Your prey isn’t just going to walk out of the woods into the perfect line of sight and stand there.
Deer are not only agile, but their hearing is absolutely fantastic. Once you know how to make yourself silent, you have to give them a reason to cross your path. You have to attract them to you.
Deer attractants come in a few variations. Because deer also have exceptional olfactory senses, quality is key here if you want to actually trick them into coming towards you at any point. Many manufacturers miss the mark (we went through so many before finding five good ones).
We’ve found the best deer attractant on the market, put them to the test, and now we’re here to tell you which ones came out on top and why. This is a breakdown of the top deer attractants, so that you can bag more game every hunting season from here on out.
The Best Deer Attractants – Reviews For 2021
Best Deer Feed Attractant: Peanut Rage Deer Attractant
- Type: Wildlife attractant, peanuts
- Weight: 5 lbs
- Ready to Use: Yes
In our buying guide we talk about the immense power that deer have; they can smell just about everything within a few miles of them.
That’s why you absolutely have to cover up your scent before you go deer hunting. When it comes to ensnaring them with a tantalizing attractant, nothing gets the job done quite like the Wildgame Innovations lineup.
We chose their Peanut Rage formula for how well it works specifically for whitetail deer in North America, although their entire lineup is pretty spectacular. Deer eat a lot of foliage and wild foods, but chief among them are acorns, to which peanuts share distinct properties with, making them absolutely mouth-watering to these hooved forest beasts.
Peanuts not only hold vital proteins that deer need to survive, but they also end up with other minerals blended right into this bag. Another thing: it’s 100% ready to use, you don’t have to mix anything in.
Just pour, wait for the deer to get a whiff, and the world is your oyster. With a 28% fat content, deer will continuously return to help bulk up if winter is on its way.
With this mix, it’s very potent, so opening the bag is going to be like a punch to the nostrils (image how the deer feel). Because of its all natural ingredients and the inexpensive way that the manufacturer is apparently able to source peanuts, it’s not a very expensive feed at all.
Just be careful, because you do have to plant these three days before you can really expect to bag some serious game. They’ll keep coming back as long as you keep dropping more feed.
It’s simply the best deer feed attractant that you’re going to get your hands on. Wildgame Innovations has tons of other mixes, some of which we cover in this guide, but they just really hit the nail on the head here. As long as you’re not allergic to peanuts, pick this up to attract more deer than ever before.
Runner Up: Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush Attractant
- Type: Deer attractant, persimmons
- Weight: 5 lbs
- Ready to Use: No, works best if mixed
We couldn’t just stop at one of the best deer food attractant from Wildgame Innovations. Their persimmon crush formula is specifically designed to attract whitetails when it’s late season, and they aren’t exactly plentiful. They’re looking around for food, so you see less of them, and they’re leaving their comfort zone to survive.
This draws them right back in. Persimmon is proven to attract whitetails because of the fragrant scent. Unlike opening Peanut Rage, you’re not going to get hit with an unpleasant smell; this actually smells like a fragrance with a bit of woodiness to it, and that scent carries quickly.
Despite being in the same lineup as Peanut Rage, you actually save a few bucks here (get it?) even when it’s not on sale.
While the fat content is nowhere near as high as Peanut Rage—which is part of what ranked it in the second spot just below that mix—it still has a 16% fat content to attract deer that need that late-season nutrition.
There’s not much else to tell here: the scent carries, you get five pounds for dirt cheap prices, and you’ll be able to lay out a half-pound at a time to attract deer because they’re looking for anything that they can find.
The only issue is that once the bag is open, you can’t really get that persimmon smell off of you. While that could be problematic, as long as you’re treading safely, you shouldn’t attract any unwanted wildlife attention.
Best Deer Scent Attractant: Tink’s Estrous Gel Stream #69, Doe-in-Rut
- Type: Deer attractant, natural scents
- Weight: 5 fl oz
- Ready to Use: Yes
This isn’t the best deer mineral attractant, it’s no food-based mix—it’s a fantastic innovative way to hunt without having to lug a five pound bag of food with you. You can even deploy it from your tree stand if you want to, and just sit by with a crossbow and wait for the prey to come to you.
The main selling point here that really grabbed us was the lightweight carry and the versatility. It’s in such hard packaging in this can that it would be really difficult to crush it or damage it in any way. Apart from blocking out light to preserve the ingredients, it’s just really intuitive and user-friendly.
Because it’s stored in an airtight can, you get a much longer shelf life on this attractant. Later on, we’ll talk about Nationwide Scent and how they store their buck urine so that all the variables are taken out of the equation to make it last longer. Well, nothing really protects a formula like an airtight can. If you don’t open this, it could be good next season, even though they typically should only last for the current hunting season.
