How to Attract Deer to Your Yard?

Those in rural areas may find the idea that attracting deer to their yards appealing. Deer can be enjoyable to watch and offers children an appreciation for wildlife. There are plenty of reasons why people seek out deer as yard companions. 

Several ways exist how to attract deer to your yard and none of them are difficult to implement if you are near any areas where deer live. Ways include putting out mineral blocks or salt licks, water sources, and plenty of food and vegetation they enjoy and need, especially during the winter months. 

The article below will show you all the techniques used to attract deer to your yard. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Deer

Bringing deer into your yard has advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include teaching children about nature and involving your children as a family project in the process of luring deer will teach them about the animal, what they eat, and other things about wildlife. 

Providing food for deer will help their population during the winter and deer can help control plant growth. This can be helpful if you have a lot of thick, overgrown brush. Being around nature makes people happier, according to studies, so having deer may help everyone relax. 

Disadvantages include that deer may destroy all of your gardens. You can’t control what they decide to eat once they are on your property. They like daylilies, evergreens, and hostas as well as vegetable plants. 

Deer can tear down any bird feeders to get to the seeds. They can break the feeders. Deer can hurt pets or children. Even though deer are considered docile, they can weigh up to 200 pounds and are protective. They will attack children and pets who venture too close. 

Bringing in deer puts them at risk of being hit by cars and there are some health risks to hosting them. They can carry Lyme disease by bringing infected ticks onto your property. 

Read: Backyard Desert Landscaping Ideas On A Budget

Attracting Deer to Your Yard

There are several ways you can safely attract deer to your property. Below are some of the best ways. 

Create a Water Source

Deer look for water and streams may not always be available. Providing a freshwater source with a horse or cow trough, a kiddie pool, a birdbath or a pond will be the main thing that attracts them. 

They will look for water during the summer when temperatures rise and natural water elements are low. Deer also look for water during the harshest of winter when water sources freeze. 

To prevent freezing, you may want to look at how to prevent your water source from freezing. You can place a wood block in it to stop it from freezing or purchase a trough heater. 

Read: What Is Mulching And Its Advantages?

Salt Licks and Mineral Blocks

Salt licks have long been used by hunters to attract deer in the wild. One of the best is an all-natural Himalayan salt lick. Place the lick low in a tree or tie it to a low limb to attract deer. 

Mineral blocks also work to lure deer as deer are highly attracted to them. Good mineral blocks have less than 40 percent salt. Deers need minerals rather than salt for growth, especially antler growth. Put the blocks at least 20 feet apart to create plenty of space. 

Provide Food

Two ways exist to provide food for deer. One is to provide a wilderness buffet during the winter when food is scarce. Buy bushels of “seconds” of apples that don’t sell well and put out. You can include acorns and crabapples that may grow naturally in neighborhood yards. 

Corn is another option but that can be expensive unless you go for dried corn left after harvest or flawed ears that can’t be sold. 

Put everything in five-gallon pains and place the pails around the property. 

Read: Best 5 Weed Eater On Wheels

Plant What Deer Like

Deer feed on a variety of natural shrubs and flowers and adding those to your property will make it deer-friendly. Oak trees are something that provides food to deer in several ways because they eat acorns, leaves, and bark. 

Other trees and shrubs for luring deer include blackberry bushes, Douglas firs, dogwood trees, elderberry, juniper, western red cedar trees, wild roses, and willow trees. 

Deer like flowers too. Some of their favorites are alfalfa, aster, clover, sunflower, violets, and wild strawberry plants. 

Certain grasses attract deer as they will feed on this in early spring when other food is scarce. Deer like bluegrass, fescue, wheat, and oats. 

They also like ferns and some of the most alluring for deer include deer fern and sword fern. You can also allow things like mushrooms to grow in your yard as deer find these to be delicious treats. 

Read: Outdoor Birthday Party Ideas For Adults

A Caution About Deer

One thing you should do before seeking out to attract deer is to talk to your neighbors about your plan. Deer won’t just visit you but will also go to other people’s yards and they may not find many advantages to that. That is especially true if deer destroy their gardens and plants. 

Read: Best Outdoor Solar Lights


What attracts deer the most?

The best way to attract deer is to have food plots that attract deer. They should include red cover, orchard grass, and chicory. Some other high-protein plants also work to attract deer. They include turnips, sorghum, kale, soybeans, peas, and corn. 

Deer also love nuts like chestnuts and acorns. 

How do you attract deer during the day?

Cut down some trees on the edge of your property. Leave some hinge-cut so they don’t die quickly. These will supply deer with both cover and food. Build an area of scrub bush and tree pieces that lead into your property. 

What is a deer’s favorite smell?

Deer love doe urine and hunter use it to attract deer near their stand. It piques their curiosity and calms their nerves. It stimulates new deer to the area and doesn’t scare them as it is a common woods odor. 

How far can a deer smell food?

Deer can smell food and humans from a half-mile away. A deer’s sense of smell is similar to that of a dog, according to Mississippi State University researchers. That means it’s anywhere from 500 to 1,000 times more acute than the sense of smell in humans. 

Are mineral blocks popular for attracting deer?

Mineral blocks are one of the most popular methods for attracting deer. Sales of mineral blocks went up after members of the Mississippi State University Deer Lab mentioned them in 2017. 

Does human urine scare deer away?

No, human urine doesn’t scare deer off. Scientists determined that a variety of mock scapes work. Those include mock scapes using human urine. However, doe urine is more effective. 

Can deer tell the difference between deer and human urine?

They know human urine isn’t deer urine but deer don’t associate human urine with humans. Deer just don’t think enough to identify human urine. The only exception is if a human also leaves other forms of their scent behind and deer find that regularly in the area. 

Can deer recognize you?

No, deer don’t recognize humans as human. They don’t have any concept of you at all. However, wild deer will continually come to you if you habitually feed them and in some situations where they are curious and feel safe. 

Wild deer typically are always skittish and never let humans approach them closely.