All You Need to Know About Deer Attractant

One of the most effective tricks of the trade for novice and seasoned hunters alike is deer attractant. Deer attractant utilizes white-tailed deers’ exceptional sense of smell. It is easy to use and irresistible to even the biggest bucks of the season. We outline a variety of considerations for using deer attractants and have reviewed my favorite products to give you the best deer attractants on the market.

Best Dear Attractants

Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover

Best Overall Deer Attractant

  • Filled with antler-building protein
  • Promotes heavier, healthier fawns and assists does in producing more milk
  • Cold tolerant. Heat, drought, and disease resistant
  • Boosted seedling survivability
  • A single planting can last up to 5 years
Nationwide Scents Scrape Lure

Best Bang for Your Buck

  • Lures young and mature bucks defending their territory
  • Produced with fresh deer scrape collected from state
  • of-the-art facilities
  • Comes in 8oz packaging, 4x bigger than most attractants
Nationwide Scents Buck Urine

Best For Concealing Human Scent

  • Easy to transport and use.
  • Not limited to use in one area
  • Effectively conceals the human scent to mask hunters’ presence
  • Produced by a second<-generation family-owned farm

How Does Deer Attractant Work?

With one of the most exceptional senses of smell throughout the animal kingdom, white-tailed deer boast 297 million olfactory receptors. Comparatively, humans have approximately five million olfactory receptors, while dogs have 220 million olfactory receptors.

This extraordinary sense of smell makes it very easy for deer to detect the human scent, allowing them to avoid human contact and escape hunters. Contrarily, this also allows hunters to play to a deer’s strength and bait them with deer attractants.

How to Choose the Best Type Of Deer Attractant?

There are a few things to consider when selecting the most suitable type of deer attractant, including wind direction, the scent of your clothing and gear, method of deployment, as well as the holding container.

Covered, wafer-form scents are no-spill, as are scent wicks. They allow hunters to redistribute liquid deer urine without spillage. Spray mist cans offer easy distribution with no clean-up, and buck urine gel will shoot 10-foot streams to cover a hunting area effectively. Alternatively, plot seed attracts groves of deer to a planted area, while deer cane mix provides mineral and flavor attractants to ensure a healthy herd.

The best deer attractants are Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover, Deer Co-Cain BlackMagic, Nationwide Scents Scrape Lure, Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush, and Nationwide Scent Buck Urine. I have rounded up notable offerings from each of the aforementioned deer attractants below. Check it out!

What Are the Advantages or Disadvantages of Each Product?

Each method of attractant deployment has advantages and disadvantages. Some may be a one-time long-lasting application, while others may be more mobile but require new deployment each time. Spread attractants, like cloves, mineral sites, and persimmons, are highly effective and helpful to the environment but are immobile.

Scrape and urine attractants are potent in smell and typically act quickly in luring a buck but have you have to redistribute them each hunt. Learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of spread attractants, scrape attractants, and urine attractants.

Spread Attractants (Cloves, Mineral Sites, Persimmons, Deer Cane)

Spread attractants, including cloves, mineral sites, and persimmons, have many advantages, including durability and easy distribution. They are most notable for enhancing the health of a deer herd; however, the nature of their distribution also has disadvantages, like immobility.

Scrape Attractants

Scape attractants are effective in luring desirable bucks and allow for easy distribution. Collected from commercial deer farms, scrape attractants are productive in catching the attention of and luring bucks, looking to defend their territory.

Urine Attractants

Highly effective in concealing the human scent and attracting bucks quickly, urine attractants are a great choice for novice and experienced hunters alike. Collected from deer farms when the deer urinate over grates, urine attractants are a collection of urine and estrus bottled, sold, and used to attract bucks.

Photo of a deer staring at the camera in the woods.

What Is the Best Way to Use Each Type of Deer Attractant?

You can apply deer attractants in different ways. Here are the best ways to use each type of deer attractant.

Spread Attractants (Cloves, Mineral Sites, Persimmons, Deer Cane)

When using a spread attractant, you must choose the area you would like to spread your attractant, whether cloves, persimmons, or deer cane. You will then spread the attractant out across the desired area and reapply as necessary. Some products may not require reapplication, while some products require reapplication after 60 or 90 days.

Scrape Attractants

Consider wind direction, and make two fresh scrapes 20 yards on both sides of your stand. Assess your area, choosing a tree with low-hanging branches. Proceed to clear out a three-foot circle below the branches with your shoes. Lay some scrape on the ground and on a branch, with a heated wick dispenser above. If the terrain allows, create scent drags from your selected spot to your stand.

Urine Attractants

Select a scent type based on the season. Doe urine is an effective choice before and after the rut season as it entices deer but calms them. If a buck is near your stand but has hesitations, doe urine may entice them to pass by rather than taking a detour. Dominant-buck urine is effective for both the pre-rut and early rut season, as bucks are drawn to assess the competition for the upcoming rut season.

