If you are tired of not seeing deer on your property, it is time to start thinking about how to attract them.

There are many ways that you can do this and we will review the best deer attractants for you to consider in this blog post.

Best Deer Attractants for Whitetails

There are four types of deer attractants we will focus on in this article: food plots, mineral and salt blocks, feed supplements, and liquid attractants.

Each one of these attractants has a different purpose, but all of them can be used to attract deer.

  • Food plots are a great long-term solution for attracting deer that feed on grasses and other plants from the ground.
  • Mineral blocks offer highly desired minerals in an easy-to-eat form for whitetails while salt blocks provide sodium and potassium that is like ice creme to a deer.
  • Feed supplements are a great way to provide deer with the nutrients they need without needing specific plants for them in your food plots.
  • Liquid attractants provide an almost overwhelming smell that can be hard for a deer not to notice.

Best Deer Attractants

Here is a list of the best deer attractants for you to consider using on your property.

Food Plot Seeds

Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover Deer Food Plot Seed

The perfect base to start your deer food plot.

Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover Food Plot Seed (Spring and Fall Planting), 4-Pound (1/2 Acre)
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The Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover Deer Food Plot Seed is a popular food plot seed. The seed provides an additional 35% protein year-round for 3-5 years from a single planting that promotes antler, bone, and muscle growth.

This food plot seed can be grown in any climate and can be planted anytime during the season. Planting this food plot seed will draw deer to your property that will stay there because it tastes so good and contains the only clover varieties ever specifically developed to attract deer.

Strictly follow the directions on how to plant this food plot seed and it will grow thick and tall with no issues.

Pros

  • Easily attracts deer
  • Contains the only clover varieties specifically designed for whitetails
  • Promotes growth in antlers, bone, and muscle
  • Grows thick and tall with no issues

Cons

  • The coverage area for the seed is less than expected

Overall, the Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover Deer Food Plot Seed is a great food plot seed. The seed not only attracts deer to your property. It also provides protein and nutrients that promote antler and muscle growth, which leads to healthier deer. This is a great choice if you are looking to start a deer food plot on your land.

BioLogic Winter Bulbs & Sugar Beets Annual Food Plot Seed

A great product to start a late season food plot.

BioLogic Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets Food Plots
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BioLogic Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets are a food plot staple. This super-attractive mix blends the sweet sugar beet with colorful, nutritious bulbs for an amazing deer attraction.

Deer love sugar beets. Sugar beets, as well as winter bulbs, are a good food source for deer in the late season. The color is attractive to deer and the taste of sugar beets is irresistible and nutritious for them as well.

BioLogic Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets is a great product to start a late season food plot because it only requires one planting, which will continuously produce for your deer hunting needs. This seed blend can maintain optimal eating conditions throughout the entire fall, winter, and early spring months.

You will not have any issue planting this seed mix. Just follow the instructions carefully when you plant it. If you follow them correctly, then this seed product will grow thick and tall, allowing plenty of food cover for your whitetail bucks.

Bulbs & Sugar beets are hardy and can withstand drier conditions than other food crops. They should be planted in the fall, as late as possible before the frost date begins. You will use about 9 pounds of seed per acre of coverage.

Pros

  • The seeds germinate quickly
  • Decent source of food for deer in late season

Cons

  • Low percentage of sugar beet seeds overall
  • More expensive per acre than other seed mixes

Overall, the BioLogic Winter Bulbs and Sugar Beets Annual Food Plot Seed is a great product to start a late season food plot. Plant this seed mix in the fall, as late as possible before the frost date begins. You will use about 9 pounds of seed per acre of coverage. The seeds germinate quickly and deer love sugar beets (which are part of this blend).

Mineral and Salt Blocks

TROPHY ROCK Redmond All-Natural Mineral Rock/Salt Lick

Classic mineral rock / salt lick with consistent quality.

TROPHY ROCK Redmond All-Natural Mineral Rock/Salt Lick, Attract Deer and Big Game 12 pounds
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Trophy Rock is a rock lick that provides deer with all-natural minerals that they need. These minerals help the deer grow to their fullest potential. Deer come back to the lick again and again making it perfect to set up in front of a trail cam.

Trophy Rock is a great way to get the deer on your property the minerals they need for maximum development, growth, and antler size. Without enough minerals, deer can’t reach their full potential.

There are several options on the market, but the Trophy Rock mineral lick seems to last longer in the field. It’s not absorbent like other mineral licks can be. It also doesn’t break apart or melt down easily.

