Deer baiting has forever been a controversial topic and probably always will be. Those that bait deer swear by their practices and often end up with lots of meat in the freezer because of it. The truth is there are as many people against baiting deer as there are for it. For the matter of this article, we aren’t going to debate the ethics of baiting deer. Instead, we’re going to give you a general overview of the laws regarding this topic and deer baiting tips appropriately.
Find the Herds Food Source
The first step to baiting deer is to find the herd’s food source. Because deer food sources change throughout the year, you need to be aware of where deer feed and when. For example, in September, deer are usually snacking on alfalfa, clover, and soybeans in fields. In October, deer will switch to persimmons and acorns. Late in the season, deer turn to cut bean and corn fields as their source of food. Once you’ve determined what the feeding patterns are of the deer your hunting, you can find them easier.
Locate Bedding Areas
In some states, it is illegal to bait near deer’s bedding areas. To make sure you are hunting within the laws of your state, it’s important to locate bedding areas. Not only does locating bedding areas increase your chances of finding deer, but it also lets you set up stands in good locations and helps you avoid breaking any laws.
How to Bait?
When you’re ready to bait your hunting area, you have to do it right, or it will work against you. You don’t want to suddenly dump tons of bait in one area. Not only could the bait spoil if it isn’t ate right away, but it could also tip off a mature buck that something suspicious is going on in and they should steer clear of the area.
Instead of baiting fast and hard, you should do it slowly. Bait a site every one to three days with a little bit of corn. You should plant the bait in the middle of the day to decrease the risk of disturbing deer. When you enter the area, you also need to make sure that you don’t leave any of your scent behind.
It’s also important to make sure you don’t dump the corn all in one location. Instead, scatter it in a wide motion all around the area. Remember when you do this that you’ll ideally take your shot in the center of this baited area. For best results, consider scattering corn 5 to 10 yards wide and about 20 yards long.
If you’re wondering why it’s recommended to scatter the corn through a wide, long area, it’s because you want to attract as many deer as possible to a particular site. If you confine the bait to a smaller area, you may attract a dozen or so deer, but they’ll be competing for food in a much smaller area. When this happens, you may cause deer to compete and chase each other off. It decreases the amount of deer that will be attracted to the area.
Where to Bait?
When you’re considering where to bait, you need to consider food sources and bedding areas. You don’t want to hunt where you bait because you don’t want to increase the pressure in the area. Instead, you want to hunt just downwind of these areas. Instead, it’s better to choose an area that deer travel to and from to get to the food source. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to bait all of your stand sites. And, every stand is not a good site to bait.
Best Deer Attractants
Deer attractant can be purchased at the store, or you can head to the feed store and choose your own food source. It’s up to you. Buying food source from the feed store lets you buy in bulk and costs less. Buying pre-made attractants from the store can be just as effective, but is often much more expensive.
No matter how you decide to do buy your attractant, there are a few types of food or seed that you should consider. The first one we’re going to talk about is apples. Whitetails love apples. In fact, deer like anything that smells like apples. Store bought attractants offer many apple-inspired choices. If you are lucky enough to have an apple tree where you hunt, you’ll want to put a stand on that location. In the fall, you can even hit up your local orchard to see if they’d be willing to sell you immature apples or product they aren’t going to sell.
Other popular attractants to consider as deer bait is chestnuts, acorns, salt, and sugar beets. Deer especially like salt blocks, which can be purchased for cheap and last a very long time. However, it is imperative that you look up the laws in your area regarding deer bait. Some states have restrictions based on locations and others strictly prohibit any type of baiting. If you have any questions about what you want to do, it’s important to contact your local game warden before beginning any food plot growth.
Now you have some of the best deer bait tips available. You may be surprised how easy and simple many of these tips are. Especially if you haven’t had much success in previous years. The problem is many people make hunting for whitetails and baiting them much more difficult than it has to be. If you do your research, use products that are the most likely to attract the deer in your area, and hunt the area responsibly, you’ll be knocking down bucks faster than you ever did before.
Food plots and bait help hunters stock their freezers, but they also help animals too. By providing the deer in an area with a healthy, well-maintained food source, you’re helping prevent starvation, disease, and overall bad health. If you have any of your own deer baiting tips, feel free to leave it in the comments.