Deer have an amazing sense of smell, and every hunter can agree that if the wind is not in their favor, the deer will be able to smell them way before the hunter can even spot the prey.
This is why hunters need to take every advantage possible to one up the animal and not return home empty handed. When used appropriately scents can be an effective way to attract deer or, at the very least, stop them for long enough for you to take a shot.
Doe urine is the most common ingredient in deer attractant scents as it can be formulated in various ways.
These scents are called sexual because apparently urine is the number one turn on for deer, however using the wrong product could prove a long day in the forest.
Below we go through our five top picks for the best deer attractant scents to make your life a lot easier and the deer feel a little better before running into his doomed fate.
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Depending on how long you’ve left getting all your supplies for your yearly hunting extravaganza, you may not have time to read a long article about all the different types of deer attractant scents you can get, so we’ll just tell you our favorite and you can get back to panic buying all your necessities.
Our top pick is the Tink’s #69 Doe-in-Rut Buck Lure because:
This product is made from 100% doe in estrus urine, making it irresistible for buck during the rut and post-rut season.
The scent remains strong for 24 hours before fading.
Tink’s has been a brand for over 17 years, creating a great reputation for itself as a brand that hunters trust.
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Tink’s #69 Doe-in-Rut Buck Lure is made from 100% natural whitetail doe’s urine which has been collected during their estrus cycle, making it irresistible to most deer. The estrus cycle is the period in the sexual cycle of female deer and it’ll attract bucks most because it’ll trick them into thinking it’s time to mate.
Tink’s quality controlled formula keeps this scent at the peak level of its performance and produces great results during both the pre-rut and rut. Simply soak a rag in with this attractant scent for maximum effectiveness and wait for the deer to find you.
While this works best for whitetail, you can also use it for other species such as blacktail and mule deer.
The bottle is very easy to open with a singular twist and all you have to do is squirt it to use. The lure can be used for up to 24 hours, depending on the weather. If it’s too hot the urine will evaporate and if it’s raining the scent could be washed away quicker. Be sure to check out our list of the best deer carts for more great items like this.
The wax formula of these sticks mean you won’t have to worry about accidentally spilling and wasting any of your precious deer attractant, as well as it won’t leak in your bag and get your sandwiches all soggy.
This product can be rubbed on any surface to attract deer, such as trees, your boots or your stand. The Vs-1 formula is made from doe estrus urine and claims it’s the only deer scent with actual doe vaginal secretions.
Don’t let this turn you off of this product, as it definitely won’t for the buck! This paired with the Ever Calm scent, which is used to calm the deer and prevent spooking by mimicking the smell of deer bedding areas, is the perfect combination for a successful hunting trip.
The formula of these sticks don’t contain any preservatives which makes it very safe for both the hunter and the hunted. This product is perfect for hunters who like to hunt throughout the year as it is very cost effective and easy to use, making it great for both experienced and beginner hunters. We have also reviewed the best deer attractants, so check them out as well.
This deer attractant does exactly what it says on the bottle - it's full of doe urine which was extracted when they were in heat. This product will help any hunter catch even the savviest of buck.
An impressive feature is that each bottle is labelled with the deer’s unique registration number and certified by an independent organization to ensure that you’re getting a genuine product. This buck lure is highly effective as the ability to use an attractant that is used in the wild is a big advantage.
Each bottle also only comes from a single deer which is more beneficial as there are no muddling scents that may confuse the deer you’re hunting.
A lot of reviewers for this product have raved about how their buck bounty has increased significantly. Even if they didn’t catch the deer, their trail cameras have picked up bucks much more regularly, even in places where they haven’t been seen before.
Even the biggest of bucks won’t be able to resist this high quality attractant scent. Before you leave, why not check out our best cover scent for deer hunting guide - and see what our top picks are.
As soon as the season approaches, get down to the woods with Tink’s #1 Doe-P to best all those bucks with ease. This product is not only effective but also very easy to use. The squirt top allows you to saturate a wrag or wick quickly so you can get on with your hunting excursion.
Tink’s is a great hunting brand that hunters speak incredibly highly of, so any product of theirs is sure to be worth a go. This pure non-estrous urine simulates the smell of new doe in the area to bring both buck and doe your way.
This product is perfect for beginners as well as experienced hunters thanks to its simple application. The smell is used to make deer in the area curious and keep them around all day while masking the human scent.
This scent can be used all year long as it doesn’t include estrous urine, which also allows it to attract doe as they’re not threatened by another female in heat
Buck Bomb comes in four different scents for what works for you and the deer in your area. There is Doe in Estrus, Doe “P”, Dominant Buck and Ambush, however the first is considered the most effective.
You get 6.65 ounces of 100% natural doe estrus urine in an aerosol can, making it incredibly easy to apply. Simply spray on the tree, leaves or floor and watch the magic happen. You can also intermittently spray it without any fuss or drawing too much attention to yourself, or you can lock the nozzle down so you can spray the whole contents in one go.