These blocks can generally last a full season before they dissolve. I recommend placing the Trophy Rock on a tree stump. The minerals seep into the stump and deer will continue to come for months after the rock has dissolved.

Pros

  • All natural mineral and salt lick
  • Long lasting
  • Comes from Utah mines so you’re supporting local American jobs

Cons

  • Works best in areas with low minerals

Trophy Rock is an all-natural mineral lick that deer love. It’s made of minerals and salt, which are necessary for the health and growth of your herd. You can easily place it on a stump or another flat rock to make sure you get the best shot from your trail cam.  We recommend this product if you want healthy, happy deer who grow big.

Whitetail Institute 30-06 Mineral and Vitamin Supplement

Manufactured vitamin and mineral block to attract deer

Whitetail Institute 30-06 Mineral and Vitamin Supplement for Deer Food Plots, Provides Antler-Building Nutrition and Attracts Deer, Mineral Block, 20 lbs
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Whitetail Institute 30-06 is a complete mineral and vitamin supplement specifically manufactured to attract deer and help them grow.

It delivers essential macro minerals and vitamins in an easy to use, versatile block form. With a focus on deer needs during spring/summer periods of time, it features ingredients that help maximize antler growth for bucks or pregnancy and lactation for does.

The product is created with premium ingredients including a proprietary D3 supplement that increases calcium uptake to promote healthy antler development.

Ingredients:

30-06 includes the following ingredients to promote deer health and growth:

Magnesium – The primary component of antler bone, as well as being an essential ingredient in many enzymes and a positive influence on nervous system function. Magnesium also plays a role in reproduction. Specifically, it is involved with protein production (i.e., fetal development). It also helps regulate body temperature via energy transfer from muscles to blood cells in hot weather conditions.

Potassium – Encourages muscle contraction, lessening fatigue, and increasing stamina for enhanced breeding performance. It improves taste sensation which allows deer to “taste” the mineral/vitamin supplement more easily. Potassium also assists in maintaining electrolyte balance by functioning with sodium to control the distribution of fluids between cells and blood.

Salt – A critical element for deer to satisfy their need to maintain cell water balance between the inside and outside of cells. Salt is responsible for transporting nutrients into cells as well as waste products out. Salt not only plays a key role in moving nutrients in and wastes out, but without sufficient amounts, the body cannot utilize fat reserves or properly digest food. On top of that salt also promotes a healthy appetite which is important when hunting during the late season when bucks are not as active due to winter hibernation.

Vitamin A – Supports several aspects of reproduction including sperm motility, fertilization, embryo development (placenta), fetal growth, and lactation. Vitamin A also enhances immune response by functioning in the manufacture and maintenance of white blood cells.

Vitamin D –  Important for skeletal integrity. During pregnancy, vitamin D helps ensure proper bone development in the fetus (i.e., reduces the risk of deformities). Vitamin D is also known to be involved in exerting a competitive advantage during breeding by optimizing testosterone levels and fertility.

Vitamin E – Involved in immune system function as well as reproductive functions such as maintaining sperm count and motility. It has been shown to support conception rates.

Pros

  • Specifically developed for whitetail deer
  • Maintains good health in the deer population
  • Works great as a mineral and vitamin supplement

Cons

  • More expensive than other options

In summary, the Whitetail Institute 30-06 Mineral and Vitamin Supplement is a professional formulation specifically designed for the needs of deer during spring/summer periods. It provides essential macro minerals and vitamins in an easy-to-use, versatile block form.

This mineral supplement not only helps maintain good health among your herd but can be used by hunters who want their bucks’ racks to grow more quickly come hunting season! Highly recommended.

Himalayan Nature Animal Licking Salt Mineral Rock

100% natural Himalayan pink salt block

Himalayan Nature Animal Licking Salt Mineral Rock,100% Natural Rock Salt - Deer Attractant Rock | 6-8 LBS
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The Himalayan Nature Animal Licking Salt Mineral Rock is a 100% natural solid rock salt that provides trace minerals. It can be used for hunting but is great for wildlife observation in your backyard.

These rocks are mined from ancient salt deposits in the Himalayas Mountains. The raw pink color indicates high mineral content, so these dense blocks of unrefined salts have none of the additives or toxic compounds found in other products.

This is a very cool looking rock! The reddish color makes this salt lick look like something you would find in nature and looks good in your yard. Just be careful where you place it because it can kill the grass around the salt rock.

