You have a great piece of land to hunt on, but all of your trail cam pics show that the bucks are only visiting after dark. What if you knew how to get deer to come out during the day?
Deer are mostly crepuscular, which means that they are most active at dawn and dusk, but with a little work and preparation, you can get deer to come out during daylight hours.
Sometimes even in the middle of the day!
Here are 10 tips to get deer to come out during the day:
1. Food Plots
Food plots are a great way to get the deer in your area coming out during the day, but not just any food plots.
If your food plot is in the middle of a field, chances are the mature bucks in your area are not going to visit during the day.
You are going to want to do some extra work to make the deer feel comfortable using your food plot during the daylight hours.
Here are some things you can do to make deer come into your food plot during the day.
- Plant small food plots in heavy cover and near bedding areas where deer will feel comfortable visiting during daylight hours.
- Hinge-cut some of the trees around your plot and leave them there to create both cover and food. This is a great way to make deer feel comfortable using your plot during the day.
- Plant fruit trees around the edge of your food plot. Deer love apples and pears and the fruit trees themselves will provide cover.
- Stay out of the food plot! I know this is hard, but the deer can smell the scent that you have left behind and it will keep them from visiting during the day. Get a good cellular trail camera that will send pictures to your phone so you know when the deer are visiting.
2. Use Scents and Attractants
The next best way to get deer to come out during the day is by using attractants. Deer Attractants come in many different forms, from mineral blocks and salt licks, powders that you spread on the ground, powders that you mix with corn, even spray attractants.
Here are some tips on how to attract deer to your property during the day.
- When using mineral attractants to establish a mineral lick, do it in an area that is surrounded by thick cover and close to bedding areas. Be sure to plan your route into the area, so that you can get into your tree stand or ground blind without being detected by the deer.
- Get your attractants out early in the year, well before the deer hunting season, so that the deer will become accustomed to visiting them during the day undisturbed. Also, most attractants contain minerals that help with antler growth, so it is beneficial to get them out in the spring when the bucks begin to grow their antlers.
- Use deer attractant scent during the rut. When the deer are mating, use a doe in heat scent to make the bucks come out during the day.
3. Make A Mock Scrape
Mock scrapes are great for getting deer where you want them for a good accurate shot, but there is a trick to getting bucks to use them during the day.
First, you will need to learn how to make a mock scrape.
Then, the best way to get mature bucks to come out during the day and use the mock scrape is to use a scrape dripper.
You fill the scrape dripper with buck urine or doe in heat urine, depending on the time of year and then hang the scrape dripper over the scrape.
It works by expanding and contracting according to the temperature. So ,when the temperature rises, the tube expands and drips urine into the scrape. When the temperature falls, the tube contracts and the dripping stops.
This makes the urine drip into the scrape only during the day and as a result, the bucks will visit during the day trying to catch the deer that is urinating in the scrape.
Here is a trail cam pic of a mature buck using one of my mock scrapes during the day!
Look closely and you will see the scrape dripper hanging above the scrape.
It has done its job perfectly!
4. Use A Programmable Feeder
Many hunters use a deer feeder to attract deer to their property, but the key to getting deer to come out during the day is to use a programmable feeder and program it to only release small amounts of food during the day.
The deer will become used to this and will actually race each other to the feeder, during the day, in order to get some of the feed before it is eaten by the other deer.
While this method works very well for deer in general, it is much less effective on mature bucks. Usually the does and younger deer will get there first and eat all of the food.
5. Create A Watering Hole
Deer are no different than other animals, they need water everyday. The trick to getting them to use a watering hole during the day is to create one very near their bedding area.
As long as they feel safe, they will venture a short distance for a good watering hole. This is especially true in warmer climates or during periods of warm weather.
Here’s a great video showing ways to create a watering hole on your hunting property
6. Create Bedding Areas
Let’s face it, no matter what we do, deer are going to spend most of the day in their bedding area.
What if you could create a bedding area on your land?
Then the deer would be on your property all day long.
A well planned out bedding area that includes plans for tree stand locations on the outskirts, could put you right in a big bucks living room.
You have to have a fairly large piece of land in order to create a bedding area.
Pick out a 5 to 10 acre piece of land in the middle of your property and hinge cut 90% of the trees. This will allow sunshine in and create a very thick undergrowth, providing both food and cover.
The key to establishing this as a bedding area is to make it a sanctuary on your property. That means that no one goes in there, ever. The deer will feel very comfortable in there and they will move about inside the bedding areas during the day.
7. Call The Deer
This is one of my favorite deer hunting tactics and it flat out works at the right time of year.
Deer are very communicative animals and can be very vocal at times. They are also very social and you can use these deer sounds to make the deer come out during the day.
Here are a few of the deer calls that you can use to make deer come to you.
- Grunt Call - This is a sound made by bucks and it works on their sense of curiosity. They hear another buck in the area and they come to investigate.
- Doe Bleat - This sound, made by does works in the same manner, letting deer know that there are other deer in the area.
- Rattling - This is my favorite way to call in bucks during the day. It works just before and during the rut. It simulates two buck fighting by meshing and banging antlers together. I have had bucks come running in to see who was fighting and I have had bucks sneak in for a closer look. I usually combine rattling with buck grunts to really sell the illusion of two bucks fighting.
8. Hunt The Rut
The rut is, without a doubt, the best time to catch a mature buck out in the open during the day. Whitetail deer breed once a year and it is compressed into a very short period of time. During this period, bucks will spend a great deal of time on their feet, looking for a doe in heat.
Once they find one, they will breed that doe and then go right back to traveling during the day, looking for another one.
Use this to your advantage and spend as much time as possible hunting during the rut.
In most states, hunting during the rut means that you will be bow hunting, so check out these tips if you are a bow hunting beginner.
9. Hunt The Weather Fronts
My second favorite time to hunt deer is before and after weather fronts. Deer can sense barometric pressure and they instinctively know when a weather front is approaching.
A weather front could mean a prolonged period of bedding for the deer and as a result, they come out to feed before the front, even if it is in the middle of the day.
The same holds true for after a weather front. As soon as a prolonged period of rain, wind or snow has passed, the deer will immediately be on their feet and headed to feed regardless of the time of day.
I have killed more big bucks immediately after a prolonged period of heavy rain than at any other time.
The downside to this tactic is that you have to be deer hunting in the rain to take advantage of the movement, because the deer are on their feet immediately, when the rain ends. If you are not already in your tree stand, you will be too late.
10. Stay Out Of The Area When You Are Not Hunting
This seems like an obvious tip, but many hunters can’t resist the urge to go into the woods and have a look around.
Every time you go into the woods, the deer know that you were there and your chances of seeing deer during the day decreases.
Use cellular trail cameras to do the vast majority of your scouting. Only put boots on the ground after the season and in the early spring for shed hunting. Use a pad and pencil and record all of the deer sign that you find.
When you return home, transfer all of your data to a map of your hunting property and you will begin to see the patterns develop.
This will help you become a better deer hunter.
Deer are most active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk, but there are many times that we see deer out feeding or moving during the day.
We’ve covered everything from food plots and attractants to mock scrapes and when to hunt.
Take the time to use our 10 tips for how to get deer to come out during the day this hunting season and you may find yourself looking at the buck of a lifetime at high noon!