Having chased the deer for years now, I can comfortably attest to the fact that it’s quite an elusive animal.
There are days I could sit on my stand the whole day without seeing a single whitetail, leave alone striking one down with my bow.
Truly, this was a frustrating experience until…
…until I discovered that I could easily attract the deer to my hunting spot and hold them “hostage” for easy shooting.
I know you might have found yourself in this scenario too. So, I’ve put up this post to share with you the best methods of attracting the deer to your hunting zone/property.
PS: There are many methods shared in other blogs but here, I’ll ONLY share with you the FOUR methods I’ve personally used and brought in real results.
These 4 effective methods of attracting deer are:
How To Attract Deer#1. Set Up a Food Plot#2. Create Watering points Too#3. Employ Deer Lures#4. Make an Ideal Home For The WhitetailsConclusion
#1. Set Up a Food Plot
All bow hunters who wish to attract deer to their property should consider a food plot as their very first step.
Setting up a food plot is as simple as clearing a piece of your land and planting it with crops that deer likes to feed on. There is no limit to the number of food plots you can create in your property.
So, which crops should you plant in your food plant?
Well, the deer love eating protein packed crops like turnips, kales, soybeans, alfalfa, peas, etc. missing such plants with rye, wheat, clover, oats, grasses, etc., are sure to bring in the whitetails.
Besides, they also like feeding on nuts – like acorns and chestnuts.
BUT…most bow hunters miss out on this one secret – knowing the ideal time to plant the different crops we’ve mentioned above.
By knowing when to plant a given plant, you’ll increase your chances of attracting herds of deer to your property!
With that said, you can check my previous posts where I elaborated on the when/why/how to plant soybeans, turnips, winter wheat, and buck forage oats.
Moreover, keep the following factors in mind to maximize the potential of your food plot:
- Ensure your setup isn’t near the roads or high-traffic areas as cars/people might scare away your “visitors.”
- Choose an area that’s not prone to flooding as this can destroy the setup you’ve worked so hard for in a single storm
- I also urge you to protect your plot from birds and insects that might want to gobble up your seeds
- Prepare your land well for planting; you can enlist the help of a tractor/cultivator. Spreading fertilizer on your plot as well maximizes the plant growth
#2. Create Watering points Too
Just like any other animal (or like we humans) deer require water to survive. As such, it’d be a big mistake not to include a watering point in your food plot or the area where you plant to attract the deer.
This would make the area feel like a real home for the game.
If you’re like me, your property might not be lucky enough to have natural water sources- like rivers, ponds, streams, swamps, etc. But you’ve nothing to worry about.
You can cheaply build your own water sources, without necessarily hiring that costly equipment, like I did:
I simply grabbed a 55-gallon plastic drum that has been lying idle in my backyard, cut it into two halves and sank them into the ground. They collected rain water and provided sufficient water for the whitetails that came into my setup.
#3. Employ Deer Lures
Using different lures to attract the deer works like a charm! They encourage them to come into your yard and stick around worry-free as you’d wish.
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective lures you can use to attract the deer into your hunting zone:
- Deer urine: this is the most effective scent I’ve ever used to bring in the deer. You simply need to pour it around your hunting location; and if you only wish to attract the bucks, pour doe urine on the grass and trees around your spot.
Additionally, you can hang scent wicks concentrated with deer urine around your hunting stand.
- Sweet apples: deer also love the smell that comes out of sweet apples, making it another effective attractant for bow hunters.
- Salt blocks: nothing pulls deer to your hunting location like salt/mineral blocks…and even the blocks made from cider or apple salt.
If you’ve got a food plot, just place the blocks around it edges. Or you can bury it in the ground and sprinkle some salt on to.
Trust me; the deer would be so determined to lick the salt block that they’d mine it tirelessly!
You can find more deer attractants at your local sporting goods store at affordable prices. Some of the commercial lures I’d suggest you look out for include: Buck Bomb Hunting Scents, Wildgame Innovations Acorn Rage Salt Block Deer Attractant, and Mighty Deer Lick 22340 Acorn Salt Lick Block.
#4. Make an Ideal Home For The Whitetails
So far so good! You’ve fully prepared your hunting areas and you’re ready to attract the elusive whitetails.
But one thing is remaining – you need to do some final touches to your area to make it look like a real home in the eyes of the deer. And here are some top tips to achieve that:
- Grow tall grass. The deer love tall grass; it’s not a surprise that they love bedding in the tall grass as it provides the best natural, visual cover to them. Some suggestions of the type of grass to plant include the Indian grass, switch grass, and big bluestem grass.
- Get rid of fences that might deter the deer from gaining entry into your property. Because you want the deer to freely wonder into your hunting location, you’ve to remove any fences that prevent them from entering. And if you can’t get rid of your fence, be sure to make an opening big enough for them to enter.
- Bright light, sounds, etc. can easily scare away the game, so ensure you eliminate them as well.
- You’d want to introduce trees and shrubs that deer like into your property. These will act like a natural draw for the animals. Some top suggestions include the blackberry trees, juniper, Douglas fir, elderberry, flowering dogwood, etc.
Now you have it – the best methods of attracting the deer to your hunting zone – from setting up a food plot, to introducing your own watering holes, using deer attractants, and customizing the area to make it look like a real home for the whitetails.
I’ve personally invested in these ideas for years and one thing I can assure you is that they’ll bring in the deer – including those bigger and better bucks you’d like to take home for supper.
I encourage you to go out there and employ these methods too and return with firsthand info on how it worked for you.
hi Jennifer, I live in Canada and could use any tips you have for bow hunting, I don’t know if it makes a difference if I use a cross bow, anyway let me know if you can would be happy for any tips from you, thanks
Hi Allan! Thanks for your question. Using a crossbow for hunting has its pros and cons. While crossbows are often easier to operate, they are sometimes less durable than a recurve or a compound bow.
Crossbows have two main types: Recurve crossbows are generally lighter and easier to use, while compound crossbows are more powerful. No matter which type of crossbow you decide to use, make sure you get something that is accurate, silent, and durable.
If you want to know more about crossbows, you may want to check out my other article, Recurve vs Compound Crossbow: What is the Best Crossbow for Hunting?
Hope this helps. Happy bowhunting!