Pros

  • 100% natural salt block
  • Great for backyard deer watching
  • Looks like a decorative rock in your yard

Cons

  • Can kill grass in the area around the rock

Overall, the Himalayan Salt Mineral Rock is great for wildlife observation in your backyard. The color makes it blend in with nature but it is decorative at the same time. Place one in your backyard and see the deer come running.

Feed Supplements

Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush Attractant

Real persimmon attractant that some hunters swear by.

Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush Attractant 5-lb. Bag, Orange, 9X16X5 5lbs (00422)
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Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush is a specialized attractant that uses the power of real persimmons to provide an irresistible natural fragrance and flavor.

It has a high 16% fat content and can be used both late into the hunting season when other types of food are scarce or in winter when there aren’t many other food sources available.

This product has been tested and found to work well in feeders with an automatic dispenser, making it a highly versatile product to use for hunting during any time of the year. This product is perfect for hunters who want to get out and enjoy their day in nature without being bogged down by messy, inconvenient food sources.

Pros

  • High 16% fat content ideal for late hunting seasons
  • Made with real persimmons
  • Perfect for mixing with other food sources like corn

Cons

  • Hit or Miss results depending on what attracts deer in your area

Overall, the Persimmon Crush by Wildgame Innovations is a great product. It has a powerful persimmon fragrance and flavor combined that drives deer crazy. I love using it mixed with corn for better results.

Wildgame Innovations Acorn Rage

Real crushed acorns; a whitetail deer favorite.

Wildgame Innovations Acorn Rage 5 lb bag
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Wildgame Innovations Acorn Rage is a supplement that is designed to improve Deer health and vitality.

It contains real acorns, which are crushed and blended with an oil-filled meal in order for more of the plant’s vital nutrients and minerals to be released into a blend of chestnuts. These chestnuts then have additional proteins added so that they can provide extra energy for the deer when it needs it most.

Deer have an insatiable appetite for acorns. Acorns contain a mixture of fatty acids, essential oils, and proteins. Acorn fat contains as much as 80% of animal’s energy needs, which supports metabolism and growth rates.

Acorns make a great deer attractant and supplement because they provide the deer with the nutrients that it needs to grow and stay healthy.

Pros

  • Reals acorns are blended with oil-enriched roasted soybean
  • Blends chestnuts with minerals and proteins
  • Supports metabolism and growth rates

Cons

  • Product is ground to a flour-like powder

In summary, Acorn Rage is a supplement that offers an alternative to competing products on the market. It’s different in that it contains real acorns, which are ground into powder form and blended with soybean meal before being mixed with chestnuts for extra protein.

This mix of ingredients provides deer all the nutrients they need in order to stay healthy. Acorn Rage may be what you’re looking for if your goal is to make sure the deer on your property stay strong and vital throughout the hunting season.

Liquid Attractants

Evolved Habitats Premium Wildlife Molasses

Deer crave sugar and molasses has plenty of it. 

Evolved Habitats Premium Wildlife Molasses, 1 Gallon - Premium Deer Attractant, Brown
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This concentrated version of molasses, one of the most popular deer attractants, draws in wildlife with its sweet aroma and flavor. It is perfect for supplementing nutrition year-round, but especially during cold months when sugar content is scarce.

The liquid formula is easy to pour and begins working immediately to create an irresistible treat that deer will come back for time and again.

Molasses is used to attract deer by pouring it on the ground and even putting it in a feeder. Deer will come back to feed any time they are in the area.

Peanut Butter Molasses Jar Hack
Screw a peanut butter jar to a tree and fill it with molasses. Drill a small hole in the bottom of the jar so the molasses slowly drips out. Deer will lick this for days!

Pros

  • Easy to pour and ready to use right out of the bottle
  • Put it in a feeder or pour it on the ground
  • For year-round nutrition supplementation and attraction

Cons

  • Attracts many types of animals so you can’t just target deer (it goes quickly)

Molasses is a tasty treat for any animal. If you’re looking for something that can attract not only deer but other wild animals into your yard, then you should try out molasses. You can also use molasses with a combination of other deer attractants. For hunters, molasses is a good product to have in your arsenal.

Evolved Habitat Buck Jam Ripe Apple

Liquid gel mineral lick full of sweet flavors loved by whitetails.

Evolved Habitat Buck Jam Ripe Apple, 1 gallon
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A gooey gel of mineral and fruit, Buck Jam is irresistible to deer. Buck Jam has the luxurious scent of ripe apples and sweet berries that make it perfect as a deer attractant.

