What's the best deer attractant?
What's the best one for attracting bucks?
Tough question man, it depends on what the deer in the area need. They can be much like humans and want differing food.
1. Establishing a salt lick during the summer months can be beneficial to the deer and give them a place to come to all yr long.
2. Winter wheat is a cheap and easy thing to establish. You can basically clear out some land with normal tools and sow out wheat and it will come up. This is the best thing for hunters on a money and time budget.
3. Clover, chicory, and corn are some of the best, highest nutrient (different in each item...protein, fat, etc) foods, but it takes a decent bit of time and money to establish these. Considering you said in another post you are 14 and this is your first year hunting, i believe these to be out of your range.
You could easily put out some attractant feed throughout the spring and summer months and see what is in the area, but the key is to make sure it isn't there when season rolls around.
IF you're looking for something cheap,,, check into your local farm coop and purchase some corn. I typically do this in late winter (after i'm all done hunting) and into the spring and summer. Like VoL said above, try the mineral lick too. Those are good to start in early spring. Find a good old, rotting tree stump and put some mineral salt, and regular salt on it. They will go crazy over it. PLUS... make sure you refresh the mineral lick area every 2-3 months.
yeah but you can save alot of money and it will last longer if you buy from a farm and home store and farm coop. Get your salt in a 50lb bag and your salt lick from the farm and home store and get your corn from farm coop. Don't be tempted to buy the apple flavored corn or all that other crap that comes in 40lb bags... it's cheaper to buy regular corn by the bushel at your farm coop (MFA). I have tried the deer attractants before like the buck jam you're talking about, and have not had much luck with them. I do recommend getting a mineral lick area started and once they have dug down (started eating the dirt) then put some of that buck jam or deer cane out and that will attract them more frequently. If you just go put buck jam down on the ground or stump it's going to wash away in first rain you get and it's not going to be visited heavily for awhile. Establish a spot where they can come eat first, then worry about the attractants if you want to use those too.
I'll tell ya two things bud,
1. As a wildlife biologist, I can tell you putting corn/bait out doesn't increase your chances of killing a big buck. Big bucks are smart and if you aren't doing everything else right, you will never see them. Also, 60% or more of the corn you put down is eaten by birds, turkeys, rats, mice, raccoons, possums, etc.....
2. If you bait, and people know, you will get busted. No matter what, if you take a chance long enough, you will get busted sooner or later. It is not just a fine either, it is a fine, confiscation of equipment (and animal if you kill one), court costs and can lead to a loss of your hunting priveleges.
Go the salt/mineral lick way. Call the Region I TWRA office and ask about any store bought products before you put them out.
I didn't mean to put it out when it's illegal. In Missouri I can bait all year long as long as I don't hunt that property. Therefore, I don't bait during deer season. Once I'm done and my rifle and bow are put away, that's when I bait to see what's out there. Missouri also does not look at mineral licks and salt licks as bait. Therefore I can use those year round and keep refreshing mineral licks even during deer season. Check your department of conservation for the laws that are put in place in your state.
Like I said, I do not do it during deer season. You are correct many other animals will eat the corn, but the vast majority of it is eaten by either deer or coons. Turkeys also like to nibble on it. Bucks will come to a corn pile. I have 1,000's of pics to verify that if you'd like to see them.
My point was not to recommend doing somethign illegal. Some states allow baiting and that includes corn piles. Missouri only allows it if you are not hunting that property OR if you remove all bait 10 days before you hunt the property. I stay legal in every sense of the word when it comes to bait and or attractants.
You missunderstood, I wasn't gettin on you, I was getting on WestTN because he keeps alluding to the fact that he might/would bait. I'm sorry but a corn pile of no size can equal to learning the land, learning how the deer move, learning where the deer move, and knowing if you have rutting bucks in your area. I'm just tired of a lazy way of hunting (not saying all people who bait are) that says throw out some food and wait over it.
As for the bucks at a corn pile, there is no doubt that they come to the corn pile, but some of the BIG BUCKS are almost completely nocturnal. Just like in my food plots, you get most of your largest deer in the middle of the night and RARELY in the daylight. Also, I never said you wouldn't see bucks, I said it wouldn't increase your chances of seeing/taking a big buck. WestTN seems to think it is all about hunting over food when there are tons of other things to do. I then said that he needed to be doing everything else right or it didn't matter what he had for food/bait. This is especially true when he is saying that there is obviously a good deal of food on the other side of the road.
Here in TN you have to have the bait removed sometime around a week before season starts, but I had a bud that was busted because the wardens found 4 kernels of corn where a pre-season feeder had been. They called it baiting. My friend won in court but had to pay court fees and deal with having the wardens kinda harrassing him the rest of the year in hopes of finding something they could write a ticket for.
WestTN what county are you hunting in?
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