Every experienced hunter will tell you that big game hunting is a tricky affair. This is particularly true when you are dealing with deer, which just so happen to have noses that are more adept at picking up strange scents than dogs!
While their sense of smell is one of their most powerful survival adaptations, it’s not the only thing they depend on. They have a keen sense of sight and hearing too.
The odds are very clearly stacked against you. Thankfully, however, you can even those odds out by learning how to attract deer out in the open using deer attractants.
What Are Deer Attractants?
Scientists say that deer have about 297 million olfactory receptors. In comparison, humans only have 5 million and dogs about 220 million. This means that White-tailed deer have one of the most outstanding senses of smell on this planet. This also explains why deer can easily smell a hunter out in the woods and make a run for it.
However, what is probably the deer’s best defense against being hunted can be turned around and made its biggest weakness with the right kind of deer attractant. Think of it this way: human odor scares deer away; conversely, some scents will attract them.
Hunters have realized this, and manufacturers have taken full advantage of that knowledge by producing some of the most effective deer attractants in the market for hunters to use.
So, what is a deer attractant? When learning how to attract deer, you undoubtedly learn about what deer like and what they don’t like. A deer attractant is something that deer would like to eat. They provide deer with the essential nutrients they need to grow big and strong for the most part.
There are many different types of attractants available in the market today:
- Shelled corn
- Ear corn
They come in all shapes and sizes. The trick is in learning how to use them.
How Do Deer Attractants Work?
Deer attractants are essentially manufactured to help nourish the buck with the nutrients it needs to grow big, strong, and tasty. Over time, the right attractant will help produce deer that have better meat.
While most attractants can help lure bucks out into the open for hunting, it’s often best to start using them months before you have to hunt the bucks. This way, you will get better results (bigger, tastier bucks) come hunting season.
Some attractants are designed to be used as a coating for other foods, making those foods more attractive to the bucks and increasing your chances of successfully hunting them. Some hunters use these attractants near trail cameras to find out where deer frequent in certain hunting areas.
The Best Deer Attractants to Use
There are many different types of deer attractants on the market today, and you would be forgiven for getting a little confused as far as all the possible choices are concerned. The following list and reviews should help make your decision a little easier:
1. Whitetail Institute 30-06 Mineral and Vitamin Supplement
Professionally formulated to provide deer with what they need during spring and summer, this Whitetail Institute 30-06 Mineral and Vitamin Supplement is an excellent attractant. It includes the necessary vitamins and other minerals that help with antler growth, pregnancy, and even lactation, making it all but irresistible to both bucks and does.
This long-lasting attractant helps to deliver vitamin A, D, and E, which is absolutely essential for a buck to achieve its full genetic potential in terms of antler growth. It also contains flavor and scent attractants, which lure the deer out into the open.
- Easy to use
- Promotes antler growth, pregnancy, and lactation
- Includes essential minerals (vitamin A, D, and E)
- Has alluring flavors and scents
- A bit pricey
2. Wildgame Innovations Peanut Rage Deer Attractant
If your hunting season isn’t limited to just your immediate location, then you might want to get your hands on a deer attractant that is effective nationwide. This Wildgame Innovations Peanut Rage Deer Attractant is the perfect attractant for hunters who like to tour the country during various hunting seasons.
One of the biggest advantages of this attractant is that it’s ready to use (you don’t need to mix it with anything). Made out of real peanuts, this attractant helps to improve nutritional absorption and digestion in deer.
It’s by far one of the most powerful lures since it contains up to 600% more scent molecules than your ordinary deer attractant. This also means that it has exceptionally long drawing power.
The only downside here is that the product has soybeans as one of its main ingredients. This can be a huge disadvantage if you hunt in an area with no naturally growing soybeans; the deer won’t be familiar with that taste and scent, which means that they’ll probably won’t be too keen to try out your attractant.
- Ready to use
- Has 600% more scent molecules than typical attractants
- Helps with digestion and nutritional absorption
- Effective nationwide
- Soybeans as one of the main ingredients
3. Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush Attractant
Containing 17% protein, 12% fat, 8% fiber, and 2.5% calcium, this Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush Attractant is an excellent option for hunters who want to attract deer over a wide area. Formulated with proprietary airborne technology, this attractant easily creates a long-range scent vapor that attracts deer that aren’t even within the immediate vicinity.
It’s ideal for late-season use when the native deer are scarce. You can also make good use of it near trail cameras to keep a close eye on how the local deer behave. If you are a deer watcher, this attractant will work quite well on your property since deer love it and will keep coming back for more.
- Great for late season use
- Long-range scent vapor dispersion
- Easy to use
- Has some of the most important nutrients that deer need
- Might not work for everybody
4. TROPHY ROCK Redmond All-Natural Mineral Rock/Salt
One of the biggest advantages of using a deer attractant is that you can sit back, watch the deer come back for more, and keep track of how big they are getting before the hunting season. This TROPHY ROCK Redmond All-Natural Mineral Rock/Salt is an excellent choice for people who are keen on providing the deer on their property with an all-natural salt lick that nourishes and keeps the deer coming back.
Formulated with special all-natural minerals that deer need to grow big and strong, this attractant is designed to help deer reach their maximum growth potential and improve the taste of their meat. Furthermore, these mineral rocks are designed to last a long time in the field, which gives you more value for money. You can use it near your trail cams to keep an eye on the local deer herd as they get bigger.
- Extremely easy to use
- Aides in antler and body growth
- The special minerals help deer reach their maximum growth potential
- A bit pricey
5. Evolved Habitat Buck Jam Ripe Apple
Deer are quite fond of apples, and this Evolved Habitat Buck Jam Ripe Apple is by far one of the best apple-based attractants in the market today. Not only is it jam-packed with highly beneficial minerals and designed to have a highly attractive scent and taste. The gel-like mineral is the best option for drawing out deer towards the same location without fail. It’s especially effective on bucks, which love the taste and smell of it.
The combination of fruit flavors and vital minerals helps to maintain established mineral sites as the intense aroma attracts more and more deer towards it instantly.
- Intense aroma which is attractive to deer
- Can help establish or maintain established mineral sites
- Contains vital minerals
- Ready to use
- Illegal in some states
What to Look for When Buying Deer Attractants
Here are some of the most important factors to consider before buying a deer attractant:
Scent and Flavor
When learning how to attract deer, you learn that there are scents that they love and scents that scare them away. The attractant you use should have the kind of aroma that attracts deer and makes them feel safe. These often include acorn scents when using attractants with a granular formula and things like doe urine when using attractants in the form of a spray.
The longer the attractant keeps attracting deer, the more value for your money you will get. Attractants in the form of blocks tend to last longer. As far as food-based attractants are concerned, the duration usually depends on how quickly the local deer consume it.
Another issue to consider is that you are probably going to infuse your scent into these attractants when you handle them, which will keep the deer away. It’s best to find something that not only attracts the deer but also masks your scent.
As soon as you learn how to attract deer, you know that you will need at least one of these attractants in your hunting repertoire. Choose one or several depending on where and when you go hunting.