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5 Easy and Effective Ways to Steer Deer Towards You

Oftentimes deer hunters have to take certain steps to encourage deer to come within range of their stand or blind. Rifle hunters can reach a good distance with their shots, but even that means steering deer their way. Bowhunters rely on the right distance even more, with limited draw weights, ultimate ranges, and other considerations. Regardless of how you do it, taking the time to get deer moving your way can be the difference between seeing them all season and only managing to get a glimpse on opening day before they're gone. When done correctly, deer will continue to use the same paths and haunts for years to come. We all want to hunt broader travel corridors and have deer linger longer—by making some areas more enticing for deer you can have just that.

Change Their Travel Route

move deer

Deer have preferred travel corridors, and you can shift them in your favor. While altering a travel route can potentially backfire, manipulating cover will encourage them to move a certain way. Just keep the deer's ultimate destination in mind. This can be done both by opening a new and easier route, or by blocking an old one. In the case of the former, make sure that the new path is both attractive and safe, as they will avoid it otherwise. Route manipulation is best done in areas of dense cover well before the season begins.

Fix Their Food

Create more mast in areas that offer nut trees by using common tree food spikes to give the trees a kick start in nutrition. Some great candidates include oak, beech, and hickory, to name a few. This can also be done in areas of woody browse where obvious deer feeding occurs. Creating a new or more succulent food source will be attractive, but as with your manmade food plot, be cautious not to over hunt it.

Trim Your Trails

Camouflaged trail camera on spruce tree capturing wildlife. Hunter in background.



Spend time in your deer hunting areas doing some cutting. Felling softer wood trees will create a buffet of buds, twigs, and leaves for deer to munch on and will encourage them to come back for more. Cutting will also create habitats for rabbits and other ground dwelling creatures. Piling up the brush correctly can attract nesting turkeys in the spring and direct deer around it, straight to you.

Leave a Purposeful Scent Trail

move deer

Putting out one doe-in-estrous scent pad in front of your stand might not be enough. A good quality dominant buck urine lure or a mock scrape works, and making a trail towards your hunting location at the right time of the year can lead deer your way like no other. Start these techniques around the time you see signs of rutting activity.

Rig Up Some Rope

move deer

One of the simplest fences that anyone can build is one made of rope. I have a former neighbor that used this method to surround a certain part of his property, and deer would only access the area by traveling around it to the open spots. In this way, you can build a barrier that won't stop deer entirely, but essentially direct them.

Other Considerations

move deer

Never create a lane or other path by spraying any kind of herbicide to knock down native plants. If you absolutely need to kill plants like poison ivy, a good alternative is a simple salt, dish soap, and white vinegar solution. This DIY trick gets rid of pesky plants without introducing chemicals—a win-win if you ask us.

Remember, simple observation is a powerful hunting tool, but changing deer travel habits and finding ways to get them to linger in the area can take anyone's deer season to the next level.

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READ MORE: Final Moments of Deer Season: How to Make the Most of It