Deer depend on a number of senses and evolution techniques to stay alive. Among the most prominent, though, is a deer’s sense of smell. This sense of smell is, in part, used to assess the condition and safety of their environment.

Thanks to deer attractants, however, skilled hunters can use these senses to lure a deer into a false sense of security, leaving room to line up the perfect shot. But, you can’t simply pour a bottle of attractant out and expect the best results. A little planning is necessary.

Types of Attractants

The first thing to be clear on is the fact that there isn’t a single choice when it comes to deer attractants. Here, we are going to take a look at the four types you are most likely to work with.

Doe Urine

The most basic and often used deer attractant is simple doe urine. You can use this throughout the season, but it will be most effective in the beginning weeks before the rut. This attractant is best used when bachelor bucks are present, yet still in groups rather than competing.

Another reason doe urine works well throughout is that it helps to reassure other deer passing through that everything is alright. If they think other deer are passing through the area, they are likely to feel safer in that area.

Buck Urine

Buck urine isn’t quite as versatile but it can be used especially effectively in the period of time right before the rut. When used, it’s often paired with either real or mock scrapes.

This technique is used to draw a buck out by challenging it. You are creating the presence of an unwelcome buck in their territory to draw them out.

Doe Estrous

As with many reputable models of other hunting guns and gear, a good bottle of doe estrous can cost you a pretty penny. If you can use it right, it’ll be well worth it but just because it’s high-end doesn’t mean that you can use it whenever and however you want for success.

A general rule of thumb is to use doe estrous in about a two-week window around the high in rutting season. This is when it can be effectively used to draw out bucks looking for a potential mate. The rule is general because not every doe is on the same timetable for rutting although using the attractant well out of the typical time period it would be naturally present just isn’t going to work.

Tarsal Gland

If you want to go back down the route of challenging a buck, you can use tarsal gland alongside doe estrous in scrapes to draw them out. Much like doe estrous, if you use this trick at the wrong point during hunting season, it won’t be much of a success.

Further Tips on Using Attractants

Now that you know what types of attractants there are, it’s important to know how to use them. As the previous sections spelled out, there isn’t one specific method that you have to follow when you are using deer attractants. There are some tips you should keep in mind.

Cover Your Scent

When you are talking about playing with an element as sensitive as scent, you have to remember all the scents you are leaving behind. To get the best results, you don’t want to leave your scent behind to warn them of the coming danger. To hide their own scent, many hunters use doe or buck urine since it’s strong enough to do so and doesn’t stick out as odd at any point during the year.

Use Scents Together

We already looked at the fact that you can use scents such as doe estrous and tarsal gland together to create a realistic scene.

It’s critical to recall that there are more than one scent in any natural setting. This is why you can use scents such as doe urine to cover your own scent all season or use that doe estrous and tarsal gland blend during the rut.

Don’t Overdo It

Soaking the area you’re in with a scent isn’t likely to work either. This is due to the fact that it ruins the credibility of the scene. In addition, if you have scent everywhere, there’s a higher chance that a deer will be drawn to an area where it’s harder to make a clean shot.

Use Wicks

The final big question to address is how to spread these scents. For many hunters, the first instinct might be to grab something like a cotton ball but these can distort the scent. It’s a good idea to use a wick made for the purpose instead.

The goal of using any deer attractant is to create a believable situation to draw the animal in, so you should be sure to try to ensure that you know which scents are compatible, which aren’t, and when they can be used. It’ll probably take a little practice, but it will worth it when you start seeing the results!