Skip to content
Home » Blogs » When to Start Baiting Deer? Must Know For Beginners!

When to Start Baiting Deer? Must Know For Beginners!

Are you adventurous about hunting? Do you plan on participating in the forthcoming gun season for deer hunting? But you’re not sure when you should start preparing and baiting?

No worries, we’ve got an entire article on this topic.

So, when to start baiting deer? 

You can start baiting five days before the gun season in Michigan and Wisconsin. Other states like Virginia, New Jersey, and Texas allow baiting 10 days ago. And the ideal approach is to bait deer three days before you go hunting. Because deer take 1 to 3 days to find the bait.  

Let’s see in detail when baiting deer is best for hunting. 

When Is the Best Time to Bait Deer?

Baiting deer efficiently is dependent on the timing of the bait. Baiting works best at specific times of day and on certain days of the year.

First, we’ll talk about the optimal time of day to bait deer. Then we’ll talk about the ideal days of the season to bait deer.

Best Time of the Day to Bait Deer:

Basically, deer come out for food twice a day. These are early in the morning and just before sunset.

And these two times of day are ideal for deer baiting. However, things might vary depending on where you are baiting. The time frame for wide yards and dense forests is not the same. You’ll learn when it’s better to bait deer in open areas vs deep forests.

In Open Yards:

Sometimes deer roam deep long grass fields, where they keep themselves hidden all day long. Deer come out in search of food early in the morning and just before sunset. They also come into open yards at that time. 

Hence, baiting the night before hunting is very effective. During the early morning hours, your bait will be easy to find by deer.

A second chance will be available before sunset if deer miss the baits in the morning. Deer can usually only be hunted in open yards during these two times of the day.

Also, you must know the proper time to get in the deer stand for effective hunting.

In Deep Forest:

Actually, you can bait deer anytime in the deep forest. Because all day deer try to keep them hidden in the deep forest. They only come out for the food. 

This is why deer may be found all day in the deep forest. So, if you intend to hunt deer in the deep forest, bait two or three days in advance.

This time is well enough for deer to find the bait. Remember that hunting laws prohibit giving more than 2 gallons of bait. However, corn is the finest bait for attracting deer quickly.

Best Season to Bait Deer:

There are basically two slots all over the year for gun season, such as; spring and fall. Spring gun season lasts from March to April, while fall gun season lasts from September to January.

During this slot of the year, hunting is legal. Some people start baiting one or two months before gun season. But that’s not the right time to do it. 

Times can be variable based on the place you’re baiting. Let’s see which days of the gun season are best to start baiting.

In Open Yard:

In the open yards baiting deer doesn’t take too much time to find the bait. Especially, in a long grass field where deer often come in search of food. 

Deer are most active during the end of the spring and beginning of the fall hunting seasons. And that is basically April and September. 

Thus, baiting can be most effective in the final 30 days before the end of spring gun season. And the best time to bait deer is in the fall, 30 days before the season begins.

In Deep Forests:

Deer generally remain in the dense forest for safety purposes. At any time of the year, you may find them there.

So, there are no recommended days to bait deer in the deep forest. You just need to wait for the gun season to start baiting. But remember, do try to avoid baiting long before hunting in the deep forest. 

Because deer most frequently get there. Additionally, your bait may be ineffective since they could consume it all before you start hunting.

When Is Baiting Deer Legal Location-wise?

You can’t hunt deer throughout the year. There is a specific time frame of the year when hunting is legal. And that time frames are not similar for all the states of the USA. 

Let’s have a look at the table of gun season for different states.  

StatesGun SeasonGun Season
Spring Fall
MichiganMarch 31 to 7 June December 14 to January 1
New York October 1 to January 31
VirginiaOctober 1-January 2
New Jersey22 April to 14 May21 November to 11 February
California27 March to 2 May14 August 7 November 
WisconsinApril 20 to June 2November 19 to December 27
TexasMay 1 to May 31October 1 to February 28
Georgia October 22 to January 8

This was an overview of gun season for different states. Gun season is actually not fixed for every year. It can change over the years. So, it’s better to follow the gun season guideline for the USA before starting baiting or hunting.

Can You Bait Deer Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can bait deer ahead of time. Because laws allow you to bait ahead of time. But practically it doesn’t work for all places. Let’s see where and why it works baiting ahead of time. 

In Open Yard: 

Baiting ahead of time works in the open yards most effectively. Because deer don’t come out so often. And if you bait ahead of time, that means you’re giving them adequate time to find the bait. 

In Deep Forests:

It’s better to avoid baiting deer in the deep forest ahead of time. Because deer may roam there more regularly. As a result, deer might eat all of the baits before the hunt begins.

In spite of the permission, it’s not a wise decision to bait deer ahead of time in a deep forest.

How Long Does Deer Take to Find Bait?

How quickly deer will find the bait is dependent on where you’re baiting. In general, deer take 1 to 5 days to find deer. And sometimes that can exceed 15 days as well. 

Based on the location, how long does a deer take to find bait? Discover the facts below.  

In Open Yards:

Deer take 1 to 5 days to find the bait. But it can exceed up to 15 days for the number of deer compared to the area. 

It also depends on how long your scent stays in the woods. Because deer can detect the human scent from 1 to 4 miles away. For that reason, they are scared to come closer.

The more deer avail in an area the less time it takes to find the bait. In the open yards, deer take more time compared to deep forests. Because deer don’t come into the open yards so often.   

In Deep Forest:

In deep forest deer take approximately 1 to 3 days to find the bait. Even within 15 minutes deer can find the bait in the deep forest. And that’s because of their availability. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What Is The Best Thing To Bait Deer With?

Corn is the best thing to bait deer. That is why maize may quickly attract deer. After distributing corn on the ground, you can spray them with doe urine. The fragrance of doe urine will aid deer in finding bait more quickly.

What Time Does Most Deer Appear?

In the early morning and just before sunset most deer appear outside. And that’s the ideal period to use bait to draw deer. At these two times, deer emerge in quest of food. Additionally, it might be effective for hunting to bait deer a few hours prior to these two phases.

How Many Times Do Deer Eat Daily?

Deer take food five times a day as feeders of a rhythm. However, there are three crucial phases in a 24-hour cycle for feeding deer. Additionally, these three stages may work best to draw deer to the meal. And you may use that to your advantage to hunt deer more successfully.

Final Words

Well, this concludes the answer to the question of when to start baiting deer. We really hope that we were able to clarify your doubts regarding this matter.

Don’t forget to put your insight into this whole article. 

Happy hunting this next season!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *