There are many reasons why you might want to learn how to attract deer to your yard. You might do it for entertainment or because you live in the woods with a large backyard, or maybe it’s both of those reasons and hunting-related purposes as well.
While there are many different reasons why someone might want to learn how to attract deer, we will focus on only two in this post. Below is a list that describes the approaches so you can decide which one would work for your property.
But before we get into learning what food items, plants, and scents attract deer to your yard, it is important that you know there are some items to avoid. Some people don’t notice these things can be harmful or not even of interest for deer, so they achieve the opposite of their goal.
So let’s keep that in mind and begin, shall we?
The Advantage Of Attracting Deer To Your Yard
Surrounding yourself with nature can help you feel more calm, relaxed, and happy, so attracting deer to your yard is an excellent way to bring nature right into your backyard. Believe it or not, there are actually some excellent benefits for having deer in your yard, such as…
Feeding Deer Is A Fun Learning Experience For The Whole Family
Children need the opportunity to experience nature and outdoor learning for them to broaden their horizons. Attracting deer to your backyard is a great way to provide this opportunity in an accessible, tangible way.
You Will Provide Food To The Local Wild Deer Population
Food scarcity is an issue throughout the year, especially during winter when deer struggle to find enough resources. By enticing hungry and desperate deer to your land, you can provide a constant food supply for the local population and offer some relief from hardship.
They Can Keep Plant Growth Under Control
Although this can be a disadvantage (discussed in detail below), deer-eating plants around your home may actually be beneficial! If you have an excess of unmanageable vegetation around your property, deer can clear it for you.
Deer Give Your Yard A Soothing Ambiance
Studies show the importance of spending time in natural settings for our health and well-being, so it is beneficial to have as much wildlife on your property as possible. Deer are a great example of how nature brings relaxation and beauty to a yard.
The Disadvantage Of Having Deer In Your Yard
While deer in your yard may provide quality entertainment, some downsides to consider before doing anything, these include:
Your Gardens May Be Ravished
Depending on the type of plants you have in your yard, deer may eat them. Deer will eat any plants, vegetable crops, and flowers you may have in your garden. Luckily there are ways that you can stop the deer from eating all of these plants.
Your Bird Feeders May Be Torn Down
Deer have been known to go after not only gardens but also bird feeders too. If you currently hold the seed in open containers without lids or other sorts of protection, deer will find a way to them – even if it means getting through the device.
To keep your bird feeders safe from deer, make sure they are at least 8 feet high and that the ground is not a place where deer would be able to reach them. Large deer can stand up to 7 feet tall, and their neck can extend higher than humans.
They Can Be A Threat To Pets And Children
Both male and female deer weigh around 100-200 pounds (or more), and their physical attacks are especially aggressive against pets, kids, and humans. When threatened – in particular by your pet or a nearby child – they will use their antlers to ram you before stomping all over your furry friend with their hind legs.
To keep pets and children safe from injury while inviting deer into your property, you’ll need to fence them off.
They’re More Likely To Get Hit By
Deer are often hit by or run out in front of cars on or near the roads near your home. Every year, approximately 1 million deer-car collisions result in 400 human fatalities and tens of thousands of serious injuries.
While deer will never be prone to accidents when they live in their natural woodland habitat, the risk of a car accident with a deer is higher if it lives around your neighborhood.
If you live in a rural area with plenty of wildlife, deer are common, which may not be much of a concern.
Living near highways or other densely populated areas is a reason to avoid inviting deer onto your property.
There Are Potential Health Risks Involved
Deer carry organisms and diseases, such as Lyme Disease, in the ticks that attach to their blood. The more time deer pass hanging around your house—bringing these diseased insects with them—the greater risk you and your family are at for contracting the disease.
How To Attract Deer To Your Yard
Now that you know the pros and cons of bringing deer to your land, it’s time to learn the basics of how to attract deer! There are many adjustments you can make in your backyard which will lure deer into hanging out.
Unfortunately, some people won’t have access to deer because of the area they live in. If you live close to a bustling street with no forest nearby, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll attract deer to your property.
That being said, it’s not uncommon for deer to wander in and out of yards that border or are close to the woods. If you happen to live on a property surrounded by thick forest, then you may see more than your average number of deer roaming about the land.
Although deer are drawn to yards for various reasons, you’ll need to find a way to provide them with the same incentives they would get in the wild.
Below, you’ll find a variety of different ways that will show you how to attract deer to your property. These tips are worth the effort, and some take more work than others.
Provide an Efficient Water Source
One way to attract deer is by having a horse trough, pond, or another large freshwater source on your property.
Deer are especially likely to come to your property for a drink when the weather is scorching, and they usually need access to water that doesn’t freeze in the winter.
The water sources in your backyard are likely going to freeze during winter. If this is the case, you might want to invest in a trough heater or place a woodblock in the water source to prevent it from freezing.