Buck Bomb is great to use during the rut or pre-rut to appeal to the bucks by manipulating their sexual breeding behaviours.
Due to the product being in a can, UV light and oxygen cannot react with the urine and cause it to degrade, meaning this product has a three year shelf life on it so you’ll never have to throw out unused product.
The custom nozzle enables the urine to travel great distances so you don’t have to compromise your position by getting too close to the target spot, and the scent will stick to everything that gets in it’s way.
Best Deer Attractant Scent - Buyer's Guide
Types of scent
The four most common and effective scents are doe and buck urine, doe estrous scent, buck tarsal gland scent and preorbital and forehead gland scent. The best scent to use is often the doe estrous scent which is collected from a doe in heat.
The changed chemistry in the doe’s urine communicates to nearby bucks and tells them she’s ready to mate. This is used at the beginning or end of a rut period.
Doe and buck urine is collected on an average day and it helps to calm deer’s nerves and raise curiosity levels as it suggests new deers in the area. This can be used throughout the hunting season and works well to mask the smell of humans.
Combining this with other scents creates a powerful attractant.
A buck tarsal gland scent is created by buck’s urine reacting with the tarsal gland, located on the inside of their knees, creates a mixture of urine, oily secretions and hormones that give off a unique smell that distinguishes a buck is around.
Preorbital and forehead gland scents are made when a buck scrapes the ground with his hooves, getting ready to urinate, and rubs his eyes and forehead against a tree branch. This releases the scent which is preferably used during the pre-rut to peak rut season.
There are many different ways of using an attractant scent to lure deer out of their hiding spots and into the target zone.
This is the most efficient and convenient way to disperse a scent while hunting. Inside the bomb is a super-absorbent fuse which emits the smell of a doe which is detected by the buck.
Simply soak the wick inside the bomb with your scent, hang it on a tree or bush branch and wait for the deer to come to you.
Loosen a bit of the ground underneath an overhanging branch with a rake, set the saturated bait and make sure droplets of your scent fall stably to the ground. The chemical elements within the bait react with the soil and will begin to attract the deer.
The prey are attracted to the chemical reaction and will keep coming back to this one spot, making it easier for you to catch them.
When your hands are full and you can’t carry a scent around, you can spray or soak some boot pads with your attractant so the deer are lured to wherever you’re hiding. This also means that when you walk, you’ll leave a trail of scent where the prey is most likely to follow you.
Sprays and wicks
Scent wicks are handy to mask human smells but also to attract deer to your stand when used with a scented liquid. This type of lure is great for beginners as they’re so simple to use, just soak a wick in your scent and attach it near your hiding spot.
Sprays are even simpler as you can spray the whole area around you and just wait for the deer to come to you. They can also reach further distances so you don’t need to leave your spot.
Much like the boot pads, a scent trail is created by spraying or dropping your attractant scent on nearby trees or leaves as you walk to your final spot in the hopes the deer will follow the scent. Hanging special baits covered in the scent will make this even more effective as the smell will be stronger and linger longer.
Depending on the season, the effectiveness of your scent may vary. For the early season (August to October), deer do not have a rut so the scent of female excretions will not be so beneficial, as the animal will not understand what’s happening.
It’s best to use doe or buck urine during the early season, as this is a common occurrence all year round.
As the rut season approaches, animals are getting ready for upcoming estrus - testosterone is rising and all the bucks are interested in is fighting to prove their dominance. At this time use buck urine to trick the buck into thinking it’s time for a sparring match.
The rut and post-rut seasons are all about the estrus urine scents. This is the easiest time to track bucks down as they are overcome with hormones and desperately looking for a doe. Deer urine can be used in all seasons but other scents will definitely be more effective at different times, so choose one which will work best for when you’re planning on going hunting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will human urine attract deer?
Many hunters swear that their urine has attracted deer to them, whilst others believe the old wives’ tales that urinating on the ground will scare deer off. Research has shown however, that the smell of human urine does not affect deer noticeably, if at all.
However if deer get a whiff of your own urine they may become on high alert and be harder to hunt, so keep this in mind.
Can deer smell cigarette smoke?
Deer have an excellent sense of smell and use their nose as their first line of defense. While some hunters believe cigarette smoke can mask the human smell, deer will also not come near the smell of smoke because they associate it with fire, a dangerous substance that is often further associated with the big bad hunters.
Leave the cigarettes at home and stand with the wind facing you.
What scents do deer like?
The most effective scent for attracting deer is buck or doe urine, however sweet apples can also be handy. Deer like to eat apples, oranges and corn, so any of these smells can trick deer into thinking there is food nearby. Deer can also be attracted to certain types of greenery, including blackberry trees, elderberry, red cedar, Douglas fir and flowering dogwood. Deer often also like to hang out around blooming plants.
Any of these scents can draw deer out of their hiding places, but may not be as effective as their own urine.