There are plenty of good reasons to provide extra nutrition for the deer in your area. You can help them get the nutrients they need to remain healthy, whether you wish to hunt them or just take pictures of them. The problem isn’t why you wish to feed deer, but rather how to attract deer to your feeder.
Just because you’ve built a deer feeder station for deer doesn’t necessarily mean that they will come, however. This isn’t Field of Dreams. You have to place your feeder in the right place. Then you have to get the deer accustomed to feeding on pellets from your feeder. All of this will take a bit of planning, effort, and time, but you can succeed.
Here are some tips on the best deer attractant that can help:
Pick the Right Feeder for Your Needs: How to Attract Deer to Your Feeder
It’s entirely possible that you may need more than one feeder for your deer herd. The general rule of thumb is that you ought to have one feeder for every 25 deer around your area. If your property is huge, you may need several feeders with each one able to contain 600 hundred pounds of feed.
The point is that you want the deer to know for sure that there’s food in your feeder. You also want to minimize how often you fill up your feeder, because human scent makes deer very skittish and anxious.
Choose the Right Area for Your Feeder
You need a place that’s not out of the way for the deer to visit. Instead, you want the location to be somewhere that the deer already travel through on a regular basis. Deer tend to have their own routines and habits, and you’ll want to make sure that the deer don’t have to alter their routine all that much to find your new feeder.
You also want to find a place that makes the deer feel safe and secure. This means the place should be isolated and shouldn’t be frequented by people or dogs. There should also be some nearby cover for the deer so they’re assured that they have a place to jump into if they sense a threat.
Deer don’t like feeling exposed on all sides. Give the deer a clear line of vision for any incoming threat, as well some quick escape routes.
You might as well also check that your feeder location offers easy access to water. One good option is to locate the feeder near a pond, a creek, or a river. If these bodies of water aren’t available, you may want to buy a water system as well.
Introducing the Corn
Corn is very effective in drawing the deer in towards your feeder. Unfortunately, corn kernels don’t really offer much in terms of nutrients. But, you can start with corn to attract the deer and then you can train the deer to eat the food pellets instead.
You can start by using a scoop or gloves to scatter some corn all around the feeder. Start a bit farther away from the feeder to get the deer used to the idea of having corn in the area. Then, every day, you can shorten the distance to the feeder until the corn is right under the feeder.
At this point, you may want to fill the feeder with corn, too. You can use scopes, binoculars, or a trail camera to see if the deer are eating from the feeder. When they start doing that, you can stop placing corn on the ground and you can just use the feeder instead.
You can then slowly add food pellets to the corn while you check the deer’s reaction. Slowly increase the percentage of the pellets in the feeder until you’re only filling it up with food pellets and not corn.
However, if you notice that the deer traffic is decreasing, you may want to increase the corn percentage again until more deer become regular visitors to the feeder.
Always keep the feeder clean and keep the food fresh. Deer are very finicky, and they don’t care much for feed that smells bad. Feed that has turned bad or gotten wet should be removed and replaced.
Using Sweet Apples as a Deer Attractant
Are sweet apples a regular part of the food supply of the deer in your area? If that’s the case, you can use the fruits or the scent to draw the deer in. You can place a bucket or tub near the feeder and fill it with apples.
You may even want to think about planting an apple tree near the feeder (or putting your feeder near an apple tree). The tree will provide the fruit and the cover that the deer like.
It will take several weeks of patience before the deer will make a regular trek to your feeder. Always check their reaction to the feed, and eventually you may end up with lots of deer chomping on your nutritious feed.