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9 Great Ways to Attract Deer (Without Food Plots)

9 Great Ways to Attract Deer (Without Food Plots)

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Being able to attract deer to your property is a good thing when you like to hunt. Hunters will often do what they can during the year to ensure that deer stick around on their properties.

In a way, it’s sort of like you’re looking after the deer so that they can thrive and grow healthy during the off-season. You might choose to plant food plots to help keep deer on or near your property.

Although this is a common and easy way to attract deer if you’re willing to put in the work, it’s also possible to attract deer without food plots. If you know what you’re doing, then there are many methods that you can turn to that will get good results.

Read on to learn how to attract deer without food plots. You should feel as though you’re able to make an informed decision about which methods will work best on your property once you’ve read all of the information.

1 – Get Rid of Plants That Don’t Help the Deer

One of the best things that you can do to encourage deer to come to your property is to remove plants that don’t help deer at all. There might be many non-native plants on your property that don’t do anything beneficial for deer.

You might have fields that are filled with fescue and cool-season grasses that aren’t really helping the local deer population. Even if you see the deer grazing in fields of cool-season grasses sometimes it’s actually more likely that they’re eating plants that are strewn about.

Go ahead and plant native plants that will actually be good for the deer. You want to plant things that deer like and that will have nutritional value to the deer.

In general, deer are going to eat a lot of different native plants when food plots aren’t being planted. You can get good results by ensuring that you stick with plants that are supposed to be in the area.

Essentially, if you forego planting exotic plants and things that aren’t going to be of use to the deer, then the deer will be more interested in your property. Remember this when you’re deciding which types of plants to put on your property and you’ll get better results when trying to attract deer to the area.

2 – Plant the Right Type of Grass

Ensuring that you have the right type of grass on your property is going to help the deer out as well. You’ll attract more deer to your property if you have grass that the deer like to eat.

Native grasses would do a good job of attracting deer and you could try to stick to that. Warm-season grasses are going to give you the best chance of attracting deer to your property and giving them good cover.

You could choose to plant Indian, switchgrass, or gamma grass to get good results in your yard. The deer will enjoy grazing on these types of grass and they will do a good job of providing them with cover so that they can feel safe.

Overall, having warm-season grass on your property will be so much better than cool-season grass. When your goal is to attract deer and keep them around, it’s best to use warm-season grass exclusively.

It will also be interesting if your property is the only one in the area that has warm-season grass. This will likely cause many deer to flock to your area, and you will have done the job of getting the deer numbers up.

This might be one of the most important things that you can do to make your property interesting to the local deer. Pick a good type of warm-season grass and you will be able to see good results soon enough.

3 – Keep the Grass Fairly High

You should avoid mowing the grass and cutting it too short when you want to attract deer. Deer want to be able to hide in tall grass and they also like grazing on it.

If you do too good of a job of cutting the grass on your property, then you’ll be making it less likely that deer will want to hang out there. Of course, you can mow the grass near your home, but the further you go into your property the taller the grass should be.

It might be best to just leave many parts of your property untouched unless there is a reason that you need to maintain it. You’ll have a better time attracting deer and keeping them on the property if you don’t cut the grass short.

The grass really is an important factor in determining whether deer will come around. If you don’t have places where deer can lay down and feel safe, then they might be more likely to go somewhere else.

Thankfully, this is not going to be hard to do, and you can just remember not to cut the grass in certain parts of your property. Many people who own properties with several acres of land are used to allowing portions of their yards to grow naturally.

4 – Ensure That There’s a Source of Water on Your Property

Deer aren’t going to be able to stick around if you don’t have a source of water on your property. It’s important to try to find a spot in your yard where you can place some type of water source for the deer.

There are actually many ways that you can go about doing this. If you have natural streams on your property, then you could use some logs to create a dam and ensure that there will be some pooled-up water that the deer can access at all times.

Another idea is to simply place some sort of kiddie pool on your property and keep it filled with water. Something such as this is going to be very easy to do and you’ll get pretty good results.

You’re also going to want to be mindful of where you’re placing the water source so that deer will be comfortable enough to use it. Try to provide cover for the deer so that they won’t feel exposed when trying to get a drink of water.

So long as you’re putting some thought into how you’re doing things everything will turn out well. It can be tough if you don’t have a large enough property to get good results sometimes since cover options will be limited, but most people that are worried about attracting deer will have pretty large yards.

5 – Ensure That There Are Minerals on Your Property

Deer are going to need access to minerals to thrive on your property, too. Some people are lucky and have natural mineral sites somewhere on their properties.

If you don’t have natural mineral sites, then you’ll need to make use of mineral licks to help the deer out. Mineral licks can help the deer to get minerals that they need that they might not get from just eating food.

There are all sorts of mineral lick blocks on the market that you can buy for deer. They will do a good job of keeping deer around the area and will help them to stay healthy.

Some mineral blocks will even be scented and flavored to do a better job of attracting deer. For example, you might find mineral blocks that are apple-scented and flavored because deer happen to love apples.

