Editor’s Note: Regardless of how-many decoys you put-out to lure-in ducks, if you place those decoys in ponds and potholes that ducks never frequent, they won’t lure-in any ducks. The same is true of deer attractants. Yes, their fragrances eventually may lure-in deer. However, if you put a deer attractant along the edges of trails that deer use every day, they don’t have to find the attractant. They’ll pass by it regularly. You’ll see more deer at your deer attractant sites next to trails than if you just put the attractant out in the middle of the woods where there’s no deer sign at all. To see the most deer and possibly the biggest deer quickly, put deer-attractant products where you know deer are traveling on trails. Several-different types of paths or trails are used by deer. Some are obvious, but many are inconspicuous. If you know what to look for and where to look, you can take a stand along these trails, place deer-attractant products nearby and drastically increase your ability to find and bag deer. Let’s determine how to locate various kinds of trails, how to hunt them and how you can use deer attractants to improve your chances for taking deer on those trails.
Mike Fine, a longtime bowhunter, emphasizes the importance of being well-concealed when hunting along any type of trail. “Deer are becoming adjusted to humans hunting in trees, and they’re looking up in those trees. I like to have my tree stand in a cluster of trees, if possible, to add concealment. Besides always placing my stand on the downwind side of a trail, I’ll generally wear different camo patterns, depending on the terrain and the time of year. In a tree stand where the leaves are gone and you’ll be close to a tree, one camo may work best. Early in the year, obviously a green-leaf pattern may be the most productive to wear. In autumn, I go with a brown camo to blend with the changing leaves.”
If you know you’re hunting an area where hunters hunt from tree stands the majority of the time during deer season, you want to make sure that you can get the buck to put his head down, instead of keeping it up looking for hunters in the trees. Then the deer will have his head down when you’re ready to shoot, another advantage that deer attractants provide. When the deer comes in, he may have his nose up, smelling the attractant. So, make sure you stay camouflaged. Once the buck reaches the attractant site, he’s got to put his head down to smell the attractant. Studies have shown that not only does the buck put his head down, but he also takes-on a much-more relaxed posture.
Another region of meandering trails may be where an abundant food supply is, like where you’ll find a stretch of hardwoods with 20 to 100 acorn-producing trees. Because of the vast amount of food available, deer may meander through that acorn flat and leave very few if any trails. Usually these types of areas are hard to hunt, since concentrating the deer close enough to your tree stand to take a shot can be difficult. Once again, this is where a deer attractant gives you the advantage. Even though there may be an abundance of food, you need the deer to come under that one tree where you’re hunting. Therefore, putting-out a deer attractant increases the odds of the deer coming to the tree where you need him to be to get a shot.
To learn more about hunting deer, go to John E. Phillips’s book, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro” at https://www.amazon.com/How-Hunt-Deer-Like-Pro-ebook/dp/B007D3H08M, available in Kindle, print and Audible versions. To receive your free book on “How to Make Venison Jerky,” go to https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/Ece3UZVcOo52cKPJcL