Plant Food Plots
One of the easiest ways to attract deer is food plots. Creating a wildlife-friendly garden on your property will make it more appetizing for deer and other wildlife in the area.
To attract deer, you should consider planting favored foraging foods. There are many plants that deer like to graze on, can be easily cultivated in your yard.
Deer are not usually attracted to gardens or crops planted in the yard. However, they may like to eat chicory, orchard grass, and red clover that have been planted there by homeowners. They might also enjoy fruits such as kale, corn, peas, and turnips if those were planted nearby.
There are some ways to attract deer to your property that even involve providing a food source for them. You can plant nut-bearing trees like acorns and chestnuts in your yard or even in a nearby forest, and the availability of their favorite foods will attract deer.
If you have a large enough plot of land, plant your food in an optimal location for easy access. This will allow the deer to feel safe and the food plot far away from roads and traffic.
Attracting deer to your land is simple. All you need to do is make it a safe place for the deer, and they will come back with greater regularity. This food plot might even keep them from going too far away in search of food.
Before planting food plots, make sure that you are placing them in an area conducive to growth. Flooding can be detrimental to your crop’s health, so if there is a chance of flooding in the future, it might be best not to plant there.
To create a successful food plot, make good choices for its placement. Creating a solid food plot is the most practical thing to do when you want to keep deer in your yard, and this means that putting some thought into where you’ll place the food plot beforehand is important.
Plant Apple Trees
Planting a few apple trees will make it significantly more likely that deer will be interested in your property. Deer are drawn in by the scent of apples, and you may find them visiting your yard if there is this variety available.
There are dozens of different ways to attract deer, but one way you can encourage them to hang around your land is by planting apple trees or crabapple trees.
A benefit of having apple trees or crabapple trees in your yard is that it provides a place for deer to hide from predators. You will likely see many deer near these trees, eating fallen apples and crabapples over time.
The disadvantage of this idea is that not everyone lives in a climate that can support apple trees. If it seems like this won’t be a possibility for your area, you might want to move on to other ideas.
Apples are a great way to attract deer to your backyard. Some people even mix apples in with some types of feed to make sure that the deer stick around for longer.
You Could Try Using Lures
A deer lure is a type of tool specifically designed to attract deer into your yard. These tools are typically used during hunting season, but they can be effective at other times. Here I’ve discussed several ways to use deer lures that are a little different than you may have seen before.
There are many types of deer lures, all of which involve scent. When it comes to scents, you can spray, use deer urine or certain pheromones in your yard to make the area seem like a safe place for the deer.
Spraying deer urine in your yard could be the best way to attract deer. Many people advise spraying plenty of it in the area you want them to come to maximize this effectiveness.
You could also try spreading the doe scent across the leaves and grass to attract bucks. This works pretty well and is an effective additional tip for getting more deer in the area.
One way you can attract deer to your property is through the use of salt blocks. Hunters typically use salt blocks during hunting seasons, but they can also be effective for anyone looking to think ahead and provide themselves with a pet deer.
You can lure deer to your yard by purchasing a salt block or two and placing it in the desired area, ideally where “the deer will go to.” Deer are attracted to these blocks through their sense of smell, which is why they “love licking them.”
Deer can be addicted to salt blocks. Some hunters are using this addiction as a way to trap deer in the area for hunting purposes.
There are many different salt blocks out there that you can use for deer attraction purposes. Some of them are a mixture of salt and protein, providing more than one nutritional benefit to the deer.
You can buy salt blocks that smell like apples or other scents to attract deer. Some people have found apple-scented salt blocks work especially well, but others will also do the trick.
If you want to use salt blocks to attract deer, you will also need to know how to get the deer into it. One way is through salt and protein powder—it’s pretty much a salt block but in powdered form so that you can cover more ground.
It also allows multiple deer to enjoy the salt block at once. Virtually no more than two or three can enjoy a single salt block, but a larger group of deer will allow even greater turnout for all.
Beyond that, salt blocks are much more durable than dry deer-attracting powders. Rainstorms wash away the powder and can leave a big mess on your yard at any time, but heavy rain won’t disintegrate salt blocks. This makes it easier to leave them out in the elements.
It’s also notable that many people who live in rural areas enjoy using salt blocks to attract deer. These blocks are designed to look like natural rock, so they don’t stand out when there’s a lot of vegetation in the area. This may help deter other hunters from seeing what you’re doing on your land.
Hunters are an issue for people who don’t want other hunters hunting on their land. One way you can prevent this from happening is to use a salt block that is easily concealed instead of obvious.
Consider Allowing Your Grass To Grow Taller
Deer want to have as much cover and food resources as possible because that is what feels safe. They like to feel hidden and not be seen. If your yard has areas with taller, bushy grass, then they may come around more often to eat the plentiful supply of food there.
Very short grass will not be attractive for deer, so they may not stop in your yard. Taller or uncut lawns can also attract deer because they may graze on them if no other food source is available.