Don’t hesitate to make use of mineral blocks so long as there aren’t any restrictions in the area about using them. It’s a good way to attract deer to an area and it should be fairly cost-effective.

It’s also worth noting that there are different styles of mineral lick and salt lick options to consider. Most people are familiar with the blocks that you put on the ground and deer can lick whenever they come across them.

There’s also salt lick and mineral lick options that are special types of powder. You can actually spread this powder on the ground in a specific area so that more deer will be able to utilize it at once.

When you place salt lick blocks and mineral lick blocks only one deer will be able to use it at a time. The powder might be more convenient for providing some nutrition to more deer at once.

The downside is that this powder can wash away fairly easily in comparison to the blocks. A heavy rain could wind up eliminating the powder before the deer are able to get all of the nutritional value out of the powder.

Salt lick blocks and mineral blocks are going to be much more durable, though. Rain and other environmental factors won’t cause the blocks to dissolve or anything like that, and the deer will be able to keep using them for longer periods of time.

You just have to decide which option is the most convenient for your situation. If you’re in doubt, then going with the mineral lick blocks will probably be your best bet.

6 – Place More Shrubs and Vines on Your Property

Placing more shrubs and vines on your property will make the deer feel more comfortable overall. Deer don’t want to feel as though they’re just out in the open and unprotected, and this means that they need to have hiding spots.

If you have more bushes and shrubs on your property that they can use, then it’ll make it better for them. You might notice that deer will start wanting to stick around your property more often if you take the time to do this.

Having more shrubs on your property will only be a good thing as far as the deer are concerned. To get the best results, ensure that you’re planting shrubs that are native to the area that the deer are going to be interested in.

Vines are also going to be nice because they can provide some shade and cover for the deer. Many people ensure that they have vines hanging off of the trees in the area because deer will enjoy pulling them down and eating them.

Try to ensure that vines are placed just low enough that deer will be able to reach them. Taking the time to do this can make your yard that much more attractive to deer.

7 – Plant Oak Trees

Of course, having enough big trees on your property will be an important factor in determining whether deer will find your yard to be ideal. If you want deer to hang out on your property, then you’re going to need to have large trees that will help them to feel safe.

Consider planting oak trees on your property that will grow big and strong over time. These will help to ensure that deer will want to come around more often.

You can buy oaks from many different places if you’re interested in adding some to your property. It might even be beneficial to thin out smaller and less beneficial trees to give the oaks that you do have room to spread out.

Deer will be attracted to the nuts known as acorns that are produced by oak trees. This will give the deer things that they can eat without making it so that you have to maintain a food plot.

In many ways, having oaks along with things like bushes that produce berries will be just as good as maintaining a dedicated food plot. It might even be more important to focus on having enough beneficial trees, shrubs, and bushes.

8 – Fruit Trees Can Help

Fruit trees can actually help to attract deer to your property very nicely. If your goal is to get deer to come to the area, then you should certainly consider planting fruit trees that deer are known to like.

As mentioned earlier, deer very much like the smell and taste of apples. This means that planting apple or crabapple trees on your property will do a good job of getting deer to come to your property.

Deer will love to snack on apples and crabapples, and that makes any type of apple tree a good investment overall. You don’t have to stick to just apple trees, though, because deer also like many other types of fruit trees.

Pear trees can do a good job of attracting deer as well and deer will enjoy eating the pears. Peach trees, mulberry trees, and even persimmon trees will do a good job of calling deer to your property.

When deer have fruit that they can eat on the property, it’s going to make sense for them to want to stick around. They’ll be able to use the fruit trees as a reliable source of food and you’ll have better luck hunting next season because of the large number of healthy deer in the area.

9 – Deer Lures

Deer lures can also help you to get the local deer population interested in your property. The most popular types of deer lures are essentially scents that contain deer urine.

You can buy deer scent sprays that contain deer urine and pheromones that deer will want to check out. The deer will be able to smell the scent that you have placed on your property, and it should attract quite a few of them.

If you want to see more deer on your property than usual, then this can be a good place to start. It’ll ensure that deer will know that your property is there and that it’s of interest.

If you use the methods listed above to make your property more appealing to deer, then they’ll be more likely to stick around. Deer lures should be used in conjunction with practical methods of making sure that your yard has what deer need to thrive.

Final Thoughts

Now you know that there are a lot of different ways to go about attracting deer to your property. If you want to get more deer to come to your yard, then you should focus on making your yard a place that deer will find convenient.

Ensuring that you have native plants that deer can eat will be a big deal. It’s also important to have a water source on your property that the deer can easily access.

Having a warm-season grass will make it more likely that deer will be interested in your property, too. If you give them plenty of cover by having the right trees on your property, then you’ll be in good shape.

Planting fruit trees will give the deer in the area more of a reason to stay close to your property. They’ll love snacking on the fruit and will find it to be a regular source of nutrition.

You can even use things such as mineral blocks and salt lick blocks to keep deer interested. You really do have many options to consider, and there’s no reason to stick with just one idea.

Use all of the advice that you’ve been given so that you can get good results. You’ll be able to keep the deer around the area healthy so that your next hunting season will be a very fruitful one.


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