While rare, dominant-buck urine may scare off younger bucks looking to avoid confrontation. Finally, estrus urine is used in rut season to attract bucks seeking to mate with a doe. The rut, or the mating season between a variety of animals, sees male deer become increasingly aggressive with a heightened interest in females.

What to Know About Resistance to Deer Attractants

It’s no secret that there has been a share of controversy surrounding deer attractants, their risks, and even their effectiveness. Wildlife experts argue that urine-based attractants are a threat to wild deer as they carry chronic wasting disease.

Comparable to bovine mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease is a disorder of the nervous system and affects mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose. The disease can be transferred from animal to animal through saliva, feces, urine, and contaminated food and water. Guaranteed to be fatal, chronic wasting disease cannot be detected in live deer.

Urine attractants are collected from commercial deer farms, bottled, and sold. The commercial deer farmers recognize the potential threat the disease poses to wild deer, and consequently, to their industry. As a result, there are established guidelines that they must follow to minimize the threat. While there is no way to be certain because chronic wasting disease is so undetectable, commercial deer farms make a very conscious effort to keep their products contaminant-free.

Deer Attractants Product Review

I have rounded up and reviewed the five best deer attractants below, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of using each product.

Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover

A spread attractant, I rank Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover as the best deer attractant overall. Irresistible to deer, nutrient-rich, and effective throughout North America, Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover is the number one food plot planting in the world.

Most impactful in heavy soil that holds moisture, the perennial deer attractant is coated with an inoculant and easy to distribute.


  • Packed with antler, muscle, and bone-building protein
  • The only clover genetically designed for whitetail deer


  • Lacks mobility. Limited to one area
  • Does not conceal the human scent

Deer Co-Cain BlackMagic

Deer Co-Cain Blackmagic has been decided as the easiest to use. An active mixture of calcium and sodium, deer cane attracts deer by releasing vapors when the sodium and calcium react to moisture.

With a strong smell of licorice, deer can find Deer Co-Cain BlackMagic even in the middle of the night. White in color, the deer attractant blends seamlessly in with the soil once sprayed with water and enriches the soil with calcium, phosphorus, and sodium.


  • Promotes rack development amongst bucks
  • Ensures healthy deer herd by providing a source of calcium, phosphorus, and sodium


  • Some deer express disinterest in the licorice scent
  • Limited to the area it is applied to

Nationwide Scents Scrape Lure

Distributed in 8oz packaging, four times more than most deer attractants, Nationwide Scents Scrape Lure is the most cost-effective of my five recommendations. The product mocks scrapes and attracts bucks and does.

This lure deer attractant is effective in the early season as well as pre, peak, and post-rut. With a scent strong enough to knock you off your feet, Nationwide Scents Scrape Lure is affordable and effective.


  • Produced and collected by healthy deer
  • Lures male deer as they seek to defend their territory
  • Calming to deer, challenging to bucks


  • Does not conceal the human scent
  • Limited to the area it is applied to

Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush

A natural-grown product, Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush is highly beneficial to both a deer herd and a natural environment. Orange in color, persimmons are both fragrant and noticeable to deer in the area and provide protein and carbs to the deer that consume them.

Wildgame’s double screening process ensures Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush to be a perfected, finely sifted formula capable of spreading long-range.


  • High in protein and packed with carbohydrates
  • Created with real, fresh persimmons


  • Limited to the area it is applied to
  • Does not conceal the human scent

Nationwide Scents Buck Urine

Collected from a well-looked after commercial deer farm, Nationwide Scent Buck Urine is certified Chronic Wasting Disease-free for 12 years. Family-owned retail and wholesale farm Nationwide Scents monitors their herd through the ATA Deer Protection Program and USDA standards, ensuring high quality and uncontaminated product.

Effective in the early season, pre, peak, and post-rut, Nationwide Scent Buck Urine deploys in a mist and is easily recognized by bucks.


  • Draws in bucks quickly, as they feel challenged
  • Easy to transport
  • Conceals human scent


  • Doesn’t encourage antler growth or deer herd health
  • Has to be redistributed for each hunt

In Conclusion

Deer attractants, reliant on a deer’s exceptional sense of smell, are available in a variety of options for novice and experienced hunters alike. The best deer attractants on the market are Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover, Deer Co-Cain BlackMagic, Nationwide Scents Scrape Lure, Wildgame Innovations Persimmon Crush, and Nationwide Scent Buck UrineNationwide Scent Buck Urine.

Spread attractants are durable and easily distributed. Examples of spread attractants are cloves, mineral sites, and persimmons, and they are notable for enhancing the health of a deer herd. Scrape attractants lure desirable bucks looking to defend their territory and are easy to distribute. Finally, urine attractants are effective in concealing the human scent and draw bucks in quickly.

Taking all factors into consideration, Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover is my top pick for the best deer attractant. While the other attractants are easy to use, affordable, and natural, Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover is all that and more.

Packed with antler-building protein, cold-tolerant, heat, drought, and disease-resistant, durable and long-lasting, and effective in promoting heavier, healthier fawns, Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover is the overall best deer attractant in my opinion. Happy hunting!

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