Many hunters have had no problem with the jam lasting through rain showers. Deer were coming to the location of the Buck Jam weeks after rain showers occurred.

This product will have the consistency of molasses and can be used in similar ways. One effective way to use the product is to cover apples with the buck jam in the area you want to attract deer.

Pros

  • Very strong scent
  • Will last through rain showers

Cons

  • The consistency of the product can make it difficult to pour

Overall, this is one of the more effective liquid attractants on the market. The sweet smell makes it a great choice for backyard usage. I would recommend trying Evolved Habitat Buck Jam if you want an effective way to attract more whitetails into your hunting area or backyard for viewing.

Types of Deer Attractant

There are many types of deer attractants. Some of them will last for years and some of them are meant to be used every day. Here is a summary of the primary deer attractants and when you should consider using them.

Food Plots

Summary: Long-term solution to attract deer to your property year after year.

deer in food plot
Deer in Food Plot

Deer food plots are a great way to create a deer habitat on your property. They provide the foilage and nutrition that the deer need to thrive. Whitetail food plots are also a great option because they can be started at any time, and they will provide you a perfect deer attraction year after year.

A common plant found in food plots is clover.  Clover is a favorite of whitetails, and it provides nutrition for deer all year round. Clover grows well in all types of soil and it will attract whitetails for years to come.

Best time to use: When you have a large property and you want to invest time now to attract deer for years to come.

Mineral Blocks & Salt Licks

Summary: Provide much-needed minerals that are essential for healthy deer growth.

One of the best ways to attract whitetail deer is through mineral blocks. Mineral blocks are great because they provide the salt, potassium, and sodium that whitetails need to grow.

A deer will lick a mineral block for hours at a time in order to get its daily dose of necessary minerals. They are also an easy way to prevent sickness among your herd since healthy deer maintain strong immune systems.

You can use mineral blocks in your backyard or by your trail cam for a guaranteed way to attract deer. Mineral blocks are great because they are easy to set out and they bring deer back day after day.

Best time to use: Whenever you need the mineral supplement or are looking for something quick and simple to attract deer.

Feed Supplements and Attractants

Summary: Provide a quick and effective way to attract and nurture deer.

Deer feed supplements are one of the best ways to get your property on the map. Whitetails are attracted to the scent of feed supplements and they will spend a lot of time in your backyard or around your property when you use them correctly.

One way to attract deer is through over-the-counter products that can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. These options work well for small areas, and can quickly be deployed on your land.

Feed supplements work well because they are easy to use, and deer will be attracted from miles away. However, deer can eat through this quickly which can become expensive if you have to replenish it often.

Best time to use: When creating new feeding stations or want to quickly create attraction on your property without messing around with food plots.

Liquid Deer Attractants

Summary: The most flexible way to add a deer attractant to your property.

Liquid deer attractants are one of the most flexible ways to lure whitetails on your property. One of the most common types of liquid deer attractants is molasses.

Molasses is a liquid deer attractant that can be used in many ways to lure whitetails. It works well when mixed with other scents like apple, peppermint, and cinnamon oils for increased attraction rates.

The benefit in using liquid deer attractants versus mineral blocks or feed supplements is the multiple ways they can be used. Pour them on branches, stumps, or around your property and watch as the deer come running to what smells like dinner.

You can even pour them over mineral blocks to multiply the effect of your deer attractants.

Best time to use: When you want the flexibility of adding a deer attractant at any location on your property.

Scent Attractants

Summary: Doe estrus and other scents that are primarily used by hunters.

Scent attractants are used by deer hunters who want to lure deer closer. These scents work well because they have a strong smell that will often bring a buck within shooting range. They are especially effective during the rut.

One of the most popular scent attractants for whitetails is doe estrus, which mimics sex smells between bucks and does during mating season. This liquid attracts bucks with its powerful pheromones and an overwhelming urge to mate with any female it encounters.

Scent attractants can also be used to seed deer scrapes and trails with the scent of does. These scrapes are often created by bucks during mating season and they can be a great way to bring deer on your property.

Best time to use: When you are looking for an extra incentive to lure bucks closer during hunting season.

Tips for Using Deer Attractants

There are a number of different ways to attract deer to your property. You can do it through food plots, salt, and mineral blocks or by using scents.

There are pros and cons when it comes to each type of attraction so use the following tips to get the best results on your property.

