Attracting Bucks to Your Property

Question: “We never deer hunted our property because there have never been any deer, but that has changed. Behind my barn I have recently found three does and a fawn on my game camera. These deer have been out there for about 3 months, but are coming from an adjacent property. One doe has a fawn so I know there is at least one buck somewhere around there. However, I have yet to see a buck on my game camera. Any suggestions on attracting bucks to come to my corn feeder from the neighboring lands? It’s buck-only during the deer hunting season and I’m hoping he shows up. Thanks.”

Deer Hunting Pros: Deer hunting would be so much easier if we could just bring them in on a string, but deer have a mind of their own. Free ranging whitetail deer have the luxury of selecting when and where they want to go. Bucks will cover more acreage than does, so the buck that sired the fawn you observed on your game camera may be miles away from your property today.

Attracting Bucks During the Deer Hunting Season

Corn is an okay bait where deer numbers are decent to high, but it likely will not attract a buck to your property unless he is hungry. Deer, especially bucks, will not use feeders unless they need something to eat. It sounds like the does are hanging around, but probably using it only because it’s there, not because they need it. Bucks tend to be a little more spooky.

The best thing you can do to attract bucks to your land is to offer an item that is low supply in the deer’s environment. This could be in the form of a highly-nutritional food like alfalfa, sweet feed, cottonseed or pelleted protein for deer, or even water if it limited in the area. My recommendation would be to consistently provide either a protein-rich or fat-rich food prior to and during the deer hunting season. Bucks will lock-in on it prior to the season and then after the rut.

Of course, the best bait that you have on your property is the does that are hanging around. Find out when the rut takes place in your area and get to deer hunting hard during this time. If you have does then the bucks will come. He may, maybe as in the past, come from miles away, but he will be actively searching just before and during the peak of the rut. After the breeding season, bucks will be looking for nutrient-rich foods, so this is where the feed comes into play again. There are many techniques for attracting bucks, but the best way may be using the deer that are already there.

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