Deer hunting can be a challenging endeavor. This is why we use sophisticated gear such as riflescopes, best compact binoculars or rangefinder binoculars, rubber hunting boots, and camouflage when hunting big bucks. But even with all these gear, taking down a deer is easier said than done. This is why hunters are nowadays turning to some of best deer baits to lure big bucks. And while the use of deer attractants is highly controversial and outlawed in some states, it can be highly rewarding.
However, before you spend your hard-earned cash on deer bait, make sure that you know your state’s law on deer baiting. Some states allow deer baiting but with some restrictions. Thus it is important that you understand the laws relating to deer baiting.
Also, some states permit the use of some attracts and outlaw the use of others. Thus, there are some legal requirements and restrictions you will have to face when searching the best deer bait.
The deer bait market is full of all kinds of baits. And trying to find the best deer bait is never easy. Especially when the internet is filled with self-proclaimed experts claiming to know the best deer attractant. Before I got to know the best bait for deer, I had to do a lot of research on the topic as well as experimenting with different deer baits. From my experimentation and research, I settled on the below deer attractants.
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What Are The Best Deer Baits and Why?
Ask any hunter which deer attractants they have used, and corn is most likely going to be on top of the list of many.
Well for starters deer love corn and it is readily available. While some hunters prefer scattering corn over a wide area, I prefer using a feeder, I have listed 12 best deer feeders you can check them also. As a deer attractant, corn is highly effective for several reasons. One, whole grain corn is a delicious treat to deer with a wealth of nutrients. Thus, using corn as your preferred attractant can increase your chances of taking down a sizable buck.
For many hunters baiting deer with corn is one of the surest ways of taking down a deer. For others, corn is a cheap deer bait that gets the job done. For whatever reason, corn can be used solely or alongside another deer attracts.
However, it is important to note that corn might not be the best attractant to use in late season. This is because due to deer eating woody roughages in the season they develop microorganisms in their stomach. These microorganisms are unable to keep up with the corn and can have fatal consequences.
Considered to be a safer alternative to corn, acorns are great deer attractants. Similar to corn, acorns are readily available. These nuts grow naturally in the forests and are loved by deer and other animals.
To give your prey variety, I recommend using acorns that are not available in the forest or area you hunt. Also, deer prefer acorns with low tannic acid levels. In other words, use acorns that are not too bitter and are ripe. Personally, I have used a bait pile of acorns to attract acorns. And one of the things I learned is that deer will ignore a pile of acorns in favor of those that have fallen off a tree. Thus, it is important that you take note of that.
Acorns can be stored for a long period, and this is why they make great homemade deer bait. Having used them myself, I can testify to the fact that acorns indeed are the best homemade deer attractant.
Have you ever used sugar beets for deer bait? Well, many other hunters and I have, and the results were not disappointing. Most animals, deer included, are attracted to sweet and sugary fruits. Using sugar beets is similar to baiting deer with apples. Therefore, you can either use a bucket or spread them out.
I use a bucket when using either sugar beets or apples as an attractant. Some hunters, especially those in living in areas where deer baiting is illegal, plant sugar beets as a crop. Sugar beets are great attractants in areas where they are not available.
Though an unconventional deer attractant, salt works miracles when used to bait deer. The reason is that salt is not something that is readily available to deer in the forest.
Salt contains important nutrients and minerals used by all animals, humans, and deer included. Therefore using salt will help maintain a healthy deer population.
One of the main benefits of salt is that it is not legally considered a bait. This, therefore, means that if in your state deer baiting is illegal, you can use salt and not get into trouble.
All the same, it would be wise to check your state’s laws before using salt. In some states, the use of minerals to attract deer is illegal. During warm seasons, salt helps attract a larger population of deer than other attractants.
Chestnuts are not as common as they used to be. As such, they are considered to be somewhat of a rare delicacy for deer and other animals. It is for this reason that they are great deer attractants.
Chestnuts were predominant in the Eastern parts of the US and according to some hunters; deer that roam these parts eat chestnuts over other feeds.
The only drawback to using chestnuts is that they are expensive. Nonetheless, you can get your own chestnut seeds to plant. While they are considered to be great deer attractants some people feel that deer might not be used to them. And though there is some truth in this there is no reason why you should not use chestnuts.
Peanut butter is one of those attractants you never think about until someone recommends them to you. And that is exactly how I stumbled upon the awesomeness of peanut butter.
Deer love peanut butter. And like all the other attractants on this list, peanut butter contains many nutrients and is not found in the forest. This is one of the reasons why deer cannot resist the taste of peanut butter.
Starfruit , Apples , Watermelon
Deer like all herbivores that roam out forests love fruits. Thus one of the best attractant you can use for deer baiting is a fruit. The most common fruits used for this purpose are apples.
Deer specially white tailed deer love apples and cannot get enough of them. However, early season, apples can become vulnerable to bee attacks. So its favorable for bow hunter while rifles hunter did not get apples since they almost gone.
Another fruit that you can use to bait deer is the watermelon. This fruit is especially great when used in late November and throughout the month of December.
Also you can use starfruit it also be a great option for you if you have starfruit available.
You can use a single watermelon or a two. For apples, you can use a number of apples. Unlike other attractants, fruits are sometimes not easy to find since most fruits are seasonal.
