What are some things deer love to eat that will attract them to the feeder while waiting for the hunt? Having corn in the feeder for bait is excellent, but there needs to be a little more incentive to drive the deer to the hunting turf. Mixing it with something that drives the deer wild will have them running in your direction. Apples tend to be the favorite pick among many hunters.
How Far Can Deer Smell Corn?
There is no scientific evidence on how far a deer’s sense of smell goes. However, it is suspected deer can smell up to ten times better than the human nose.
They use their nose to smell danger, other deer, and food and pick up a scent from approximately half a mile away, including the corn used as bait. Some footage shows the deer has picked up and followed the smell of corn pile baits for up to a couple of miles away.
Some factors play a role in how far away the deer can smell corn. Gender, age, and wind direction are the factors that are noticed by most hunters. If the wind is blowing in the direction of the deer, they will smell the corn for miles. It can be difficult to trick a deer when it comes to scents.
Deer love corn, especially Indian corn. Hunters use added attractants to the corn to ensure the deer will come to their feeder. It enhances the chances of an easy kill as it brings the deer to the habit of feeding at the same location.
Understanding the Nose and Brain of a Deer
Before we can look into the favored attractants added into corn, we must understand the interior of the nose of a deer. Millions of nerve cells make up different groups.
Each group can detect and decipher a specific scent. Now there are thousands of different smells that can attract or chase off a deer.
As the smell enters the nose, cell receptors trigger the reaction in the deer’s brain. It tells the deer if it is corn, other foods, danger, other deer, and any other scent used for survival.
This is why it is critical to have the appropriate attractant added to the corn and not have any different outside smells to scare the deer away. Their brain will keep them coming for food and alert them of imminent danger, and they will avoid the area altogether.
The Different Attractants Added to Corn
We have found the best attractants come with one of the deer’s favorite foods: apples. There are pros and cons to each, and we will cover what makes each stand out above the rest.
Lucky Buck Apple Flavored Mineral Attractant
The attractant comes in a 20-pound bucket and is perfect because it is already mixed with the corn. It is safe for the deer and will not cause them to overeat. The sweet scent of apples will keep the deer running back to the feeder.
- Apple is one of the best attractants and serves the purpose of the bait, which is to keep the deer at the feeder
- There is no molasses or grains, so the deer will only take what they want without overeating
- It can be used by itself or can be mixed with more corn to last longer
- The price is affordable and reasonable
- This product can be used throughout the year
- The only bad thing is most of the attractants will go quick in the springtime
Evolved Habitats Deer Co-Cain Black Magic
There is a powder and a liquid attractant mixed in this 4.5-pound bag. It is a mixture of the manufacturer’s best-selling products, Deer Co-Cain powder, and the Black Magic liquid attractant. Its blend is designed to bring the deer to the feeder as soon as it is put down. The scent is a strong licorice smell and is used to mix with the corn only. It cannot be placed by itself.
- Works immediately
- Adds health to the deer as they feed. The mixture contains phosphorus, calcium, and sodium
- It has a pleasant smell
- The cost is expensive for the size of the bag and contents
- Works better in the summer months or when it is hot
Wild Game Innovations Acorn Rage
The choice of availability comes in 5.5 to 15-pound bags. The powder is made with natural acorns. This product was designed for the deer’s health in mind. It is a concentrated formula and ready to mix with corn. Some deer ignore corn, but they will not ignore it with this attractant added to the mix. The attractant is loaded with protein.
- All deer will become healthy after feeding, even those that are not for the hunt
- It is developed with all-natural acorns and is full of nutrition
- The concentrated formula goes a long way when mixed with corn
- It is made for year-round use
- The acorns are crushed into a powder that gets blown into the wind if not properly mixed
- Whitetail deer are the targets for this attractant, and other species may not be as attracted
HME Scent Web Apple
This attractant is a spray that is used to put near or on the corn. The apple scent will draw the deer to the feeder. Its contents are made of a 300-foot web and can shoot up to 15 feet away. This helps with keeping the hunter’s scent away from the feeder.
- It comes as an aerosol spray can and has a wick with a patented apple smell to the contents
- The design is created to keep the hunter’s scent away
- The 300-foot web is up to three times more potent than other liquid attractants
- The noise when spraying is loud and may spook the deer away
Crooked Bend 25-Pound Food Plot Seed
Deer also are attracted to soybeans and sunflower seeds. This is another healthy blend to add to the corn that is loaded with protein. This product is designed as an investment to have a trophy deer when the time is right. However, it not only works for deer but for other wild games such as pheasants and turkeys.
- Loaded with protein for the deer’s diet
- If used on the ground, it can be planted for future investments and brings up crimson clovers, which deer also love
- This attractant is used for other games
- The price can be discouraging
- There are no customer reviews on the sales page
Choosing What Works Best
When shopping for attractants to add to the corn, the goal in mind is to get the best for your buck; pun intended. Use what works, and it may take a few tries, but starting out with the best attractants can save time and money. It can also bring in that deer you have been waiting for to the feeder. Preference is the key, but what is proven works the best.