Do Deer Like Vanilla Extract?

Do deer like vanilla extract

In wildlife, there are numerous animals with interesting characteristics and beauty and deer is one of them. Deer is a part of Mother Nature. This animal has strong instincts for smell and sight from far away. They use smelling potential to avoid getting into the hands of predators and hunters.

Deer can be attracted by their favorite food smell. Do deer like vanilla extract? Yes, Vanilla extract can be used to manipulate deer’s movement in the forest. They are attracted to this fragrance from far away. But using this trick too much can alert them of danger.

There are many other tricks and methods to make traps for deer hunting. You need to know how to use vanilla extract for deer hunting, the bad effects of using too much, and how to make vanilla deer attractant at home. But first, let’s see what vanilla extract is and why deer are attracted to it.

Key Takeaways

  • Vanilla extract is made from the beans of the vanilla orchid where there is a certain method to make the extract.
  • Deer can be attracted by vanilla extract as it smells similar to acorn, a food that deer love.
  • Take advantage of vanilla extract for deer hunting as a cover scent, distract deer’s attention, and know how to use it.
  • You can make vanilla extract at home using materials in your house but know that overuse of vanilla as bait might cause deer harm.
  • Other than vanilla extract, other things can attract deer that are more natural.

What is Vanilla Extract?

Vanilla extract
Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is a flavoring resulting from the beans of the vanilla orchid. It is made by soaking the beans in a mixture of water and alcohol to extract the flavor and aroma compounds. Vanilla extract is commonly used in cooking and baking to add a sweet, creamy flavor to desserts and other baked goods.

It is one of the most popular flavorings in the world and is used in a wide range of recipes, from classic vanilla ice cream to more complex baked goods like cakes and cookies. Vanilla extract is available in different grades, with pure vanilla extract considered the highest quality due to its intense flavor and aroma.

Do Deer Like Vanilla Extract and Why?

Yes, deer are pretty much attracted to vanilla extract in general but this method is fundamentally not effective all the time. Still, deer can be influenced by vanilla extract. The reason why deer are attracted to vanilla extract is, they are very engaged with their favorite food items like grass, the woody portion of leaves and stems, forbs, and masts like acorns, apples, etc.

Vanilla extract smells like acorn, one of their favorite food. That’s why deer get influenced by the aroma of vanilla. This solution is very specific to deer kind. They will get curious about this trick. Although, this trick is not foolproof. A newbie hunter will easily get caught by deer sight and miss a hunt.

Using Vanilla Extract for Deer Hunting

Vanilla extract can be used for hunting. This trick is very beneficial for the deer hunter in many ways.

Let’s see how it benefits deer hunting and how to imply it:

Using vanilla extract for deer hunting
Using vanilla extract for deer hunting

As Cover Scent

Deer are not naturally attracted to vanilla extract. However, some people have used vanilla extract as a cover scent when hunting or as a lure to attract deer to a specific area. The strong, sweet aroma of vanilla extract can mask human scents and other odors that might scare deer away, making it easier for hunters to get close to their prey.

Distract Deer

In some cases, people have also used vanilla extract to lure deer to a specific area for observation or photography purposes. They can be distracted from their course of travel and drive into the hunting spot very certainly. But, this act can get against the forest law. So it is important to check with local authorities before using vanilla extract or any other type of attractant in the field.


Vanilla extract is easy to use and it is easy to find in any store. Just spray it right on the tree stumps and trees around your stand and it will attract deer. You can use pure vanilla extract or mix it with something else, such as peanut butter, grass, a woody portion of leaves and stems, and forbs like broad-leaved plants, acorns, apples, etc. This method is inexpensive and the deer love it.

Deer have a strong sense of smell, and it is always part of the challenge for hunters. They try to find a way to cover up hunting smell. The main key is to cover up the human odor and find a scent that attracts the deer. Vanilla extract is one of the most perfect scents. This is a great way to override the human scent and create one that makes the deer come to you.

Bad Effect of Vanilla Extract

As vanilla extract can be useful for deer hunting, it can also ruin your pursuit of deer. As it is said, “anything in excess is bad”. This valuable saying is effective in every aspect of life.

Bad effect of vanilla extract
Bad effect of vanilla extract

The use of the vanilla extract in deer hunting can have negative impacts, both on the deer and the environment.

