It’s been years since you brought in a deer, maybe it’s even been awhile since you’ve sighted a buck worth taking a shot at. It’s not your fault, you just don’t know the tricks of the trade yet. This is especially a problem for stationary hunters, you simply don’t know how to get deer to come to you.
Follow these instructions, and you’ll never have that problem again. Let the deer come to you, fill those tags, and enjoy the thrill of the hunt with an ease you never have before.
What You’ll Need
Thankfully, most of the items you’ll need for attracting deer are readily available in hunting shops, or even just from artifacts of your past hunts.
Once you have all of these items in your possession you’ll be ready to follow this simple guide and get started on attracting the deer to you in order to get the best results while you’re in the field.
How to Get Deer to Come to You - 6 Easy Steps
1.) Control Your Scent
Deer have a hellacious sense of smell, and they can scent out hunters pretty easily. The best way to start is to make sure that you’re not running around reeking like… well, like a human. You’ll want to be downwind even at the best of times, but there’s quite a bit you can do to help yourself out in this area.
There are special shampoos, detergents, and even dryer sheets which can help you to cover the scent in your clothes. There are also cover scents that you can apply while you’re out hunting to help matters. If you think you’re going overkill on taking care of your scent, then you’re probably getting close to doing enough.
2.) Use a Kill Plot
A “kill plot” is an ideal solution for those who have access to private areas, but it requires quite a bit of forethought and preparation in the off-season. Essentially what you’ll be doing is setting up a food plot within the range of your hunting weapon of choice in order to maximize your chances of a successful harvest.
If you’re on land that’s well managed, you might want to try and put something a little bit different there to attract deer despite the human scent around it. Set your stand up at a distance you’re sure you can make a clean shot from, and you’re good to go.
3.) Antler Rattling
Antler rattling is designed to simulate the sound of bucks fighting, which will naturally attract the attention of other deer. You’ll find that it’s most effective during the rut since bucks will be sparring during that time over a doe.
Rattling antlers are most effective in areas where there’s a lot of competition over doe. You won’t have nearly as much luck if the doe-to-buck population ratio is heavily in favor of the females.
It’s a pretty simple process, all you’ll need to do is get a couple of antlers and… well, rattle them together. There're some specific techniques that will work better, but you should definitely try to simulate fighting. Smack them together, lock them up, grind them a bit.
The best part is, most hunters will have an antler rack lying around from a previous hunt, so you won’t need to spend any money to utilize this technique.
4.) Deer Calls
Deer calls are widely used and for good reason. They’re one of the best ways to get animals coming in closer so you can take the shot. There’s a number of good calls on the market, but to make the most of your tool you’ll want one that will let you make a number of vocalizations without having to switch calls.
It’s more of an art than a science, but if you’re careful your application you can really make a huge difference in your ability to get deer close.
During the rut a good strategy is to switch between doe “bleats” and buck “grunts” as it might convince younger bucks that some action is about to go on. If you’re lucky you might even get an older, aggressive buck intent on stealing the doe for itself and be able to add a serious trophy to your wall.
5.) Scented Attractants
Scents are a common tactic employed by hunters, with sometimes varying effects. The thing is, most people don’t pay enough attention to the wind or use them properly. You’ll need to employ a variety of scents and some clever tactics to get the maximum effect out of your scents.
For instance, non-estrous doe urine can make a great way to cover your tracks on the way into your favored spot. Estrous doe urine scent on a rag dragged behind you can also make an effective way to lure bucks along the lines you want them to follow.
You can also use estrous doe scent as a lure, place the scents a bit off from your stand and you’ll get bucks coming in to investigate.
The best usage of scents definitely comes in during the rut, if you’re hunting at other times it can be useful but it’s not the most effective route.
6.) Set Up Mock Scrapes
Mock scrapes are an often-overlooked tactic which can help to draw in bucks quite easily. The first thing to do is find an ideal location for the set-up. You’ll want to find somewhere you know there will be bucks to complete the illusion of an intruding male in their territory. The edges of fields are a great place to begin.
Rake out the leaves under a branch that’s roughly 4 ½’ off the ground, this will be the “licking branch” and it’s vitally important that you have this in place. If you have an ideal location without the branch you can try breaking off a branch and holding it at the proper place with a zip tie. Spray it down with buck scent after you’re done and you’ve got your scrape in place.
As you can see, there’s a variety of tactics which can get the deer to come to you. By employing all of them properly you’ll exponentially increase your chances of getting the buck of your dreams or filling your meat freezer for the year.
Once you know how to get deer to come to you, the rest will lie on your quickness and marksmanship to complete the most thrilling part of the hunt.