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Can Deer Smell Corn?

Hunting has been a popular pastime for humans for hundreds of years, and one of the most common targets on hunting trips has been deer.

If you’ve ever tried to hunt a deer, you may be looking for a way to attract them without giving yourself away. You may have heard that corn can be an excellent way to do this. So, can deer smell corn?

Deer have a powerful sense of smell and can smell corn and other food sources from incredibly long distances. Since deer love to eat corn, they will surely be able to smell it if left out. Because of this, many hunters have come to use corn to attract deer.

We know you probably have more questions about deer and corn, like how long it may take for a deer to smell corn.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about deer and corn, so keep reading now to get all the details.

Does Corn Attract Deer?

corn in the farm

You’ve probably heard of hunters using corn to attract deer, making them easier targets for the hunters.

But does corn attract deer?

The rumors are true. Corn does attract deer, and you can expect deer to find their way to corn over long distances. Corn is a great source of food for deer, and they love to nibble away at it whenever they get the chance.

As such, they’ll be sure to come running whenever they catch a whiff of corn in the wind.

As we mentioned earlier, many hunters even use corn to attract deer while on the hunt. By setting out a well-portioned pile of fresh corn, hunters can set up in nearby cover and wait for their quarry to come sniffing.

How Long Does It Take for Deer to Smell Corn?

a deer smelling a corn on the ground

Some hunters or deer watchers may be impatient waiting for the deer to come to check out the corn they left out for it.

Of course, the time it takes for a deer to smell corn may vary depending on several factors. The first thing to consider is whether or not any deer in the area are close enough to smell it.

The direction of the wind may also affect a deer’s ability to sniff out your corn. Even if they may be nearby, the wind could be carrying the corn’s scent away from the deer.

The position of the corn is the most crucial factor. If corn is left near a well-traveled deer track, then the corn should easily be sniffed out in a day or two at most. However, if the corn is left far outside any travel routes, it may take much longer for a deer to smell it.

Why Are Deer Not Coming to My Corn?

a deer in the bush

If you’ve had corn sitting out on your property or maybe in the woods on a hunting trip with no deer coming by to check it out, there could be a few reasons why that is.

The first reasons go back to the previous section. If your corn is left far outside an established travel route used by local deer, then there may be no deer close enough to smell. Also, if you’ve had particularly windy weather, the wind may be carrying the scent away from any deer that may be nearby.

Another reason may be that the deer feel threatened by something in the area where you put the corn down. If you live in a more populated region, the deer may not want to come too close to a bunch of humans.

Or, if you’re waiting in the woods, your corn may be too close to an established predator’s territory. Both of these may deter deer from coming to your corn.

Best Deer Attractant to Mix with Corn

corn and peanut butter on the table

There are few other attractants that deer love that can strengthen corn’s attracting power. One such attractant is peanut butter.

If you mix the corn with a healthy amount of peanut butter, you’ll be surprised by how quickly nearby deer will come running. Peanut butter has an even stronger scent than corn, so that that deer can pick up its scent much faster.

Peanut butter is also great because it lasts much longer than corn alone. Even if all the corn is eaten out of the peanut butter, it will still leave behind a residue that will continue to attract deer to the area for a while.

What Food Can Deer Smell the Most?

a deer sniffing something on the ground

There are several foods that deer can smell much better than corn. The top of these is mint leaves, rotten eggs, and peanut butter.

Mint and rotten eggs are known to keep a herd of deer away from an area, and they can pick up these scents so well that they will typically stay miles away from where these foods are present.

If, for some reason, you want to keep deer away from your property, maybe to protect your garden, try planting mint around the property. Or, if you’re desperate, you can leave out rotten eggs. That will certainly do the trick while repelling a lot of other critters at the same time.

As for foods that attract deer, peanut butter is one of the foods they can smell the best. It has a strong scent that carries for long distances and lingers wherever it’s left.

Final Thoughts

2 deer looking for food

Deer have a very acute sense of smell, using it to find food and sniff out predators. As such, they can most certainly smell corn.

Corn can be an excellent attractant for deer, especially when mixed with another attractant like peanut butter. If no deer are coming by your corn for some reason, be sure to reference our section above as to why that might be.


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