics to attract whitetails, but consistently, corn reigns supreme. Whether it’s in a food plot, or simply scattered on the ground, the sweet, nutritious kernels attract deer consistently. It is my go-to bait for drawing in deer, particularly in the hunting season. Corn provides deer with the extra energy and calories they need to weather the cold of winter. But as with most baiting strategies, variation is essential. Mixing it up with other types of baits and food sources ensures deer keep coming back for more.

What ultimately attracts bucks?

While food and water will draw plenty of does and young bucks, it’s cover that will attract the most mature and coveted bucks. Remember, these bucks didn’t live to a mature age without wisdom and savvy. They are less likely to be seen charging out to the nearest pile of tasty corn, and instead seek the relative safety that good cover provides. After many seasons spent stalking and observing these wise old bucks, I’ve learned that their need for safety and seclusion often rivals their need for food. Ensuring that your property provides ample cover—whether from woodland, tall grass, or constructed brush piles—can make it a sanctuary for mature bucks, improving both the health of your deer population and your chances at bagging a trophy.

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