  1. Don’t overdo it with any one type of attractant. That will create an oversaturated area where deer won’t be interested in coming anymore. Instead, try switching between types every few weeks or months. This way you create a fresh new spot that is constantly being refreshed with enticing foods and smells.
  2. With some exceptions, liquid deer attractants like molasses can make all other attractants more effective. Liquid deer attractants can be poured over mineral blocks, branches, or stumps to create an even more enticing smell. 
  3. Plant a food plot now and reap the benefits for years to come. You are going to wish you did next year.

Why Use Deer Attractants

Many deer hunters and homeowners are using deer attractants to lure in the elusive whitetail. Here are a few reasons why you might want to use a deer attractant on your property.

Hunters

Hunters use deer attractants to lure deer to their stand or woods during hunting season.

Deer attractants are a great way to increase your hunting success. They can help you find deer in an area that is difficult to hunt.

Hunting land is becoming more and more difficult to find. Once you have some land, you want to make sure the deer are spending as much time on your property as possible. Food plots are a perfect solution!

Home Owners

Homeowners use deer attractants to admire the deer on their property and to be able to watch them in a natural habitat.

You can see these beautiful animals up close and personal by putting some deer attractant out in your backyard. Salt and mineral blocks are perfect for this situation. Just be careful as the blocks can kill the grass in the area around them.

Put a mineral block out today and watch some deer as you drink your coffee tomorrow morning.

How Deer Attractants Work

When a deer smells the attractant, the scent triggers an impulse to go toward it. This is just one example of how an attractant works. Deer are not the only animals that will respond to these scents and in this way.

The two primary deer attractants are food and estrus.

Food – The smell of food will often lure deer closer. This is typically used in the form of a food plot, but can also include salt and mineral blocks or other foods that deer crave.

Estrus – Deer are most responsive to this scent during mating season when it mimics sex smells between bucks and does. Scents that mimic doe estrus are most effective during the rutting period.

Legalities of Using Deer Attractants

It’s not always legal to use deer attractants on your property because it might be considered baiting.

Baiting is the act of placing a substance in a location with the intent of luring deer to that location. It is illegal to bait in many states because it can take away from fair hunting practices and hurt the deer population.

You should also check with local authorities before placing any type of attractant out on your property.

If you’re using the deer attractant for hunting purposes then check with your local department of natural resources or similar agency to make sure you follow state regulations.

The strictest rules for using deer attractants apply to hunters. However, it could also be illegal to use deer attractants in your backyard just for viewing or photography.

Some states outlaw deer attractants to reduce the possibility of spreading disease.

For example, there are concerns about the use of salt blocks and the spread of deer diseases. Deer that come to the salt block, lick off some of the salt, and then go off to feed in another area. If that deer was carrying disease in their saliva then it could spread to the next deer that licks the block.

Baiting Laws
It’s always important to check with your local department of natural resources before using any type of deer attraction on your property because baiting laws vary from state to state.

Other Questions

Here are a few other common questions about the best deer attractants.

What scents attract deer?

Deer are attracted to smells that remind them of food or mating. Deer are most attracted to the smell of acorns and apples which is why these types of food attractants are popular. For hunters, doe estrus is commonly used as an attractant during rutting season

Does vanilla scent attract deer?

Vanilla is a scent that can attract deer. However, it is best to use vanilla extract as a cover scent instead of an attractant. Consider it a bonus if your cover scent also brings in a big buck.

Do deer like sweet things?

In general, deer prefer the taste of salty things. Sweet foods are more likely to be licked up by other animals like raccoons or coyotes who have a different palate than deer. However, deer will eat sweet things if they have plenty of other food.

How fast do deer attractants work?

Depending on the type of attractant, deer will typically come within a day of placing the attractant out. Keep in mind that some attractants work better than others, so you may need to place more or different types of attractants to find what works best for your hunting strategy.

What is the best time to put out a mineral or salt block?

Salt and mineral blocks are often put out in the late fall or winter to provide deer with nutritional supplements.  They are also a great way to attract deer in the early spring when deer are looking for more food as they come out of winter.

Conclusion

Deer are intelligent animals. They are constantly looking for new sources of food and are drawn to anything that smells good. Deer attractants work by luring in deer with interesting scents and smells.

Deer often have a tough time finding food in the winter months so planting a food plot will help ensure they have something for foraging during those cold days.

You should also consider adding salt and mineral blocks to your land as well as feeding them with food supplements.

These things may seem expensive but when you think about all of the money you are spending on other deer hunting equipment, these few bucks won’t be much more than just one part of an overall plan.

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