Top 10 Best Deer Attractant (Mar. 2020): Review & Buyer’s Guide
- Erik Himmel
As many of us hunters know, waiting for that big game to appear is sometimes difficult. That elusive buck that you’ve only dreamed of seeing just doesn’t appear. You know he’s there; you’ve seen the evidence; you’ve heard the tale of the sightings. But that first glimpse? No, not yet.
For many of us, luring in a deer seems the perfect solution. But, how do you know which type of deer attractant to use when there are so many available? This is what I aim to help you with here. Over the years I’ve tried them all with varying successes. So, who’s best to help you in attracting deer than someone who knows what’s what in the crazy world of attracting deer? Some companies bring out new products that yield great results whereas others aren’t so great.
Before you open your wallet, we’ve put together this comprehensive list of the best deer attractants that you can find on the market today, right as the hunting season approaches.
What You Will Get Here
- Best Deer Attractant Comparison Chart (Updated 2020)
- Our Top 10 Best Deer Attractant List
- Best Food Attractant: Wildgame Innovations Acorn Rage
- Best Mineral Attractant: TROPHY ROCK Redmond Salt Lick
- Best Scent Attractant: Conquest Scents EverCalm
- Best Liquid Attractant: Tinks #69 Doe-in-Rut Buck Lure
- Best Food Plot Seed: Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover Food Plot Seed
- Best Salt Block: Himalayan Nature Himalayan Rock Deer Salt Block
- Best Powder Attractant: Lucky Buck -PoundM20 Apple Flavored Attractant
- A List of 3 Other Products We Reviewed
- Other Tested Products
- Deer Attractants – Buyer’s Guide
- Deer Attractants Using Tips
- Our Final words
Best Deer Attractant Comparison Chart (Updated 2020)
Wildgame Innovations Acorn RageRead Full Review
TROPHY ROCK Redmond Salt LickRead Full Review
Conquest Scents EverCalmRead Full Review
Tinks #69 Doe-in-Rut Buck LureRead Full Review
Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover Food Plot SeedRead Full Review
Himalayan Nature Himalayan Rock Deer Salt BlockRead Full Review
Lucky Buck -PoundM20 Apple Flavored AttractantRead Full Review
Buck Bomb 6.65 ozRead Full Review
Wildgame Innovations Sugarbeet Crush 15lb BagRead Full Review
Nationwide Scents Doe Estrus Buck AttractantRead Full Review
Our Top 10 Best Deer Attractant List
The best food attractant in our top ten best deer attractants goes to the Wildgame Innovations Acorn Rage. This range was developed with the strategy of not only being nutritionally important for deer in terms of their health and growing superior antlers, but also by being attractive to deer.
It comes in the form of a pre-made concentrated formula that you can use straight from the packaging without needing to do any mixing. It isn’t in the form of an extract or a flavor, or by being just a scent. It has a true taste of acorn that gives deer that HANGRY feeling all throughout the season. They can’t get enough of it.
To use this deer attractant, you place it on the ground or in feeders such as troughs or gravity free-choice feeders. It works all throughout the year as a supplement for deer as well as attracting them, particularly the whitetail deer species.
Why acorns? Well, it’s a well-reported fact that deer are known to leave their other popular food stuff such as wheat, lush foods and corn, to seek out their favorite treat: acorns. Acorn Rage gives them this treat and fulfills their obsession! At less than $25 a bag, it’s certainly worth a go in my opinion!
We really loved this deer attractant thanks to how easy it was to use and how most deer couldn’t get enough of it. It does have mixed results with some deer in some parts of the season, especially in areas that are plentiful with their own food sources, but, as an all-purpose, all-season deer attractant, it certainly ticked the boxes for best food deer attractant.
Our best mineral attractant is the Trophy Rock Redmond Salt Lick. With this one, the deer keep on coming back, again and again. You’ll be able to keep seeing the same deer returning to your location as they grow. The salt lick uses an all-natural attractant which will let you feel good at giving the deer nutrients as well as attracting them. Deer can’t reach their potential in terms of growth without the necessary nutrients, but Trophy Rock can offer those nutrients.