Some of my hunting buddies swear that certain vegetables are as good as fruits. Some of the vegetables you can use as attractants and which I have used are carrots and cabbages. The good thing with vegetables is that they are cheaper alternatives to fruits.
Sometimes homemade attracts are better and less expensive compared to store bought bait. There are many different ingredients you can use to make the best homemade deer bait. Personally, I use minerals such as salt and soda ash and corn. Also, a mixture of different supplements can yield desirable results. To get the best results you can experiment with different attractants and supplements. Sometimes all it take to lure a prize-worthy buck is your own creativity.
A friend of mine recommended a mixture of corn and sunflower seeds. I have tried out this mixture in an automatic feeder, and I have to admit it does work. Salted sunflower seeds are especially great for luring hungry deer.
Best Bait For Deer (Store Bought)
In addition to corn, chestnut, acorns and salt, store bought attractants can also be of great help on your hunt. There is quite a number of store bought baits available. In this section, I have decided to stick with the two best hunting deer bait that you can get online or from a store.
Primos Molasses Stuffed Protein Block
The Primos Molasses Stuffed Protein block is probably the best deer attractant block I have ever used. As its name suggests this is a protein block stuffed with nutrient rich molasses. Being a protein block, this attractant is made up of 18% crude protein, minerals, and sugar. All these ingredients are important to a deer’s healthy growth. Also, thanks to the stuffed molasses, this protein block has a sweet scent and taste that keeps deer coming back. This block is great when used in a suburban or urban setting, where deer are used to people.
Weighing 15 pounds, this average sized block is an effective whitetail deer baiting tool. Many of the hunters who use or have used this block seem to love it and so do deer.
Evolved Habitats Deer Cane Block
The other best bait for whitetail deer is the evolved habitats deer cane block. Probably the best bait for deer hunting from Evolved Habitats, this cane block contains the co-cain deer supplement. This supplement attracts deer to your preferred trail or spot by releasing a mineral vapor trail. When you use it for the first time, the moisture n the air will cause the minerals to react and maintain their vapor trail. When using this block, the manufacturer recommends placing one or two blocks in a bare spot.
This deer attractant block weighs 4 pounds and has a sweet taste that is guaranteed to attract deer to your property. Apart from it being sweet, this block is nutritious and thus gives deer the important minerals their bodies require.
How To Bait Deer
As hunters, we are always in search of the next best way to bait deer. Some of the techniques we use produce results while others do not. So how to bait deer without getting caught? This is the question I will be answering in this section. The following baiting deer tips will be useful in your deer baiting quest.
Scattering vs. feeder
When you are using attractants such as corn and acorns, you will be presented with two options, scattering the bait over a wide area or using a feeder. Scattering the bait over a wide area may work in some areas, but I prefer using a feeder. Reason being that using a feeder prevents other animals from eating your bait. When you scatter your bait over a certain area, you will be attracting not only deer but other animals as well. A feeder, on the other hand, will be specially designed to keep other animals such as raccoons out. Also using a feeder, particularly one with a timer, trains deer to come at specific times. This will make it easier for you to spot and take down large bucks.
Nevertheless scattering if done properly can yield very good results. One of the things that I do when using deer bait is to scatter it over a deer trail. This I do for two to three days. A deer will approach corn scattered on the ground suspiciously the first time. To put the deer at ease, I normally scatter the bait over the same area every one to two days. Scattering corn wide will get you good results. I recommend scattering over an area that is between five and ten yards wide and 20 yards long. One of the important things to note when using corn as bait is never to put it in a pile as it will get spoilt after a few hours.
Where To Place The Bait
The question where to put the deer bait is one you will have to get an answer to before using deer bait. Generally speaking the best site to place deer bait is on a deer’s travel corridor. This means the trail that deer follow from a bedding site to a food source and vice versa. One of the don’ts of deer baiting is scattering corn over a small area. The consequence of doing this is that several deer may show up and be too close to one another. This will make it difficult to get an accurate shot on a deer. Also, it increases chances of an accidental hit.
It is important to take note of wind direction when placing deer bait. To avoid this, I normally pick an ideal hunting spot and place a ribbon of corn leading to the spot from a travel trail. This technique entails taking a deer off its trail. This technique can be good if you use a hunting stand.
After identifying the best deer attractant food that suits your hunting needs the next step will be to know when to use the food. In my experience, I have found that it is better to use attractants during morning hunts. Deer can stay for long after dark in the bait site, which makes it difficult to get out of your spot unseen. In the morning it helps to be at your spot an hour before dawn. This is to make sure that you are in position long before the deer start moving around.
Although hunting in the morning is recommended, some deer come up to feed at dusk. Thus, the best time to hunt and to use deer attractant will depend on the habits of the deer you are hunting.
When you scour the internet in search of the best deer bait ever, you are likely to stumble on a wide array of deer attractants. Sadly not all deer attractants marketed as the best whitetail deer bait will attract deer to your property. Thus, it is important that you evaluate all the options available before settling on one. Alternatively, you can skip the research and make your own blend of deer bait such as a peanut butter deer bait. Bottom line, different deer attractants work differently depending on where and how they are used.