It might be advantageous to have the perimeter of your home lined with tall grass. However, this may only be practicable if you have a large yard since most white people won’t want very tall grass too close to their houses.
You’ll get used to having parts of your property that you don’t mow. This will leave the perfect spots for deer, and you’ll be able to have an easier time keeping them around.
Consider Removing Fences
Fences are practical for many reasons, but those fences can be detrimental when you’re trying to attract deer to the yard. Deer will have a hard time accessing your property if there is fencing around it, so keep that in mind!
If you want to attract deer, then it’s important to remove any fences in the area. Fences should be kept out of areas that you wish to attract deer since they are territorial and avoid countries where they feel unsafe.
You could still have a fence close to your home to have some enclosed area. How big your yard is and what will work best in our situation will depend on how you do it.
If you remove obstacles, such as trees, stacks of lumber, and the like, deer will have an easier time reaching your yard. Fences might keep deer out of your garden when they want to get to the plants for food.
Make Sure Your Backyard Is Very Calm
Deer are naturally skittish, which means they don’t like loud noises. If you want to attract deer without baiting them but still get them close enough to be seen from the house, for example, make sure your garden is serene and quiet.
Don’t Install Bright Lights.
The best way to lure deer is to avoid over-saturating them with artificial light. Deer are easily scared and irritated by bright lights or loud noises, so it’s a good idea to keep those things at a safe distance from one another.
The Kind Of Deer You Might See
There are three major types of deer in the United States and North America: White-Tailed Deer, Black-Tailed Deer, and Mule Deer. Once you know how to attract these animals onto your property below, we will look at each type!
White-Tailed Or Whitetail Deer
Whitetailed or White-tailed Deer are found all over the US, up into Canada, and down into Mexico. The bucks (stags) have a white underside to their tail. These deer generally have a reddish-brown color. They can also be bluish-gray with brown tinting near the shoulders.
- White-Tailed bucks typically weigh about 150 to 200 pounds. They can have antlers that are 16 feet long, with one main branch with tines extending from this base.
- Adult female deer are typically 100 pounds, and they never grow antlers, so if some hormonal imbalance is present, the deers may develop small unhardened antlers. Adult deer of both genders have had been observed with does and fawns or other females.
- When alarmed, White-tailed deer will raise their tails and flag their whitetail underneath.
Whitetail deer can range in length from 3.5 to 7 feet, depending on gender and age.
Black-tailed deer are found mainly along the Pacific coast and are common in Southern California. These animals are much smaller than mule deer and have a black tail that is noticeably different from other species of deer.
- Blacktail bucks typically range in weight from 150-200lbs. Their antlers begin growing at 8 months of age, and they will be fully grown when the buck is an adult. They will shed their velvet once the antlers are developed but will grow more each year with new tines.
- A Black-tailed deer is typically around 100 pounds but can weigh up to 130 pounds. Female Black-tail deer are seen with fawns in the spring and summer months.
Deer are rarely found in the Pacific Coast but may occasionally venture into rural homes.
Mule deer are the largest of three common American deer. Mule deer like whitetail and black-tailed, generally reddish or blue in color, depending on the season. They tend a lighter red color; during winter, duller brown shades dominate their coats.
- Mule deer bucks can weigh between 130 and 330 pounds as a large deer type, depending on their age. Male mule deer within have wider heads and broader bodies than other species of male deer.
- Mule deer are typically very light, weighing between 95 and 200 pounds, depending on age and health. Female mule deer do not have antlers as they only grow when they’re pregnant.
Mule deer are large-eared in comparison to their heads, which is where they get the name from. Whitetail is distinguished by its tail that has brown on it, though Mule deer do not have brown coloration.
How To Attract Deer To Your Yard FAQs
What Are Some Scents That Attract Deer?
Deer are known to be attracted to doe urine, but if you do not have any on hand, use scents like apple and orange. These should attract deer just as well.
What Plants Do Deer Eat?
Deer love roses but will also eat holly and juniper if they can get them. If you have these plants in your garden, protect them from deer.
Deer Proof Plants: Is There Such a Thing?
Deer will avoid poisonous plants like foxgloves, poppies, daffodils, and monkshood. They will also stay away from any flowers that have a strong scent to them, like lavender, irises, salvia, sage, or peonies.
Wrapping It Up
Wildlife viewing, deer hunting- there are several reasons why you might want to attract deer. Regardless of your reason, knowing how to attract deer is beneficial for all outdoor enthusiasts and hunters.
Learning more about how deer change their habits about changes in the environment can make it easier for you to organize your trap.
The deer population is most dense near regions where wild food, water, and shelter are abundant. Understanding this will be useful the next time you want to attract deer to your stand.
Have you tried any of the above methods to attract deer to your yard? What kind of food, scent, or environment did your strategy work the best for you?
Would you mind sharing your thoughts and ideas with us? We would appreciate it if you could share this article with fellow hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.