What Smells Are Deer Attracted to?

Deer are atracted to food scents as well as the scents of other deer.
Deer are atracted to food scents as well as the scents of other deer. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Hunters use scents to attract deer to their vicinity. Deer use smell and scent markers to distinguish each other, avoid predators, find food and track mates or recognize challengers. Deer have a well developed sense of smell which they use to interact and consider their environment. Synthetic scents are available which attract deer and are designed to lure them as well as to mask the hunter's scent.


Deer are attracted to smells which inform of a possible food source. Pine scents, apple and nut trees are food-based odors that attract hungry deer.


Salt is the least available resource in the wild. Deer are attracted to salt and will even lick the salt from winter roads. Scented salt blocks are available to entice deer.

Buck Scents

These scents are derived from male deer urine. They simulate the presence of another rutting or breeding male. This scent will attract the animals as they believe a breeding male is present in their territory.

Doe Scents

Female deer in heat attract interested males during the rut. This doe urine scent is used to lure the bucks during breeding season only. At other times it attracts the female deer.

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