Pulling Deer Out of the Woods
Dr. John Woods 12.07.16
Deer hunting tactics these days have turned from hunters going after the deer to using more tricks to bring the deer out to the hunters. This has been accomplished for eons by hunting over regularly planted agricultural crops, but nowadays we plant specialty wildlife food plots to attract deer to feed out in the open. But now even these strategies have become somewhat passé among some hunters.
The latest hot tactic is to become even more proactive in using a variety of commercial deer hunting products to overtly attract deer to entice them out of their woodland hides to graze, sample, lick, or feed on deer “sweets” as I call them. If used correctly, they can work, too.
These deer attracting concoctions come in a variety of types and consistencies. You have to visit a deer hunting supply store, or a farm co-op to get a full exposure on all the various kinds of attractants that are available.
The more popular types seem to be the compressed blocks of different mixes of flavored grain materials. These might assimilate the taste of corn, acorns, fruits like apples, sugar beets, minerals, chestnuts, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, rice bran, and other varieties. These flavored mixes also come in granular form or powders that can simply be poured out on the ground. A deer’s senses will easily smell these sources from a long range.
The powdered and liquid mineral solutions are also popular now. They come in wild names like Braggin Rights, Mineral Dirt, On track, Whitetail Ale, Deadly Dust, Legit, Liquid Luck, Meltdown, Swamp Donkey, Red Spot, Sweet Spot, Hold’Em Honey, Deer Cane, Black Magic, Rack Up and many other slick trademarked marketing names. Read the labels and know the ingredients before you buy, and make double sure these are legal to use where you deer hunt.
It is up to the individual hunter to decide if using these tactics falls within the limits of their own personal hunting ethics. It is no different than the ongoing debate about actively baiting deer with solar powered feeders using corn or soybeans.
The real interesting part may be to test over time if these products really do work to attract big bucks to easy (or easier) shots from a tree stand or shooting house. Big bucks are pretty savvy and not easily fooled. If you get one to approach these attractants, then you better make that first shot count.