Homemade Deer Scents & Lures

by Emma Rensch
Making deer scents and lures can increase your chance of taking home a trophy.

Making deer scents and lures can increase your chance of taking home a trophy.

Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Some hunters enjoy making their own deer scents and lures to feel more involved in the hunting experience. Deer communicate through scent and can be attracted to a particular area if you comprise the right lures. Scents that you collect yourself are likely to be more effective than commercial products since homemade scents are natural and unprocessed.

Tarsal Glands

The inside of a deer's hind legs feature tarsal glands that produce a scent that is used to communicate with other deer. Remove the tarsal glands from a deer you have shot, and store them in a plastic freezer bag. You may remove glands from a male or female deer. Female glands will attract males who wish to mate, and male glands will attract males for a potential fight. Place the bag in the freezer. During the fall, bucks search for does to mate with and can be attracted by the scent from thawed tarsal glands. Tarsal glands are good for concealed hunting. Hang the glands from a plant near your concealed stand.

Deer Scrape Lures

Collect samples of earth and plant life from a deer scrape area. A deer scrape is a place where the ground has been pawed, rubbed with antlers, and torn up by a buck looking for a female. A buck will often chew branches surrounding the place where he has dislodged earth. Look for a scrape during the fall. Cut off branches that appear chewed, and place them in large plastic storage bags. Wear plastic gloves, and use a trowel to scoop dislodged earth into plastic bags. Seal the bags, and move everything a mile away to a location under a tree. Use your trowel to dislodge earth in this new location. Pour the dirt collected from the original scrape over the new area. Use wire to hang the chewed branches from a tree so that they dangle about 4 feet above the new scrape. The scent of this mock scrape should attract deer. Wear gloves at all times to avoid contaminating the branches or soil with human scent.

Winter Deer Urine

If you live in an area that gets snow in the winter, explore the woods after a storm and look for deer tracks near yellow snow. Collect the yellow snow in a plastic storage bag. Scatter it around your concealed hunting stand, and wait for deer to be drawn to the scent of the rest of the herd. Save the yellow snow you collected by freezing it, or use it right away.

Forest Scent

Human scent can alert potential prey to the presence of a hunter. Smelling like the forest will disguise you and help you lure deer. Hide your scent by mixing three parts vanilla extract or imitation vanilla extract with one part water. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and spray your shoes, clothes and hunting location if you are still hunting. Respray every time you hunt. The mixture is slightly sticky, so it will attract particles of pollen and dirt from the forest, which will disguise your human scent. Do not wash your clothes between hunts, and store them in sealed plastic storage bags. You will smell like a part of the deers' environment, and they will not avoid the area where you are waiting.


  • "500 Deer Hunting Tips"; Bill Vaznis; 2008

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images