How to Attract Quality Deer to your Hunting Property

September 5, 2020

Montana has risen to the top when it comes to deer hunting properties.  The numbers of animals are extremely stable and can be found in every part of our beautiful state. Here are some expert tips on how to attract deer to your property.

It’s safe to say  the most popular big game animal to hunt in the United States is the White Tail Deer.  There are many reasons the pursuit of these animals has become such a passion.  Unlike other deer species, the White Tail Deer can be found throughout the United States, Canada, and many places in Mexico, giving more people, in more areas, the opportunity to hunt them.  The ability to enhance a property’s cover and food sources through farming, irrigation and adding additional bedding areas has proved to greatly impact the behavior patterns of White Tail Deer.  Selectively harvesting particular animals out of the herd and using the practices mentioned above gives the property owner the ability to grow and manage their own population.

Quality deer management starts with locating several hunting properties and obtaining the one that checks the most boxes when it comes to the amenities which allow the best success in enhancement.  These amenities include irrigation, ability to farm portions of the property, hardwoods or willow riparian areas, location, neighbors, etc.   In some areas, planting food plots for deer is a huge attractant for certain properties.  In our area of Montana, deer attractant feeds include  alfalfa, barley, and oats are a staple for White Tail Deer and are commonly grown on properties in Southwest Montana.  Bringing in other deer attractant feed commonly found in other areas and using our native crops may be the best way to attract deer.


How to attract deer to your property?  Make sure to get the proper food sources in rotation on your property and make sure to have one or two  every year.  Providing a bedding area where deer have a place for proper cover is another must.  If the deer are frequenting the food source but need to seek shelter on another property, you are losing your ability to manage all facets of your herd.  The proper amount of pressure is also key, and the size of the property will have a big impact on how much pressure you should allow.  Once a property owner has found the right mix of these components, they should find success at attracting deer and keeping them on their property.

The last part of the equation in making your deer herd a quality herd, is the management of which animals are harvested.  A certain amount of does should be harvested every year to keep the buck to doe ratio at the right percentage.  Many people have different ideas on what this ratio should be.  We recommend finding a professional you trust and following their advice.  Finally, learning how to age deer and culling mature bucks you’d like to remove from the herd will strengthen your genetics by leaving the best bucks to breed the does.

Montana has risen to the top when it comes to deer hunting properties.  The numbers of animals are extremely stable and can be found in every part of our beautiful state.  If you are thinking of a deer hunting property in Montana, we’d love to discuss how to find the right property for you We can also help you find a professional to assist you with your property’s deer herd objectives.


If you have questions or would like to talk to one of us about attracting quality deer to your hunting property, we welcome you to contact Keith Handlos at or 406.925.1814


Here are some additional resources to help you through land transaction decisions:

How to Start a Successful Montana Ranching or Farming Operation


Navigating a Montana Land Sale: Do I need a broker or realtor?


Five Tips for Listing Your Farm or Ranch Property


How to Maintain Your Montana Ranch Property