A lot of hunters want to achieve more goals as they progress and hone their hunting skills. One of the goals many (including me!) want to achieve is to learn how to attract deer without baiting. It’s not just a goal, but a necessity for some hunters as well, since it’s illegal to hunt with bait in some states.
Besides this, it also has more benefits, such as saving money and effort on using bait. But what exactly can you do to attract them without the helpful bait? Read on as I show you some helpful tips to improve your hunting skills!
How to Attract Deer Without Baiting
Using bait is one of the main methods of hunting deer, so learning how to NOT use it can be confusing. If you want to put your hunting skills to the test, try any of these three tips:
1. Using Mineral Stumps
Mineral stumps are one of the popular sprouts deer love, which is both highly nutritious and tasty. They are more nutritious as the root system is larger than the typical sprouts, also including more minerals. It’s the reason they’ve become much-used by hunters ever since it was mentioned by the Mississippi State University Deer Lab recently.
You won’t need to use any form of bait but to place yourself or your camera near mineral stumps, which deer would flock to. But how are these stumps different from supplemental mineral, which are used as bait on the ground?
Deer won’t be as likely to eat dirt compared to other forms of attractants on the ground. It’s also quite unhealthy for deer to consume dirt because of the prions which are deposited into the dirt. This can lead to infection, which is detrimental to multiple deer.
But also take note that when leaves are gone from mineral stumps, then deer will dramatically decrease from there. So make sure to place yourself or your camera strategically on “active” mineral stumps deer would most likely be around in.
2. Set Up Near Mast Trees
Besides mineral stumps, I also recommend that you set up your trail cameras (or yourself) near mast trees. These are trees that produce soft or hard mast, as they would feed around these areas that produce and drop various harvests like across, apples, and/or persimmons. Besides this, deer would feed on the mast, which is a limited resource they can’t get all year round.
That’s why they end up in mast trees, especially during the winter season. After all, even the biggest and nocturnal bucks would head on here when their food sources run out!
Besides this, you can also opt for food plots, which deer would be attracted to immediately. It won’t be considered as baiting in most states so long as you do not spread seeds, dried corn, or other feeds that are intended to make deer come to you.
If you happen to find food plots or plan to create them in your property, make sure to set up nearby. Just make sure you plant at the right time and nutritious plants they typically consume. That way, deer would go near and be easily attracted without having to use any form of bait.
Another way to attract deer is to create and monitor mock scrapes. This is also a good option even during the summer. This is because many deer, whether they are fawns, does, or bucks, are curious and would sniff out the fresh dirt in their area. It works best when accompanies with visual support, such as overhanging limbs from trees and the like.
3. Using Your Trail Camera
I mentioned to set up your camera for hunting, and it’s a great way to hunt deer without using any form of bait at all. If you live in states with very strict hunting regulations, this is the best you can do. Place trail cameras that overlook deer with a limiting factor.
Besides what I said above, it’s best to place it around preferred food sources, sources of water, or beddings. That way, you can monitor and find where deer usually are and study their behavior to be able to strategize for your future hunts.
If you want to learn more about hunting without bait, check out this informative video:
Wrapping It Up
There are so many ways hunters can challenge themselves this season, with bait being in mind. Going bait-free can be tough, but it will improve your hunting skills and is a learning experience. But if you’re a beginner and it’s allowed in your state, then you can start off with deer calls or planting.
Hopefully, these tips on how to attract deer without baiting helped you out! Now that you know these methods, try one of them for yourself.