It will also last a long time out in the field, giving you more for your money. You can also get great photos of the deer whilst they use the rock! The rock has also been mined in the U.S.A, in Utah, so you can be sure that you are supporting the American workforce and economy.
We placed the rock near a staging area on top of another rock to keep it off the ground, so it lasts longer by avoiding puddles. We found it worked a treat and it’s still going strong today. The deer also seemed to be relaxed with the mineral lick being higher as they were more alert to their surroundings with their heads higher. This one cost under $25 too, so it really was great value for money.
For a traditional mineral lick, we really loved this one. It was affordable and the deer really seemed to like it. We had success with it in our chosen area, which was an area that had already had deer in previously so we knew it could keep them returning. We love the fact that it’s nutritious for the deer and the fact that it was mined right here in the USA.
Our best scent attractant goes to Conquest Scents EverCalm. This one comes with a deer herd scent in a stick form and claims to be the world’s first scent of its kind thanks to it being calming for the deer. It is mess-free with no possible leaks or spills. The scents have been collected together from deer bedding areas and it works all year round to attract and calm the deer.
It is particularly suited to the whitetail deer breed as it offers a strong and natural scent the same as the scents produced by the whitetail deer in their bedding down area. The concept is simple as it strives to be a part of the area where the deer are so comfortable that they will bed down for the night (or day!). It reduces their feelings of thread and it also covers human scents too.
This one cost under $20 but it does last a fair while as it’s in a stick form so you can rub it where you like rather like an underarm deodorant stick. It’s so effective that, when I returned after hunting, my dog was barking at me for ages. He was clearly confused by my scent until I took off my boots and my coat! Lastly, considering all of our best deer attractant products, this one scored the highest on Amazon in terms of its rating with 4.5/5 stars. It’s certainly not something to be sniffed at (unless you’re a deer, of course!)
As far as scents go, we liked this one thanks to its mess-free packaging. You just roll it on wherever you need it like you would use a deodorant stick. We also gave it a sniff (as you do when buying scents!) and it certainly smelled like deer although it certainly was not unpleasant. It lasts a while given that it’s in a solid block and it can be used throughout the whole season, allowing the animals to give in to that feeling of sleepy calmness that they associate with bedding down. We loved this one! And the deer seemed to too!
This lure scent is a little less attractive smelling to humans but, my word, the Buck’s love it! And that’s what you want. This liquid attractant is made from pure doe urine that has been collected from whitetail does during the estrus cycle. You can use this scent pretty much anywhere, scrapes or tree, boot pads or on a trail drag. It is most effective during the pre-rut and rut seasons as the bucks are seeking out the does for breeding. It comes in a 4 oz. of 100% doe urine in the estrus cycle.
It comes in an easy-to-open bottle with a twist and squirt mechanism. However, what we did find is that it didn’t last too long, particularly in really sunny weather when it evaporated or in wet weather when it was easily washed away. And for a small bottle, you do want it to last! Prices start at around $15 for the smallest bottle.
Our testers thought it was very successful and many would have given it a 5/5-star rating. Indeed, from our top ten, it tied in first place in terms of its Amazon average rating, which was pleasing! It shows it is working for other hunters, just like it did for us!
This small bottle of scent certainly packs a punch in the deer attractant stakes! We loved how effective it was in luring in the bucks. It doesn’t cost big bucks either and a little goes a long way! It does have its flaws in that it doesn’t last long, especially in certain weathers, but we did find it pleasantly alluring to the bucks in our company.
If you have an area of land that is close to where deer can graze, planting this food plot seed is a great idea – this one more than most as it’s packed with goodness. It is full of protein that helps to build deer antlers as well as helping to deliver healthier and heavier fawns with more milk from the does.
