Deer are wild animals that do not respond well to hunting pressure; even during mating season when searching for partners they may remain indoors throughout the day and not venture outside during daylight hours.
Deer are prey for humans outside of mating season. Deer have three main concerns outside of mating season: food, safety, and shelter. Below are a few tips that should help get a deer coming your way:
Plant a Food Plot
Food plots can help expand hunting opportunities on properties where deer are rare or limited in numbers, by strategically planting areas of grass and seeds like forage oats, clover and chicory that attract wild game while providing nourishment throughout the year. Food plots can range in size from small gardens up to an entire acre in size.
Establishing a food plot takes hard work and planning, but watching as seeds sprout is an extremely satisfying experience. Plus, creating one can attract deer to your location while making them more accepting of hunters.
Deer are interested in three things outside the rut: food, safety and shelter. By planting a food plot on your property you can meet all three needs simultaneously. As with any animal interaction, getting deer to come closer requires patience and building trust through sharing interests and preferences with them.
To create a deer food plot, you must first locate an area suitable for planting. This could be anything from an existing field to a brushy fencerow or wetland; what matters is finding somewhere accessible yet protected from wind and cold temperatures that deer can use during their growing seasons. Next step should be deciding what plants you will plant within that plot.
Some people opt to combine perennials and annuals when planting their food plot, while others may select just one type of seed such as corn or soybeans depending on where they reside. For optimal results, food plots should be planted either in spring or fall for best results. In addition to receiving regular irrigation to ensure lush growth.
If you’re using a feeder, consider setting it out several minutes prior to sunrise. That way, its noise might startle deer initially but they will quickly adapt. Furthermore, deer will begin associating its scent with meal smells which will increase their likelihood of visiting it more often.
Clear a Path
If you want deer to visit your property, there are various things you can do to entice them. Food, plants and scents can all help lure them in; but in order for them to feel secure around you they also need a safe space that feels familiar; creating a food plot and clearing paths may help achieve this aim.
Deer are attracted to three things in particular: food, safety and shelter. By planting a food plot or using powered attractants like apple slices or dried corn as attractants for whitetail deer, you can provide them with essential nutrition they require for survival.
Add aromatic herbs like mint or garlic to your garden to attract deer, as this will mask human and pet smells while inviting deer in without fear.
Deer may seem wary of humans, yet they also possess an inherent curiosity for them. When approaching deer it’s best to remain calm and move slowly – sudden movements could confuse deer into thinking you pose a threat and flee immediately! Also keep your distance as deer are typically wary of people and their scents.
When day hunting deer during daylight hours, you need to create an entranceway for deer that doesn’t involve passing through any dangerous or populated areas. To accomplish this goal, look for natural corridors leading from adjacent forest or timberland into your hunting spot, such as ravines, washes, gullies or ridge tops. Alternatively, set up your stand near streams, rivers, swamps or ponds and hope deer cross into your stand through water channels into the clearing.
Young bucks and does are more likely to move through open clearings during daylight hours, although older bucks may avoid them altogether. If there is no natural route through which they travel, then clearing a trail yourself might be necessary; you can do this by mapping out an optimal path based on knowledge of the area’s topographical features and mapping your route on paper beforehand.
Deer are curious animals with keen senses of smell that enable them to explore new areas with ease. Their noses lead them right to food sources and other sources of attraction; you can draw deer onto your property using various scents – deer urine, doe estrus scents and apple fragrances can all attract deer, while lures such as corn-based scents or protein powders could also do the trick.
Doe urine is one of the most widely-used attractant scents, as it can be applied directly onto vegetation or poured directly on to the ground. Doe urine works particularly well during pre-rut and rut season when bucks search for breedable does to breed with. Another effective means of scent deployment is using a scent wick – this method involves soaking a stick with deer scent and hanging it in trees to spread its influence across wider areas and attract deer more effectively.
Foggers are among the most widely used scent wicks available, providing easy control of spray coverage where necessary. Other popular choices are scent bombs and drippers which allow for targeted dispersion without being as comprehensively covered by spray bottles.
Dragged scent lines are another effective yet less-common method of scent deployment, consisting of dragging an aroma-soaked cloth behind your stand so deer can follow it directly back to you. This technique works from early season until late deer season but especially well during rut time when male deer are focused on finding breeding does.
For optimal scent drag results, wear scent-free rubber boots and tuck your pants into them so as to not leave any foreign odors along their travel route. Also clear and trim the path leading to your shooting lane so as to not leave your scent there as well.
Create Bedding Areas
Deer are typically out and about during daylight hours looking for food, shelter and safety – three things which could attract them to your property and become their home. Attracting deer may seem challenging in private settings but you can use simple techniques to attract them there as well.
Begin by identifying potential bedding areas on your property. These could include areas like south-facing slopes in timber that receive plenty of sun during the winter months, ridges that drop away to creek bottoms with different wind advantages or old, overgrown CRP and fallow fields that could benefit from being transformed into food sources for wildlife and cover. Your aim should be to improve these spots for both food and cover.
This may involve clearing away a small section of habitat, clearing away brush or fallen trees, hinge cutting some existing trees, planting some aromatic species like spruce, oak or cedar to increase scenting abilities or planting annual grasses and shrubs in these areas during the summer.
Winter planting should focus on planting hardy perennials that provide both food and shelter to deer, such as sainfoin, chicory or red clover – these easy-care plants will give the deer something delicious to munch on and shelter them from harsh weather conditions.
Deer prefer spending their days somewhere where they won’t smell, see or hear humans; for this reason they tend to stay close to their bedding areas. You might need to move closer during the last hour of daylight as deer venture out for food sources.
Make sure these areas are human-free by not walking through or stopping by to check on deer; otherwise they’ll see and sense you and be less likely to use that spot for bedding sanctuary. Food plots should also be far enough from bedding areas so deer don’t smell or see you as they travel between them – this will create predictable deer movements on your property that can be replicated at regular intervals. Your goal should be creating predictable deer movements over time on your property that are consistent and repeatable.