How to Make the Ultimate Deer Attractant

Video deer candy recipe

I’ve always been a fan of the Big & J deer attractant and mineral blocks. What if I could make my own deer attractant that works just as well for less money? Of course, I use corn feeders where it’s allowed (check your local hunting regulations regarding baiting), but I also build water troughs and mock scrapes to create an environment that encourages deer activity in my hunting areas.

I also like to provide additional nutritional supplementation to the deer in my hunting areas and that’s where the Big & J deer supplements became part of my plan.

IMG 4258 2 How to Make the Ultimate Deer AttractantIMG 4357 How to Make the Ultimate Deer Attractant

Big & J can become pretty expensive, especially if you have a lot of different hunting areas. This year, I found a recipe for the ultimate deer attractant and supplement that I could make at home for a fraction of the cost of Big & J.

Ultimate Deer Attractant

Ingredients List

  • 2 bags of sugar
  • 2 bags of brown sugar (dark will last longer than light)
  • 2 boxes of baking soda
  • 4 packages of cherry jello
  • 2 big containers of grape Kool-Aid
  • 1 big container of oats
  • 2 cans of salt

The Short on YouTube had to be under a minute, so it’s a quick run through of my ultimate deer attractant. Let me offer a few more details about the mix and how I use it.

Mixing and Using the Ingredients

Most of the ingredients are just sweet and attract the deer with the sweetness of the item. The baking soda is the primary ingredient in most store-bought pre-mixed deer attractants and provides valuable minerals to the deer. Same with the salt.

I mix the ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. This ingredient list almost filled the whole bucket. Pour all the ingredients in the bucket, secure the lid, and shake, rattle, and roll the bucket to mix the ingredients.

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Most of these sugar-heavy ingredients will dissolve in a very short time if you don’t mix it some corn. So, I used a second 5 gallon bucket to mix equal parts of the deer attractant and deer corn. I found this causes the deer attractant to last a few days. You could also add molasses as a binder for a longer lasting deer attractant (it’s what most store bought “blocks” use as a binder).

Does It Work?

I found the deer really enjoyed the attractant and wasted no time finding it and eating it. After 8 years of hunting in West Virginia, I finally bagged my first buck! I like to think the attractant helped, although I also made two critical changes to my hunting area that also contributed to my success (stand location and how I approached the stand).

First West Virginia Buck

I didn’t use the attractant in Texas or Pennsylvania. We hunted public land in Pennsylvania where “baiting” is not allowed, so it was not an option. For Texas, we have established feeders that habituate the deer to the feeder locations, so I didn’t really feel the need for additional attractants or supplementation. However, the acorns dropped right before we arrived for hunting season. It’s possible that some additional nutrients (and sugar) could have drawn deer away from the preferred acorn food sources, resulting in more deer activity than we saw, this year.

You should always be sure that baiting is legal in your hunting area before using something like this attractant.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>