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What Hunters Need to Know About Attractants

Most hunters have used attractants at one point or another, but are they really getting the best results possible? Find out when to use attractants, how they work, and where they’re legal to use by reading our answers to the most frequently asked attractant questions.

Male Deer in autumn forest attractants

FAAQs: Frequently Asked Attractant Questions

1. What is the difference between a mineral and an attractant?

The major difference between deer mineral and attractants is the flavoring. Minerals are blends of nutrients deer need to grow and are usually just labeled as a mineral blend. Attractants are sweet or salty flavors like apple, acorn, persimmon, sugar beet, and so on.

Salt licks and some mineral supplements are labeled as minerals but actually contain 30% or more salt. These products are more of an attractant due to their lack of nutritional value to the deer.

Using attractants is like giving candy to a kid. They would eat it for every meal if you let them, but we all know they wouldn’t be getting the nutrition they need.

2. Are attractants legal to use where I hunt?hunter forest

With CWD, Chronic Wasting Disease, legalities have changed a lot!

Some states have different attractant laws for different regions, special rules for using attractants, or only allow attractants during specific times of the year. The best policy is to check with the Department of Natural Resources in your state if you are unsure of the laws.

After the FAAQs, I will be providing a list of attractant legal states.

If baiting deer is not allowed in your state, there are other tricks you can use to lure more deer to your hunting grounds. One example is creating a small water source on your property using a stock tank. Deer will get used to having a source of water and continue to come back season after season.

3. What attractants work best for deer?

This is based on personal preference. There are ready to use attractants, attractants that need to be mixed with water, and rock attractants. Simply follow the links for our suggestion in each category.

4. Are there special attractants for different breeds of deer?

No, they are all the same. Some hunters claim that different breeds prefer different attractants but all attractants are the same for each deer breed.

5. Is there a wrong way to use attractants?

Not really, unless the deer can’t get to it. They certainly flock to it when they want it. Some folks will put mineral close to a waterhole or on a specific feeding area since the deer will already be going to those spots. The mineral just makes that area much more attractive.

6. When is it appropriate to use attractants?heard of deer attractants

When they are legal! Make sure to check the state attractant list below before using attractants in your state.

You want to use attractants to tell the deer in the area where to go for a sweet treat. As long as you use the attractant in the same location consistently, the deer will go to that spot.

For deer mineral, you can use it year round, but the deer use this most when they are growing antlers and when does are having fawns. Biologists suggest the best time to use mineral is shortly before spring green-up till hunting season begins.

If you’re wondering when hunting seasons start in the state you want to hunt in, make sure to take a look at our 2017-2018 Hunting Season Dates. We have every state’s hunting dates for the top game!

United States Attractant Regulations List

Large antlered White-Tailed Deer in field of grass attractants

Below is the basic list of state attractant laws. States labeled as “legal” or “not legal” are cut and dry, but if you see “check state regulations,” that means there may be different laws in different areas. You will need to contact your state’s Department of Natural Resources for more information.

Alabama: Attractant must be 100 yards away and out of the hunter’s line of site. (This law may change with new baiting bill.)

Alaska: Not legal

Arizona: Not legal to hunt over bait

Arkansas: Legal on private property with permission from the landowner

California: Not legal

Colorado: Not legal

Connecticut: Check state regulations

Delaware: Legal while hunting on privately owned land with permission ONLY

Florida: Check state regulations

Georgia: Legal in the southern zone. Check state regulations

Hawaii: Not legal

Idaho: Not legal to bait deer

Illinois: Not legal

Indiana: Not legal to hunt over bait. You must remove bait 10 days before hunting

Iowa: Not legal to bait during hunting season

Kansas: Legal on private property. On public ground, you must remove bait 10 days before hunting

Kentucky: Legal to bait year round except on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)

Louisiana: Check state regulations. Not legal on WMAs

Maine: Not legal to bait during open deer season, September-December

Maryland: Legal except state properties or areas prohibited due to CWD. Check state regulations

Massachusetts: Not legal

Michigan: Check state regulations

Minnesota: Not legal to hunt over bait. Must remove bait 10 days before hunting

Mississippi: Not legal

Missouri: Check state regulations

Montana: Not legal

Nebraska: Check state regulations

Nevada: Not legal for hunting purposes

New Hampshire: Check state regulations

New Jersey: Legal year round

New Mexico: Check state regulations

New York: Not legal

North Carolina: Not legal on “game land,” but it is legal to feed deer. Check state regulations

North Dakota: Check state regulations

Ohio: Not legal. Check all state regulations

Oklahoma: Legal year round as long as it does not contain grain products. Illegal on WMAs

Oregon: Check state regulations

Pennsylvania: Check state regulations

Rhode Island: Not legal. Check state regulations for non-hunting applications

South Carolina: Legal on privately owned property year round

South Dakota: Not legal to own a bait station. Check state regulations

Tennessee: Not legal. Must remove bait 10 days before hunting

Texas: Legal on private property

Utah: No regulations. Consult a state official for more information

Vermont: Not legal

Virginia: Not legal to bait during hunting season (September 1st-January 7th)

Washington: Check state regulations

West Virginia: Not legal on WMAs. Check state regulations

Wisconsin: Check state regulations

Wyoming: Not legal unless you are legally blind, confined to a wheelchair, or a person hunting with a permit issued pursuant to W.S. Check state regulations