How to Attract Deer to Your Yard - Backyard Boss
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How to Attract Deer to Your Yard

Deer are natural wanderers, and if your yard becomes the path of least resistance, you’ll find them wandering into your yard, whether you like it or not. There are several reasons why people might want to attract wildlife to their yard and there are many methods to make this happen.

In this article, we want to share with you some strategies for attracting deer to your yard.


young buck eating berries off a tree
Image credit: Annette Shaff via Shutterstock

One way to attract deer to your yard is by planting the right plants. Deer are attracted to certain types of vegetation, including fruit trees, berry bushes, and clover. You can also try planting a garden with native plants.

When most people think of plants that attract deer, trees come to mind. And while trees are great because they provide shelter from wind and rain and some protection from predators, there are many types of plants that will do equally well.

Native plants are especially appealing to deer, as they’re more common to their natural environment and tend to thrive in it. They may also help deer adjust to changes in temperature and weather that might otherwise stress them out. If you want to plant native plants, your best bet is to take a look around forested areas or nearby meadow that includes native plant species.

Other good plants include dandelions, clover, and fruit trees. However, be careful that whatever plant you choose, it is one that deer will enjoy eating so that your new garden doesn’t become a waste of time and energy for both you and your new friends! Deer especially enjoy blueberries, apples and strawberries to name a few.


Sika deer drinking water near Todaiji temple in Nara, Japan
Image credit: Monthicha via Shutterstock

Deer need water just like any other animal, and during the hottest months, they need it even more. If you live in an area where deer frequent, consider installing a water feature. It can be as simple as a small birdbath, fountain, or something larger like a pond. Just make sure the water is clean, fresh, and easy for the deer to access. You might also want to plant some flowers near the water, so they have a place to eat and drink all in one.


Garden Path with tree and flowers
Image credit: JamesDeMers via Pixabay

The number one things for all gardens is location! And it’s especially important if you’re trying to attract deer to your yard.

Find a spot with plenty of suns and good drainage, and make sure it has enough room for the plants to grow. Once you’ve found the ideal section in your yard, you can exercise the previously mentioned tips by growing plants or installing a pond. Along with a good location, provide your new friends with shelter from the wind.


Autumn garden
Image credits: Hogogo via Canva

The best time to attract deer to your yard is in the fall when they look for a place to mate. You can also attract deer in the spring when they seek a spot to raise their young. If you live in an area where deer are prevalent, you may be able to attract them year-round with the right care in your yard.


Doe eating plants in garden
Image credit: Ms.Karyn via Shutterstock

Setting bait is a great way to bring more deer to your yard. If you choose to use bait, apples and corn are two popular options. You can also put out salt licks or mineral blocks to attract deer. Place them where the deer will most likely come into contact with the food.

An important thing to remember when attracting deer: they will continue to come back if they find a reliable source of food. Try to limit the amount of times you leave out food for the deer so that it does not become too familiar with its surroundings. Make sure that what you leave is an occasional treat rather than an everyday snack.

If other animals like raccoons or skunks get hold of your bait, change what you’re using and set it up again in another area. Eventually, these animals will get used to finding their sources of food, rather than relying on yours.


Fresh and green herbs in rustic garden
Image credits: Shaiith via Canva

Another way to bring deer to your yard is by planting herbs. Herbs are not only fragrant, but they also provide a tasty treat for deer.

Some herbs to consider planting include lavender, mint, sage, rosemary, and thyme. You can also try planting a mixture of these herbs to create an even more enticing scent for the deer. You might have to wait up to three weeks before any results from your herb garden.

It might seem counterintuitive, but you may also want to decorate your herb garden with scarecrows or deer cutouts to make it more noticeable. Deer are curious creatures, and many people have a favorite spot in their yard where they place these decorations so that they are highly visible to deer.

Open Fences

Mule deer eating weeds in a flowery summer garden.
Image credit: Ginger Livingston Sanders via Shutterstock

You can also attract deer to your yard by having open fences. This allows the deer to see your yard as a potential food source and makes it more accessible and likely for them to visit.

Deer Urine

Roe deer urinating
Image credits: Matauw via Canva

Some people put the deer urine in a spray bottle and spray it around their property, while others soak cotton balls in it and place them around the perimeter of their yard. If you’re hoping to attract multiple deer, it’s best to use more than one method of attracting them and urine is a full proof way. Be cautious that some places have banned the use of deer urine in this way; check your local rules and regulations before applying this method.

Food Plots

Terracotta planter with ripe strawberries
Image credits: vau902 via Canva

Draw more deer by clearing a section of land and planting crops that deer like to eat, such as clover, alfalfa, and soybeans. You’ll need to make sure the area is free of predators and has plenty of water for the deer to drink. You can also attract deer by leaving out fruit, nuts, and vegetables.

Let’s Attract Some Deer

Attracting wildlife to your yard can be an amazing experience for you and your family, and one of the cutest animals you can lure to your yard is most definitely deer.

Deer love vegetation, such as vegetables, fruit, trees, and herbs. They also enjoy large spaces and water features. Thanks to the methods included in this article, you will be able to draw them in with ease! However, make sure you know how to keep them from eating your precious perennials first!

Let us know what you think about attracting deer, and as always, please share!