Last Updated On: September 14, 2023

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Hunting deer and predicting where they will be is difficult. In addition, may hunters like myself only have a few days to hunt.

We cannot spend weeks sitting in a stand hoping that a trophy buck stumbles into our area. This is why these baiting deer tips can help. Deer have four points of focus that determine their location:

  • Food sources
  • Water sources
  • Bedding areas
  • Deer of the opposite sex

They often find food sources and then keep returning to that source every day at roughly the same time.

This can work to your advantage. In this article, we will discuss the different ways that you can effectively bait deer.

deer baiting tips

1. Picking Your Location

deer baiting tips - deer trail

When you decide to set out deer bait, it is important that you are strategic about where you place your bait. If the deer never find your bait, it will do no good.

You want to pick an area where you already know the deer are present. Baiting is just going to solidify a daily return to this area.

  • You can use trail cameras if you want to target a particular deer and determine its location.
  • You can also go old school and look for rubs, scrapes, tracks, and scat. These signs can all verify that there are deer in the area.

When setting out bait or checking it, try to use cover scent so deer are not wary about approaching the bait.

2. Food Plots

deer baiting tips - food plot


It should be noted that baiting deer is only legal in certain states. Check your local regulations before you commit to this process.

However, food plots are technically not considered baiting. This is the process of planting natural food sources to grow in a particular area.

For this, you will need to do your planting in the spring so that the food plot is mature in the fall.

Over the course of the year, the deer will find the food plot and start feeding. You will want to plant areas anywhere from a few thousand square feet to over an acre.

Some ideal plants for food plots are clover and alfalfa. You can buy food plot seed mixes online or at hunting stores.

You will then want to set up your stand so you have a clear view of your food plot. Check your plot periodically for tracks to ensure that the deer have found it.

3. Grain Feeders

grain feeder


Another option that is only allowed in certain states is to set up a grain feeder. This is a bin filled with grain typically raised up with a tripod.

Most people just use dry split corn for the grain as it is a favorite of deer. There is an opening at the bottom of the bin so the deer can come in from under the bin and eat.

You will just need to check the bins periodically to refill the grain.

If you do not have a meal for the deer every day, they will stop coming.  Set up your tree stand so you have a clear view of the feeder.  You will want to set out your feeder several months before deer season.

4. Salt/Mineral Licks

Deer mineral - Evolved Habitats Deer Cane Black Magic


Another option to bring in the bucks is a salt or mineral lick.  Deer have a hard time finding minerals like sodium for their diets.

By specifically providing these minerals, you are giving the deer something they cannot get anywhere else.

This does a good job of bringing the deer back every day. You can buy straight salt block or blocks that have a combination of minerals.

It can be set on the ground, set on a tree stump, or hung from a low tree branch.

You should be able to notice that the lick gets smaller as the deer use it. Set it out several months before deer season and replace it if it gets too small.

Again, set up your stand so the lick is within sight.

5. Manufactured Baits

manufatured bait

There are all kinds of different manufactured baits that you can buy to attract deer. Many of these combine different foods that deer like such as corn, minerals, and apples.

The downside is that getting a decent sized bait can be expensive. The good news is that it could cover several of the different baits mentioned above. I have tried them before with mixed results.

Before you spend too much money, read the reviews for the product and make sure you are getting a good value. Once again, set up your stand within range of the bait.

In addition to deer visiting a particular area, deer typically do most of their feeding in the early morning or late evening.

They feel safer moving around when the light is low, and predators cannot see them as well. This also happens to be when most hunters spend their time in the stand.

The Bottom Line:

Baits can be a best way to attract deer fast. They can shorten the number of days it takes to tag out, and it can even help you target a bigger buck. I suggest that you use a combination of these different types of baits.

Where I go hunting, there are stands that have a food plot, a salt lick, and a grain feeder all within 100 yards of my stand. This just multiplies the odds of deer picking that area over another.

However, baits are not the solution to all of your deer hunting needs. You still must follow the general rules of hunting:

  • Cover your scent
  • Stay still
  • Keep quiet
  • Use good camouflage
  • Get to your stand early
  • Try to get up in a tree if possible

Even the best bait will not help if you spook a deer as they are moving into the area. If you follow these general rules, baits can be a huge help.

Now your turn, what’s the baiting deer tips that you think are lacking of? I’ll be happy to hear from you.

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Robert Gate, a hunter from Texas and Founder of ArcheryTopic.

I first learned archery from my dad when I was 12 years old. He gave me a Mathew bow as a gift and instantly fell in love with the pursuit.