How to Attract Deers?

A Comprehensive Guide

It is almost deer season again and here you are sitting in front of your screens, hunting down articles after articles on how to get hold of those vigilant and fast deers. From the very beginning of civilization to the here and now, deers have been man’s best muse – be it for sighting, meat, or sport. In fact, deer hunting is so common that most experienced hunters are believed to have aimed down at least one deer in their lifetimes. How do they manage that? Well, you don’t need to fuss about that. I will take you through the two best means to attract a deer into your vicinity – Deer Lures and Food Plots. Just brace yourselves and read on till the very end.

Attract Deers

Table of Contents

Deer Lures

Before going into the details, let me give you a little idea about what it means to lure in a deer. It is more or less like a bait – except that the bait need not be merely food. Our attention will be upon the sensory organs of the deer. Special attention will be given to smell and taste since those two factors have been established as the most effective in bringing an animal out of its comfort zone and into your vicinity. This method is the most popular and the easiest-to-do of all. I say this because you do not have to dedicate all your pre-hunting season to set up the bait. 


All you have to do is go to a hunting store and get the material of your choice and have it implanted beforehand. Then all you are left to do is wait. Once you spot the deer you can either kill, capture, or just watch – whichever you prefer. You get it all without the deer ever suspecting your plan. If you are hunting deers, then we highly recommend getting some good scopes that are designed specifically to hunt deers. It will increase your chances of getting a kill by a good number. Now, let us look at some of the most popular and proven deer lures.

Deer Lures

Deer Urine

Yup, you read it right. It is a proven fact that animals are attracted to the smell of their own urine since it gives them the impression that the area has been or is inhabited by their folks. This sense of security and familiarity drives them closer to the scent of urine. This nature of the deer is what we exploit here. How is this done? Firstly, go to any hunting or outdoor store and get some deer urine. A cotton ball or wick is dipped into this urine and hung at any branch of a tree will do the job. This helps in taking the scent along with the wind and hence will draw in the deer from even a few yards away.


Hunters also sprinkle deer urine around a spot but this would be less effective since the deer will have to be close by to spot the smell. There are many others who use deer urine upon themselves to tone down human scent (yes, deers catch human scent very quickly) but I would not suggest this. There have been many reported cases of deers attacking humans and not all of them are funny. So if you wish to tone down your scent then go for scent-free detergents, soaps, and shampoos. That is definitely the safer way around.

Commercial Scents

Commercial scents are basically a wide array of bottled fragrances from the wilderness that a deer is familiar with and is attracted to. This could be scents that they closely associate with their habitat or the smell of the food that they feed on. The smell of fruits is quite effective since it draws the deer in hope of getting fed. The most popular scent is definitely an apple scent. Many people would go over the top and plant apple trees but that is another section in totality.


Let us look at the commercially available and easy to use scents. Apple and Orange scents are widely available in the market and have high success rates. You can go a notch higher and get flavored corn scents. Since deers feed on corn, this scent is highly familiar and attractive to them. Mix that with a tinge of apple or orange scent and you can rest assured that the deer will come knocking into your midst. 

Meal Baits

A hungry animal is a vulnerable one. You know what they say about the best way to a man’s heart. Well, let me remind you one thing – the best way to any species’ heart is through food. Feed them, cause that is what keeps them alive in Period. So if you wish to sight a deer at a pre-decided spot then all you need to do is leave food. These meal baits will not just get a deer to your point of the target but also keep it stationary there for a while. So what all must you provide them with? To start with, a pile of corn is a must.


Add to that some grain mix. Something else you can try is liquid deer bait, which is available at most outdoor stores. This liquid once poured over the food will make it irresistible for the deer and soon you will find it prancing into the meal. A word of caution! The rules for baiting are different in different states so make sure that you go through the rules before you plan your trap. You might want to ensure that what you are doing is legal within the area.

Meal Baits

Mineral Baits

Regaining lost nourishment, strength and nutrition is yet another factor. Deers may not always be well fed. Especially in areas that are dry or where the deer population is high. Under such conditions, a deer will be easily drawn towards minerals that will help build its strength. This includes nutrients like Sodium and Calcium. Salt blocks are an example of this. These minerals in the forms of salt blocks are often dug into the soil so that the smell brings the deer into the area but keeps it searching for a while before finding the bait.


Sometimes, these salts are sprinkled on the surface too, to lure in the deer more effectively. Like before, legality is a matter for mineral baits as well. Well, this totally depends on your area of residence. Some states do not see mineral baits as baits and hence the legal issues pertaining to it are different. For many others, this is not the case. So, a word of caution!

Food Plots

Moving beyond steadfast and readymade techniques, building food plots are a thing of the past. These traditional methods may be out-dated if you are a tad bit lazy and care only about a fast result, but if otherwise then it is a must-try. Food plots are holistic and have an equal success rate as any other method. The only addition is that the effort you put in will be more a lot more. Food Plots are about creating a vegetative environment in your backyard or some other property where the deer can visit and feed on. This area will be something you can monitor and hence it is almost like having a deer within your visionary premise. 


The first step in having the plot to sow seeds in. The next inevitable step is selecting the right kind of seeds and sowing them. Deers tend to like protein-rich food like kale, turnip, corn, and soya or nuts like chestnut or acorn or fruits like apple and pear. You can mix it all up in your plot and create a  wholesome food plot gets your purpose done as well as replenishes the land. That is the very basics of having a food plot but there are more technicalities that you need to be aware of for better results. So here is a list of things to keep in mind while building your own food plot. 

Food Plots


The area of cultivation is pivotal. It needs to be far away from the roads, lights, and sounds and close to green fields or maybe an open water source. These factors will imitate a natural habitat and hence make a deer feel safe. 


This is a rather lengthy process. It starts with first testing your soil for nutrients and making sure that the land is not susceptible to erosion or natural calamities and then choosing the best part of the land to cultivate in. Make sure that this plot is segregated from other plots by some natural barrier and hence open but yet monitored. 

Food Preferences

Like already mentioned, keep in mind the food preferences of the deer and then choose your plantation. Make sure that it is protein-rich, nutritious, and also well mixed. Fertilize your land whenever needed. Also, make sure that the land is not merely shrubs but has long grasses as well. Long grasses make a deer feel safe and hence it will feel more at home. So a good mix of trees, shrubs, and tall grasses would do.

Trails and Habits

Technology has now evolved enough to let you follow and track an animal without having to move from the comforts of your seats. Keep trail cameras to track the activities of your plot so that you can know which animals visit the area and at what time. You can plan everything according to these sightings.

Deer Friendliness 

An extra effort won’t cost you much but will go a long way in terms of results. Make sure that you have a secure spot. Make sure that the area is free of dogs and other pets. Make sure that there is no man-made fence or walls that might tip the deer off. Basically, just make it feel natural and at home.


In conclusion, all I have to tell you is to treat the deer as a potential guest rather than a potential target. Lure it in, with commercially viable products or by building in an extensive food plot. Either way, you will get your wish done. Be it for sighting, capturing, or hunting these tips will go a long way. 

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Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Gabriel Tackett is an experienced shooter and hunter for over 15 years with a degree in Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He is also a certified National Rifle Association (NRA) officer for 10 years And his passion lies in teaching others how to safely enjoy the hobby by recommending the best practices & products in the gun industry.