How to Attract Deer With Homemade Deer Food

by Lorrell Kay

Supplementing the food supply of your local deer using homemade deer food is an enjoyable way to attract deer to your area. Always check with your local conservation department regarding regulations on supplemental feeding. Putting out grain is considered baiting by some conservation agencies and is illegal in many areas. When considering placement of your food plot, keep in mind that deer do not like open areas and will not spend much time out in the open. Try to place your food plot in an area with natural cover such as woods and brush.

Creating a Food Plot

  1. Locate a spot to set up your food plot. Food plots should be at least one mile from the nearest road. Pick a spot that has natural cover for the deer like cedar or pine woods. Hardwood forests work well too.

  2. With your foot, scrape back the leaves and ground litter. Clear a patch of ground at least 5 feet by 5 feet.

  3. Scatter your homemade feed over the cleared area. Do not pile it up in the center.

  4. Spread the plain salt over the feed. Sprinkle just enough salt to lightly cover the area. The salt will dissolve into the ground when it rains. This will keep the deer coming back even after the feed is gone.

  5. Cut the apples into halves. Spread the apples and acorns around the area of your food plot. The scent of apple will help bring deer in to a new food plot.

  6. Put a few drops of doe scent around the outside edge of your food plot. This will help hide your scent.

Maintaining the Food Plot

  1. Leave the plot undisturbed for at least one week. Your constant presence in the area will make the deer suspicious.

  2. Replenish the food once a month. You may need to add food to the plot more often during the cold winter months.

  3. Add fresh salt once every six months. Spread a one-pound tub of plain salt in a thin layer in the food plot.

Items you will need

  • Homemade deer food
  • Doe scent
  • 3 to 4 Apples
  • Acorns (optional)
  • One pound plain salt


  • The less time you spend beside your food plot the less human scent you will add. Deer will naturally avoid areas with human scent. Watch the weather forecast and try to time salting the food plot just before rain. It is more natural for deer to lick salt out of the ground and the rain will help dissolve it.


  • Never put doe scent on your body, especially during the rut. Deer will attack you.