While there are plenty of commercial deer attractants on the market, sometimes a little DIY is in order. Animals are individuals, and believe it or not, the deer in your area may not like the commercial attractants.
Creating your own attractants is a good way to dial in your baits to your deer populations preferences, save some money, and even learn a little something, rather than relying on commercials mixes.
In this article, we’re going to be sharing the best homemade deer attractant recipes that we’ve come across.
Best homemade deer attractant recipes
Homemade Deer Cane
Deer cane is a substance which uses a combination of minerals and other attractants to bring the deer to you. These animals need these minerals, and these substances react with moisture to release vapors that bring the deer in. While you can purchase this stuff pre-mixed, you can also make your own as well! Here’s the recipe.
Homemade Deer Cane Recipe
Deer Cane Ingredients List
- Strawberry Jello x6
- Strawberry Syrup x3
- corn syrup x3
- Morton’s Salt Can x1
- 12 cups of hot water
Start off with a large container. You can use a bucket, a container, or anything else big enough to hold your mixture.
Fill the container with 12 cups of hot water, and add in your jello mixture. Take a stick and stir up the mixture so it starts to dissolve. Then start adding in the syrups, and mix until it starts getting foamy.
Once everything is dissolved you can mix this in with your deer corn and let it absorb the minerals and flavors. Then, just wait for the deer to come to you. Many people claim this is one of the best best buck lures they’ve ever used.
Homemade Peanut Butter Deer Bait
Deer love peanut butter, and since it takes them a while to eat these, this bait can last a while. It also requires a lot less prep work than some other methods of attracting deer.
Start off with a can of peanut butter. (Any variety will do, even though some people claim crunchy is best!) Find yourself an ideal location, and identify a good tree that’s within range of your stand, but downwind of the bait.
- Remove the lid from the peanut butter jar
- Screw the lid into the tree, about 4-5 feet off the ground
- Twist the jar back into the lid, and cut off the bottom with a knife
There you go! Your bait is all set. If you’ve got a trail cam you can test out different baiting location to see what the best place for this bait is.
Homemade Buck Jam
Buck jam is one of the best buck lure attractants you can use, and it’s easy to make it yourself at home. The ingredients are minimal, and it’s easy to apply it nearly anywhere. If you don’t want to be bothered though, this bait is also available pre-mixed in convenient gallon bottles.
Homemade Buck Jam Recipe
Homemade Buck Jam Ingredients List
- 2 liters of hot water
- Half a bag of confectioners sugar
- 1 pound of table salt
- 1 box of cherry jello
- 2 liters of apple juice
- 1 package of liquid Certo (fruit pectin)
Start out by pouring your 2 liter of hot water into a 5 gallon bucket. Dump in your confectioner’s sugar and mix until it is dissolved into the water. Then, mix your salt into the bucket, and stir it until it dissolves. You should notice that the mixture is getting a bit thicker by this point.
Add in your box of cherry jello and start mixing it. Once you’ve thoroughly mixed the jello into the bucket, start adding the apple juice and stir. Next, add in one pack of liquid Certo. This is typically used for canning, and it helps to make your mixture thicker.
Stir everything up really well, and put the lid on it. Leave the bucket overnight, and it’ll thicken a little bit. You can then put it into gallon jugs to make it easier to transport and pour over stumps, rocks, or even the ground as a great buck lure.
Homemade Acorn Attractant/Scent Cover
This one can actually pull double duty for you! Not only can you spray it around on stumps and trees to bring the deer in closer to your tree stand, but you can also use it as a great scent cover!
By spraying this stuff on your hunting gear, you can cover up the human scent on all of your stuff, making it less likely that you’ll spook your prey. It’s easy, efficient, and can be long-lasting as an attractant too.
The best part about this one though is that if you live on a property with a lot of oak trees, this attractant will cost you zero dollars! Just pick up the ones laying on the ground (or get your kids to do it) and you’re good to go.
Homemade Acorn Scent Attractant/Cover Recipe
Gather at least one pound of acorns from your property, or while you’re out scouting hunting locations and save them in a bucket.
Get a big pot filled with water and toss in the acorns. Bring the pot to a nice boil on the stove top. Boil them for about 30 minutes, or until the acorns are soft to the touch. Then, turn off the stove and let ’em cool.
Grab your potato masher and start mashing those acorns! Once you’ve thoroughly squashed them all, turn the stove back on and boil them again. This time, let them boil until the water turns very dark brown in color.
Get a second container ready in the meantime. Once your acorns are thoroughly boiled, start straining them into the new container using cheesecloth, or a really fine strainer. Pour the acorn scented water into a spray bottle, and you’re good to go!
You can use this spray to de-scent all of your hunting gear for free, or you can also use it to attract deer, because they love acorns. Just spray it around your hunting grounds, and it should draw them in.
Deer Tarsal Glands
Deer are attracted by the presence of other deer. If other deer are there then it must be a safe place, a place to find food, or even a place to find a mate, right? They do this through smell, and one of the most important smells for deer involves the tarsal gland.
This is a gland on the hairiest part of the hind leg, and when it mixes with deer urine it creates a strong scent that attracts other deer.
This one will require you to cut the gland from a deer you’ve killed previously, but if you’ve already got one it can help you land a deer next season!
Some hunters just use the tarsal gland as is, but others also make a spray out of it. What you want to do is up to you, but be aware that these glands can carry some pretty nasty bacteria that can negatively impact humans like staph, strep, listeria and more nasty stuff.
So, if you want to use this one.. wear gloves, double bag everything, and make sure to disinfect anything you use really well.
How to use deer tarsal glands as a lure
Star by cutting the tarsal from the back of the hind legs. You’ll be able to identify it because it’s the hairiest part of the leg, as shown below.
Ideally, you want this to be as fresh as possible when you freeze it. So, cut it off, bag it, and get it on ice immediately. You can either use it whole and hang it in a tree, or you can make the spray. To do that:
- Cut off the hairs from the tarsal
- Place them in a bowl of water and stir
- Put the water into a spray bottle
- Spray it around trees near your stand
In closing, there are lots of great deer lures and attractants out there. These are just some of our favorites, and we wanted to share the recipes that we found with you! So, get out there and get some deer.