It is also tolerant to colder temperatures and is resistant to diseases, heat and drought. Sounds like the perfect food plot crop, doesn’t it? That’s not all! It also has a special coating of RainBond, which means that the seedlings have enhanced survivability. One single planting can last up to five years.
The deer find it irresistible particularly the whitetail breed. Indeed, the clover has been designed genetically especially for whitetail deer – the only crop of its kind! Over the years, there has been extensive scientific research into the development of this crop and its appeal to whitetail deer throughout North America. In fact, it is so good that it gives a deer up to 35% of its protein intake!
This crop will certainly attract the deer and keep them there, as our testers found out. They loved its longevity and how hardy it was to the different weather, particularly the harsher climates in the northern and southern parts of the continent. It is the most expensive product in our list so far, at above $30 or more at the time of our research, however, the fact that it can last for 3 to 5 years is a lot more than most of the products in our best deer attractants reviews.
Why do we love this one? Simply put, it is great in terms of how long it lasts. But it isn’t that great in terms of how quickly it can attract deer as it needs to be able to grow. If you have the land and the time and you know of deer nearby, it’s certainly worth a punt for your money. The fact it is genetically perfect for the whitetail deer breed is also an added bonus as the deer will become stronger and in top physical form thanks to your nutrition.
The best salt block in our list is the Himalayan Nature Rock. As its name suggests, it is mined from deep in the Himalayan mountain range. It contains many valuable minerals and vitamins that are needed for a deer to have a healthy life and a nutritionally balanced diet. In fact, in contains over 84 mineral ions! They can be used for all sorts of other animals too, such as goats, horses and sheep.
With this salt lick, they will have electrolytes and trace minerals in their system. It will also make them naturally thirsty, thus encouraging them to drink more to stay hydrated. The salt block is also resistant to animals biting it as well as being weather resistant too. It won’t dissolve away in heavy rainstorm, for example!
It is a strong deer attractant thanks to its calcium, salt and magnesium content that deer need to be healthy. It promotes healthy bone growth too. It comes in four flavors too: classic, apple, corn, and chestnut flavors.
What we liked was that the company offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee if you are not satisfied for any reason, which is pleasing to note. Plus, it is so cheap! Less than $10 and you can grab yourself one of these!
There’s not a lot to argue against how great these little rocks are. They give the deer lots of nutrients that they need to be visibly stronger and healthier and the deer just love them. The fact that there are four flavors and that they are really reasonable in price is also really pleasing. You feel like you can try out a few different ones and you still haven’t broken the bank!
With Lucky Buck powder, the buck is certainly lucky! This powder is also a diet supplement for deer, so it helps them to be healthier and helps them to develop bigger and better antlers. A good point to note about this attractant is that deer actually want to eat it. Finding something that animals want to eat is often tricky, but with this one, it’s relatively easy to get them to try it and like it. It has the perfect ratio of ingredients and minerals that will not allow the deer to overeat it either. This is different from some competitor attractants as they include molasses or grain which can cause deer to overeat! It’s best used in the spring so that they can grow their antlers during this season, but you can use it all year round as well.
This one is apple flavored and there’s no need to prep the site, so it’s simple to use! You just dump a load on the ground! The apple flavor is certainly appealing to the deer. It comes in a 20lb bucket. It is the priciest on our list though, at around $40 at the time of our research for the bucket.
This one is great as it is super easy to use. We just got a scoop and plonked a load on the ground. The deer soon came and the snaffled it up. They didn’t overeat though, which is vital in providing good quality nutrition to the deer. It was expensive but you do get quite a lot of product for your bucks. And those bucks are certainly lucky with Lucky Buck on the ground!
A List of 3 Other Products We Reviewed
The Buck Bomb gives 6.65 oz of Doe Estrus Urine from whitetail deer, which is 100% natural. You can spray it around intermittently or lock it down entirely to put the whole contents out. It’s ideal for the pre-rut and the rut seasons to bring out the mature bucks and their breeding behaviors. It has a three-year shelf life if you don’t use it up, which is great, but you must store it correctly without it coming into contact with oxygen or UV light as this will cause the urine to degrade.