Some of these include:

  • Artificial Conditioning: By using artificial lures, such as vanilla extract, hunters may be conditioning deer to associate human scents with food, making them less cautious and easier to hunt.
  • Unnatural Attraction: The use of lures like vanilla extract can attract deer to areas where they would not normally go, potentially disrupting their natural behaviors and habitats.
  • Over-Hunting: By artificially attracting deer to a specific area, hunters may be increasing the chances of overhunting and potentially reducing local deer populations.
  • Spread of Disease: By attracting deer to a concentrated area, the use of lures like vanilla extract may increase the risk of disease transmission among deer populations.
  • Environmental Damage: Using lures and attractants can also increase the amount of human activity in certain areas, leading to potential damage to habitats and ecosystems.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Deer Attractant?

Here is a basic recipe for making homemade vanilla extract for deer hunting.

How to make homemade vanilla deer attractant
How to make homemade vanilla deer attractant


  • 4 to 6 Grade-B Madagascar vanilla beans.
  • 8 ounces of 80-proof vodka.


  • Split the vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp knife, exposing the seeds inside.
  • Place the split vanilla beans in a clean, sterilized 8-ounce glass bottle.
  • Pour the vodka over the beans, making sure to cover them completely.
  • Seal the bottle and store it in a cool, dark place for at least 8 to 10 weeks. Shake the bottle occasionally to distribute the vanilla extract throughout the vodka.
  • After 8 to 10 weeks, the vanilla extract will be ready to use. It can be strained to remove the vanilla bean solids or left unstrained for a stronger flavor.


This recipe can be scaled up or down depending on the desired quantity of vanilla extract. The ratio of vodka to vanilla beans should remain the same, regardless of the quantity.

It is important to note that the use of any type of lure or attractant, including vanilla extract, may be regulated or prohibited by local wildlife laws. Before using homemade vanilla extract for deer hunting, it is important to check with local authorities to ensure that it is legal in your area.

What Attracts Deer the Most?

There is nothing specific that attracts deer the most as their preferences can vary depending on the time of year, the region, and their individual needs.

What attracts deer the most
What attracts deer the most

However, some common attractants for deer include:

  • Food: Deer are attracted to a variety of foods, including crops like corn, alfalfa, and soybeans, as well as natural foods like acorns, apples, and clover.
  • Water: Deer need water to survive, and will often be drawn to sources of fresh water, such as streams, ponds, and lakes.
  • Soil: Deer love the smell of pure soil. They enjoy this after rain and they love to roam around with other deer.
  • Cover: Deer prefer areas with dense vegetation or trees that provide cover from predators and the elements.
  • Scents: Certain scents, such as those produced by doe in heat or fresh urine, can be attractive to deer.
  • Salt Licks: Deer will seek out natural salt sources, such as mineral licks, to help balance their diet and meet their nutritional needs.

It is important to note that the use of any type of lure or influence, including food, scents, or minerals, may be regulated or prohibited by local wildlife laws. However, a licensed hunter can use these traps for hunting. Be care to be respectful towards the peace of the whole deer nation.


What is a deer’s favorite flavor?

Deer love apple and cherry bomb-flavored attractants. These are their favorite flavors. If you use it open air, they will probably run it up faster than you can reload it.

What smells attract deer the most?

Deer are attracted to the smell of solid soil. But if you want to trick them to hunt them, try to pour some buck or doe urine or scrape starter into it. You can make a brilliant trail site, as bucks will continue to check the scrape every time they pass by or are in the area.

What are deer most afraid of?

Deer are afraid of radios, and sound made by a motion detector can scare off deer. This radio can be suspended by strings that make noise when they rattle in the wind and have also been used to deter damage.

Does sugar attract deer?

They like many foods like apples and other fruits that have sugar in them. You can try to bait deer in your area but you might also attract some insects like ants.

What should you not feed deer?

You can’t feed deer with horse feeds, especially textured feeds such as grain mixes, which will be too high in soluble starchy carbohydrates for deer, inviting problems with acidosis and founder. The protein level also will not be high enough to provide for the maximal growth of antlers.

Final Thoughts

Deer are prominent animals in the forest. They are also special to hunters and predators. Hunters can manipulate deer’s movement very well by using their favorite smelling agents. One of the agents is vanilla extract. Deer like the smell of vanilla extract as it is similar to the acorn scent. This method of trapping deer also depends on the nature of the deer and the season. Deer are also attracted to many other things like food, water resource, the smell of pure soil, and shelter with safety. As a hunter, you can use these to trick deer and get easy hunting victory. Also, you need to be very watchful of their peace in nature.

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