Tink’s is not only one of the top brands that provide hunting equipment, but their lineup of attractants vary beyond just Estrous Gel Stream #69. They’ve been doing this for a long time, know the ins and outs of how it works, but despite all that, they don’t offer a money-back guarantee.
We don’t expect a warranty on something like this that expires, but extending their hand to promise the product will work as intended would be a step in the right direction. Instead, it feels like they’re relying on their brand reputation to carry out the point of sale.
Apart from that little caveat, it’s a good formula and we’ve had no issues during testing that would indicate there were any bad batches. It works, it gives you a good ten-foot distance away from watering holes, mineral sites, and anywhere that you might get too close to a buck, but it does end up getting on the outside of your glove a bit if you aren’t careful.
Runner Up: Nationwide Scent Buck Urine Attractant
- Type: Deer attractant, urine
- Weight: 8 fl oz
- Ready to Use: Yes
Now we’re getting into dangerous territory. I hope you have your 80 lb crossbows cocked with top-quality bolts, because we’re about to enrage some bucks and sit in a tree stand to catch them off guard. Buck urine is not the kind of urine you use to mask your scent, but attract bucks during the rut.
While some gather it on their own to make the best homemade deer attractant, that’s not really the best course of action here. When you use buck urine, you mimic younger bucks taking territory that belongs to senior bucks, and they don’t like that one bit. They’ll come running, so it won’t take long to use this attractant and see some action.
The USDA has to approve buck urine, as weird as that sounds, and not only do they approve this, but it also falls under ATA Deer Protection Guidelines during manufacturing. They use six-hundred whitetail deer, collect urine through stainless steel containers (so no other scents get in, and the potency of the buck urine doesn’t get out), and pack them in light-blocking, state-of-the-art bottles so the proteins don’t degrade in sunlight.
For a bit of background, Nationwide Scent is a small, family-owned business that’s been around since 1988. You’re not dealing with some super brand; they’re a small company that cares about quality over quantity, and it’s always good to know that you support a quality, American-owned brand that supplies jobs right here in the homeland.
They really have thought of everything. Nationwide Scent is so proud of this that they’re willing to back it with a money-back guarantee, and there’s no preset time limit on it. I imagine that after a year, or when the product would start to go bad (can urine go bad?) is when it would no longer be protected by this, but they’re giving you ample time to get out there and try it out before returning it to them.
Alternative: C’mere Deer 3 Day Harvest Hunting Scents
- Type: Wildlife attractant, natural food
- Weight: 5 lbs
- Ready to Use: Yes
Three days of action is what you need. Three days to seal the deal on the target, and enough time to land the perfect shot, position yourself in the right tree stand, and so on. What I’m getting at is if you’re particular about the way you hunt (as you should be), C’mere Deer’s 3 day harvest will help you out.
We rated it as the best deer attractant for trail cam use because of the extended duration. You only have to plant it once to get three days worth of deer returning, so you can use those trail cams to their full potential.
Just like Peanut Rage, this is completely ready to use out of the bag. There’s no mixing involved; pack it in your bag, bring it with you, and lay it down as you see fit. You get a total of five pounds in the bag, and that’s more than enough to plant at two separate sites for three days of activity each.
C’mere Deer is definitely more expensive than Peanut Rage, but not by much. When it’s not on sale, it usually runs about 12% to maybe 16% more, and while Peanut Rage—our list winner—can also keep deer coming back for three days, that’s if you keep planting it. C’mere Deer works so that you don’t have to.
Is it the “best” deer attractant out there? No, but it’s close. You have to give it time to work, so if you don’t live in a rural area where you can visit your trail cam spots often and hunt regularly, then this might not be for you. At the point, I would suggest either Peanut Rage or Estrous Gel by Tink’s.
Deer Attractant Buying Guide and FAQ
What is Deer Attractant?
Whitetail deer—the most-hunted deer in the world—have a staggering 297+ million olfactory receptors. They can smell for miles away, and detect minor changes in certain areas just by smell alone. For some context and scale, humans have approximately 1/59th of this scent capability under perfect conditions. Deer can detect scent better than bloodhounds. Let that sink in for a moment.
You’d better believe that while you’re out there in the middle of the woods in all that hunting gear, deer can smell you. Once you begin to sweat, they know to stay at least a half-mile to a full mile away from you at all times. You can track them and walk in circles because they’re actively avoiding you.
The best deer scent attractant not only covers up your scent, but entices deer that smell it from afar to get closer. Deer attractant offers the prospect of food or mating, depending on the season and the type of attractant that you use.