It is fitted with a custom nozzle that atomizes a single drop of urine into over 3000 particles so that it can travel downwind over great distances to an animal’s nose. It sticks to leaves, lots, grass, trees and crops with its natural trail of scent leading back to your source. It really an efficient way of luring in the bucks during the pre-rut and peak breeding periods.
You can use it to cover your own scent too, to create barriers between the animal and your sent. You can also use it to create scent trails or for decoys to increase the levels of enticement. The fact it’s in a spray form means that you don’t need to mess about with the lid or other forms of packaging, so it’s really easy to disperse. You can also lock down the special valve to unleash the whole contents at once. The scent can even travel up to a quarter mile on a light 3mph breeze.
This one costs under $20 (at the time we researched) and so it’s a bit of a bargain to be had as well.
We liked this one for its ease of use and its different dispersal options. It worked really well at both disguising human scents and attracting deer. Its shelf-life was fantastic too, so long as it’s stored well. But, we did find it best if it’s dispersed in one big go, which doesn’t make it the most cost effective deer attractant out there!
This product is a sugar beet crush – and the deer just can’t get enough of it! It comes in carry pouch that’s extremely convenient and is a 15lb bag of mix. It is a mixture of sugar beets with fresh beans that have been heat processed.
Deer love the sugar beets, but they are really hard for hunters to find. They taste really sweet and are therefore effective at drawing in the deer. But, as a seasonable vegetable in certain regions only, it is often tricky to find them. That’s why this crush is such a good option. They make a great attractant that has been highly concentrated. It is also carefully produced with airborne technology so that there is a long range of a vapor scent trail.
We poured some on a log on a farm and a couple of days later it had gone entirely! The deer just loved it. At just under $30 at the time of our research, this one was a little pricier than others in the list, but it did have positive reviews of 4.3/5, making it slightly above average in this regard. It was certainly successful for us.
There’s no denying that the deer fawned over this one (pun intended!). It was certainly a popular choice of food for the deer that we saw, and it kept them coming back for more too. However, compared with other products, it isn’t the best for them nutritionally. That’s not to say it’s bad for them though, it just doesn’t contain the array of minerals and nutrients that other food-based deer attractants offer.
The last in our list is a scent-based attractant. As most hunters would attest to, attracting a buck is easiest by having a doe in heat. However, that’s not exactly possible at all times. The fastest way aside from having an actual doe, is by using Estrus scent urine which contains the peak levels of estrus that replicates the scent of a doe in heat. You can use mock scrapes and scent drags in the pre-rut, rut, and late seasons and spray it around the area. It’ll also mask human scent, so you’ll be incognito.
This one is quick and easy to use as you can keep it in your pocket and drop it around bait piles or food plots and even mineral sites. You can easily transport it to new places as well. The doe urine is fresh and collected at the peak estrus time, giving the closes possible scent to a live one. It is collected in state-of-the-art facilities made from stainless steel and it also ensures that it exceeds the guidelines from the ATA on the protection of deer as well as those from the USDA. If you don’t agree with how good this deer attractant is, the company will also give you your money back!
This company was established back in 1988 and has two farms with a herd of 700 white-tailed deer. It’s also one of the largest facilities of its kind in the country.
We liked this one due to how regulated its production is. You can be sure that the facilities are top-notch and that you’re getting good quality for what you pay for it. If you disagree, they will also give you your money back, which is pleasing to know. The company have also been established for over 20 years, which is reassuring as well. This one worked well in the rut season but wasn’t as successful at other times of the year, which was to be expected but was a little disappointing of course.
Other Tested Products
Deer Attractants – Buyer’s Guide
1. Types of attractants
There are many different types of deer attractants, coming in all sorts of shapes, forms and sizes. They are designed to be used in different ways too. Here, we will give you a glimpse into the different types so that you are able to select the deer attractant from our list that will suit your needs the most as a hunter.
