It’s great to go out and hunt on public hunting land or a friend’s property, but it’s even better to get the deer to come to you. We all know to use the right hunting clothes and cover scent to avoid detection, but what about taking advantage of your surroundings? If you have your own property, you can use a few different methods to draw deer onto your land.
How to Attract Deer by Tending Your Land
Cultivating the natural grass and vegetation on your own land can make it an appealing food plot for deer. Providing a good water source and cover is also key.
How to Attract Deer with Food Plots
Deer love diversity in grasses and vegetation. There are particular wild plants that they like to eat, but the best way to lure them to your land is by giving them variety. You can do this by tilling your land. Discing (or discing) is a great way to do this. Doing some shallow tilling with a disc encourages woody plants and natural grasses to spread and re-sprout. With patience, this will create a smorgasbord for deer on your land and help control brush. Thick brush is difficult for deer to walk through. Most deer tend to avoid brushy areas.
Using a mower to cut your grass also helps spread and diversify your foliage. Mowing once per year during the spring or early summer will provide a tender grass cover for your food plot and further control brush.
Fertilizing is also a great method for attracting deer to your land. You may have to test your soil with a soil tester before purchasing a fertilizer for your grass, but the results are worth the effort. Fertilizer will make your grass cover thicker and more appealing. There are some useful tips for picking the right fertilizer on our blog.
You can also plant some of the specific plants they like in an area that is easily visible from your tree stand.
How to Attract Deer with Water
Deer get a lot of their water from the food they eat, but they do seek out open water sources in the hotter months. Give them that to make your land a trusted hangout. A creek, river, or pond is ideal for attracting deer, but you may not have one of these natural features, or a backyard pond might be too much work. Try using a stock tank instead. Put it in an area that doesn’t get disturbed much throughout the year.
How to Attract Deer with Cover
The food-producing activities in the section above are also great for making cover for deer. Tilling, mowing, and fertilizing all make for thicker undergrowth for deer to bed down in. Planting corn or other tall-standing food sources gives deer a place to hide, shelter, and feel safe.
How to Attract Deer with Deer Attractant
During the actual hunting season, the day before the hunt, or just before you set up your tree stand, set out some deer attractant. Attractants usually have a strong smell and sometimes a bright color for luring deer. This works on whatever land you’re hunting. Don’t get caught in the field without a good deer attractant. Be sure to follow your state’s regulations for deer baiting if you hunt on public land.
How To Attract Deer with a Deer Decoy
Deer decoys are great for attracting deer. They not only get the attention of deer that might otherwise pass you by, but they also give you a better shot on your game by drawing its attention away from you. The best place for a deer decoy is the most visible place. Open fields, meadows, and clear-cut patches are great. Setting your deer decoy up on a rise will make it even more visible. Set it up a day or two before you hunt the spot to make sure the deer in the area don’t become too familiar with it. Be sure to use a cover-scent on it so the deer won’t smell you on it.