What Types Are There?
You have a few to choose from.
- Urine: Buck urine attracts senior bucks who think their territory is being contested. Use with caution, of course, but this stuff works wonders.
- Mineral Mixes: We didn’t include any on this list, but they do have their uses. These include leaving mineral deposits for deer to feast on, but they’re becoming widely banned in many state parks.
- Food Blends: Mixes or pre-mixes (need to be blended with cornmeal) attract deer who scavenge for food.
What is the Best Deer Attractant?
The best deer attractant is Peanut Rage, hands down. Because it doesn’t use a standard mineral mix that you might run into problems with, it can be used year-round in just about every legal deer hunting site in the United States.
We chose this because of the clear results and immediate deer attraction, but also, their claim of 600% more scent molecules appears to hold up. This is not only one of the most fast-acting deer attractants out there, but it’s so strong that it will also help to mask up any residual odor coming from you or your hunting party as well.
How Do You Attract Deer Quickly?
The best whitetail deer attractant is a mineral compound poured over a bait trap, or gravity-fed grain trap. It sounds simple, but it comes with some caveats.
Deer are scouring for food all the time. What else would they do? They forage and avoid predators, and sleep when they have the time.
A large pile of food with a quality deer attractant will do the trick, if you plant everything properly. Because deer are constantly trying to avoid predators, they will be skeptical of any weird-looking food sources.
A mineral-rich food pile should be in a wide open area with no ambush points. While deer do not rely on their sight during daylight hours nearly as much as they rely on their nose, they won’t detect any predators from either method. In a nice open place, they’ll feel as though they can run away back into the woods at the first sign of trouble.
You have to be careful, though. Even in states that do allow baiting during hunting seasons, some specific areas may not allow the use of mineral-rich deer attractant. In mineral-leached lands, this can actually provide a bit of an issue.
Deer crave specific minerals to stay healthy and agile, which is why you have to find a balanced attractant (and try salt licks as well, which are mineral rich).
Do Salt Licks Attract Deer?
As a matter of fact, they go crazy for salt licks. But they’re not the only ones—just about anything with hooves will gravitate towards salt licks, so you have to be prepared to see more than just whitetail.
Even though it’s not a specifically formulated scent, the best deer attractant scent technically is a salt lick. In every one of the deer attractant reviews that you can find online, people talk about a 50/50 success rate with either an attractant, or if that doesn’t work, they bust out the salt lick.
Like we mentioned before, you’re not only attracting whitetail deer, so you have to be prepared for that. When animals start to show up, you should be in a tree stand or somewhere that you can have safety and a vantage point. Other animals could show uo, preventing a whitetail from entering the area.
Salt licks commonly include minerals and antler grow, which only make deer that much more enticed to come closer.
As we’ll talk about in the legality portion of the guide coming up next, you’ll encounter some issues with salt licks and when it’s okay to use them.
When Are Deer Attractants Legal?
That one question has a thousand different answers. While we can’t be responsible for an ever-evolving directory of deer attractant laws across all states and territories held by the US, we can tell you how to properly find out for yourself.
- State by State: Some states like Texas have no restrictions on any animal attractants whatsoever. Then you have South Dakota, which has some of the harshest restrictions on animal attractants in general; not just for whitetail deer. The thing is, these restrictions can change even on a state by state basis.
- Local Laws: You can use a service such as FindLaw to look up local laws in your state, or you can simply use Google Advanced Search (for which, Google has a support article here to help you get started with it). Both of these will help you narrow down your search. You can also look up local government websites. Whether it’s run by the city, county, or the state government, there should be some online resources available for you to figure this out.
- Environmental Laws: Deer attractants usually stick to all-natural ingredients to be effective and authentic to deer, but sometimes they may use other ingredients. Those ingredients are being spread all over the environment when you hunt, so you may find out that specific ingredients that are closely inspected become illegal to use. You’ll be hit with the whole, “Ignore of the law is no reason to ignore it” speech. Most manufacturers will self-correct this by making a new formula (and rather quickly to boot), but if you only buy deer attractant once or twice a year, you might not be aware that an ingredient has been recalled for environmental damage.
From our research, most deer attractants are either legal to use throughout the entire season, or they’re strictly prohibited—there are few instances where they have an in-between, though that doesn’t mean you should rule that possibility out.
Make Your Next Hunt Better
Now you know what it takes to lure deer in, keep them in a false sense of security, and have the right amount of time (and space) to line up your shot.
Deer attractant should absolutely be in your hunting arsenal, and now you can cherry pick from the five best ones out there.