Food attractants are a popular choice today. You can buy food attractants in a ready-to-eat form or you could plant seeds so that you can have a year-on-year benefit. Of course, this planting seeds type of attractant will only be an option if you hunt regularly in the same place or own the land where you are planting.
Mineral attractants are in a solid form where you buy a block for you to use. If you didn’t already know, some animals such as ruminants, which includes sheep, cows and goats too, love licking mineral salt. They are easy to put out and to take from one place to another on your hunts, placing them strategically.
A scent is usually in a spray form and it comes with intimate scents or actual pheromones from the deer themselves. They can be used in two ways. You can spray it into the air, which allows it to travel a little further afield on the breeze, or you can spray it on the foliage or food source surrounding the area.
2. Forms of attractants
A liquid attractant is similar to the spray mentioned above. The liquid is applied with a wick whereby the wick is attached at one end to the source which you carry as you hunt. The wick’s other end is pulled along as you walk along meaning that the hunter lures a buck with the false scent trail. This type means that the buck should follow and approach you instead of you, as a hunter, tracking it.
Block attractants are usually in a mineral salt form as mentioned above.
A powder attractant is usually mixed in with corn or other deer favorite foods. The powder usually also contains mineral salts. You can sprinkle the powder on the ground or dig a hole of around 2 feet deep to mix the powder within the soil. The deer are said to be attracted by the smell. People have also said that some deer seem to remember the food’s location and so may return to the same area again.
3. Hunting season
When hunting deer and trying to lure them in, you need to be aware of the different aspects of the deer breeding season. White-tailed adult deer breed in the fall months, also known as ‘the rut’ part of the season. The rut is broken down into three other phases: the pre-rut phase, the peak phase, and the post-rut phase. The pre-rut occurs in the summer months usually with the post-rut happening towards the winter months. Each phase means that the deer will be behaving differently, something you need to know if you’re trying to hunt them.
The pre-rut phase means that the bucks will be in the fields and meadows congregating together. They are here to get energy from feeding as much as possible. This time of the season means that powder attractants are ideal, as are food attractants.
In the peak phase or breeding phase, the bucks track the does relentlessly, particularly during the daytime. This phase makes scents the best form of deer attractant in either a spray or liquid form.
After the peak phase, there’s reduced activity in the deer as they begin to conserve energy. This means that hunters need to approach the deer’s area and lure them in with food again. Solids and powders can also be used.
Overall, it’s important to choose your attractant based on the season and phase as otherwise you may be left disappointed with the results.
4. Hunting region
The region in which you are based does matter a fair bit. If you don’t want to hunt near the area where you live, you should do some research before you head out in terms of whether there is already a lot of food in the area or whether a food attractant would work well. If food is plentiful, a food attractant might not be the best choice. Mineral blocks or scents would work well here as you will need to be offering something that the deer don’t have naturally in their environment and location.
5. Local regulations
Before you head out and hunt, make sure you are familiar with the law in your area. Deer baiting is not allowed in some US states but is allowed in others. There also exist areas where you can feed them, but you are not permitted to use that as bait to hunt them more easily. Some states only allow deer baiting on private land. In Louisiana, you are not allowed to use sweet potatoes as bait, bizarrely enough! So, make sure you check out the law before choosing where to hunt and what attractant you want to use.
6. Deer Species
Whilst we have been talking about deer, they’re not actually just one breed. Each breed of deer has a different size, is prominent in certain region and has different behaviors. Some might even prefer different food stuffs. When choosing a deer attractant, you should bear all of this in mind. Certain deer attractants are not always a good choice for certain breeds of deer.
You should look at the formula of the deer attractant that you are planning on using to make sure that it contains the elements which attract the species of deer that you are looking at hunting. Not all brands of attractant have the same formula despite being sold as the same thing.
8. Site preparation
You should prepare the site where you are to be hunting and luring in deer by using your chosen deer attractant as specified in the instructions. You should also choose products carefully – a product that masks human scent is sensible! Deer won’t approach even the most enticing bait if they can smell humans!
Deer Attractants Using Tips
How to use a Wick Dispenser
Using a wick dispenser is a good way of spreading your deer urine attractant around your area. Using a hot wick mimics fresh urine in terms of its temperature, giving the maximum benefits of the lure. Pheromones change with heat so having the right temperature speeds up the movement of the scent molecules in the urine, giving the hunter a larger range.
When urine meets air, it dissipates quickly and the profile of its pheromones is altered. Deer are able to sense how fresh urine is so you should also make sure you use a fresh wick or one that has been washed properly.
Using Urine out in the field
The more deer urine that you use in your hunt the better. Deer urinate between six and eight ounces each time, so it makes sense to use a minimum of four to six ounces on your hunt. If you use more it will reach further and last longer.
You should make two scrapes per hunt according to where the wind is blowing and around 20 yards for each side of where your stand is. You should also pick a tree for your scrape that has lower branches and make a circle of around three feet wide by scraping the leaves under the branches with your boots.
Our Final words
So, there you have it. With our help you should be luring in the deer in next to no time. But, which will you go for? The food, the scents, the liquid, the mineral blocks? For newer hunters it will be a case of trial and error and seeing what works best for you in your area and for the species of deer you wish to attract. For the more experienced hunter among us, you may find that you already prefer the type of attractant that suits you. Whichever you go for, you can’t go far wrong with one of our recommendations. We’ve tried them all out and only pick the best deer attractants on the market today for our readers.
1. How to prevent other animals from getting close to your deer feeder?
It is incredibly frustrating when you spot that some raccoons or other small animals such as squirrels have been at your feeder. This often happens with corn feeders as they are a favorite of racoons. You can build a heat duct structure measuring around six inches and fix it to the leg of the feeder, which will stop the raccoons from crawling through and getting to the feed. The pipes are also a little too big for the raccoons to climb up!
2. How to make a lick?
Did you know that you can make your own lick for deer? This is what you’ll need:
- Fine grain salt
- Some stock salt
- House salt
- Di-calcium phosphate
- A trace mineral
How to make it:
Step 1: Dig a hole measuring six to ten inches deep in the ground
Step 2: Mix the mineral mixtures together
Step 3: Pour the mix in the hole or ground space prepared
Step 4: Set a trail cam near the mineral lick so you can see the deer in action.
3. How do deer attractants work?
Deer attractants work in a variety of ways. Often, they work on scent and attract the deer with scents that are appealing to them such as the urine of a does in the peak estrus cycle. Other attractants are food-based and give the deer something that they crave or need in their diet.
4. What makes a great deer attractant?
The best kind of deer attractants are those that actually work! We’ve given examples in our reviews of all kinds of deer attractants and all of them had some success.
5. Are deer attractants considered as baits?
Sometimes deer attractants can be considered as baits, particularly if they are food based. This is why you must look at your local regulations as to whether you are permitted to lay down bait for animals such as deer.
6. Does peanut butter attract deer?
Deer certainly seem to like peanut butter. The simplest way to use it to attract deer is to smear it straight from the jar onto a tree!
7. How far can a deer smell?
Researcher at a university in Mississippi found that deer can smell between 500 and a thousand times better than us humans. Whitetail deer have literally thousands of smell receptors in their noses and they can sort out over six different smells at once. They can allegedly smell human scent from around half a mile away, which is why it is important to disguise your scent if you want to find them.
8. Does human urine attract deer?
There is limited evidence that human urine attracts deer. Indeed, they will be able to tell that it isn’t the urine of another deer due to their acute sense of smell. However, it’s sensible to be cautious if you get caught short in the woods as the deer might be put off by the scent as they could sense that humans or possible threats are nearby.